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 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!


Pardot’s Engagement Studio enables marketers to further customize their nurturing programs for their prospects, customers, and even partners. Engagement Studio has three main features that let you build your campaign around: Actions, Triggers, and Rules. Actions “do something”, Triggers “Listen for something”, and Rules “Check something.”

Drip Programs offer users 2 triggers: “has prospect opened email” and “has prospect clicked link”. (Note: Engagement Studio allows users to choose which link click to look for when using the “has prospect clicked link” trigger!). Let’s dive deeper into the new available triggers Engagement Studio provides us.

The following are new triggers that Engagement Studio can listen for from the prospect’s activity record.

  • Custom Redirect Click 
  • File Download
  • Form  – Engagement Studio can also trigger off of a form view
  • Form Handler
  • Landing Page – Engagement Studio can also trigger off of a page view

These triggers listen for either “any” of the following assets to be interacted with, or a specific one. For example, the new custom redirect trigger can listen for if the prospect has ever clicked on any custom redirect in your system or you can select a specific custom redirect. The end result of these triggers will leave you with a yes/no branch, just like in drip programs.


In our next post we will be talking about all the new Rules of Engagement Studio.

Pardot’s Engagement Studio – Actions Overview

Pardot’s Engagement Studio enables marketers to further customize their nurturing programs for their prospects, customers, and even partners. Engagement Studio has three main features that let you build your campaign around: Actions, Triggers, and Rules. Actions “do something”, Triggers “Listen for something”, and Rules “Check something.”

Let’s dive deeper into the new available actions Engagement Studio provides us.

Adjust Score by “X” / Adjust Score to “X”

Now you can either gradually increase or decrease a prospect’s score by the route they take on your Engagement Studio. If a prospect is opening all your emails, clicking links, viewing landing pages; you can increase their score in addition to your standard scoring rules. Maybe the prospect has gone down the no-response part of your Engagement Studio, you are able to decrease their score as less interaction goes on.

There are many instances where the prospect reaches a certain point in the nurture campaign that qualifies them as a marketing qualified lead (MQL). They’ve interacted with all your provided content and have been warmed up for your sales team to reach out. Engagement Studio gives you the option to set the prospect’s score to a specific number, which can be your MQL score. (Tip: Create an Automation Rule to assign the prospect to a User/User Group when a prospect’s score reaches MQL status).

Change Prospect Field Value to “X” / Clear Prospect Field Value

This is big, really big. Now you can learn even more about a prospect by what specific content they interact from within your nurture campaigns! If they click a product specific link, update a products interested field to include that product value. When the sales team picks up the phone to reach out they will know what products the prospect has interacted with in addition to what products they haven’t shown much interest in.

Additionally, there may be some instances where you would like to clear a field’s value. Let’s say you have an Engagement Studio with a dynamic recipients list; the only way to be removed from the dynamic list would be to un-match the rule criteria. A prospect receives a form, fills it out, and continues down the Engagement Studio. You can run a “Rule” to “check something”, such as check the value of a field from that recently submitted form. If that new field’s value isn’t what it should be in order to continue along the Engagement Studio, clear the field that is placing them on the dynamic recipients list, taking them off the Engagement Studio.

Look out for our next post which will be about Engagement Studio’s Triggers!

How Do Lead Nurturing Programs Work?

Lead nurturing programs have a variety of benefits, most of which you may have read through already from multiple pieces of content. For this reason I am not going to show you the list of benefits that have been copied and pasted around the web but instead I am going to show you how you can actually achieve those benefits. Some programs have the end goal of guiding their prospects through the sales cycle while another program can have the goal of simply educating their prospects. The goal of these lead nurturing programs can differ but the approach to these programs should be similar, if not identical, each time. The process should be standardized and start with choosing the type of nurture campaign, choosing the audience, selecting the nurture’s flow and content, followed by reporting on the overall nurture campaign. We are going to walk through the process of building a successful lead nurturing program. 

