Pardot Introducing Engagement Studio Timers and SSL for Vanity Domains

Don’t look now but Pardot is back at it with even more advancements! They’ve recently added SSL for Vanity Domains and customizable business hours for Engagement Studios. Let’s dive into these new features Pardot has released for us.

SSL for Vanity Domain
Tired of having to use go.pardot.com for your secure HTTPS connection? Now you don’t have to, SSL is now made available for your vanity domain. Giving you the ability to host your Pardot marketing assets under the HTTPs of your vanity domain.

Set up is really simple. From Pardot, go into Admin > Domain Management > Tracker Domain.

After that, go into your tracker domain to set up the SSL status. After clicking on the action icon, click “Enable SSL”, and from there. Typically, it takes 10 to 15 minutes to get your SSL certificate from Lets Encrypt. Once your SSL Status has been flipped from “Processing” to “Enabled” – your marketing assets will be accessible through HTTPs.

SSL for Vanity Domains

Important Notes: Have your tracker domain validated first prior to requesting the SSL. Also, please double check your marketing assets to ensure they are not mixed content cases (where they load over HTTP and the page is HTTPS, this can cause your page not to render and visitors to get security warnings).

Customizable Business Hours to Engagement Studio
Have you ever wanted to adjust the business hours that Pardot allows for Engagement Studios? One of the more commonly asked questions about customizing Pardot engagement studio’s work hours is no longer a question. Your wish has been granted!

Now, you have the ability to customize the business hours that you want your nurture programs to run on, and you will be able to customize it to fit differently for every engagement studio. So, how does it work? You are able to pick the days of the week and how long your business hours window lasts (i.e from the minimum of 6 hours to the max of 23 hours.)

Customize Engagement Studio Business Hours

Additional features for Engagement Studio Reporting (NO WAY!): In the past, the .CSV Engagement Studio reports still be sparse, with basic email reporting. But now, in addition to the basic email metrics, you will get:

  • Engagement Studio Summary – Which prospects have started and completed everything?
  • More Advanced Email Metrics – Who had emails sent, skipped, unique clicks, CTR, total of hard/soft bounces, etc.
  • Form + Form handlers + Landing Pages – Who completed and submitted them.
  • Custom Redirects – Which redirect was clicked, by who, and when.
  • File Downloads – Who downloaded which file and how many times.

With including all those reports into one export, this will allow you to leverage that data more readily and easily. No more trying to look at 100 different reports in order to find all the exact stats of your engagement studio.

Once again, Pardot has been listening to it’s community through its Ideas Exchange. This is the first of many improvements to come in 2018!

Building a Successful CRM with Salesforce Consultants

Imagine self-implementing a system as vast as Salesforce to find out 6-8 months later that you cannot prove its ROI. Meanwhile, you’ve already spent quite the investment already so that your budget is locked up for the rest of the year. For the past 10 years we’ve seen this all the time, and it is all caused by self-implementation.

Whether you have decided to pick Salesforce as your customer success platform or are strongly considering to do so, what usually follows is, “Can I self-implement? Why do I need to hire a consultant?” Yes, you can do implement Salesforce yourself, but it’s not recommended unless you have a Salesforce admin with over five years of hands-on experience. Although, we highly suggest against self-implementations as it usually does not lead to the proper transfer of business processes onto the platform. This comes from the Salesforce client not having the knowledge of what Salesforce can do as a platform when implemented company-wide.

In the big picture, having a successful implementation with the help from a Salesforce consultant will set you up with a solid foundation and get the most from your investment. Here are a couple of the top reasons why you should hire one:

Time:

Learning and building the Salesforce platform will take time. This means you will be up against a steep learning curve, while trying to implement your business strategy. Not to mention, you have your normal tasks to take care of – so adding more responsibilities may cause your internal staff more stress and potentially be distracted as they try to self-implement the platform.

This can take your team days, weeks, or even months to get up to speed and have your implementation up and “running.” Whereas Salesforce consultants do this for living – day in and day out, they know what they are doing without any distractions and will be able to get you up and running in no time.

Assistance

Instead of troubleshooting for hours and maybe days to fix an issue, Salesforce consultants will be able to provide solutions right away and get your up to speed about your Salesforce platform. They are there to help you be aware of key metrics and notify you about any important updates about your system.

Having help from a Salesforce consultant will allow you to increase your user adoption because users will have a professional to turn to when needed. Your Salesforce will be built from your users’ preferences rather than the other way around.

Quality

Another lovely perk that you get from leveraging a Salesforce consultant — you get the best and current business practices. They will be able to steer you away from potential pitfalls and expensive mistakes that aren’t clear to first-time users during self-implementing.

Having a consultant will provide years of knowledge to ensure that your platform is optimized and performing to its full potential rather than spending even more money to fix potential bugs and issues as they come up.

