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You’ve probably heard how effective email marketing can be for bringing in revenue and building trust with your biggest fans, especially if you’ve read our other blog posts and guides. But the reason we talk so much about customer journeys is because they’re one of the most effective and efficient ways to use email marketing to achieve your business goals.

An automated customer journey is a series of automated emails that get triggered when your lead or customer performs a certain action, such as signing up for your mailing list. In fact, studies show that automated emails generate over 75% of revenue and can account for 21% of email marketing revenue.

But far too many marketers don’t use automated journeys. They think creating an automated journey takes too much time, experience, or resources, or they don’t know where to begin.

But we believe in the power of email marketing for everyone, whether you’re justing starting out or working at a large corporation.

So we’ve broken down exactly how to set up a customer journey in order to prove just how easy the process is for a marketing team of one or twenty.

Chapter 1

For example: A welcome journey to greet new sign ups

We’ll walk you through everything you need to do in order to set up an automated journey, using a welcome journey as an example. After all, a welcome journey is integral to the success of your email marketing strategy. The welcome journey introduces subscribers to your brand and forms the foundation on which you’ll build your relationship with them throughout their customer lifecycle.

A solid welcome journey sets up your email marketing program for success, helping you build trust, open a dialogue with your customers, and ultimately bring in revenue for years to come.

We’ll start at the very beginning and cover every step of the process including the metrics you’ll need to analyze the journey’s success.

This guide is for:

  • Marketers who are ready to elevate their email marketing strategy by implementing automated customer journeys that build trust and excitement around their brand. You want to know where to begin and how you can gauge your journey’s success down the line, too.
  • Marketers who already use journeys, but are looking for ways to improve their process and see even better results.

What you’ll learn:

You’ll learn detailed step-by-step instructions, starting with designing a journey all the way to activating a subscriber form in Campaign Monitor. We’ll also show you how to look at your journey’s performance so you’ll know how your subscribers actually engage with it.

Watch the how-to video:

Watch the video and follow along in Campaign Monitor as you build your own welcome journey.

Create your journey

Step 1: Create a segment that targets the people you want to engage

1. Create a new list.

In your Campaign Monitor “Lists & subscribers” tab, you’ll click the “Create a new list” button in order to create the segment you’ll eventually funnel into this new automated welcome journey.

2. Name your list.

In addition to choosing your list’s name, you’ll also choose between single and double opt-in at this point. (We suggest double opt-in in order to be sure you have the most engaged list and are always compliant with today’s email regulations.)

3. Create custom fields for your list.

On the right side of your screen, choose “Custom fields” which will allow you to choose the additional data points for your subscriber, such as gender, age, location, etc. You can choose to collect this data via a text field or by offering multiple choices for them to choose from.

4. Define a rule to create segments within your list.

You’ll break down your list into smaller, more specific segments by defining rules. These rules can be either “and” statements (for instance, a segment of subscribers who chose “male” as their gender and reported their age as late 20s) as well as “or” statements (such as a segment consisting of males or any subscriber who reported their age as late 20s.) You can get as creative and specific as you want with your segments.

5. Design your journey.

Before you create your sign-up form, you’ll want to choose the trigger that will automatically funnel subscribers through the journey you’re creating—in this case, a welcome journey. Click into the Automation tab and begin Step 2 below.

Chapter 3

Step 2: Design a journey that gets triggered when someone joins that segment

Now that you have your segments ready to go, you’ll design the actual welcome journey:

1. Create a new journey.

And name it.

2. Select the subscriber list and the trigger.

Select the subscriber list this journey will apply to. The welcome journey needs to trigger when someone joins the list. Select the trigger: “Subscriber joins the list.”

3. Add the first email to welcome new sign ups.

Whether you use our welcome templates as-is or just as a starting point to design your emails, you’ll want to tell your subscribers what products and services they can expect from your brand. Drive new subscribers to your website or add additional content to complete an action or next step. Remember you can always edit or add email content after you’ve created the journey.

4. Add a time delay.

Give subscribers some time to open the first email.

5. Add a second email.

Include more details about how your products and services work. Upsell other parts of your business.

6. Add another time delay.

Give a few more days to allow subscribers to open your second email.

7. Add a condition.

Create a rule to check if the second email was opened. Now you can send subscribers that opened down one path, and subscribers that didn’t down another.

8. Add an email for the “yes” path.

If the second email was opened, now send a third email with exclusive content to show the value of engaging with your brand.

9. Add an email for the “no” path.

If the second email wasn’t opened, re-send it with a new subject line.

10. Add a time delay on the “no” path.

Give subscribers some time to open that next email.

11. Add another email to the “no” path.

Now send that same exclusive content email to this group of subscribers.

12. Give a final review.

Double check that your steps are all complete and then turn on your journey in the top right-hand corner.

Chapter 4

Step 3: Create a sign up form to trigger the journey

1. Create a sign up form.

Within the “Lists & subscribers” tab, choose “Sign up forms.” Here, you can choose to add a subscribe button, a landing page, copy and paste a form to your website, etc. Explore all these and discover which of these options are the best fit for your goals.

2. Choose custom fields.

This is where you can decide which of the custom fields you created earlier will be available for your subscribers to fill out. You can also choose which fields you want to make required or optional and which data points you want to hide.

