Journey orchestration platforms: 6 best options & how to choose

This guide will help you find the right journey orchestration platform for your needs by exploring:

  • The key factors to consider when comparing journey orchestration platforms. These are key for understanding the differences between the many options in the market.
  • The four best journey orchestration platforms for different use cases. These solutions have their own areas of specialization when it comes to journey orchestration. Each one can be a great fit for your organization, depending on your end goals and use cases.

Here are all the journey orchestration platforms we’ll explore below:

  • Insider: Ideal for driving conversions, revenue, and retention via journey orchestration and personalization across all channels.
  • BrazeGreat for journey orchestration across messaging channels.
  • Salesforce Marketing CloudFlexible legacy journey orchestration solution.
  • Genesys: Great for companies focused on call center and voice communication journeys.
  • Qualtrics: Useful for teams that need advanced journey analytics and visualizations.
  • HubSpot Marketing Hub: A solid all-around solution for small and mid-sized B2B brands.

Insider can help you create, personalize, and automate customer journeys across your website and mobile app, as well as across channels like email, push notifications, SMS, WhatsApp, and more. Visit our website or schedule a demo with our team to learn more.

7 factors to consider when comparing journey orchestration platforms

All journey orchestration platforms come with basic features for journey visualization, automation, and analytics.

For example, they all have drag-and-drop editors that let you easily build journeys using reusable elements. These editors enable you to set conditions for triggering various automated actions — e.g., when a user adds an item to their cart but doesn’t buy in 30 minutes, send them a web push notification with a discount for the product.

Insider Architect analytics

However, beyond these basic capabilities, journey orchestration platforms can be wildly different. Here are seven key factors you should consider when evaluating their differences to determine which is the right fit for your needs:

  1. Data sources. The journey orchestration process starts by getting all relevant customer data — like events, attributes, demographics, customer service interactions, and more — readily accessible. This can be done via integrations with other platforms and by consolidating data into a customer data platform (CDP). The more data sources an orchestration platform can tap into, the more relevant your journeys can be.
  2. Implementation. Setting up a journey orchestration platform is a long and daunting process that requires cross-team collaboration. This is especially true for large businesses that use various tools and systems to store customer data. It’s crucial to look for a platform that can help you simplify this process with native third-party integrations and a good support team to guide you through the implementation.
  3. Main use cases. As you’ll see in the next section, different journey orchestration platforms have different areas of focus. Some are great for enterprise marketing teams looking to unify their messaging across a plethora of channels. Others have more advanced features for niche channels (e.g., voice journeys) or use cases (e.g., data analytics and visualization).
  4. Native channels. Customers use multiple channels to interact with brands — from websites and mobile apps to email, SMS, WhatsApp, and many more. Brands often use different tools for each of these channels, which creates data silos and overcomplicates their workflows. A journey orchestration platform that supports most or all of your channels natively will help you avoid these problems.
  5. A/B testing features. It’s often impossible to know which channels or journey flows will produce good results beforehand. That’s why experimentation is essential for successful journey orchestration. Most journey orchestration platforms have basic A/B testing features built in. Some also come with AI-powered journey optimization capabilities.
  6. Message delivery optimization. Some journey orchestration platforms can automatically send each journey message at the best possible time and on the most relevant channels. This is possible thanks to AI-powered features like next-best channel predictions and send-time optimization.
  7. Personalized content and product recommendations. Personalization is the key to making the most out of your marketing spend as it helps you boost relevance, conversions, and revenue. While most platforms have basic personalization capabilities (e.g., adding the recipient’s name to an email), others are much more advanced in this regard, allowing you to tailor the content, messaging, and product recommendations across all customer touchpoints.

The 6 best journey orchestration platforms for different use cases

Now that you know what to look for, we’ll explore four of the best customer journey orchestration platforms. While they all have similarities (like their drag-and-drop journey builders), we’ll focus on their key differences, unique areas of focus, and use cases, so you get a better idea of whether they’re right for your organization.

#1 Insider: Ideal for driving conversions, revenue, and retention via journey orchestration and personalization across all channels

Insider homepage

Insider brings together the most extensive set of personalization capabilities for websites and mobile apps, as well as for channels like email, SMS, WhatsApp, push notifications, and more.