ROI

At the end of the day, ROI is what matters most. Companies that choose to self implement often are focused on getting their Salesforce platform up and running. How hard can it be? Not only does this lead to potential issues but also leads companies to forget about the additional features Salesforce has that can bolster your system. They want to be able to use it as soon as they can rather than being focus on getting the most out of it in the long-run. Why pick one over the other — a Salesforce consultant will be able to do both of those things for you.

In addition, they will be able to measure your ongoing ROI to see how your growth is. They’re there to ensure you are getting the most out of your investment as well as what areas need help or need to expand.


If you had all the tools and guides to build a house for the first time, would you do it yourself or hire someone? If you do it yourself you’ll be paying in the long-term for minor fixes that a professional would have saw and fixed from the start.

The same ideology applies here, hire a Salesforce consultant to make sure you maximize your Salesforce investment.

New ’17 Pardot Summer Releases: Engagement Studio

Summer is here! That means Pardot recently announced their new ‘17 summer updates. Just in case you missed it, they are making improvements to Engagement Studio.

For you long time users who may be familiar with Drip Programs, Engagement Studios are a new way to nurture prospects, customers, employees and more. Pardot is continuing to add new-and-improved functionality to Engagement Studio to improve how you can nurture and market to your audience.

Let’s take a look how these new 2017 features can help effectively manage your nurturing programs:

Utilizing Scoring Categories in Engagement Studio

For a quick refresher, Scoring Categories allow you to break down your scoring module by certain company departments, services, or products. By allowing users to adjust Scoring Categories within Engagement Studios, it provides an amazing way to maximize your nurture programs. How so? By adjusting select scoring categories, you can have specialized engagement studios for certain services/products, and with different categories, you can make sure they get placed into the right nurturing program.

New Scoring Categories Features inside the Pardot Engagement Studio

Scoring Categories are one of the powerful tools that Pardot Pro-edition users enjoy. If you’re interested, take a look at what else you can get with Pardot Pro Edition.  

Scheduling Engagement Studios

Have you ever set up an engagement studio ready to go but then forgot to turn it on? Don’t worry, the highly-requested feature of scheduling Engagement Studios has arrived. Now, you have the ability to automate the start and end times for your nurturing programs. From seasonal promos to product launches, scheduling your Engagement Studios gives you complete control of when you want the program to start and stop.

Scheduling an Engagement Studio

Also, to ensure that Engagement Studios don’t get started or stopped on the wrong days, Pardot is going to send you a reminder that your studio is going to start and end. This way, it gives you time to make schedule adjustments if you want to continue the campaign or leave it running.

Reminder Engagement Studio Email

Bonus: Multiple custom reply-to addresses

Pardot is also making advanced updates to their email tools. Just like having multiple senders, you can have different custom reply-to addresses. From there, you can control where the replies are sent.

Multiple Reply-to Addresses

It works as the same as the send-to section, where you can specify whether it’s the assigned user, general user, or a particular user in Pardot. Just like the sender portion, now you have a backup plan for those hundreds of replies!

Quick Reminder: Be sure to update your tracker domain settings because, on August 10, Pardot is going to be doing a security update on the tracker domains to see if they were validated. If the validation code is not included when Pardot does the update, your domain will revert back to go.pardot.com.

You should receive an update via Pardot system email about that but if you need some help.

On the way! Salesforce has been working on the ability for prospects to match automation rules more than once, they are a couple weeks away from releasing it.

What Salesforce Workflows Can Do for Your Business

After learning how you can boost your ROI 1000%, you can now see how powerful optimizing your CRM is and how important it can be for your business processes. Whether you are a new, existing, or a power Salesforce user, there are always ways to expand and optimize your current system in order to get the most out of it. With a lot of different moving components in your business process, it is challenging to monitor everyone’s progress. One of the ways to stay on track is through utilizing automated Salesforce workflows.

So what is workflow automation exactly? Workflow automation is a simple way to manage and drive your daily business processes through setting up automated actions and events without spending the extra dollars on additional systems or manpower. It provides you and your team the freedom and the time to be more efficient and not bogged down with day-to-day tasks. Many people get discouraged when talking about workflows, but don’t worry, workflows do not require any technical coding to be built. Before we talk about how workflows rules can be put in place to optimize your Salesforce, lets breakdown the 3 components:

Workflow rules are broken down into evaluation, criteria, and actions. Evaluation is how you determine if that record goes through the workflow. Criteria is where we match the records to predefined rules. Actions are what triggers the automation once the criteria is matched.

Here are some ways people utilize and create workflows for their day-to-day operations:

  • Alerts for Opportunities – Receive an email alert whenever an opportunity has been won or receive notification instantly of the reason why a deal was lost.
  • Send Tasks and Notifications – Using time dependent actions, you can trigger follow ups or reminders. This way you can ensure nothing gets lost, and keeps your team accountable.
  • Maintaining your Database – Standardize and streamline data inputs using field updates to maintain and validate data to ensure clean data. Having a clean database is required for effective reporting when viewing analytics.

