Mailchimp’s Customer Journey builder helps you create unique, automated marketing workflows for your contacts. Use Customer Journeys to add tags, send targeted emails, and accomplish other important tasks for you.
In this article, you’ll learn how to create a Customer Journey.
Before You Start
Here are some things to know before you begin this process.
Depending on your plan, you may have limited access to Customer Journey tools. To learn more, check out our pricing page.
To learn more about customer journeys, how they work, and what you can do with your plan, check out About Customer Journeys.
This article shows you how to build a Customer Journey automation. To learn more about other email automation tools, check out Create a Classic Automation.
Create a customer journey
You’ll create and manage your Customer Journey on the Customer Journeys homepage. You can build an original journey from scratch, or you can click the Explore tab and choose from a variety of different starting points and pre-built options. For this tutorial, we'll show you how to create an original journey.
To create a Customer Journey, follow these steps.
Click the Automations icon.
Click Customer Journey.
Click the Create drop-down and choose Customer Journey.
Enter a name for your journey, then click the drop-down menu to choose an audience.
Click Start Building.
Good job! Now that you’ve created a journey, you can add starting points, actions, and rules that will determine each contact’s path. To do this, you’ll plot these points on a customer journey map. This map will help you visualize how contacts move along different paths.
A Customer Journey map can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. Review the different options, and choose only the ones that best suit your marketing needs.
Add a starting point
First, you’ll choose a starting point. This is the activity or event that adds a contact to a journey.
Each journey map can have up to 3 starting points. For example, if you have a customer journey for high-value contacts, you could choose to add people to it based on two different starting points: added tag “VIP” or added tag “top donor.”
To add your first starting point, follow these steps.
Choose the specific settings for your starting point type. For example, if you choose Signs Up, you’ll then choose whether to include imported contacts.
Optional: Click Get more specific about who can enter this map to use segmenting conditions to filter your starting point.
Click Save Starting Point.
Nice job! You chose the first starting point for your workflow. If you want to add another starting point, click Add starting point and repeat steps 2-5.
Add journey points
After you add a starting point, you’ll choose the rules and actions that make up your journey. These are called journey points. Try any combination of journey points to create a unique customer workflow that meets your marketing needs.
All the actions and rules you can use are in the side panel in the journey builder. If you need to move the side panel out of the way, click Hide. Whenever you’re ready to use the side panel again, click Show Actions.
If / Else
If you have a Standard plan or higher, you can add an If / Else branching rule to a Customer Journey so that contacts follow different paths depending on the conditions you set. This is useful if you want to send different marketing material to contacts based on specific audience data, campaign activity, or other segmentation options.
Note: If your If / Else rule is based on whether contacts interacted with a previous email in the customer journey, we recommend you precede it with a minimum 4-hour Delay rule to give people time to open and click.
To add an If / Else rule, follow these steps.
In the side panel, click If / Else.
Click the plus (+) icon on the step where you want the branch to occur.
Click the If / Else rule to set its conditions.
Use the drop-down menus to choose the conditions contacts must meet to move down the Yes path.
You can add up to 5 conditions to your branch.
Well done! Repeat these steps to add additional if / else rules in your customer journey as needed.
The wait rule pauses your contacts in the journey until they meet a condition that you set. The same conditions are available for both starting points and waits. You can include up to 3 wait rules in one journey.
To add a wait rule, follow these steps.
In the side panel, click Wait.
Click the plus (+) icon on the step that you want the rule to occur.
Choose the wait condition you want.
Choose the specific settings for your condition.
Well done! Repeat these steps to add additional wait rules in your customer journey as needed.
Add time between actions in the Customer Journey with a delay rule. For example, add a delay in between emails so you’re not sending to your contacts too frequently.
To add a delay rule, follow these steps.
In the side panel, click Delay.
Click the plus (+) icon on the step where you want the delay to occur.
Click the delay to edit it.
In the Delay pop-up, set the length of the delay and click Save.
