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Canvas entry properties and event properties

This reference article covers information about canvas_entry_properties and event_properties, including when to use each property and the differences in behavior.

Though similar in name, Canvas entry properties and event properties function differently within your Canvas workflows. Properties of events or API calls that trigger a user’s entry into a Canvas are known as canvas_entry_properties. Properties of events that occur as a user moves through a Canvas journey are known as event_properties. The key difference here is canvas_entry_properties focuses on more than just events by also accessing the properties of entry payloads in API-triggered Canvases.

Behavior can vary between workflows built with the original Canvas editor versus Canvas Flow. For example, in the original Canvas editor, you can use event_properties in the first full step if it’s an action-based step. In Canvas Flow, full steps aren’t supported, so this does not apply.

Check out this table for a summary of differences between canvas_entry_properties and event_properties.

  Canvas Entry Properties Event Properties
Liquid canvas_entry_properties event_properties
Persistence Can be referenced by all Message steps for the duration of a Canvas for Canvas Flow only. - Can only be referenced once.
- Cannot be referenced by any subsequent Message steps.
Original Canvas behavior - Must have persistent entry properties enabled.
- Can only reference canvas_entry_properties in the first full step of a Canvas. The Canvas must be action-based or API triggered.
- Can reference event_properties in any full step that uses action-based delivery in a Canvas.
- Cannot be used in scheduled full steps other than the first full step of an action-based Canvas. However, if a user is using a Canvas component in the original Canvas editor, the behavior follows the Canvas Flow rules for event_properties.
Canvas Flow behavior Can reference canvas_entry_properties in any step of a Canvas. - Can reference event_properties in the first Message step after an Action Paths step where the action taken is a custom event or purchase event.
- Cannot be after the Everyone Else path of the Action Paths step.
- Can have other non-Message Canvas components in between the Action Path and Message step. If one of these non-Message Canvas components is an Action Paths step, the user can go through that Action Paths’ Everyone Else path.

Example

Here’s an example that explains behavior for canvas_entry_properties and event_properties in Canvas Flow. Let’s say we have an action-based Canvas. In this scenario, users will enter this Canvas if they perform the custom event “add item to wishlist”.

The canvas_entry_properties are configured in the Entry Schedule step of creating a Canvas and will correspond to when a user enters a Canvas. These canvas_entry_properties can also be referenced in any Message Step in Canvas Flow since Canvas Flow supports persistent entry properties.

In this Canvas, we have a user journey that begins at an Action Paths step to determine if a user has added an item to their wishlist. From here, if the user has added an item, then they will experience a delay before receiving a message “New item in your wishlist!” from the Message step. The first Message step in a user journey will have access to the custom event_properties from your Action Paths step, so in this case, we’re able to include {{event_properties.${property_name}}} here in this Message step as part of our message content.

If a user doesn’t add an item to their wishlist, they go through the Everyone Else path, so the event_properties can’t be referenced and will reflect an invalid settings error.

Note that you’ll only have access to event_properties if your Message Step can be traced back to a non-Everyone Else path in an Action Path step. If the Message Step is connected to an Everyone Else path but can be traced back to an Action Paths step in the user journey, then you will also still have access to event_properties. For more information on these behaviors, check out Message.

Note that you’ll only have access to event_properties if your Message Step can be traced back to a non-Everyone Else path in an Action Path step.

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