Canvas: The Basics
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Anatomy of Canvas
Canvas refers to the workspace and overall visualization.
A journey or customer journey is an individual user’s experience within the Canvas.
Variants are the variant flows marketers build that create personalized journeys.
Steps are individual decision points (like messages) within a variant.
Building The Customer Journey In Canvas
Name Your Canvas: the “what”
Never underestimate the power of the name. Braze is built for collaboration so this is a good time to get grounded in how you’ll communicate goals with your team. You can add Tags (including Teams Tags) and name both steps and variants within the Canvas.
Create Starting Conditions: the “when”
When will a customer run into this Canvas? Users can enter your Canvas in two ways: scheduled or action-based triggers.
You can use scheduled delivery when you want to send a Canvas out immediately to your target audience, have it regularly sent, or schedule it for a specific time in the future.
These Canvases respond to specific customer behaviors as they happen. These action-based triggers can include opening your app, making a purchase, interacting with another campaign, or triggering any custom event.
Select an Entry Audience for Entry: the “who”
Who are you trying to reach? Here you can use a pre-defined segment and add further filters. Filters include:
- Custom Data: Custom data filters allow you to segment users based on events and attributes you define. With them, you can use features specific to your product.
- User Activity: User activity filters allow you to segment customers based on their actions and purchases.
- Retargeting: Retargeting filters allow you to segment customers who have been sent, received, or interacted with previous Campaigns or Canvases.
- Marketing Activity: Marketing filters segment customers based on universal behaviors like last engagement or received campaigns.
- User Attributes: User attribute filters segment customers by their constant attributes and characteristics.
- Install Attribution: Install attribution filters segment customers by their first source, adgroup, campaign, or ad.
- Social Activity: Social activity filters segment customers by their social media activity namely through connection to Facebook and Twitter.
Only the users who match these target audience criteria can enter the journey.
Identify Conversion Events: the “why”
Why are you building this Canvas? It’s always important to have a defined goal in mind and Canvas helps you understand how you are performing against KPIs like session engagement, purchases, and custom events.
Selecting at least one conversion event will give you the ability to understand your campaign performance and also to help you optimize performance within the Canvas as if your Canvas has multiple variants and/or a control group Braze will use the conversion event to determine the best variation for achieving this goal.
Build the experience: the “how” and “where”
Setting up variants: A variant is the trail each customer follows on their journey. Canvas supports up to four variants with a control group. While not required, you can name each variant, as well as control the distribution of the target audience following each variant.
Building steps: A step is a marketing decision point—what is the experience you’re creating? Within a step you can set triggers or schedule delivery, refine targeting by adding filters or marking exception events, and add channels from email to push to webhooks.
Determining when and how to use steps & variants: Each Canvas must have at least one variant and at least one step. The sky’s the limit from there—so how do you decide on the shape of your Canvas? That’s where your goals, data, and hypothesis come into play. The “how” and “where” brainstorm from above will help you map out the right shape and structure of your Canvas. There are a couple approaches you can use:
a. Work backward: Some goals have smaller sub-goals. There is a great lecture on growth from Alex Schlutz that explains how finding your North Star and that Magic Moment where customers understand your value proposition are powerful stimulants. This can be applied on the Canvas level by finding the intermediate step to your goal. For instance, if you’re aiming for converting a free user into a subscription, you may need a page with your subscription services outlined. A visitor may need to see the options before they purchase. You may focus your messaging efforts on showing them this page before a checkout page. Working backward to understand the journey a customer must go through to get to your goal is key to guiding them through to conversion.
b. Start with the status quo and add more: Have you ran a similar campaign in the past? Or is one currently running? Use that one message and add to it. Try a new filter or add a followup message. Look at your performance and keep optimizing by making incremental changes.
c. Look to others: Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Don’t reinvent in the wheel. Don’t worry, we have you covered. At the end of this guide, you’ll find some outlines that can help you get started.