Well done! Repeat these steps to add additional delay rules in your customer journey as needed.
When contacts reach a certain point in their path, choose to send them an email with a targeted message tailored to their Customer Journey.
If a journey includes a series of emails, we recommend you separate them with delays to avoid flooding your contacts with multiple messages at once.
To add a send email action, follow these steps.
In the side panel, click Send email.
Click the plus (+) icon on the step where you want the email to occur.
Click Rename to edit the internal name for your email.
Edit the To & From details to change the To field, From name, or From email address.
Edit the Subject to customize your subject line and preview text.
Choose whether to Select a Template or Use a Previous Campaign as a Template.
Click the plus (+) icon on the step that you want the tag action to occur.
Click the tag action to edit it.
In the Add or remove a tag modal, use the Tag drop-down to choose which tag to add or remove. You can also create a new tag.
Use the Action drop-down to choose whether to Add or Remove the tag.
Well done! Repeat these steps to add additional tag actions in your customer journey as needed.
Add to or remove from a group
Group actions add or remove a contact to or from a group in your audience. To learn more about groups in Mailchimp, check out Getting Started with Groups.
To add a group action, follow these steps.
In the side panel, click Add to or remove from a group.
Click the plus (+) icon on the step that you want the group tag action to occur.
Click the group action to edit it.
In the Add to or remove from a group modal, use the Group drop-down to choose the group you want to work with.
Use the Action drop-down to choose whether to Add to or Remove from the group.
Well done! Repeat these steps to add additional group actions in your customer journey as needed.
Sometimes, you may want to unsubscribe contacts who don't engage with your email marketing.
To add an unsubscribe action, follow these steps.
In the side panel, click Unsubscribe contact.
Click the plus (+) icon on the step that you want the group tag action to occur.
In the pop-up modal, click the Action drop-down and choose Unsubscribe.
Activate your journey
To activate your Customer Journey, follow these steps.
When your Customer Journey map is ready, click Continue.
Note: If you added a marketing objective in your journey settings, you’ll instead click Turn On to activate your customer journey immediately.
Choose a marketing objective. This will help Mailchimp provide more personalized recommendations and reporting. You can edit this later in your Journey settings if necessary.
Click Turn On.
Now, contacts will begin the Customer Journey as they meet the first starting point condition.
To stop an active Customer Journey at any time, click Pause & Edit. Paused journeys will not queue new contacts.
When you’re ready to start again, click Turn Back On. Contacts at a Delay point will move to the next journey point if the journey was paused longer than the time set for the Delay.
On the Customer Journey homepage, you’ll see the number of contacts who have started a Customer Journey, are in progress in their journey, or have completed a journey.
Key stats will also appear on Tag and Email actions as contacts reach those journey points.
To view the complete report for an email, click the Report icon.
Edit your journey
After you activate a Customer Journey, you can continue to edit your journey map and its settings.
Edit journey map
Pause an active Customer Journey to add, remove, or edit its starting points or journey points. You can pause an active journey from the map or the My Journeys page.
To remove a point on the map, click it and then click Remove.
Follow the prompt to remove the rule or action.
Edit journey settings
Access your Journey Settings to change the journey name or marketing objective, manually add or remove contacts from the journey, or choose whether contacts can repeat the journey after they complete it.
Here are the different settings and what they mean.
The name of your Customer Journey. This is for internal use only, so contacts won’t see it.
What you want to accomplish with your Customer Journey. Set your marketing objective to help Mailchimp provide you with more personalized recommendations and reporting. You can edit this setting in draft or paused journeys only.
Contact repeats journey
Allows contacts to repeat your journey more than once. After a contact exits a journey, we’ll block them from re-starting it for 5 minutes. This is designed to help prevent abuse.
Add contacts to journey
Manually add contacts to your journey who haven’t been added through a starting point, or who were previously removed. You can edit this setting in active journeys only.
Remove contacts from journey
Manually remove contacts from your journey, or prevent them from starting it in the first place.
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