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I have a requirement that has to do with adding/deleting subscribers from Auto-suppression list based on a Sales Cloud checkbox. Unfortunately I cannot make any development in Sales Cloud, it all has to be done in Marketing Cloud. It also needs to happen in (near) real-time.

The add/delete part can be easily handled with AMPscript, and the AMPscript can be triggered in an automation. Contact ID can be passed using Journey Builder.

But how do I connect the two, so that once the Contact enters the journey, it also somehow triggers the automation to start? Will be grateful for any suggestions - thanks!

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    i dont know if its possible but you could use a decision split to one customer that is always in journeys and create an email for only this subscriber that triggers the automation with ampscript / ssjs inside the newsletter, but this seems really kind of weird and i believe there are better solutions. – Johannes Schapdick Jul 4 at 6:46
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    Maybe you don't need the automation if you're sending an email in JB. You could update the suppression list directly from ampscript in the email? – Josh de Blank Jul 4 at 6:56
  • I'll try that, but how do I send that email to myself for example, not the person in the journey? – CodeRage Jul 4 at 7:23
  • If you would want to go with that approach, use RaiseError to not send that mail at all. – DonL Jul 4 at 12:57
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You could use a hack in which you execute your entire AMPscript from within an exclusion script in the send email activity. If the AMPscript contained in a content block that is invoked in the exclusion script returns/prints "true" (and nothing else), no sendout will happen (neither to you nor to the subscriber). To make sure that in no way an email send will happen you can additionally create an email for this specific purpose, that just includes a RaiseError function call.

The exclusion script, that does nothing else than invoking your processing AMPscript stored in a content block, would look like this:

TreatAsContent(ContentBlockById(INSERT_ID_OF_CONTENTBLOCK))

Please note that this is in no way the intended purpose of such exclusion scripts, it is possible however.

The much cleaner solution would be creating a custom activity for journey builder, that for example initiates a file drop to the Marketing Cloud Enhanced FTP and therefore triggers your Automation.

Further resources:

  • Thanks @Markus, custom JB activity would be ideal, but I am not able to develop that myself yet :-) – CodeRage Jul 4 at 13:29
  • Then the quick and dirty hack using the exclusion script should be a fit I guess as only AMPscript skills are needed for that. – Markus Slabina Jul 4 at 13:30
  • Markus, one more question, would it be possible to host such custom JB activity inside Cloud Pages, or is this complete nonsense? – CodeRage Jul 4 at 18:54
  • I wouldn't do that as SSJS is very restricted in comparison to NodeJS for example. On the one hand it would be even more hacky than the exclusion script and on the other hand it would be a real pain in the a.. to develop such a custom activity using CloudPages I guess ;) – Markus Slabina Jul 5 at 8:03

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