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So far Andrea Tarrell has created 17 blog entries.

5 Tips to Make Over Your Pardot Email Templates


New year, new… email marketing game?

This article covers a few quick tips and tools to level up your email marketing game with Pardot.

1. Use Custom Fonts

Custom fonts are — as the name implies — fonts that do not come out the box with Pardot.

The default fonts available in Pardot include:

  • Arial
  • Comic Sans MS (a crowd pleaser, for sure)
  • Courier New
  • Georgia
  • Lucida Sans Unicode
  • Tahoma
  • Times New Roman
  • Trebuchet MS
  • Verdana

These are default fonts because considered they are considered “safe” fonts for email marketing. They are most likely to consistently render in a wide variety of devices and email clients.

Custom fonts, however, can seriously elevate the design aesthetic of your emails and help you stand out in the inbox.

If you decide to use a custom font (you can find instructions on how to set those up here) in your emails and/or landing pages, you need to make sure you set up a backup font, otherwise people with *cough* Outlook *cough* will see Arial as the default font. This may not be a big deal for you (if it isn’t, skip tho the next paragraph) but it is something to keep in mind especially when you want branding to be consistent.

Pro Tip:

One huge caveat about custom fonts in regards to reporting is that if this font is not setup properly, your email report will see high click rate.

2. Upgrade Your Email Preference Centres

Email preference centres (EPC) are pages that include options for prospects to opt in or out of individual public lists — for example, newsletters, white papers, events, etc.

If you’re using an unbranded preference centre — or heaven forbid, just an unsubscribe page — move this to the top of your to do list. Using an EPC link helps you avoid getting false unsubscribe link clicks due to spam filter activity.

Every account comes with 1 default email preference centre that includes all public lists across the account. You can also create different preference centres for different audiences or for regions like APAC, AMER, EMEA. If you only operate in the United States and Canada, perhaps a French/English option is more practical. This way, the options your prospects will see are tailored to their language or region.

If you have multiple EPCs, be sure to update the link in the footer of different templates so that each prospect always gets the correct regional email preference centre.

Alternatively, the email preference centre options could include frequency based options instead, as this is consistently a top reason for why people unsubscribe. Giving prospects the ability to reduce the # of emails you send out may encourage them to stick around. If you use this option, you need to prioritize which customer communications are important for example Tier 1 = Customer Communications, Tier 2 = Quarterly Updates and Tier 3 = New White Paper Update.

Pro Tip:

Public list options are categorized by alphabetical order. You can use numbers or other prefixes to get them to show in a specific order.

3. Try Dynamic Content

Dynamic Content is one of the best ways to simplify template bulds and standardize your email sections across emails. In the previous example of having multiple EPCs, you could create a template for APAC, one for AMER, and one for EMEA. But what if you could use one template across EVERYTHING!

Use dynamic content to update headers (for regional personalization) and footers (for updating the links for EPC, office address, and additional legalese). This way you can update in one place and it will always be up-to-date.

Pro Tip:

To execute the above, you have to make sure the COUNTRY field is up to date with the right information. V important.

4. Personalize with Variable Tags or Handlebars Merge Language

In this day and age, you should be collecting at a minimum an email (required for Pardot) and a first name. With just these two data points, you can start personalizing your emails.

For example, you can include these in the subject line to personalize the experience a little more. Another low hanging fruit is using variable tags in signature to pull the lead/contact owner. This can be simplified especially by setting up User Sync.

In the TESTING tab of the email building process you can use the preview options when using variable tags. You can also use yourself and your team’s individual prospect profiles to see if the options are working.

Pro Tip:

Ensure that you don’t have an awkward white space by editing default merge value at the field level.

5. Experiment with Solid Backgrounds & Optimize for Dark Mode

The ability to set this up is a fairly recent development by Gmail. The use of dark mode helps readers draw better contrast for readership and saves energy on your phone. Ultimately, it makes some traditionally white backgrounds in email to black. This can alter designs quite a bit.                  
If you don’t set up your images correctly you could end up with files that have an obvious white background. These operate just fine on a white background. But in dark mode, you would see the white block (view below) and it would look off.

So how do you design for dark mode?

  • Enable solid color tables/sections so the background is consistent
  • Use PNGs for logos with transparent backgrounds — this way the background color doesn’t matter
  • Ensure links read well in black/white backgrounds

Pro Tip:

When in doubt about how something will display, TEST IT!

Bonus Round: Other Tips from Around the Blog

Last, but not least — here is a roundup of my personal favorite email enhancements we’ve blogged on recently:

Email marketing can be daunting (and very exciting), and knowing your options with Pardot can allow you to make simple changes that will go a long way with your prospects.