Regardless of how long you have had the system, Salesforce workflows are just one of the many ways you can streamline your business processes utilizing preexisting Salesforce functionalities. By doing so, this allows you to save time but also helps you lay down the foundation for huge increases in Salesforce ROI.  

Keep Dirty Data from Hurting your Data Analytics

Dirty data is data that, over time, becomes outdated, incomplete, or just flat out wrong. Over 600B dollars are spent annually trying to clean up dirty data (TechTarget), and for good reason.  As your big data piles up, it not only gets more difficult to clean, but it also becomes more unreliable, hurting your Salesforce CRM system’s capabilities in numerous ways. Here’s a couple potential issues:

  • Bounce emails. Your sales can no longer reach these people. How can you be certain those emails you are sending are going through to the right email.
  • Messed up reports and Dashboards. Some features you utilize will be limited based on bad data even for your day-to-day operations will be affected.
  • Trusting your variable tags. Which contact to pull from because you might have duplicate contacts, and format of fields are different from one another or even outdated. 
  • Going into the right workflows. How do you know the appropriate prospects are getting put into the right workflows and nurture programs.

Where is Your Dirty Data Hiding?

Dirty data doesn’t only lead to poor analytics but can wreak havoc on different features within your Salesforce (CRM). Let’s see what some of the potential issues that cause dirty data.

Sometimes, the problem is staring right in front of us, user error. Forms are a great way for businesses to increase your database’s accuracy. Forms provide a great way to segment and develop relationships with your customers.

From users to the systems, when we tend to merge data across multiple sets, this can also cause dirty data. Use a unique identifier to prevent duplicate entries or updating the wrong records. This is usually the suspect when you businesses are trying to merge multiple databases at once, or when old technology can’t keep up with the current database demands.

How to Dispose of the Bad and Keep the Good?

Yes, cleaning your data sounds tedious but it is well worth the time. Of course, going one-by-one would take forever, so by using system algorithms will set up a more automated process of cleansing your data. Although it may not catch everything, it will drastically increase the reliability and availability in the type of analytics you can use within your CRM system.

Once your data is clean, the trick is keeping it that way. Here are a couple of helpful tips to maintain that clean database:

  1. Data Scrubbing. This allows you a way to filter out and automate that bad data from ever reaching your CRM system by scrubbing it out.
  2. Building Relationships. Remember you are talking to real people, when you maintain and form a real relationship with your customers, they are less likely to provide false or blank information into your Salesforce.
  3. Data champion. This allows you to not only ensure your data is clean but also to allow your company the ability to know have one point of contact into your Salesforce(CRM) to enable clean and smooth implementations/ health checks.

Identifying and preventing the dirty data from your Salesforce (CRM) can go a long way for your business to see big rewards from big data analytics. Who would have guessed some misfilled forms, a day where you forgot to update a contact, or a simple import of a list could be so costly?

How to Drive Cash Flow thru Accounts Receivables

Does this sound familiar? Your company never seems to have enough cash on hand, but the problem may not be a lack of sales, it’s delayed collections. Did you know 39% of invoices are paid late in the United States and 6% of accounts receivables are paid in under 30 days (AnyTimeCollect). When accounts receivables sits in your customer’s’ bank accounts instead of yours, it negatively affects your finances in a few ways. The most obvious effect is a loss of revenue.

How you keep track of that is through Days Sales Outstanding (DSO). This measures the average age of accounts receivable — if your average is trending higher, then your business is more likely to struggle with cash flow. Knowing your DSO can also help determine whether or not to outsource collections or to simply improve your current processes and policies.

When overdue accounts go past 120 days, 26% of invoices 3 months old are uncollectable (SutherlandGlobal), and you will lose equally that amount on your pretax income. In addition to lost revenue, you might lose out on an opportunity to expand or otherwise enhance your business because you don’t have the cash flow to invest.

How Using Automation Affects Your Cash Flow

Taking in the loss of revenue, operational costs, administrative costs, and all that time you spend running around, you can understand how unpaid accounts receivables can start eating away at your company’s cash flow. With EZ-AR™, you can see how you can start cutting out those unnecessary costs of chasing down payments.This Accounts Receivable Solution accelerates the process of collecting your money and frees up time in your accounting department. It cuts DSO from 30-35 days to 15 days. Using EZ-AR™, it is designed to use automation to allow you to become more efficient and scalable as a business in all aspects because less time is being spent on A/R and more time on the business activities that help with company growth.

EZ-AR Video

Whether they’re being genuinely late with a payment or purposely stalling, it amounts to cash that is not in your bank account. As you notice through the power of automation, you can see how seamless EZ-AR™ allows you to chase down those payments in an effortless manner. We at the Corrao Group like to call it “Hands-Free AR” because, at the click of a button, a whole process of collecting money is in place with little to no manual interaction.

Now that you understand how shortening your DSO can add to the financial health of your business, it’s time to put a plan in action!