Our cross-platform journey orchestration tool (called Architect) enables marketing teams to create personalized, consistent journeys across all customer touchpoints. This versatility and broad channel support let 1200+ enterprise brands, including Adidas, Toyota, Lexus, Philips, and Coca Cola:

  • Build, automate, and personalize flows or entire campaigns across all customer touchpoints. Architect helps you make the most out of each customer interaction by delivering individualized content, messaging, and product recommendations to the right audiences, on the right channels, at the right times.
  • Connect to all relevant data sources, unify their customer data, and get an accurate view of their customers’ journeys. Insider’s Actionable CDP can aggregate customer data from online and offline sources. This enables you to overcome data silos, understand your customers’ experience, and base your marketing efforts on accurate data.
  • Save resources, consolidate their marketing stack, and simplify their workflows. With Insider, you don’t need to use a bunch of channel-specific solutions with different credentials and UIs. Our platform’s native channel support lets you manage campaigns across 12+ channels — including your website, mobile app, email, SMS, WhatsApp, and more — from one place.

Insider is highly ranked by customers, industry experts, and publications across categories like:

IDC rankings omnichannel marketing platforms 2023

Customers have also consistently ranked Insider as the best solution in terms of ease of use, ease of setup, and quality of support.

Insider G2 ratings ease of use quality of support ease of setup

In the next sections, you’ll learn about the benefits of using Insider as your journey orchestration platform and how it can help you improve conversions, revenue, lifetime value (LTV), customer loyalty, and more.

Reach customers on any channel

Insider supports over 12 marketing channels natively. This includes traditional touchpoints like websites, mobile apps, email, and SMS, as well as more niche ones like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Insider native channel supports 12 channels

These channels are natively built into our platform. This means that Insider can drastically simplify your workflow and marketing stack compared to working with five or six channel-specific solutions, like email and SMS software, push notification tools, and so on.

Our platform also provides simple and intuitive tools for building personalized messages across all these touchpoints. Here are some examples:

  • Email and SMS. As you can see in the image below, adding dynamic elements like names, attributes, last purchased products, and more is as easy as selecting from a list or using a drag-and-drop editor. Plus, you can even deliver interactive, web-style experiences with AMP-based emails. Learn more: 12 Best email marketing platforms for different use cases.
Insider SMS builder dynamic content
  • Push notifications. Insider supports six different types of web push notifications and eight different mobile app pushes. All of these can be tailored to each customer’s behaviors, interests, and preferences.You can even send personalized web push notifications to anonymous visitors, which is a great way to reduce acquisition costs.
Insider web push notification builder
  • WhatsApp. Insider is a Meta-verified Business Solution Provider that can give you access to the full spectrum of WhatsApp marketing functionality. For example, you can use our platform to send personalized promo messages, price drop alerts, and event reminders at any point of your customers’ journeys. You can even build end-to-end buying experiences right inside WhatsApp. Learn more: 8 Best WhatsApp marketing tools.
Insider WhatsApp conversational commerce flow mens shoes
  • Online ads. Insider’s AI can analyze user behaviors to spot and target segments with the highest likelihood of converting. Then, you can target these segments via Standard Google and Facebook Ads, Google Shopping ads, TikTok remarketing ads, and other types of social media ads. For example, U.S. Polo Assn. used this capability to increase their return on ad spend by 135% and reduce cost per acquisition by 58%.
Insider segmentation TikTok ads

Our platform is also highly flexible, which means you can either:

  • Use it to consolidate all your channels right away.
  • Start with just some channels and capabilities (e.g., email marketing and website personalization) and expand to other use cases over time as you see fit.

Lastly, Insider offers a rich library of easily customizable templates for various scenarios across all these touchpoints. For example, our gamification templates for websites and mobile apps can help you grow your subscribers incredibly quickly. Mac Cosmetics used one of these templates (called “Wheel of Fortune”) on their site and added over 53,000 subscribers to their lead database in two days.

Insider mobile templates wheel of fortune

Orchestrate and automate journeys across all touchpoints

Being able to craft highly personalized messages for each individual channel is a must for marketers today. However, this alone is not enough because each individual customer expects a cohesive experience across all touchpoints.

This is a problem for many organizations where different teams are responsible for different aspects of the journey, e.g., one team handles email, another handles mobile channels (mobile push, SMS, WhatsApp), and a third one handles the website. The result is often a disjointed user experience and missed opportunities.

That’s why Insider enables you to bring all your channels together with Architect — our versatile and user-friendly customer journey builder.

Architect helps you bring individual touchpoints into a unified journey, where each step takes into account how end customers reacted to the previous one.

