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I was updating content for a client’s journey in Salesforce Marketing Cloud the other day, and stumbled onto a new ‘feature’ I wasn’t aware of. This could be important for you to think about, depending on your workflow for updating emails in Journey Builder.
When you add an email to go out from Journey Builder, you are basically creating a triggered send. Normally, triggered emails remain static until you pause them, publish the updates, and then restart them. This was true in Journey Builder for some time as well. In essence, if you had content updates to make, you could make them, test them, and then decide when you wanted to make them live.
Now when you update an email that is part of a journey, the content automatically updates. The amount of time it takes varies, indicating to me it is part of some content check happening in a regular interval. SMS messages that are part of a journey have always updated in near real time, but for long time users of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, this behavior for email can be disconcerting.
If you update your content, and have some errors in your AMPScript, for example, things can get even more interesting. The changes carry through, as you would expect now. But once that step of the journey is invoked, it will queue the messages to be sent, and pause the trigger. You won’t be able to tell this from the triggered send screen (the emails will still show as Running), but you will see a count greater than 0 in the Queued column. Several hours later, the system will send you a message indicating that one or more of your triggers has been paused for some reason. Once you fix things, you will need to go into Triggered Sends, pause the affected messages, Publish Changes for them, and then restart them.
This new ‘feature’ can be problematic for people who are accustomed to making changes to content and waiting to deploy the changes (presumably after tests, approvals, etc). Always remember now, any content changes you make will be live in your journey relatively soon.
If you’d like to learn more about how to successfully use Journey Builder, please reach out. We’ll be happy to discuss this topic in detail with you.