3. Ask for permission.

In order to be GDPR compliant, you’ll need to ask for explicit permission to email your subscribers and also ask whether or not you can track their activity.

4. Include your privacy policy, if you’d like.

While you don’t have to include your privacy policy in your sign up form to be GDPR compliant, it’s always a good idea to be transparent with your audience. By the way, you should always check with your privacy and legal team to ensure your email marketing provides the right information to your subscribers in the right way.

5. Create your “thank you” message.

You’ll be able to craft the message your new subscribers will see after they fill out your form and submit.

6. Activate the form.

However you chose to format your sign up form, you’ll need to make it available to your potential subscribers, whether that’s adding the form to Facebook or sending out a link to a landing page. Once the form is active, subscribers will be able to sign up and the data you gather will be automatically populated within the segment.

Chapter 5

Step 4: Look at the Insights tab to track the results of the journey

Once your journey has been active for a bit, you’ll want to see how well it performs. It’s important to know how many people subscribe to your email list and how many of those people actually read your emails.

Welcome emails are some of the most successful email campaigns you’ll send. You’re emailing your subscribers when their excitement for your brand is at its highest, so low engagement on these emails doesn’t bode well for the success of your email marketing long term.

In order to understand how well your welcome journey performs—and ultimately how you can understand your audience and create a journey that performs even better—you’ll need to study your metrics.

1. Select the journey you want to look at.

Click on the Insights tab and choose “Automation” to see all of your journeys. Choose the welcome journey in order to see its data. You’ll see data for all your automated journeys combined, and you’ll be able to click into each individual journey as well.

2. Choose the data you want to study.

You’ll be able to choose whether you want to look at “Recipient Activity,” “Link Activity & Overlay,” “Social Sharing & Forwards,” and a few other options. Each metric tells you something specific about your campaign, so it’s important to understand the insights offered by each one.

3. For a welcome journey, track your open rate.

If you see low open rates and low engagement on the welcome journey, you’ll want to rethink your email design or content and consider how you can improve engagement from the start.


Already a Campaign Monitor customer and ready to get started? Create a new journey.

Chapter 6

More inspiration for customer journeys

Welcome journeys are a must for your brand, regardless of your industry, but it isn’t the only great journey you can implement to see increased retention and engagement.

Here are seven more ideas for customer journeys that deliver.

1. The feedback journey

After a customer makes a purchase or interacts with your team, don’t be afraid to ask about their experience. It’ll provide you a chance to learn and improve and will ensure your customers feel heard and respected.

Set up a journey that sends a request for feedback, a survey, or even a review a few days after your customer converts:

2. The birthday journey

Everyone loves a birthday message! Especially when it comes with a promotion. Don’t forget to tell your subscribers that you appreciate them on their special day.

Also consider other dates that might be important to your industry or business—such as an anniversary—and set up a date-triggered journey that tells your subscribers thank you.

3. The promotional journey

You probably know what your customers think and look for as they move through your sales funnel. Consider creating a journey that anticipates your lead’s pain points and the weak points in your funnel in order to keep people moving forward to a conversion.

These promotional emails are not only effective in the short-term, they keep your brand top of mind to increase sales and loyalty in the long run, too.

4. The reminder journey

As busy as everyone is, it’s easy for some things to fall through the cracks. Set up a series of emails that remind your customers and subscribers of important dates or deadlines to keep your company, event, or product top of mind.

But don’t just send a bland reminder email. Go above and beyond and include helpful information that’s also of interest to your customers.

Source: Really Good Emails

5. The VIP journey

Your business wouldn’t be possible without your customers, so consider how you can reward your most valuable fans. By implementing a rewards system and/or a VIP journey is a great way to build a cult following and keep your customers coming back.

Similarly, you can send a series of emails rewarding your customers whenever they hit a major milestone. Maybe they’ve left their 50th review, or spent a certain amount of money, or traveled a certain amount nights.

However it makes the most sense for your company, be sure you let your customers know you’re paying attention and encouraging them every day.

6. The re-engagement journey

No matter how phenomenal your email marketing program is, you’re still going to have some subscribers who just aren’t that engaged. Instead of shrugging your shoulders and leaving these people on your list, creating a separate segment and send a re-engagement series as a way to reconnect. A great offer or friendly note can remind your subscribers why they signed up for your list in the first place and recapture their initial excitement.

And even if the subscriber doesn’t reconnect with you, you can still purge your list in order to keep it fresh and engaged, improving your deliverability.

7. The next-steps journey

When you’re introducing yourself to new subscribers or new customers, it seems obvious that you should explain your product or services. However, don’t forget that your returning customers could also benefit from a next-steps series.

You can design a journey that explains how to take your product to the next level or shows how more advanced customers—or even customer personas—take advantage of all your brand has to offer.

Source: Really Good Emails

Chapter 7

Wrap up

Customer journeys are a great way to connect with your subscribers, build trust, and develop a strong connection with your audience. Once you get them set up, all you have to do is sit back and let automation do the work for you, occasionally checking in to see where you can improve. Creating a customer journey can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.

Campaign Monitor makes it easy for you to build these great customer journeys, and any other you can think up. Take these ideas to inspire your next great campaign and soon you’ll bve ready to take your results to the next level.

Send unforgettable customer journeysNot a Campaign Monitor customer yet? Talk to our sales team today and start designing beautiful emails.Get in touch
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