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I have a data extension called de_email_count which has 2 fields; 1) subscriber_key and count. Count starts at 0 for everyone.

I want to use the Update Contact Activity from Journey Builder to Auto Increment the count value in that DE.

E.g. if it's at 2, then once triggered in the journey it should become 3. How can i achieve this?

Journey Builder is triggered via API for me, the objective is that if a person has already received 3 emails in a 24 hour period, they should not receive a 4th or any more at all.

Thank you.

Clarification: Using API Triggers so a User can re-enter multiple times, even if it's in the same hour.

2 Answers 2

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You won't be able to achieve this with the Update Contact block in Journey Builder.

If you want to immediately update the count, the best course of action for you is to include ampscript for this purpose in all of your emails which would read the current count for the customer and increment it. By doing this the count would be updated as the email is prepared to be sent in Marketing Cloud.

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  • This has the risk of pre-maturely updating the count tho, because it can update the count but the email can still fail to send. Or am i mistaken?
    – user80446
    Apr 27, 2021 at 15:34
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If you're worried about the email send failing/bouncing after AMPscript has already run, I'd suggest querying data views instead, to ensure you're only counting sends that were delivered. Only potential problem is the time delay of up to an hour.

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  • Added a clarification to my original post, using triggered event, so yes that would be one of the main concerns. Not so much worried about bounce failing but rather since there is a large amount of dynamic data, worried that the email fails to generate and yet the count still incremented. I would somehow need to query data views every minute to update the count, but not sure that's even possible.
    – user80446
    Apr 29, 2021 at 0:01

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