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Basically, there are two datetime fields on the contacts entering the Journey. I want to have actions occur at the contact's "start time" field as well as other actions based off of things like "8 hours prior to end time".

Is this possible? I am very new to Journey Builder and I swear I saw some sort of "Wait Until" Flow Control element in a webinar...but I cannot find it in my instance.

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I get around this problem using a sub-journey which only adds people when the correct date rolls around.

I don't know if it will fit your use case, but I have a journey set up which is supposed to send emails 4 weeks, 2 weeks, 1 week and 1 day in the lead up to an event.

Originally we wanted to use 'Wait Until' to hold them at a certain point in the journey until it was exactly 4 weeks before the event, and then put them on the journey. But 'Wait Until' feature has been pushed back, so instead I do this:

  1. Set up a child data extension, linking on subscriber key, to your main data extension. For example's sake ours are called PAD_Master and PAD_Event.

I have the following query set up on an automation which runs every morning.

    Select
    Field1,
    Field2,
    Field3,
    Etc
    from PAD_Master 
    WHERE ( ([Event_StartDate] >= DATEADD(DAY, 28, CAST(GETDATE() AS date)) AND
    [Event_StartDate] < DATEADD(DAY, 29, CAST(GETDATE() AS date))) OR
    ([Event_StartDate] >= DATEADD(DAY, 14, CAST(GETDATE() AS date)) AND 
    [Event_StartDate] < DATEADD(DAY, 15, CAST(GETDATE() AS date))) OR 
    ([Event_StartDate] >= DATEADD(DAY, 7, CAST(GETDATE() AS date)) AND 
    [Event_StartDate] < DATEADD(DAY, 8, CAST(GETDATE() AS date))) OR
    ([Event_StartDate] >= DATEADD(DAY, 1, CAST(GETDATE() AS date)) AND 
    [Event_StartDate] < DATEADD(DAY, 2, CAST(GETDATE() AS date))) )

This adds people from the Master DE to the event DE. So every day it checks their column Event_StartDate to see how far they are from the date. If it's exactly 28, 14, 7 or 1 days away from the event, they get added, and then a fire event picks those people up and puts them on the journey (this is using the Contact Entry interaction which is now discontinued, you may have to use something different).

Once they get in the journey, some internal decision splits check their date again to see if they need the 28 day, 14 day, 7 day or 1 day email.

Hope this helps - this is how I 'Wait Until'!

  • I wonder if/how I'd make this fit our use case. In particular, the "end time" is dynamic. We run software trials, but each one is individualized and often the "end date" is pushed out after the contact starts. Let's say I've got an End_Date field and an email that gets sent 1 day prior as well as on the end date itself. If we hit T-1 and the email goes to the contact, then the end date is pushed out in SFDC (and the source data extension is updated), can we have the customer receive the T-1 email again? And would the T-0 email only be sent once on the updated later date? – Mike Apr 19 '17 at 15:32
  • You can control whether or not your contacts get added in to a journey for a second time using the gear icon on the Journey Builder screen - you can change it to 'allow re-entry' either during a journey or after a contact has come out of it. Sounds like you might be better off with two journeys - one for T-1 and one for T-0, both running with their own independent queries to populate the data extensions. – TCassa Apr 20 '17 at 8:16
  • I wonder if it even makes sense to use JB for the T-1 and T-0 use case then. Would it make more sense to use a different email feature since it's really just two individual emails with no additional logic or actions? (If so, since I'm so new to MC, do you have a recommendation for which email feature to use?) – Mike Apr 20 '17 at 13:46
  • @Mike that is a good point - you might be better off setting up two separate triggered sends rather than a journey. – TCassa Apr 21 '17 at 8:10
  • Okay. Given my complete newness to the platform...would that be an Automation Studio triggered send you're referring to? If so, then that would require us to write an Apex trigger in Salesforce that creates a CSV with the required info and writes to our MC FTP? – Mike Apr 21 '17 at 16:55
2

Check out the 25th August release, it should cover your need to wait until a specific date by allowing both the current wait duration, but also wait by attribute

http://help.marketingcloud.com/en/documentation/release_notes/august_2017_release/journey_builder/

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The much-anticipated Wait Until Activity has yet to be released. It was slated for the Q4 2015 release, but I understand it was pushed out due to issues and there is still no announced release date at this time.

In the meantime, the only solution that I can think of is to:

  1. Link your Event Data Source in an Attribute Group (in Contact Builder) with a 1:1 relationship
  2. Create a Goal that uses an Attribute to Attribute comparison using your date field from the DE in step 1 (note that Attribute to Attribute comparisons are only available for Contact Data Attributes, not Event Data Attributes, which is why step 1 is necessary)
  3. Enable the Exit Option in the Goal: When the customer reaches this Goal, they will exit the Interaction
  4. Create a new Journey with a Contact Filter Criteria to inject Contacts who have been ejected from the previous Journey.

Note that Goals are evaluated:

  • Each time a contact is evaluated for entry into a journey
  • Each time a Wait Period expires
  • Every day at midnight, Central Standard Time
  • Thanks for the info. I've reached out to see if I can get in on the beta, but I imagine that's unlikely. As I'm brand new to Marketing Cloud/ExactTarget (we just got activated 2 days ago), most of your suggestion is beyond me. I'm sure it's a fabulous workaround though! (I don't want to get this thread off-topic by asking about attribute groups or contact vs. event data...) – Mike Apr 17 '17 at 15:37

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