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Marketing Cloud: Single Send Journeys versus Send Flows

If you have used Journey Builder recently, you probably noticed that Salesforce Marketing Cloud have introduced a new feature called “Single Send Journey”. This is allowing you, as a user, to create a one off send of a single email to a Data Extension through the Journey Builder interface.

So, from that description, you might be thinking “this functionality sounds like a Send Flow”, considering a send flow is allowing you, as a user, to create a one off send of a single email to a Data Extension through the Email Studio interface. So, is the Single Send Journey the early signs of the end of Send Flows? Let us investigate this.

First off let’s look at what they have in common:

  • They can both send to a Data Extension
  • They can both be scheduled
  • The Deliverability and Configuration can be customised (such as Send Classification and Publication Lists)
  • They are both Trackable

There are still a couple of things you cannot do in a Single Send that you can do in a Send Flow. The key one is that Data Extensions are the only type of audiences we can select in a Single Send. A Send Flow allows you to send to a Data Extension, Lists, Data Filter and (if you have the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Connector) Report or Campaigns. This may not be a significant difference as many people would be just sending to Data Extensions anyway, but it is worth a thought. Also, Single Sends are still new, so things it cannot do right now, it may be able to by the end of the year.

The game changer for me, is what you can do in the Single Sends that are not available in Send Flows, that is Filter Contact.  Now of course, you can segment your main audiences and create Segmented Data Extensions, and then send to it, but what Filter Contact does is it allows you to Segment further, using data related through Contact Builder.

For example, if I want to send a product recall email to all my active customers who have purchased the product in question, the purchase information will almost certainly be in a different Data Extension. With Filter Contacts, we can receive that data in your Single Send Journey with great ease.

So, in short, my answer to the question “is the Single Send Journey the early signs of the end of Send Flows?” I would say no, not now. But I think it would be sensible as a business to prepare for the day when it will be. 

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