Want to Build Better Templates Using Pardot?

Looking for more ways to take your emails to the next level? Sign up for our Code School for Pardot Admins, beginning February 20th.

This 6-week course is built specifically to give you the skills to create the perfect emails in Pardot. Whether you’re pretty new to HTML & CSS or self-taught and looking to level up, we’ve got you covered.

Questions? Best practices to share? New experiments? Let’s hear ’em in the comments!

By |2020-01-07T02:07:14+00:00January 7th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on 5 Tips to Make Over Your Pardot Email Templates

How Knowing Pardot Saved My Bacon… Twice


I’ll admit it. As a marketing professional, I was a bit nervous the first time that I heard the term “Marketing Automation”. My first thought was that somebody was trying to automate my role and that I would soon be looking for a job.

This fear was not unique to me – many in my department had the same thoughts. However, these fears were completely unfounded and marketing automation, specifically Pardot, actually saved my bacon – twice.

What is Marketing Automation?

According to Salesforce:

Marketing automation is technology that manages marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns, across multiple channels, automatically.”

Marketing automation is basically a tool that streamlines and simplifies many tasks within marketing and sales organizations leading to greater efficiency. It frees teams from performing many processes that have traditionally been done manually (if they are even getting done) and allows them to be more strategic. It is NOT the equivalent of replacing workers with robots.  

Score One for Pardot

I worked in a leadership role in the marketing department of a mid-sized organization for over 20-years. Along the way, the concept of marketing automation was introduced. After some initial skepticism and limited success with with other platforms, we adopted Pardot and I became a huge fan. Working in Pardot quickly became the favorite part of my job and we were able to do some amazing things with lead scoring, grading and nurturing.

Our organization had a great run, but eventually ran into some challenges. After several rounds of layoffs, my number came up. While this was a business decision, an abrupt change in employment is never a fun thing. This was the first time that my Pardot knowledge came to my aid.

Since I was the Pardot expert within the organization and we had an extended contract, we were able to agree to a transition plan that was mutually beneficial for both parties. I was afforded more time to find my next career and the extended transition ensured that operations continued uninterrupted. Score one for Pardot!

Second Act  

When I first started using Pardot, I saw all the stickers and t-shirts emblazoned with:

“I ♡ Pardot”

I thought it was a bit funny, but soon found myself echoing the same sentiment. I decided very quickly that I wanted to transition from a marketing leadership role and that Pardot would be the focus of my new career.

I began reaching out to friends, colleagues and organizations that I knew used Pardot. This and the skills that I had developed led me to Sercante and my current role. I now get to utilize Pardot every day, work with a team of awesome Pardot pros, and help my clients succeed on the Salesforce platform. How cool is that? Score one more for Pardot!

Ready to Write Your Story?  

Marketing automation is nothing to fear. In fact, you should embrace it and take advantage of every opportunity to build and enhance your skills. At the end of the day, tangible technical skills are what employers need and they will also keep you relevant.

The team at Sercante is now offering two Pardot training courses to help you build your skills. Our Pardot Admin Bootcamp and Code School for Pardot Admins courses are taught by Pardot pros who work and innovate in the platform on a daily basis.

If you are looking to take control of your career and write a success story of your own, I highly encourage you to take a look. You’ll be glad that you did.

By |2020-01-03T13:43:57+00:00January 3rd, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on How Knowing Pardot Saved My Bacon… Twice

Creating Complex Rule Logic in Pardot Engagement Studio


When people ask me why I want to work in the Salesforce and Pardot ecosystem, my answer is always the same — automation! Workflows! Personalisation! (And usually with that many exclamation marks.)

If you already thought Engagement Studio was the best thing to happen to Pardot, it’s recently got dialed up to 11.

As we all know, personalisation is super important when identifying which prospects to contact. In the past, if you wanted to get really specific in tailoring your nurture programs to each prospect, you’d usually have to build multiple rule steps into your program to identify each criteria.

Sound familiar?

Well, enter Complex Rule Logic — new in the August Pardot release.

Here are some reasons I’m SO EXCITED about this new feature:

  • We’ll save a ton of time when building nurture flows
  • Our Engagement Studio Programs will look way less cluttered
  • Our reports will be clearer (so our bosses will love us)

How To Use Complex Rule Logic: The Super Easy Guide

Let’s say you want to send an email in your Engagement Program, and you have 3 different criteria to decide whether to send it to a particular prospect.

