My goal: Send a mail to a contact who get added in a data extension.

As far as i understand Journey builder(JB) cant do this automaticly, you need to use Automation studio to fire an event to the JB, telling it to start.

My question is then, how can i make a Automation that "Feels" when new data is added to a Data extension?. I can only make Triggered(FTP) or Schedule automations.


You don't necessarily need to use Automation Studio. You have a few options here:

  1. Define a schedule within the Event in Journey Builder to check the Data Source for new records (refer to this screenshot),
  2. Include a Fire Event activity in your Automation, or
  3. Use the Events API method (described below).

With both options 1 and 2, Marketing Cloud will set a "high watermark" on the Data Extension each time it processes records.

For example, if you have 50 records in your DE, then when the Event is fired (either by the Event schedule or the Fire Event Activity in your Automation) then all records will be processed and the high watermark will be set to the 50 records. Then, if an additional 2 records are added to the DE (so you now have a total of 52 records in the DE), then the next time the Activity is fired, then only these 2 new records will enter the Interaction (assuming that they meet the Contact Filter Criteria defined in the Event).

Regarding the Events API method, while this isn't publicly documented for some peculiar reason, here it is:

HOST: https://www.exacttargetapis.com
POST /interaction/v1/events
Content-Type: application/json
Authorization: Bearer insertAccessTokenHere


  • insertAccessTokenHere is the accessToken obtained from the Fuel Authentication Service
  • insertContactKeyHere is the Contact Key defined by the cardinal relationship you created to the Contact Record in Contact Builder
  • InsertEventDefinitionKeyHere is the Event Definition Key used by the Event (once you create an event, you can retrieve this from the Events Administration page)
  • data are name/value pairs of data that will be added to the Data Source defined in the Event.

When this method is used, the data will be serialised into the Data Extension (defined as the Data Source) and the Contact will immediately enter the Interaction (assuming that they meet the Contact Filter Criteria defined in the Event).

  • Thanks for the answer. What if I want it only to trigger when new people are added in the DE, so not schedule in JB? – Bidstrup Oct 22 '15 at 6:55
  • This is the exact behaviour due to the "high watermark" as I explained above — only records added to the DE since the last time the Event was fired will enter the Interaction. This is the same regardless of you using the Event Schedule or a Fire Event Activity in an Automation. – Eliot Harper Oct 22 '15 at 10:13
  • So you do need to fire an event through Automation Studio against samme DE for Journey builder to start? – Bidstrup Oct 26 '15 at 12:49
  • As per my answer above, you don't necessarily need to use Automation Studio to Fire the Event — you can achieve the same thing by defining a schedule within the Event. – Eliot Harper Oct 26 '15 at 18:40
  • Thanks, I can see that JB just dont have the function I was looking for. How did you learn to use JB? Was it from training or self taught? – Bidstrup Oct 27 '15 at 10:11

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