In this episode, I share two simple techniques that you can use to ensure emails aren’t sent to actual Leads or Contacts when testing Journeys in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
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Now you might have already used the Test feature in Journey Builder. This feature enables you to simulate the behaviour of Contacts entering a Journey and review the paths they will be routed through, without sending messages to them.
While this is a great feature for validating journey logic, it’s limited to Journeys with a Data Extension entry source type.
And this is particularly problematic when you are using a Salesforce Data entry source and want to test the entry condition and journey logic. So, while you could create a test record in a Salesforce Object, the moment that you publish your journey, any other record that also meets the condition (in your Salesforce production environment) will also be admitted into the journey and receive any messages.
Both of these methods involve using the Exclusion Script field in the Send Email Activity. You’ll also find this feature in other Marketing Cloud apps that enable you to send emails.
Now Exclusion Scripts use AMPscript expressions which, if evaluate to ‘true’, suppress the sending of an email to the respective Subscriber.
This expression uses the AMPscript Domain function to output the domain part of the Subscriber’s email address, and if the Subscribers’ domain isn’t equal to nto.com, then the email won’t be sent. So you can follow this approach and substitute nto.com with your company domain, to ensure that emails are only sent to your internal staff and not to real Leads or Contacts.
Or, if you want to simply skip sending the emails to everyone and just want to review which paths Contacts are routed down, you can use any AMPScript expression which will evaluate to true, for example this one.
And for a bonus tip, you can also use this same expression to effectively ‘delete’ emails from published journeys. Let me explain. So, while you can update existing emails in a published (or running) journey, or even switch out an email entirely, you can’t remove the email from a published journey. Of course you can create a new journey version and publish it, but Contacts in the previous journey version will still be sent the email when they reach the Send Email Activity. But to ensure they don’t, simply add this exclusion script to the Send Email Activity in your published journey. And voila, it won’t be sent to anyone.
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