Something like…

  • Prospect score is greater than 100
  • Prospect grade is greater than a B-
  • Job title contains “Marketing”

In the past, that would be 3 different rule steps you’re adding into every point of qualification in your Engagement Studio Programs. But now, you can wrap these rules into a SINGLE step — just look for the “+ Add Condition” button on your rule in Engagement Studio, which allows you to create up to 5 total rule conditions on every Complex Rule step.

Remember to tell your rule to take action when “All Conditions Are Met” for AND conditions, or when “Any Conditions Are Met” for OR conditions.

3 Examples When Complex Rule Logic Swoops in to Save the Day

Think of the possibilities!

We’ve even thought of some for you. Check these out:

The Conventional Example: My Engagement Studio Program is Out of Hand. Help!

We love seeing creative and complex Engagement Studio Programs, but sometimes even the most badass program can turn into overkill (see also: 10 Engagement Studio “Gotchas” to Watch Out For).

There are plenty of ways to simplify an extensive nurture flow, like adding more controls to the lists feeding the program. You can also make a head start by implementing Complex Rule Logic to pare down the required steps and make your reports easier to read.

We found that this worked great for cleaning up Engagement Studio Programs that decide whether to send a prospect to Salesforce, based on specific criteria.

In this example, we have multiple steps enabled to send a prospect to Salesforce if:

  • Their Prospect default field for “Country” is US
  • Their Prospect default field for “Opted Out” isn’t Opted Out
  • Their Prospect default field for “Do Not Email” isn’t Do Not Email
  • They are not a member of the list “Partners”

Three of our rules fit into a single step (remember, you’re only allowed up to five conditions per step) so we’ve just decreased the number of steps in our program from 4 to 2.

The Practical Example: I Want My Prospects to Download Something Different Based on Their Form Selection

If you thought the first example was cool, imagine what you could do with an even bigger program!

For example, say you want to use a form on your landing page to invite prospects to sign up to a training seminar.

But your seminar is taking place in 3 different cities, and you want them to download a different calendar invitation based on whether they choose to attend your New York, Atlanta, or Seattle event.

You could do this in a number of ways:

Create an autoresponder to email the correct invitation to your prospects based on their selection (aka form field-based completion actions). These are SUPER useful as they allow for field value changes if the form is submitted a second time, unlike repeating an automation rule. You’ll need to use a simple script in your Pardot form’s thank you code, but this is a great option if you don’t want to redirect the prospect to a new page.

Utilise dynamic content in your autoresponder email. We love dynamic content — it’s so underrated! By setting the content in your autoresponder email to display variations based on the field values you set up to capture their chosen city, you can rest easy that they’ll always get the response you want. You can automate this further (YAY) as part of an Engagement Studio Program — more on this later.

Create dynamic content on your thank you page that allows them to download the invitation. You’ll need a dynamic content variation for all three invitations, but this is a great option if you want to redirect your prospect to either a Pardot landing page, or to a page on your website — you can embed the code in your page’s HTML source code.

Create a thank you page that displays links to all three invitations, so your prospect can choose which one to download — but they could accidentally download the wrong one!

We’re going to explore option #2 and how Complex Rule Logic makes this more powerful than ever.

First, set up dynamic content in your autoresponder email to change the content based on your prospects’ city selection. We based ours on the prospect default field for “City”, but the sky’s the limit — you could add a custom prospect field called “Preferred Location” that you can use in case a prospect works in one city but prefers to attend events in another, for example.

Now comes the fun part! If your form is part of an Engagement Studio Program (but make sure you use a landing page trigger, not a form trigger — see 10 Engagement Studio “Gotchas” to Watch Out For), you can now add multiple rule steps before your trigger.

Trailblazer tip: if you’re new to Pardot, remember to create email templates for both your Engagement campaign emails and your autoresponder. You can’t use list emails!

What next?

If you wanted to automate your nurture flow further (who wouldn’t!?) you could add more steps to route your prospect to the appropriate salesperson as part of a wider campaign.

For example:

1. Add another set of completion actions to your form (or an action in your existing Engagement Studio Program) to feed your prospects into a list.

2. Create an automation rule to assign prospects on this list to a salesperson, or a user group if there are multiple people in your sales team.

3. Create an Engagement Studio Program (or a branch on your existing program) with this list as the recipient list. Tell it to create a Salesforce task for your salesperson or team when a prospect is assigned. You could also send them an email if you wanted to.

We especially loved seeing this process in action in our guest post by Brittany Rhyme, How to Round Robin Prospects in Pardot without Salesforce Lead Assignment Rules.

The Out-of-the-Box Example: Can I Use Complex Rule Logic to Improve My Data Quality?

