How to re-enter contacts into a journey
Sometimes, you may need to re-enter a contact into a journey after the contact has already entered and exited it. This may be because you have created additional messages or that you wish contacts to receive, or have added actions to automate contact record updates or send a Slack message or notification email related to the journey.
The first step is to set the People can be in journey setting to one of the following:
- Only once, and enter multiple times. Or
- More than once, and enter multiple times.
Next, take a look at your entry criteria (People enter when). If the entry criteria contains an “x activity occurs”-type condition, then the contact can re-enter the journey when they perform the activity (meet the entry criteria) again.
If the entry criteria is based on a field value or a “has occurred”-type condition, you may need to add an additional condition to the entry criteria to ensure the contact can re-enter. This is because a contact who already met/matched the original entry criteria won’t match it again unless the entry criteria is updated to ensure they re-match.
One approach is to add a tag (e.g. “Re-enter journey”) to the relevant contacts, then add the entry criteria “Tag added occurs” or “Tag is” with the relevant tag value (e.g. “Tag is Re-enter journey”) to re-enter those contacts into the journey.
Managing messages already received
Once you have your journey settings up to date, you may want to consider whether you want a contact who re-enters the journey to receive any messages they have already received.
For example, you have a journey containing 2 email messages and you add a 3rd email message. For the initial 2 messages, you can set the individual message shape settings to determine whether a contact can receive the message once or more than once.
To do so:
- At the message shape in the journey editor, click the more icon (...), then View.
- At People can receive this message, ensure it is set to Only once. If not, click Edit to change and save the setting.
NOTE: This approach applies to email messages, SMS messages, and push notifications.
As another option to using the People can receive this message setting, you could add a Condition shape that looks at whether people have already received a particular message.
This would be added before the message shape you want to prevent people from receiving again, and you can then link up the journey path before the next message you want them to receive (i.e. your newly-added message). This ensures that people who are entering the journey for the first time receive all messages, but people entering the journey a second time receive only the newly-added message.
Managing actions already performed
In addition to managing messages already received, you may want to consider whether you want to repeat any actions originally performed when the contact first entered the journey.
For example, you have an action to create a Salesforce record after a contact performs a particular activity or meets a particular condition. You likely don’t want to create another record when the contact re-enters the journey, so you can set the action to be performed only once.
To do so:
- At the action shape in the journey editor, click the more icon (...), then View.
- At This action can occur, ensure it is set to Only once. If not, click Edit to change and save the setting.
NOTE: This approach applies to all system and data source actions.
As another option to using the This action can occur setting, you could add a Condition shape that looks at whether people already match the action result (e.g. they possess a particular field value or tag).
The condition shape would be added before the action shape you don’t want to repeat, and you can then link up the journey path further on, as relevant. This ensures that for people who are entering the journey for the first time, the action is performed, but for people entering the journey a second time the action is not repeated.
Using the create a Salesforce record action example, you could add a condition to check whether the contact has a Salesforce contact ID (e.g. “Contact ID has any value”), and if “yes”, send them along the appropriate path (if “no”, you could send them along the path containing the Salesforce create record action).