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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 LAB course!

Step 1: Create a new Canvas

Go to the Canvas page, located under the Engagement section, then click Create a New Canvas.

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 to Your Canvas
  • Add Tags to Your Canvas
  • 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. Here, you’ll 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.

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:

  • Scheduled Delivery
  • Action-Based Delivery
  • API-Triggered Delivery

After you choose which you’ll use, adjust those settings appropriately, and move on to setting your target audience.

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 steps 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:

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.

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.

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.

Editing a Step

Click anywhere on a Step, and Braze will open the Step editing interface. Steps 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:

Canvas One Day

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:

Canvas 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:

Canvas Additional Engagement

Messages in Canvas

Edit the messages in a Canvas Step 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.

Select your desired Advancement Behavior. Learn more about advancing your users through Canvas steps.

Advancement Behavior options for a Canvas Step 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 Step.

Canvas entry properties are the properties mapped by you when triggering or scheduling a Canvas via the API. Note that the Canvas entry properties object has a maximum size limit of 50 KB.

For example, a request with \"canvas_entry_properties\" : {\"product_name\" : \"shoes\", \"product_price\" : 79.99} could add the word "shoes" to a message by adding the Liquid {{canvas_entry_properties.${product_name}}}.

Custom event properties are the properties set by you on custom events and purchases, used mainly in action-based delivery campaigns. These properties are ephemeral and can only be used at the time when they happen.

Event properties don’t persist, so if you are scheduling a Canvas step rather than using action-based delivery, you wouldn’t be able to use an event property (as we don’t store that data). You can’t reference the event property for an event that’s already happened.

Adding more steps

Add more Steps by clicking the plus button:

Editing connections

To move a connection between steps, click the arrow connecting the two steps and select a different step. 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.

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!