If you have a monster of a Pardot instance, and you’re getting close to hitting your automation rule limit… or you just want to visualise your data cleansing process in one place… you could try putting Engagement Studio to work to solve this.

And if you checked out our recent post, Junk Data in Your Pardot Org: Why it Matters and How Admins Can Mitigate & Manage It, you’ll know how important data quality is.

This Engagement Studio Program is a small one, but it’s special. We used all four of Erin’s “Junk Finder” dynamic lists, so we could put them all in a single step (remember, you’re only allowed five conditions per step).

Our favourite thing about this example is that is can be used in any Engagement Studio Program. Any time you’re using a program to filter prospect data that is entering your system through your forms and form handlers, it’s a good idea to put some restrictions in place to prevent those pesky junk form fills.

What Are You Excited About Improving With Complex Rule Logic?

What questions do you have about Complex Rule Logic in Engagement Studio? And if there’s something you’re excited about improving with Pardot’s new features, let us know in the comments.

By |2019-12-18T01:33:00+00:00December 18th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Creating Complex Rule Logic in Pardot Engagement Studio

Pardot Grading 101: How to Rate The Quality of Your Prospects


Pardot Grading is a great way to identify prospects who meet your ideal buyer persona, but I find a lot of Pardot users neglect to set up their Grading profiles and automations because they don’t know where to begin.

This article provides a step-by-step guide on setting up your initial grading, as well as some best practices and considerations for customizing grading to your unique needs. 

Understanding Grades in Pardot

Pardot grades range from A+ to F. All prospects begin with a grade of D, however, the initial grade will not show up on the prospect record until the prospect has matched or unmatched at least one criterion.

Grades can be increased or decreased by ⅓, ⅔ or 3/3 of a letter grade. Automation rules should be used to look at the prospect’s data and automatically mark the prospect as a match or not a match for each criterion, or this can be manually done on each prospect’s record (but who has time for that!?). 

Best practice is to have your grading profile look at both prospect fields and company fields to identify ideal fit prospects at ideal fit companies.

No matter how much you love that prospect with the perfect title and the perfect budget, if they are in the wrong industry for your product, chances are they aren’t going to buy from you.

Also, remember Pardot grades should reflect how much you like the prospect, so it should look at implicit data (i.e. Job Level) rather than explicit data (i.e. product of interest) or prospect activity (i.e. last activity).

“Default” Grading in Pardot

Pardot accounts come with a default grading profile that looks at five criteria:

  • Company Size
  • Industry
  • Location
  • Job Title
  • Department.

Pardot’s default scoring works “out of the box,” so many people assume that grading does too. Not so — you do have to take some time to configure this to fit your definition of an ideal buyer.

Defining Your Grading Criteria in Pardot

The next step in setting up grading is deciding which characteristics make up your ideal buyer. This is a great time to bring in your Sales and Inside Sales teams as well as look at your current and past clients. Try answering these questions:

  1. What Job Titles do we target?
  2. Which Job Levels do we target (Managers, Directors, C-Level etc.)?
  3. Which departments do we sell to?
  4. How big or small are the companies we sell to?
  5. Which industries buy our products?
  6. Are you customers restricted to certain locations?

One pitfall to avoid at this step is the “We will sell to anyone” mindset.

Of course you will sell to anyone who has the budget and wants your product — but remember, we are looking for ideal prospects here. We’re looking for people you could essentially cold call and they would likely be interested in your offering (although they won’t be cold for long if you start nurturing them effectively in Pardot!)

Once you have an idea of your ideal buyer persona, look at the data you are collecting in Pardot. Fields with picklist or pre-determined values work best, but you can use free text fields in your grading criteria. If you’re using free text fields, make sure you take into account:

  • Common variations
  • Abbreviations
  • Frequent misspellings that may be entered as a value in this field

For example, if you want to target C-Level job titles, look for Chief, Cheif, CTO, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Tech Officer…etc.). You may need to do some data clean up and standardization here, or add in new fields to collect additional data.

Let’s walk through an example using the following 4 criteria:

  1. Job Level
  2. Department
  3. Account Size
  4. Account Type

Setting Up Pardot Grading Profiles

When you first go to set up grading, all prospects will initially be assigned to the “default” profile, that I mentioned earlier. It is best to edit this default when setting up your own initial grading profile. 

To edit your Grading Profile:

1. Go to Marketing, Segmentation, Profiles

2. Select the Actions wheel next to the Default profile and click Edit

3. Enter the name of each criterion in the Criteria Name boxes, add or remove additional criteria as needed

You can leave all the criteria at equal weight (2/3 by default), or you can select higher or lower values depending on what is import to your company.

