Marketers / Marketing Automation / Marketing Cloud

How to Pause a Marketing Cloud Journey

By Mohamed Bentriou

Marketing Cloud Journey Builder allows you to build a sequence of marketing activities that contacts can progress through at their own pace, according to rules set up based on their engagement or data. With contacts embarking on these automated campaign pathways, it makes the need to pause a Marketing Cloud journey important.

You may need to pause a journey to avoid conflicting marketing messages, to give your team time to restrategize, or simply to cut back on your marketing budget spend on certain channels. In the past, you first had to first stop the Journey entirely, and then create a new version (which was time-consuming and messy!). Let’s see how to pause Journey Builder in three steps.

Step 1: Choose Pause Options

To stop the journey from processing contacts, you can choose the Pause this Version or Pause All Versions options.

When selected, contacts processed during the journey no longer receive communications. However, the wait time for queued contacts continues as normal.

A journey version, or all of its versions, can be paused for a maximum of 14 days. When configuring pause options, it’s possible to choose whether the journey is resumed at the end of the pause period, or whether it stops completely. Note: You can manually resume a paused journey at any time.

Step 2: Take Actions on Your Paths

Pausing a journey gives you the opportunity to identify ways to optimize it by adding or removing activities to make it more relevant for your contacts. For example, add/remove paths, use Path Optimizer, or add any of the other activities (new email, SMS, decision split, etc.)

Step 3: Resume the Journey

As soon as the journey is resumed, all contacts are evaluated according to the goal defined within the journey. If the contact matches the exit criteria you have defined, they will be removed from the Journey.

If there are wait activities on your journey, you can extend the time for Wait By Duration activities only. This is a good idea to check before resuming.


In the past, to pause a Marketing Cloud Journey you first had to first stop the Journey entirely, and then create a new version (which was time-consuming and messy!). This guide has shown how to pause a Journey in three steps so you can easily control your contact’s marketing activities.

The Author

Mohamed Bentriou

Marketing Automation Solution Consultant involved in multiple implementation projects around the world.

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