For example, say you want to run a new promo campaign for customers who bought a black hoodie from your store last week. You can set up a journey that guides users to products that are frequently purchased with black hoodies, like blue jeans and black sneakers. 

The whole process is powered by reliable customer data and is controlled through a simple drag-and-drop editor shown below.

Insider Architect journey start options

In our example, you can trigger the journey after customers complete a purchase event. You can also use the “Wait” element to instruct Insider to hold off on sending the new promo message for one week.

Insider Architect wait until a time slot flow element

Then, you can use Insider’s versatile segmentation options to determine which customers should be included in that journey.

For instance, you can start with all sorts of standard characteristics and behaviors, like users’ devices, locations, monetary value, CRM attributes, and more. You can save time by choosing from one of the predefined audiences of users who made a purchase before, abandoned their carts, interacted with your brand on a specific channel, and others shown below.

Predefined audiences of Insider

You can even use AI-powered predictive audiences to narrow down your target audience even more.

For example, say you decide to target people who bought a black hoodie and who are also located in London and use an iOS device. With our predictive audiences, you can enrich this segment by targeting customers based on their:

  • Likelihood to churn.
  • Likelihood to purchase.
  • Potential spend with your brand.
  • Stage in the customer lifecycle.
  • Discount and attribute affinity.
Insider predictive audiences

After choosing your segments, you can move on to selecting the channels where the journey takes place. Again, Architect brings together a large number of channels under one roof, as shown below.

Insider Architect channel selection

As you can see, there’s even a “Call an API” option that allows you to extend Architect’s reach to other systems, like Zendesk or Intercom, for example.

In short, Architect is an extremely versatile and powerful journey orchestration solution for all stages of the customer journey — from consideration to onboarding, retention, and more. 

If you want more ideas and examples of how it can benefit your business, check out our guides to eCommerce marketing automation and omnichannel marketing automation.

Lastly, we’ve made sure the process of getting started with our journey builder is as hassle-free as possible with:

  • Proven journey templates. You can find templates for different industries and use cases, like bringing back cart abandoners, running upsell campaigns, automating price drop and inventory alerts, and many more.
  • Free journey migration. If you already have journeys built in another tool, our team will migrate them to Insider for you. They can also give you ideas for how to improve your journeys’ results based on your analytics data.

Overall, Architect’s mix of versatility, broad channel support, and ease of use makes it an incredibly valuable tool for many of our customers:

“Insider’s customer journey orchestration tool is the best in class that I have come across. It is so comprehensive and covers a wide range of channels used by most marketers worldwide. It brings together everything you need under one roof in an easy-to-use interface.”

Use the power of AI to build and optimize customer journeys

Orchestrating successful journeys is difficult and time-consuming. Between creating segments, choosing channels, writing copy, and running A/B tests, the whole process can take a long time to produce meaningful results.

Insider’s suite of AI capabilities (Sirius AI) enables you to massively simplify and speed up each part of this process.

For example, here are four ways our AI can help you avoid manual tasks, work more efficiently, and orchestrate better journeys:

  1. Segment creation. You can describe the customer segment you want to target in free text, and Insider will automatically build it for you. There’s no need to manually find and select behaviors and characteristics.

2. Journey creation. Just like with building segments, Insider can create entire customer journeys based on your text. You can provide broad instructions on creating a high-converting journey (like in the screenshot below) or more detailed ones with specific channels, for example.

3. Content creation. Insider can create everything from subject lines to body copy and images for your marketing campaigns in seconds. Our platform can also automatically customize each message to the specific channel (e.g., WhatsApp) and outcome (e.g., driving purchases from VIP customers).

4. Personalized product recommendations. Our platform can automatically show highly relevant product recommendations to each customer. You can also scale these recommendations across all channels — from email, push notifications, SMS, and WhatsApp to your website and mobile app.