For this example, we are going to set Job Level at 1 (3/3 of a letter grade), Department at ⅓, and leave Account Size and Account Type at ⅔

4. Click Save profile.

Automate Your Grading

In the last steps, you told Pardot how important each criteria is when evaluating prospect fit. Next, we are going to automate prospect matching or not matching each criterion of the grading profile — in other words, telling Pardot ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when it grades each prospect against the criterion.

For each criterion, you’ll want to decide what is a match and what isn’t, but keep in mind that not all of the values available for that criterion need to do one or the other! Let’s take Job Level for example, my dropdown values are

  • President/Vice President
  • C-Level
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other

Anyone who has the Job Level of “President/Vice President” or “C-Level” matches our ideal buyer persona. “Manager” and “Other” Job Levels don’t tend to buy, so we’ll make those as not matching the Job Level Criterion. “Director” is neutral ground, so we won’t have that effect the Job Level criterion. 

Don’t be afraid to mark certain values as does not match — it is not disqualifying prospects that have those values, it is simply saying they are not the absolute perfect prospect on all fronts.

Having criteria that does not match is crucial to a good grading profile. Without it, all your prospects can end up with high grades, making it difficult to differentiate between prospects that are great and ones that are just okay.

Using Automation Rules to set rules to “match” criterion:

To automate our first criterion, evaluating fit of Job Title:

1. Go To Marketing, Automation, Automation Rules

2. Select + Add Automation Rule

3. Name your automation rule

I recommend including “Grading” and “Matches” or “Does Not Match” in the automation rule name so it easy to locate and edit your rules later. My rule is named “Grading_Job Level_Matches”

4. Select Repeat Rule

Your prospect’s data may change, so it is good to have repeating Automation Rules to re-evaluate the prospect when they are updated. As a rule of thumb, I recommend setting the rule to be eligible to repeat every 30 days and allow unlimited matches.

5. Under Rules, select Match Any then + Add new rule

6. Select Prospect custom field, Job Level, is, President/Vice President

7. Select + Add new rule

8. Select Prospect custom field, Job Level, is, C-Level

9. Under Actions, select + Add new Action

10. Select Change profile criteria, Default, Job Level, Matches

11. Select Create Automation Rule and resume this rule

Using Automation Rules to set rules to “does not match” criterion:

1. Create another new automation rule

2. Name your automation rule

3. My second rule is named “Grading_Job Level_Does Not Match”

4. Select Repeat Rule

5. Under Rules, select Match Any then + Add new rule

6. Select Prospect custom field, Job Level, is, Manager

7. Select + Add new rule

8. Select Prospect custom field, Job Level, is, Other

9. Under Actions, select + Add new Action

10. Select Change profile criteria, Default, Job Level, Does not match

11. Select Create Automation Rule and resume this rule

Repeat the steps above for each criterion in your grading profile. You may want to also record this information in excel or a word document so it is easy to share with Sales and upper management later. Here is how my data looks:

Testing Your Pardot Grading

If you already have a wide variety of prospects in your Pardot instance, you may be able to let your automation rules run and then review a handful of prospects with differing grades to make sure the grades accurately reflect how close these prospects are to your ideal buyer.

However, if you are new to Pardot or if some of your grading criteria does not have data yet, I recommend adding some mock prospects for testing. 

You’ll want at least 4 prospects who fit your grading criteria in a variety of ways. 

  • Where the account fits, but not the prospect
  • Where the prospect fits, but not the account
  • Where they both fit
  • Where neither fit

I also like to record this in excel to it is easy to share.

With the 4 test prospects, we can see that prospect who only match at either the prospect level or the account level will be in the C range, ideal prospects will be in the A range, and prospect that don’t match on either level will be an F. 

Revisit Your Grading Profiles

Your ideal prospect will likely change as your business and products change, so plan on reviewing your grading profile with the Sales team at least once a year. When reviewing your profile:

1. Review your grading automation rules and make sure they are regularly matching prospects. If they are not, the criterion may no longer be relevant or you may have issues with the data the automation rule is looking for.

2. Review your recent closed won deals. Do the grades of the prospects related to those deals reflect that they were a good match?

3. Review the recently added fields and new field values in Pardot. Can you add or adjust any criteria?

More on Grading Prospects in Pardot

Some additional handy resources on Grading to learn more:

What questions do you have about grading? What’s worked well for your organization? Any lessons learned?

Let’s hear it in the comments!

