Pardot tips and tricksHarri D'Andrea
Pardot is a B2B marketing automation and lead generation tool from Salesforce. It can be used to route leads to sales, create and track automated marketing campaigns, analyse prospect activity and engagement, and guide prospects through the buying journey.
Below are a few tips that we have found have helped us to utilise Pardot in a more efficient way. The tips are intended to help tidy up your instance and reduce total use of your entitlement. Keeping on top of your Pardot usage from the outset is vital - once you’re up and running, it will be a lot harder to unravel and remove items that are no longer in use to make space for new processes.
Contact limits can cause an issue in Pardot and going over your data usage limit can be costly. You can reduce your data totals whilst retaining contacts in Pardot with all the activity history intact by using the recycling bin. Any contacts that are placed into the recycling bin do not count towards your data limit and will hold relevant information for the future.
When it comes to deciding which contacts to place in the recycling bin first, we would recommend that you prioritise the following:
- Hard bounces: Hard bounces will rarely become useable in the future but it’s often helpful to keep a record of them for future reference.
- Unsubscribes: If an unsubscribe is moved to the recycling bin and the contact resubscribes, they are moved out of the recycling bin.
- Soft bounces: Soft bounces may only be temporary, but after five soft bounces, the contact will be marked as a hard bounce.
- Inactive contacts: If these contacts do eventually become active (such as filling out a form), Pardot will automatically move them out of the recycle bin.
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Usually, custom redirects are used for external links (such as a LinkedIn add) to allow Pardot to track traffic. However, they can be very useful for email/landing page links directly within Pardot.
Say that you have an email that includes five different links and you want to perform actions on contacts that click any of the links. Actions may include adding the contact to a list, or amending the contact’s score depending on the link click. It is possible to execute all of this within an engagement studio, but this could be in danger of becoming overcomplicated very quickly.
Using custom redirects instead will mean that you can simply use the completion actions to score and segment contacts per link click. It will save a lot of time over using an engagement studio and prevent the headache of attempting to work out every possible variation of link click combinations to ensure every possible action is accounted for.
With the use of custom redirects, it is easier to keep track of link clicks and they can be helpful when it comes to reporting.
Actions over automation rules
Automation rules are another part of your Pardot instance that can be limited. In our experience, the limit can be used up very quickly. If this is the case, your current automation rules will continue to run as normal, but you will not be able to create any new automation rules. This is where completion or page actions come in handy.
Most of the actions that an automation rule covers can also be done through completion actions or page actions. Using these instead of automation rules means you can save them for complicated actions.
It is possible to increase your automation rules limit, but this can become expensive. We have found that removing any unnecessary automation rules as you go – for example, any single use rules - will also make things easier as you start to use your Pardot instance more frequently.
Scoring and grading
Scoring is the best way to keep track of a contact’s activity in Pardot. There is already a default scoring set up within Pardot, but it is worth checking that the default settings are aligned to what you find valuable when it comes to a contact’s activity. For example, the default setting for an email open is set to increase the score by 0, but you may feel that an email open deserves a score increase of 5.
Scoring is the way to keep track of a contact’s activity, but grading can help you to track a contact’s demographic. Keeping track of the demographic will help to quickly identify your ideal customer. For example, if you want to speak to CMO’s within the financial space more than other job roles, you can set the grading rules to apply an A+ grade to any contact that has a CMO job title and industry of finance.
With the combination of scoring and grading, you will be able to easily see the ideal contacts with the right demographic of people you want to speak to, as well as those contacts that are regularly interacting with your marketing activities.
Make use of scoring categories
Scoring categories allow you to monitor activity based on different content.
For example, let’s say that you have three main topics that you are marketing through Pardot, whether that is through email, landing pages, or custom redirects. You can create a scoring category for topic A, one for topic B, and one for topic C. This way, you are able to score based on the individual topic, as opposed to all topics at once.
Using scoring categories will make it easier to track how well each of the topics are performing, as well as being able to correctly pass contacts across to the relevant sales team when they reach a certain score threshold.
In the past, we have used scoring categories for different nurturing campaigns as opposed to individual topics. We have found that using categories in this way helps us to keep track of how different campaigns perform against one another.
In a nutshell
With the right set-up and configuration, Pardot can be a powerful tool that can help to drive sales to the right contacts and push your marketing capabilities to the next level. If you have any questions about the article or would like to find out how Credera can help with your Pardot instance, get in touch or reach out to BrightGen, top-tier Salesforce consultancy and part of Credera's network of companies.
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