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Creating a Canvas

This reference article covers the necessary steps involved in creating, maintaining, and testing a Canvas. Follow this guide, or check out our Canvas Braze Learning course!

Step 1: Create a new Canvas

Go to the Canvas page, located under the Engagement section, then click Create Canvas. Next, choose your Canvas experience:

  • Canvas Flow: Leverage lightweight Canvas components for a simpler, more efficient editing experience
  • Original workflow: Create user journeys with classic Canvas components

Step 2: Use the entry wizard to set up your Canvas

The Entry Wizard will guide you through setting up your Canvas—everything from naming it to setting conversion events and bringing the right users into your customer journey. Click on each of the following tabs to see what settings you can adjust in each of the Entry Wizard steps.

Here, you will set up the basics of your Canvas:

  • Name your Canvas
  • Add teams
  • Add tags
  • Assign conversion events, and choose their event types and deadlines

Learn more about the Basics step.

Here, you will decide how your users will enter your Canvas:

  • Scheduled: This is a time-based Canvas entry
  • Action-Based: Your user will enter your Canvas after they perform a defined action
  • API-Triggered: Use an API request to enter users into your Canvas

Learn more about the Entry Schedule step.

Here, you will select your Canvas Entry Audience:

  • Create your audience by adding segments and filters
  • Fine-tune Canvas re-entry and entry limits
  • See a summary of your target audience

Learn more about the Entry Audience step.

Here, you will select your Canvas Send Settings:

  • Select your subscription settings
  • Set a send rate limit for your Canvas messages
  • Enable and set Quiet Hours

Learn more about the Send Settings step.

Here, you will build your Canvas.

Learn how to build your Canvas using the Canvas builder.

Step 2a: Set up your Canvas basics

Here, you’ll name your Canvas, assign Teams, and create or add Tags. You can also assign conversion events for the Canvas.

Choose conversion events

Choose your Conversion Event Type, then select the conversions you would like to record. We will use the Conversion Event that you set from this screen to measure the efficiency of your Canvas.

Primary Conversion Event A with the Makes Purchase conversion event type to record conversations for users who make any purchase within a three day conversion deadline.

If your Canvas has multiple variants or a Control Group, Braze will use this conversion event to determine the best variation for achieving this conversion goal. Using the same logic, you can create multiple conversion events.

Step 2b: Set your Canvas entry schedule

You can choose one of three ways in which users can enter your Canvas.

Entry schedule types

With scheduled delivery, users will enter on a time schedule, similarly to how you would schedule a campaign. You can enroll users in a Canvas as soon as it is launched, or enter them into your journey at some point in the future, or on a recurring basis.

Canvas Scheduled Delivery

With action-based delivery, you can choose to enter users into a Canvas when they perform certain triggers. Users will enter your Canvas and begin receiving messages when they take particular actions, such as opening your app, making a purchase, or triggering a custom event.

Note that action-based delivery is unavailable for Canvas components with in-app messages.

Canvas Action-Based Delivery

You can control other aspects of your Canvas’ behavior from the Entry Audience window, including rules for re-eligibility and frequency capping settings.

With API-triggered deliver, you can choose to enter users into a Canvas via an API request. In the dashboard, you can find an example cURL request that does this as well as assign optional canvas_entry_properties using the Canvas Entry Properties Object.

Users will enter your Canvas and begin receiving messages once they have been added using the /canvas/trigger/send endpoint via the API.

Canvas API-Triggered Delivery

API-Triggered Delivery Endpoints:

After you choose your delivery method, adjust those settings appropriately, and move on to setting your target audience.

Step 2c: Set your target entry audience

You can set the target audience for your Canvas on the Entry Audience step. Only the users who match your defined criteria can enter the journey.

For example, if you want to target new users, you can limit a particular journey to users who first used your app less than 3 weeks ago. You can also control settings such as whether messages should be sent to users who are subscribed or opted-in to your notifications.