  1. When building a nurture campaign the first step is choosing the nurture program’s type. As mentioned in the 10 Types of Lead Nurturing programs, there are a number of nurturing campaigns you can choose to run, keep in mind there are more than those 10 types. Are you running a welcome campaign? What about a campaign aimed towards bringing back those inactive leads from last year? The following steps are built upon this decision. You will also find that your ideal nurture campaign may be a combination of a couple different types.
  2. Now that you have decided on your nurture campaign’s type, the next step is choosing your nurture list. Who makes up your target audience for this nurture campaign? These can be prospects segmented by a location, interested product, or those who haven’t had contact with you in over 6 months. You should also think about making these nurture lists dynamic so when new prospects come into your system, they are automatically added to this campaign.
  3. If you were wondering when we were going to talk content, in this step you are choosing your content and nurturing flow. How complex do you want to make your nurturing campaign? Your campaign can be a simple sending of informative emails or you can input triggers such as email opens and URL clicks to take them down a different path. The trigger-based marketing technique retains a higher response rate than the simple sending of emails every week or two. The reason behind that is due to the customer receiving the content they are triggering with their interests. One example of this campaign is a webinar registration campaign where the initial email is an invite to a webinar. Those prospects who register should be sent more information on the webinar while those who did not open the email should be sent another invite a few days later. The next aspect to ask yourself is how often will you be sending content to your audience? Determining the flow will depend on the campaign type you chose in step 1. For example, if you have a long sales cycle, think about a longer pause in between email sends compared to a training campaign where the emails may be sent within a closer timeframe. 
  4. You know who your audience is and your content and flow is set, now it is time to track your campaign results. Monitor the emails you receive the most opens from, most CTR, but don’t forget about the emails who don’t perform well. Even though these campaigns are running automatically, it is important to check the report every now and then to see how your prospects are progressing. The report will tell you which emails are your most successful as well as which emails need some revision in order to lead to better conversions.

Lead nurturing doesn’t only show you what content works, it also shows you what content needs revising. View How Does Lead Nurturing Work for further information and tips on steps 1-4. The next topic in this Lead Nurturing series is making sure that your nurturing campaigns reach their maximum potential with best practices. 

10 Reasons to Use Marketing Automation


1- Enhanced Accountability of Marketing and Sales: Accountability is a word that carries heavy meaning and without concrete proof, it can be easy to point the finger at someone else when you are the one that should be held accountable. With marketing automation, you know exactly what processes are being executed and all reports are easy to access. If certain marketing campaigns aren’t working because leads aren’t being nurtured, the marketing team will receive feedback, without the blame being put on sales (and vice-versa). This reduces stress in the office and allows sales and marketing to open up wider forms of communication.

2- Increased Revenue: Hearing increased revenue brings music to most peoples ears. After automating your marketing and sales efforts, an increase in customer lifetime value is likely to follow. Also, once your leads are prioritized via marketing automation, your sales ROI are bound to get better.

3- Less Repetition Means More Creativity: Mundane marketing tasks are taken over by automation. You will spend less time sending (what feels like 10,000) emails, and more time working on creative material! Not only is it more fun but also ups staff effectiveness and productivity.

4- Reach Prospects Across All Channels: Marketing automation allows you to reach potential customers in a more personalized way through different channels. This allows you to send messages through different mediums (email, postcard, text, phone call, etc.) based on the customer. Our partners at PrintSF are the go to if you send printed collateral and use either Salesforce or Pardot.

5- Extremely Customized Content: Every potential customer is different; therefore they all want different things and are on different tracks to purchasing your product. Marketing automation allows you to reach thousands of leads, with different messages targeted towards them. This ultimately gets the potential customer what they want and closer to purchasing.

6- Schedule Next Month’s Social Content In 1 Day: Social media is the reason teenagers stare at their phones all day, don’t let it be yours. Marketing automation allows you send a message out to all forms of social media at one time while tracking leads. You can also schedule these posts a head of time and be able to view them on a calendar once they have been sent (so you know what you’ve already sent without logging onto all your external accounts).

7- Reveal What’s Really Working: Marketing automation gives you data that tells you what campaigns are working and what leads they are working on. Now, you don’t have to spend your time trying to figure out where to focus your efforts.

8- Know The Right Time To Reach Out: You will never have to make a cold call again because marketing automation can read your customers mind (just kidding). You will be able to track when the customer has visited your site so you will know exactly when they are thinking about you, which makes it a perfect time to pick up the phone.

9- No More Cold Calls: No one likes making or answering cold calls. End of story.

10- Speed Up Prospect Conversion: Make the time between potential customer and customer shorter by making your sales process more effective and efficient with marketing automation!

