Tip of the Day: Add a Wait Activity before Email Sends in a Journey

Some businesses have a requirement to manage customer preferences in their own system externally to SFMC. In this scenario, there is a risk that publication lists in SFMC may not be updated in real-time. For example, if a contact opts out of a publication, and your publication list is updated via an automation that fails, some contacts may still receive the publication. Here is a safeguard approach to protecting against contacting the wrong people in a journey:

Add Exit Criteria to the journey, which is evaluated when a contact’s time in a wait step ends.

EMAIL_OPT_IN equal false OR MY_NEWS equal false

Add a Wait activity before the Email activity. This can be as short as 1 minute.

In this example, 30 people were excluded from receiving the send because they had opted out from the publication, via an external webpage to SFMC. Preferences were synced back to a non-sendable DE via API.

Update: August 17, 2021
Another use case for adding a wait step before an email send is around API calls. If there are multiple API calls that populate DE/s with data for an email, adding a wait step can provide a buffer in case one of the calls is slower than others to be processed.