By |2019-12-10T01:07:00+00:00December 10th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Pardot Grading 101: How to Rate The Quality of Your Prospects

Sercante Celebrates 2nd Birthday

Today is a special day.

Sercante is celebrating its second birthday.

What an amazing ride the last two years have been.

Our team has grown to 27 strong, with full-time team members in the US, UK, and Canada. Our clients come from equally diverse geographies – 23 US states and 10 countries.

I’m incredibly proud of the talent that has come together under one virtual roof, and so grateful for the people who have supported us since the earliest days – Nate Skinner at Pardot, Jill Carpenter at Cirrus Insight, Alan Littman at Agile Frameworks, to name a few of the very many people who have supported and encouraged our growth.

Because this is the Salesforce ecosystem and we are all particularly fond of forward looking statements… I’d like to share some of our plans for our third year in business. Here’s what’s next for the Sercante team in year 3:

  • We are going to work on the gnarliest, geekiest client challenges on platform
  • We will show up hard and bring brains, heart, and hustle to every client interaction
  • We will passionately champion Pardot on platform and integrations with 3rd party tech
  • We will embrace opportunities to add new value to the Pardot ecosystem — with apps, packaged solutions, training, and more
  • We will continue building an amazing culture where our remote team is empowered to do their best work

Onward and upward!

P.S. — we’re hiring.

By |2019-11-19T11:56:30+00:00November 17th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

How to Update Salesforce Picklists & Keep In Sync with Pardot


A question I come across a lot in the Pardot and Salesforce Success Community is how to change Salesforce picklist values on a field synced with Pardot.

A recent example:

Do this wrong and you’ll see the sync errors start flooding in.

This process may sound tedious, but it’s actually not that bad. The keys to a successful field value replacement are updating both systems simultaneously and updating the field everywhere in Pardot to avoid sending over old values later.

This blog post will walk you through the steps of replacing Salesforce field values to ensure you’ve covered all your bases!

1. Confirm Requirements for the Picklist Update

Before you get started, map out the values on the field to ensure all your stakeholders are on the same page. There is nothing worse than finishing this process and then realizing something was miscommunicated and values are missing or were mapped incorrectly.

For example, let’s say we are going to update the “Product of Interest” field. 

Your values might look something like:

Current Product of Interest
Product A
Product B
Product C
Product D
Product E

You might want to replace them with something like:

Future Product of Interest
Product 1
Product 2
Product 3
Product 4

When the team is aligned on the final set of new values, map the old values to the new ones:

Product of Interest Mapping
Product A Product 1
Product B Product 3
Product C Product 1
Product D Product 2
Product E Product 4

2. Add the New Values to the Salesforce Picklist

Now that you have confirmed the new values and how the values will map, add your new values to your Salesforce field so you have both your old and new values. 

3. Replace Old Salesforce Values with the New Ones

In Salesforce, use the “Replace” button to begin replacing the old values with the new values.

When you’re viewing the field in Setup/Object Manager, you can find this button at the top of the list of picklist values:

The replace function looks like this:

Once you have replaced all of your old values with the new values, deactivate your old values by clicking the “deactivate” link. These will then show up on a list of “inactive values”:

Alternatively, you can also delete the picklist value. If you do this, the value will be removed from all records and Salesforce will prompt you to go through the replacement exercise again.

If the picklist exists on both Leads and Contacts, make sure to update both fields in Object Manager or update the Global Picklist Value Set.

4. Use an Automation Rule to Update Any Remaining Prospects

After completing Step 3, your Salesforce Leads and Contacts will be ready to go. You may, however, still have Pardot prospects that have old values in the fields.

The simplest way to update this is to create automation rules to begin move over values. You may need to use “Other” and type in the value as shown below. Make sure the value you type into Pardot matches the new Salesforce value exactly.

5. Update the Field in Pardot Setup

Once your automation rules have run, open the field in Pardot and select the “refresh” symbol next to “Salesforce Field Name”. This will resync the field and pull in the new field values from Salesforce. 

Ensure only the new values now show up in the “Values” section.

If you want to skip this step in the future, make sure this checkbox is selected:

6. Update the Field on Pardot Assets

Finally, check the “Usage” tab of your field to identify any forms, automation rules, completion actions, or lists that may need to be updated to include the new values.

If you need to update the field values on any forms, go in to edit the form, and click the “Load Default Data” button next to the field. This will pull in the correct values so you don’t have to manually add them.

7. Keep an Eye on the Error Queue

After you’ve completed steps 1-6, that’s pretty much it!

Note that if you’re using a restricted picklist in Salesforce, any picklist values that don’t match up will cause a sync error.