Additionally, Insider comes with three other AI-powered features for optimizing your journeys and driving more customer engagement:

  • Next-Best Channel Predictions. This feature analyzes each recipient’s behavioral patterns to determine which channel they’re most likely to engage with. It can save you tons of time and manual testing in situations where you’re not sure which touchpoint to use. As you can see below, enabling this feature is as easy as using the drag-and-drop editor and selecting your channels.
Insider Architect next best channel predictions
  • A/B Test Winner Auto-Selection. Insider comes with built-in A/B testing that lets you compare subject lines, body copy, images, or even entire journey flows. With the Winner Auto-Selection feature, you don’t have to manually review and adjust each experiment. Instead, our platform automatically analyzes the results of your tests and guides users to the best path in the journey based on a winning metric you’ve selected (e.g., open rate, conversion rate, revenue, and so on).
Insider Architect A/B test SMS vs email
  • Send-Time Optimization (STO). Just like the next-best channel predictions, this feature uses machine learning to analyze each customer’s behavioral patterns. This enables it to trigger each message in your journeys at the time each recipient is most likely to engage with it. Enabling it is as simple as clicking a checkbox when building your messages.
Insider send time optimization

Maximize your revenue and marketing budget with advanced website and mobile app personalization

Until this point, we’ve focused mostly on journey orchestration across external touchpoints like email, SMS, and WhatsApp. However, keeping the journey relevant and consistent across your website and mobile app is just as important.

Besides creating a more cohesive experience, personalizing your website and mobile app can massively increase conversion rates. This is crucial if you want to make the most out of the marketing budget you’re spending getting customers to your site or app.

Insider’s advanced personalization suite lets you tailor every element of your site or app to each customer’s behaviors, preferences, and interests.

Let’s use website personalization as an example. You can create all sorts of personalized product recommendations across your entire website or just on select pages (e.g., category pages, cart pages, and so on).

Insider personalization strategy setup

Our platform lets you choose from two types of recommendation strategies:

  1. User-based, where our AI algorithms match every product recommendation to each individual user. This ensures fast and relevant product discovery with minimal effort on your end.
  2. Other recommendation strategies, like showing the most popular items or top sells, bundling frequently viewed or purchased products together, and many other strategies shown below.
Insider personalized products recommendation strategies

Besides product recommendations, Insider can personalize every other element of your site, including categories, banners, and pop-ups. For a real-life example, check out our case study with Adidas. They used Insider personalized product recommendations, category optimization, and segmentation to boost conversion rates by 13% and average order value (AOV) by 259% in just one month.

Insider Adidas website category optimization

Insider also offers two distinct products for creating unique and engaging on-site experiences: EUREKA, which delivers personalized results to all visitors who use your site’s search functionality. It also helps shoppers pinpoint the products they’re looking for with advanced filters and instant search previews.

Insider EUREKA personalized website search results

2. InStory, which enables you to add engaging, Instagram-like stories to your mobile website or mobile app. These stories can be personalized to each user who opens them. Dover Saddlery used InStory to drive $1.7 million of incremental revenue and achieve a 29x ROI.

Dover Saddlery InStory engaging mobile stories for product discovery

For more details and examples on this topic, check out our guides to:

Aggregate your data in an industry-leading CDP and connect to all relevant data sources

As we said, accurate data is the backbone of successful journey orchestration. Teams usually need to pull together data from various data sources — like email platforms, customer service tools, analytics software, CRMs, and more — before they can start building journeys confidently.

That’s why Insider’s Actionable CDP lets you aggregate your data from any online or offline source in one centralized database. This lets you lay the foundation for the entire journey orchestration process by:

  • Overcoming data silos, which are a huge issue for large teams that work with complicated marketing stacks.
  • Getting accurate, 360-degree profiles of all customers. These profiles can contain everything from customers’ names, emails, and phone numbers to their interactions with your brand, their on-site and in-app behaviors, and predictive characteristics, like their likelihood to purchase or churn.
360-degree understanding of unique customer behavior and build unified profiles

Thanks to its versatility and ease of use, Insider’s CDP has been ranked as the top CDP by customers in G2.

G2 CDP mix Insider leader

Our CDP is also free when you’re using the broader Insider platform, so you don’t have to pay extra for the ability to consolidate your data and get 360-degree customer profiles.

However, you can still take advantage of Insider even if you’re already using another CDP and don’t want to move away from it. Our platform makes it easy to connect to hundreds of tools and platforms, such as:

  • CDPs like Segment, mParticle, and Tealium.
  • CRMs like Salesforce, Pipedrive, HubSpot, and Oracle Netsuite.
  • Analytics and attribution platforms like Mixpanel, Amplitude, and AppsFlyer.
  • Marketing automation platforms like Pardot, Keap, and Marketo.
  • eCommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce.
  • And many other popular cloud-based solutions.
Insider integrations hub ads and analytics software

These integrations ensure that data can flow freely between each part of your marketing stack.

