Add steps to a journey

Whether you created a prebuilt journey or created a custom journey, you can add steps to account for a wider range of customer actions. For example, you can add a wait step that pauses the journey for a period of time before sending a text message, or add an A/B test to see which strategies work better.

Before you get started

This article assumes that you're already familiar with what journeys are and how they work. If you aren't, check out What are journeys?

With an eCommerce integration or the Product Data API, you can input product data to incorporate product attributes in your subscriber segments or journey branches. This allows you to create product-change triggered journeys. For more information, see Use your product data in Attentive.

Add a step to a journey

  1. Drag a step type from the Steps panel and drop it where you want to place it in your journey:

    After you release the step icon, a panel opens on the right side of the screen where you can customize the step. 

Available journey steps

There are five steps of types you can add to a journey:

Adding steps is fully customizable and supports multiple levels of nesting. This means that you can create very straightforward journeys that send customers a message if they view a product, or create complex journeys that send different A/B test variants to customers based on their device type.

Wait step

Add a delay before moving to the next step in the journey. For example, wait one hour before sending the customer a text message encouraging them to purchase an item they left in their shopping cart. It’s important to add a long enough pause to make sure the subscriber wasn’t going to make a purchase, but not so long that they lose interest.


Suggested wait times

  • Browse Abandonment: 30-60 minutes
  • Cart Abandonment: 30-60 minutes
  • Post Purchase
    • Ask for product review: 7 days, or long enough to ensure that the product has arrived
    • Invite to referral program or Thank You message: 1 hour

Branch step

Split the journey into two (or more) paths depending on customer activity. For example, send the customer a message if they left an item in their shopping cart without completing the purchase, or end the journey if they made a purchase.

There are five kinds of branch steps:

  • Device: Subscriber device details, like the device type or operating system.
  • Subscriber past actions: Subscriber part activity like viewing or adding products to their cart.
  • Subscription type: Whether or not the customer has opted-in to receive both transactional and marketing messages, or just transactional messages. For more, check out What are transactional journeys?
  • Product data: Branch based on the name, category, tag, or availability of the product that the subscriber interacted with. For more, check out What is branching on product data?
  • Segment: Branch based on the segment the subscriber is included in.

For more on how branching works, be sure to check out How branching works in journeys.

A/B test step

Use an A/B test branch to see which messaging strategies work best for your business. A/B branches let you divide traffic to your website into different variants. By default, all traffic is split evenly between each of your variants, but you can also customize the traffic split to funnel more traffic to one variant than another. You can add up to six variants to a single A/B test branch.


After adding an A/B test branch, make sure to add the text message, email, or other step you want to test.

For more on A/B tests, check out Perform an A/B test.

Send text message step

This step lets you send customers a customized text message at any point in the journey. Sending a text message in a journey follows the same rules as elsewhere: you can include up to 160 characters, you can set Smart Sending and Quiet Hours, and you can also include emojis, images, links, and personalization variables. Text message options include:

  • Image: Upload a photo or GIF, or add the most recently viewed product image. Images over 500 KB are automatically compressed. You can also create new GIFs from uploaded images or images from your product catalog.
  • Emoji: Select the emoji you want to add to the text message.
  • Short link: Enter the URL you want to include, whether or not you want to add Google Analytics tracking, and optionally, the UTM campaign you want to associate with this message. You can use both normal and anchor links.

    Tip: If you forget what URL you included in a message and want to find out, deactivate the journey, edit it, open the text message step, and then click on the URL to see the unshortened link.
    The Send text message step in a journey, including options to add images, emoji, shortlinks, offers, and personalizations.
  • Offer: Add an offer either from an existing offer, or create a new offer.
  • Personalization: Add subscriber-specific details to your message, like the name of the product that triggered the journey. Note that some personalization variables are only available for certain journey types. For more, see Personalize your message with dynamic content.

End journey step

This step ends the journey for a customer, which means that they won’t be sent any more messages or hit any other steps until they trigger a new journey. If you’re using branch or A/B steps, you can add an end step at different places in the journey.

Delete a step in a journey

  1. Click on the step you want to delete. The step details panel opens on the right side of the screen.
  2. Click Delete, and then confirm that you want to delete the step.
    Note: Deleting a branch or an A/B test step will also delete subsequent steps in the journey.

Edit a step in a journey

  1. Click on the step you want to edit. The step details panel opens on the right side of the screen.
  2. Edit the step, and click Save when you’re finished.

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