Overcoming the 3 Common Barriers to Successful Marketing Automation


Without an effective strategy, automating your marketing is almost impossible. 58% of the survey respondents from the Marketing Automation Trends for Success report, find this as their toughest barrier.

Whether you are already using marketing automation or not, rethinking your strategies is never a bad idea. Pardot created a Marketing Automation Success Plan Template that you can download and personalize to help map out your plan for success.


Poor communication is usually the #1 killer of sales-marketing alignment. Open up the fields of communication between the teams so that sales understands marketing better, and marketing understands sales better. (Check out Pardot’s 6 Steps to a Better Sales-Marketing Strategy blog for implementation tips!)


“54% of B2B companies estimated that at least quarter of their marketing database was comprised of old, inaccurate, unusable, or duplicate leads.”- Spear Marketing Group

Using cleaning tools (such as Clean) will automatically match, attach, and enrich your prospect records in your CRM, which can then be synched to your marketing automation platform. This will help keep your data, complete, up-to-date, and accurate.

After cleaning all your past data, be sure to keep your future data organized and accurate as well. You can achieve this through progressive profiling because it allows you to gradually collect data on a lead over time. This gives the website viewers shorter forms to fill out each time they visit the site. Check out the progressive profiling overview from Pardot.


4 Lead Nurturing Campaigns You Should Try Today

In our previous blog post we discussed the benefits of Lead Nurturing. In this article I will dive into 4 Lead Nurturing campaigns that you can try today. These 4 campaigns are allocated to specific stages in a customer’s lifecycle, from the welcome campaign to the customer retention campaign. 


The Welcome Campaign

They say the first impression upon meeting someone is critical and this applies to marketing content as well. When someone fills out a form they usually are expecting something in return, more information on a product, email updates, or specific type of content. By converting these autoresponder emails into a lead nurturing campaign, the prospect will begin their journey through your sales cycle. Your initial autoresponder should inform the recipient of the conversion point, speak about the nurture campaign they are on, and confirm their subscription to your marketing material. After some time, start to supply them with high-level information regarding the information they signed up to receive. Keep your educational and interesting and always provide them with targeted content based upon the information they requested to receive.

Educating glasses

The Differentiator Campaign 

When looking to purchase a product or a service, people don’t usually go with the first choice they find. Most of the time we look around, compare prices and features and then narrow it down to a few options. The point of this campaign is to explain how your product or service is different, and ultimately better, from your competitors. With each stage in this campaign, provide an advantage of using your product/service and a disadvantage of not using it. Be careful not to bash your competitors here, rather focus on why your product or service is the best in its industry. One of your emails that come from this nurture program can very well be the final push into positioning this potential customer into your sales cycle. 


The Promotional Campaign

Towards the end of the sales cycle a customer may believe that your product or service doesn’t fit their current requirements at the moment. Whether the reason be a pricing issue or a features issue, this campaign can help persuade them into closing the deal. The key here is timing, if the timing of a promotion or additional features is right, the customer may be more obliged to closing the deal sooner than later. This campaign especially works for the larger accounts that your organization interacts with. 


The Up-sell Campaign  

Why not sell to those who have already purchased something from you? They are familiar with your organization, your products, your services, so you should take that opportunity to try and sell them more. By offering your clients incentives and information on other products or services, you are leading them closer to another sell. With this all being automated, you can watch your clients show interest along specific stages of your campaign. You’ll want to focus on the new product but be sure to remind them of what they initially purchased. 

These are only 4 possible campaigns that you can start to implement today. With every new day there can be multiple new campaigns and the more you use them, the more use cases you will reveal. Here is a list of 10 Campaigns you can use. 

Sales and Marketing Automation…Let’s Work Together

You’ve heard it many times before and we’ll say it again now, Sales and Marketing need to be on the same page. Marketing automation makes the connection simple because both departments have a shared common database where marketing insight is provided to the Sales team. Thus, making it easier for them to coexist efficiently. This will then allow them focus on more important tasks, like prospect conversion, instead of each other. Sales isn’t worried about unqualified leads because the marketing automation system is only handing them off when they are qualified.

Tracking data through marketing automation has never been easier. With that data you can determine the strengths and weaknesses in your sales funnel, allowing you to make any necessary changes for the better.  You can also track team member efforts within the sales and marketing departments…(hello incentive to do better).