For more details on how Insider can help you create personalized cross-channel journeys and maximize your marketing spend, book a live demo with our team.

2. Braze: Great for journey orchestration across messaging channels

Braze homepage

Braze is a real-time customer engagement platform. It lets brands orchestrate journeys across email, SMS, WhatsApp, push notifications, in-app and in-browser messaging, and other channels via a tool called Canvas Flow. Braze also offers very limited website and mobile app personalization capabilities.

Learn more: Top 12 Braze competitors and alternatives for cross-channel marketing.

3. Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Flexible legacy journey orchestration solution

Salesforce marketing cloud homepage

Salesforce Marketing Cloud combines products for many marketing use cases, including journey orchestration (across email, SMS, push notification, social media, and other channels), customer data aggregation, content management, and more. As a legacy marketing cloud, Salesforce offers lots of flexibility, especially around integrations with other systems. However, it’s also difficult to set up and use and relies on third-party system integrators to provide customer support (instead of in-house teams).

Learn more: 5 Best Salesforce Marketing Cloud competitors and alternatives.

4. Genesys: Ideal for companies focused on call center and voice communication journeys

Genesys homepage

Genesys is an omnichannel customer experience platform. It comes with a dedicated customer journey management module with features for journey orchestration, data management, and analytics. They entered the journey orchestration space in 2022 with their acquisition of Pointillist. Today, Genesys excels at call center and voice communication journeys, which is its main differentiator in the journey orchestration space. 

5. Qualtrics: Ideal for teams who need advanced customer journey analytics and visualizations

Qualtrics homepage

Qualtrics is a large, multi-product experience management software for various use cases. It offers a customer journey optimization product that gives brands a good view of their customers’ journeys and enables them to orchestrate various flows and campaigns. Qualtrics’ advanced journey analytics and visualizations also enable teams to find points of friction in journeys and make data-driven decisions on how to fix them.

6. HubSpot Marketing Hub: Ideal for small and mid-sized B2B brands looking for a solid all-around solution

HubSpot Marketing Hub homepage

Marketing Hub is HubSpot’s offering for marketing teams looking to automate tasks, simplify workflows, and drive more revenue. Unlike the previous platforms, Marketing Hub is suitable for very small businesses and individual creators, as it offers a free plan and a very cheap starter option (at $20/month). In terms of journey orchestration, Marketing Hub has a simple drag-and-drop editor and features for automating journeys across email, landing pages, forms, and more.

Create personalized, cohesive, and high-converting journeys with Insider

Insider’s versatile customer journey builder, coupled with its advanced personalization and automation capabilities, can help you orchestrate highly individualized journeys across all customer touchpoints.

Our enterprise marketing platform helps you improve conversion rates, revenue, AOV, LTV, and other marketing KPIs by:

  • Connecting all relevant data sources and aggregating your customer data into one place.
  • Revealing customer behaviors, interests, and preferred touchpoints.
  • Predicting behaviors with our AI-powered intent engine, like how much different segments are projected to spend and how likely they are to buy or churn.
  • Delivering personalized shopping experiences to customers across all touchpoints with your brand — from your website and mobile app to channels like email, push notifications, SMS, WhatsApp, and more.

Finally, our easy channel integrations, experienced support team, and extensive template library will ensure you get up and running as fast as possible.

Click here to book a demo with our team and learn how Insider can help you reach your business goals

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about journey orchestration platforms

What is a journey orchestration platform?

A journey orchestration platform is a type of software that lets you build, automate, personalize, and analyze customer journeys across different channels like websites, mobile apps, email, SMS, and more. These platforms are often used by marketers but can also be useful to sales and customer service teams.

How does journey orchestration work?

Journey orchestration works by using real-time data to provide customer behavior insights and enables marketers to reach users on their preferred channels with relevant content and product recommendations. This is usually done via a no-code drag-and-drop editor.

What’s an example of journey orchestration?

Journey orchestration can be as simple as sending an automated push notification to a customer after they’ve browsed your site for at least 10 minutes. It can also get very complex by spanning multiple channels, customer segments, and automation conditions.

Katie Morley - Global Content Director

Katie is an award-winning content marketer with over eight years of experience in content strategy, development, and copywriting. As Global Content Director at Insider, she currently oversees content strategy across 26 regions. Fun fact: Katie read 64 books last year (for which she owes a long commute and two week-long holidays where she spent approximately six hours a day with her nose in a book).

Read more from Katie Morley

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