Step 2d: Select your send settings

Click Send Settings to select your subscription settings, turn on rate limiting, and to enable Quiet Hours.

By turning on rate limiting or frequency capping, you can ease the marketing pressure placed on your users and ensure you aren’t over messaging them. To manage your frequency capping rules, go to your Global Message Settings page in your Braze account.

For Canvases targeting email and push channels, you may want to limit your Canvas so that only the users who are explicitly opted in will receive the message (excluding subscribed or unsubscribed users). For example, say you have three users of different opt-in status:

  • User A is subscribed to email and is push enabled. This user doesn’t receive the email but will receive the push.
  • User B is opted-in to email but is not push enabled. This user will receive the email but doesn’t receive the push.
  • User C is opted-in to email and is push enabled. This user will receive both the email and the push.

To do so, set the Subscription Settings to send this Canvas to “opted-in users only”. This option will ensure that only opted-in users will receive your email, and Braze will only send your push to users who are push enabled by default.

These subscription settings are applied on a per-step basis, meaning that there is no effect on the entry audience. So this setting is used to evaluate a user’s eligibility to receive each Canvas step.

If desired, specify Quiet Hours (the time during which your messages will not send) for your Canvas. Check Enable Quiet Hours in your Send Settings. Then, select your Quiet Hours in your user’s local time and what action will follow if the message triggers inside of those Quiet Hours.

Step 3: Build your Canvas

Adding a variant

Click Add Variant and select the option to add a new variant to your Canvas. Variants represent a journey that your users will take, and can contain multiple steps and branches.

You can add additional variants by pressing the plus button. When you add new variants, you’ll be able to adjust how your users will be distributed between them so that you can cross-compare and analyze the efficacy of different engagement strategies.

Adding steps

You can add more steps to your Canvas workflow by dragging and dropping components from the Components sidebar. Or, when you click the plus button, you can also add a component with the popover menu.

Add a component by clicking the plus button below your variant. When you add a new component to the original Canvas workflow, it will be added as a Full Step automatically.

Editing a step

Looking to edit a step in your user journey? Check out how to do this depending on your Canvas workflow!

You can edit any step in your Canvas Flow workflow by clicking any of the components.

For example, let’s say you want to edit your first step, a Delay component, in your workflow to a specific day. Click the step to view its settings and adjust your delay to July 1. This means on July 1, your users will move to the next step in your Canvas.

Or you can quickly edit and adjust the Action Settings of your Action Paths step to hold users for a window of time. This prioritizes their next path based on the actions during this evaluation period.

Canvas Flow’s lightweight components allow for a simple editing experience, so adjusting the finer details of your Canvas is made easier.

Click anywhere on a full step, and Braze will open the editing interface for this full step. Components can be configured to send messages after either a fixed delay (maximum of 31 days) or when a user performs a particular action. For example, you can use Canvas to configure a Day 1, Day 3, Day 7 onboarding campaign with time delays between messages:

Or you can set a group of messages to be sent after your users take a particular action, with a configurable window, delay, and exception events:

You can also apply Filters to each step of a Canvas. Use this to add additional control flow logic, such as dropping users out of a journey when they’re not likely to need additional engagement encouragement:

Messages in Canvas

Edit the messages in a Canvas component to control messages that a particular step will send. Canvas can send email, mobile, and web push messages, and webhooks to integrate with other systems. Similar to campaign messages, you can use certain Liquid templating to personalize your messages.

The Message component manages the messages sent to users. You can select your Messaging Channels and adjust Delivery Settings to optimize your Canvas messaging. For more details on this component, check out Message.

For the original Canvas editor, full steps work similarly to the Message component used in Canvas Flow. You can select your messaging channel. In this example, we’ve selected iOS Push with a brief message with Liquid templating to nudge users to purchase items in their cart.

Next, select your desired Advancement Behavior. Learn more about advancing your users through Canvas steps.

Advancement Behavior options for a Canvas component with the option to advance the users when the message is sent or to advance the audience after a delay time of one day.