The data you’ve collected (email clicks, content downloads, website visits) gives you insight into what the prospect/customer is thinking and ultimately what interests them. Knowing what they like and dislike gives you the upper hand to customize everything to them, creating a superior experience. In most cases, a customers mind sees experience > price.

With that being said, marketing automation helps sales by bringing them only qualified prospects and marketing will be able to attract new prospects. Win-Win for both departments.

Better Experience = More Loyal Customers

The Benefits of Lead Nurturing

Why Should I Nurture My Leads?

Lead nurturing requires thoughtful communications, not the copying and pasting of generic sales emails in attempt to receive a reply back. When a lead nurturing program is functional, your prospects are receiving targeted content based upon their actual activities and interests, which ultimately provides them with what they want to see. If a prospect has visited a specific product page of yours for about 5-10 minutes, why shouldn’t an email automatically be sent to that prospect with further information and a notification go out to a sales rep? 

The statistics

26% of today’s marketers receive a 10% – 20% greater response from their lead nurturing campaigns than those who use standardized email campaigns. On top of that, more than a quarter of marketers receive a 20% – 30% greater increase in responses using automatic lead nurturing campaigns in comparison to marketers who do not use a nurturing campaign. (Demand Gen Report, 2015)

Save your sales team some time

As marketers we’re all too familiar with the unqualified lead scenario and the not so happy sales rep that comes back to us. The best lead for a sales rep is one that is educated on your organization and the product(s) they are interested in. If the sales rep has to spend a good amount of time explaining what your product is, that lead should not have been qualified in the first place. So how do we make sure a lead is qualified? Nurture! Nurturing provides you the ability to dramatically speed up your organization’s sales cycle by providing the lead with information they want to see before they come in contact with your sales team. Start with a high-level overview of your company and its products and then funnel your way down to which specific product the lead is interested in.

Revive inactive leads

Never give up on leads that your sales team couldn’t get ahold of, they just might not be ready for your product at this moment. 2 months later, they could be ready for your product! Although don’t expect them to dig through their email to find your contact information, you are going to have to put these leads on a nurture campaign. Your campaigns will provide you with the information that tells you when the lead is qualified again based upon activity with your emails, webpages, and other content. Present this recent activity information to your sales rep to show them that the lead is qualified again and for them to reach out to the prospect. 

Personalized emails

Lead nurturing is an extraordinary feature, but it shouldn’t be used to automatically send out those generic emails your team was sending out manually. You should personalize your content and lead nurturing provides you with that ability with variable tags and dynamic content. Organizations who personalize their content receive a 19% increase in qualified leads and sales. Including a personalized sales rep signature, using variable tags to input correct information, and sending content centered around the prospect’s interests and actions are a few ways to increase lead nurturing campaign effectiveness. 

Don’t stop…nurturing! (Please read in Journey’s voice)

A great deal of organizations think that lead nurturing stops when a lead has closed a sale with your organization, but that is just the beginning. Your current customer database is also considered a lead, because there is always an opportunity to sell additional products to them! Having done business with you before, they are more likely to engage with your content. Update them about your organization’s milestones, new product information, or even new services your company provides. Think internally too! Use nurture campaigns to train your new employees on software that your organization uses. 

What’s next?

Be on the lookout for our next blog post which contains a number of nurturing campaigns with proven success.

Goals: Marketing Automation

Before you finish reading about how to set your Marketing Automation Goals for the year, block out some time on your Calendar because it’s time to set goals. Really, you should block out time.  Are you busy this weekend?

It happens all the time. You set time aside for your team to set goals for the week, month, year, etc. but when that time comes around, there’s always something that is a higher priority and the goals meeting gets pushed back. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, it means business is going great! It does becomes a problem when it’s mid February and you don’t have your yearly goals set. 

Once your goal setting meeting begins, where do you start? Do you have a personal goal-setting model? Have you been using a proven model that the organization has been using for decades? Are you just “winging it?” (If it’s the last option, you should probably block out your whole next week). 

One of the more popular, proven models that work for a wide range of companies is the SMART Goal Setting Framework Model. We’d like you to hear about this framework from our favorite Marketing Automation System, Pardot: Setting Marketing Automation Goals.