Automating (More than) your Marketing with Pardot

Pardot or “to sell,” in Latvian, is, appropriately, the name of a marketing platform that ultimately serves to lead you closer to the sale. However, nurturing your prospects from initial touch to that sale is a delicate and often lengthy process. Pardot provides a number of tools that allow you to automate the marketing process from start to finish, but the open-ended nature of the platform can also lead to the confusion surrounding best practices. Below, we’ve put together a basic structure for you to follow while automating your processes in Pardot.

Tracking

Before your prospects are prospects, they could just be visitors on your website. A variety of tools in Pardot allow you to track visitor activity on your website and begin associating data with these future prospects right from the start. You’ll then be able to view all of their Pardot tracked activities once they convert from visitors to prospects.

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Converting

Forms on your web pages and landing pages act as the primary instrument for conversion from visitor to prospect status. Using Pardot forms or form handlers allows you to automatically update prospect records for use in sorting and customization as you start to develop your marketing campaigns.

Grading

The prospect grading process should really begin before you dive into the many features of Pardot. Automating a grading process for your prospects allows your team to capture information surrounding the suitability of each of the prospects in your system. You can significantly improve your conversion rates by marketing to prospects who will see the relevance of your products and services. The platform provides you with a default grading model that may serve as the foundation for your prospect grading strategy, but it also presents the opportunity to customize grading profiles for an approach that will more directly apply to your unique offerings.

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Lists

Odds are, you won’t include your entire contact database in every one of your email campaigns. The simple solution for continuing to deliver relevant content is a set of lists. Whether through manual imports or dynamic rules, lists should act as the physical embodiment of your prospect segmentation. In fact, lists are necessary to take advantage of some of the tools you will need later in your automated campaigns.

Content Customization

Once you develop and understand your customer segments, you’ll have a better idea of the kind of content you’ll need for each segment. Beyond customizing based on your different customer segments, Pardot gives you the option to include dynamic content and variable tags to mold customization down to the individual level. From including your prospect’s first name in an email, to displaying an image based on the prospect’s home state in your Pardot newsletter, you’ll need to dive into your options to decide the best way to personalize your content.

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Engagement Studio

Engagement studio is easily the most tangible automation tool within Pardot, and no piece of it should be overlooked. Using actions, rules, and triggers, your team can build out a complete marketing campaign, press start, and wait for results. The specific purpose of each workflow in engagement studio will vary depending on the goals of your specific marketing campaigns, but the broad capabilities of the program will support the equally broad scope of these goals. You may even want to consider using engagement studio for client nurturing, employee on-boarding, and lead assignment.

Scoring

The Pardot scoring system allows you to automatically update point values associated with prospects after predefined activities. While the actual values are up to your discretion, this could mean subtracting 15 points when a prospect clicks an unsubscribe, adding 20 points when they sign-up for a webinar or anything in between. You can even use selective scoring to measure prospect interest in a specific product or service offering to improve the relevancy of communication with each prospect. You’ll want to work with your sales team to ensure that your scoring criteria are built to conform to the standards of both your marketing and sales teams. With an effective scoring model, you’ll be able to automate the lead nurturing process based on engagement, or lack thereof.

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Pardot Salesforce Connector

One of the key features of the Pardot platform is its seamless integration with your Salesforce. Once connected, you’ll be able to customize your Salesforce pages to display relevant information from Pardot. While this setup is relatively straightforward, the process can get pretty technical as you seek to optimize the connection between these two platforms.

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The Pardot platform is a powerful tool that does not need to stop at marketing automation. From on-boarding to reporting, the functionalities of Pardot extend well beyond the scope of your marketing campaigns. However, it can be an intimidating tool to dive into on your own. You may want to consider a partner if you’d like to maximize your investment in Pardot and its connection to Salesforce. Our Salesforce services and Digital Agency are both available as your personal Pardot support. For additional detail on the opportunities you have in Pardot, check out “Pardot Accelerates Everything.”

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