Click Done once you’ve finished configuring your Canvas component.

The canvas_entry_properties are configured in the Entry Schedule step of creating a Canvas and will indicate the trigger that enters a user into a Canvas. These properties can also access the properties of entry payloads in API-triggered Canvases. Note that the canvas_entry_properties object has a maximum size limit of 50 KB.

For the Canvases built with the original editor, canvas_entry_properties can be referenced only in the first full step of a Canvas.

For Canvas Flow messaging, entry properties can be used in Liquid in any Message step. Use the following Liquid when referencing these entry properties: canvas_entry_properties${property_name} . Events must be custom events or purchase events to be used this way.

Use the following Liquid when referencing these entry properties: canvas_entry_properties${property_name} . Note that the events must be custom events or purchase events to be used this way.

For example, consider the following request: \"canvas_entry_properties\" : {\"product_name\" : \"shoes\", \"product_price\" : 79.99}. You could add the word “shoes” to a message with this Liquid {{canvas_entry_properties.${product_name}}}.

Event properties are the properties set by you on custom events and purchases. These event_properties can be used in campaigns with action-based delivery as well as Canvases.

In Canvas Flow, custom event and purchase event properties can be used in Liquid in any Message step that follows an Action Paths step. For Canvas Flow, use this Liquid {{event_properties.${property_name}}} when referencing these event_properties. These events must be custom events or purchase events to be used this way in the Message component.

For the original Canvas editor, event_properties can’t be used in scheduled full steps. However, you can use event_properties in the first full step of an action-based Canvas, even if the full step is scheduled.

In the first Message step following an Action Path, you can use event_properties related to the event referenced in that Action Path. You can have other steps (that are not another Action Paths or Message step) in between this Action Paths step and the Message step. 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

Editing connections

To move a connection between steps, click the arrow connecting the two components and select a different component. To break the connection, click the arrow and click Cancel Connection in the footer of the Canvas composer.

Step 4: Use multivariate testing using Canvas

You can add a Control Group to your Canvas by clicking on the plus button to add a new variant.

Braze will track the conversions for users who are placed into the Control Group, although they will not receive any messages. To preserve an accurate test, we will track the number of conversions for your variants and the Control Group for exactly the same amount of time, as shown on the conversion event selection screen.

You can adjust the distribution between your messages by double-clicking the Variant Name headers.

In this example, we have our Canvas divided into two variants. Variant 1 has 70% of the users. The second variant is a Control Group with the remaining 30% of users.

This Canvas workflow has three variants with the respective users:

  • Variant 1: 45% of users
  • Variant 2: 45% of users
  • Control Group: Remaining 10% of users

Intelligent Selection for Canvas

Intelligent Selection capabilities are now available within multivariate Canvases. Similar to the Intelligent Selection feature for multivariate Campaigns, Intelligent Selection for Canvas analyzes the performance of each Canvas variant and adjusts the percentage of users being funneled through each variant. This distribution is based off each variant’s performance metrics to maximize the total expected number of conversions.

Keep in mind that multivariate Canvases allow you to test more than copy, but timing and channels as well. Through Intelligent Selection, you can test Canvases more efficiently and have confidence that your users will be sent on the best possible Canvas journey.

Intelligent Selection for Canvas optimizes your Canvas’s results by making gradual real-time adjustments to the distribution of users sorted into each variant. When the statistical algorithm determines a decisive winner among your variants it will rule out the underperforming variants and slot all future eligible recipients of the Canvas into the winning variants.

For this reason, Intelligent Selection works best on Canvases that have new users entering frequently.

Step 5: Save and launch your Canvas

Once you’re done creating your Canvas, press Launch Canvas to save and launch your Canvas. You can also save your Canvas as a draft if you need to come back to it.

Once you’ve launched your Canvas, you’ll be able to view analytics for your journey as they come in on the Canvas Details page.

New Stuff!