Today I was thinking, why are there people who continue to use User-Initiated Emails to send immediate or scheduled sends, having the possibility to use the Send Flow in Email Studio? 🤔
For a moment I thought, maybe it was for the convenience of using what has been functional since the old school of classic content and since is still functional they did not migrate to the new. But then I realized that I was committing the same sin by using the Send flow instead of Single Send Journey 😅. So I decided not to fall into the same trap and write this so that all of us who have had a hard time adapting, can find the motivation to migrate to the new from a functional perspective. But let’s start with the beginning:
What is Single Send Journey?
This is one of the “new” features of Marketing Cloud that allows you to send individual immediate or scheduled emails, SMS, or push notifications from Journey Builder.
Yes … it seems like something I can already do from User-Initiated Emails (img 1) or the Email Studio send flow (img 3), so let’s review the pros and cons of using Single Send Journey (img 2) from the simplest to the best enhancements.👇
1. Allows you to configure the sends of any channel from a single place.
You will no longer have to configure email sends in one module, SMS in another, push in another, and journey in another, each with different interfaces. By being all in one place, it is more consistent and easy to configure the sends, monitor, and review the metrics.
2. A much more friendly interface for any user and includes initial instructions.
It’s so intuitive to identify which are the necessary elements to configure an email send (Data Extension, content, and programming) that will make it easier to use for new users. 👌
3. You can apply filters to the data extension using Contact Data.
This was not possible with either of the two previous features and it allows you to segment faster without the need to generate filters, filtered data extensions, or queries in case you have the filter field already related to the contact builder.
4. Allows you to use Einstein Sent Time Optimization for individual email sends! 🕐 🙌
Personally, this is what excites me the most, as this functionality could only be used in Journeys Multi-Step, making it more difficult to use for individuals sends.
For those who are not familiar with Einstein STO is a feature that sends the email at the best time for each person based on what Einstein has learned from their past interactions. Stop guessing what is the best time to send and stop googling market metrics that may not apply to your business. You add this step and let Einstein work his magic !!
* Einstein STO is not included for all licenses. If you don’t have it included, contact your account representative for more information.
5. It allows you to select the email address of the subscriber that you want to use to send that communication. 📧🤔✉️
To understand why this is an advantage, you have to understand the default behavior of Marketing Cloud: When you send an email through the Send Flow using a Data Extension as an audience if the person already existed as a subscriber Marketing Cloud DOES NOT use the email field of the data extension to send the email, use the email that the person has saved in the list of all subscribers.
This is because Marketing Cloud considers only one email per subscriber; therefore, when you send an email to a person for the first time, Marketing Cloud uses that email for all future sends made from the send flow in Email Studio, and it can only be changed if the email is updated in the list of all subscribers.
With Single Send Journey you can select in the sending configuration which email you want to use: the one you have in that data extension or the one you have previously saved in the base of all your contacts. This can be a great advantage if you have multiple emails from the same subscriber or if the subscriber’s email can change.
6. Once the send is done, you can easily review the sender profile, delivery profile, and send classification that was used for the send.
Currently, if you send from Send Flow, it is impossible to know this information after sending. The only way to get some of this information is by querying the data views, but it is to make something more complex when it should be very simple. Luckily, in Single Send Journey, you will be able to quickly identify these items by entering the configuration of the send already made.
The next two points are for those who have Marketing Cloud Connect (MCC) configured the native Marketing Cloud connector with Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Community Cloud (I refer to these 3 clouds as “Salesforce Core” in the following paragraphs.). If this doesn’t apply to you, you can jump to the cons.
7. You can send the metrics of emails sent to Data Extensions to Salesforce core.
One of the great advantages of MCC is that it allows you to view in Salesforce Core the email sends that have been made from Marketing Cloud to contacts and leads (as shown in the 2nd image). This is possible thanks to the “Send Tracking Results to Sales Cloud” checkbox that appears when, from the Send Flow, we send an email to Salesforce campaigns, Salesforce reports, Salesforce Data Extensions. This checkbox does NOT appear when we send to a common data extension from the Send Flow; therefore, if we send to a common data extension, the metrics for that send will not be reflected in Salesforce core.
Using Single Send Journey, that checkbox is selected by default so even when you send the email to a common Data Extension, you will see the results in the lead and contact page layout.
IMPORTANT: You must use the 18-digit Salesforce Core Contact Id as Subscriber Key in order to associate the sending of email to the corresponding Contacts, Leads, or Users.
8. Allows you to use publication lists for Salesforce Audiences.
Publication lists are the Marketing Cloud feature that allows you to create different categories of content, of which people can subscribe or unsubscribe from the preference center. For example, you could have the categories Newsletter, Events, Webinar, Promotions and so the person instead of unsubscribing from everything, has the possibility of unsubscribing from the content categories that they do not want to receive emails, but remain subscribed to the categories that they do want to keep receiving.
You may have noticed that when you use the Send Flow doesn’t allow you to select the publication lists when you use Salesforce audiences (Campaigns, reports, or Salesforce Data Extensions). Therefore, Marketing Cloud won’t consider the preferences previously selected by the subscriber for those sends, causing that he could receive content that had already been unsubscribed and of course that won’t make our subscriber happy 😰.
With Sigle Send Journey you won’t have that problem because, for all sends setup through this functionality, you will be able to select the corresponding publication list. 😎
Nothing is perfect in life, so let’s look at the downsides:
1. Links cannot be changed after the email was sent. 😨 This seems to me to be a very important feature and it’s a reason why I would continue to use Send Flow for several sends considering it’s not weird to send an email with a wrong link and realize until the email was already sent. Not having the possibility to correct this error seems to me to be a very big weakness of this feature.
2. Filters cannot be used to make sends. This is something that does allow the Send Flow and makes the Single Send Journey option not very agile if you want to make quick filters of data extensions that are not connected to the contact builder.
3. Cannot send to Salesforce Core Campaigns or Reports. Another disappointment, but not that bad since it could be solved by integrating the objects as synchronized data extensions to do this segmentation in Marketing Cloud or generate an import of the report from interactions.
Anyway, as you can see there are many pros so it will definitely be a feature that I will start using to make my sends. So .. will you give a chance to use Single Send Journeys? 😏
If you have questions you can add them below so the answers can help other users in the future❤️