It’s always a good idea to check your sync error report a few days after any change like this to ensure you’ve updated the values everywhere and don’t run into any issues later. 

Questions About Updating Picklist Fields in Pardot?

Any questions or other things you’d like to know about updating picklist fields in Pardot?

What other Salesforce and Pardot processes are you curious about?

Let’s hear it in the comments!

By |2019-11-11T06:30:00+00:00November 11th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on How to Update Salesforce Picklists & Keep In Sync with Pardot

13 Best Practices to Consider When Migrating to Pardot from Another MAP

A Salesforce AE recently asked me if we had a best practices guide for migrating to Pardot from Eloqua, Hubspot, or Marketo. My team at Sercante does these frequently — but while we’ve talked about implementing Pardot for the first time here (see also: Real Talk: 5 Surprises When Implementing Pardot and Why Pardot Implementations “Fail”), I’ve never written on considerations specifically for switching platforms.

So beyond what any marketer needs to look at when rolling out a new marketing automation system, what is nuanced about migrations? Let’s discuss some of the things you should be thinking about.

1. Build a post-implementation roadmap

You’re switching to Pardot for a reason — something caught your eye. Maybe it was the fact that it’s built on the Salesforce platform. Or campaign attribution (which is second to none). Or the artificial intelligence capabilities.

Whatever the reason for making your move, don’t lose sight of that in the migration. Consider which new functionality you want to roll out during the migration, and what might be a “phase 2” after the initial switch. And put a target date on that phase 2!

2. Use it as an opportunity to clean house on old assets

Email templates, landing pages, lists, automations, smart campaigns, etc. quickly pile up in a marketing automation org. We have some internal rules of thumb for mass migrating legacy assets — 15 minutes on average for an email template, 30 for a landing page, etc.

But if you’ve actively used the system that you’re migrating from, you’re bound to have a lot of assets.

If you take the approach of:

…I have 1,000 lists.

…4,000 email templates.

…800 landing pages.

…and then try to do the math on that, your jaw will drop. This is NOT how I’d recommend coming up with final asset migration counts. A better approach than looking at all of the past history is to look at what the business will need in the future, and building for that first.

Sure, there will be old templates and assets you want to migrate so you can clone them for future use. But it might be time to part ways with the 2015 Lunch n’ Learn invites is all I’m saying.

3. Consider a design refresh

Your implementation partner can (and should) guide you through the process of determining what to hang on to and what to toss during the migration.

When you have your final list of emails, forms, and landing pages — the customer facing bits — consider whether you want to migrate these exactly as they are over to Pardot. Might this be time to make some design & UX improvements?

An exercise we been including in recent migrations is a template design & UX audit. There are often small changes you can make en masse that have a big impact on the performance of your assets.

4. Make sure your prospect data is squeaky clean


Or if you do, at least have a plan to scrub it immediately.

As a first pass for trimming your list, I’d suggest running everything through NeverBounce to eliminate invalid email addresses. (ESPECIALLY if there’s a large portion of your list you haven’t emailed recently.)

If you have duplicate contact and lead data in Salesforce, evaluate how to mitigate that. It’s tempting to just throw up your hands and say:

Well, sales is never going to keep that clean anyway.

…but that’s a little bit of a cop out.

There a lot you can do to put guardrails up to keep data clean. Salesforce’s native Duplicate Rules are a great place to start, and RingLead, CloudDingo, and DemandTools are really useful tools for ongoing clensing.

This is a very worthwhile step in the process. (See also: 7 Ways to Cut Down Your Mailable List in Pardot for more ideas on data cleansing.)

5. Look for increased efficiency vs. building 1:1

Each marketing automation platform has a slightly different toolset and terminology. The primary arrows in our Pardot automation quiver include:

  • Page actions
  • Form/form handler completion actions
  • Custom redirects
  • Automation rules
  • Engagement Studio

What you did in your old system isn’t always going to line up exactly with these tools. While there’s analogus functionality, we can’t say Eloqua Program Canvas always maps to Engagement Studio, or Marketo smart campaigns always translate to automation rules, or Hubspot workflows always are re-built as completion and page actions.

Let your consultant guide you on the most efficient way to meet your business requirements with Pardot’s automation toolset.

6. Be aware of your contract end date & renewal terms

This sounds like an obvious one, but I’ve seen this get missed so it bears repeating. Look up when your legacy MAP contract ends, write it on a post-it, or stick it to your monitor.

Is there a date that you have to give your provider notice? Some require 30 days heads up that you’re leaving.

If you’re thinking of asking for a brief extension — an extra 30 days, for example — I would actually recommend waiting until you’ve already signed the deal with Pardot. This may seem counter intuitive and risky. But if you ask for an extension prior to committing to Pardot, most MAPs will say that they can’t do it as a tactic to try to get you to stay. But all of them CAN extend your agreement. And most will. (Even if they say they won’t the first time you ask them).

7. Budget enough time for learning

There’s a learning curve with any new platform — prepare for it.

Make sure your team has enough time for training and learning. Trailhead, User Groups, and the Trailblazer Community all have some great resources for this. Salesforce and a number of other providers also offer more structured classroom training.

8. Budget time for IP warming

If you have a dedicated IP address, you should proactively include time in your project schedule to build your email sending reputation. This is only really relevant if you execute mailings with more than 10K prospects per day.

9. Be realistic about your capabilities to migrate assets in house

When looking at a long list of things to migrate and a breakdown of the costs to have a partner help you do that, it’s tempting to think:

“Oh, copying forms and email templates? We can do that in house.”

Some of that you probably can do in house. But take an honest assessment of what else is on your team’s plate and who else on the team can commit to helping with the migration. It’s a lot easier for a partner to help you if you build into the plan vs. calling us at the 11th hour when your Eloqua org is about to go dark.

10. Pick a date to switch over, with a little contract overlap

For a period of time, you’re likely to have Pardot and your legacy MAP up and running together. While you’re in the process of migrating assets, this question will inevitably come up:

Do I build this in Pardot, or do I build it in the old system?

It’s hard to decide when to officially cut over, but draw a line in the sand when all new assets will be created in Pardot. And commit to it. Ideally allow for 2-4 weeks of time after you’re fully migrated to Pardot where you can still access the old system “just in case.”

11. Don’t forget about sales

Marketing has plenty of things to think about during the migration process… so training the sales team on the new system, new notifications, new data in Salesforce is one of the things that is most frequently overlooked.

Sales embracing the new tool is extremely important for success though — don’t miss this details!

12. Back up as much performance data as possible

As a final migration step, export email send, form submission, asset performance reports, etc. Grab everything that you might want for historical reporting later.

13. Document things the way your future self would thank you for

You probably have little to no documentation on how your current MAP was set up. Don’t do this again when moving over to Pardot!

Take copious notes and document what key decisions were made, and why they were made that way. This is another thing that a good partner will help you with.

Other Pardot migration best practices

What tips do you have for making the move to Pardot? What surprised you about transitioning platforms?

I’d love to hear it — let me know in the comments!

By |2019-10-29T11:00:20+00:00October 29th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on 13 Best Practices to Consider When Migrating to Pardot from Another MAP

How to Add Character Limits to Fields in Pardot Forms


I tend to nerd out when it comes to advanced form styling in Pardot. I get personal satisfaction from taking a form beyond its default “out-of-the-box” capabilities to meet a specific requirement or use case.

Recently a client brought a unique challenge to me that required advanced form styling.

The client in question had a form on their website to collect additional data on Prospects. They had introduced a new field to the form and promptly saw an influx in Connector errors.

The reason?

The field that Pardot synced the data to in Salesforce had a character limit.  Prospects that submitted the form had entered too many characters, which resulted in Connector errors.

How We Addressed the Need to Limit Characters in a Field

If you’ve been in Pardot for any length of time, you’ve likely noticed there isn’t anywhere to set a field character limit in the Form Builder or field settings. So how did we fix this? 

The solution is to use a combination of Javascript, CSS and HTML to set a limit on the form level. This way users can’t submit the form if they have too many characters in a specific field. 

Check out this live example of limiting characters on a field…

Solution Breakdown: How to Set Character Limits in a Pardot Form

Let’s dive into how this works! 

A quick note: while the edits we’re about to make involve coding, you do not have to be a coding wizard to make them. I’ll walk you through each step.

In the example above, I have set a 5 character maximum on the Limit field. When the character count is below 5, it displays “under character limit”. When the total is greater than 5, we see a warning message that reads:  “# characters over.” Furthermore, it will prevent a user from submitting a form when the total character count has exceeded the limit. 

This is all powered by the following:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.10.2/jquery.min.js”></script>
    $(document).ready(function() {
        window.pardot.$(“p.limit input”).after(“<p id=’limit-text’ style=’color: #999999; font-weight: normal;’>Under character limit.</p>”);

        $(‘.limit input’).on(‘keyup’, function() {
            var charMax = 5;
            var charCount = $(this).val().replace(/\s/g, ”).length;
            var charCountOver = charCount – charMax;
            var charUnderLimit = “Under character limit”
            var charOverLimit = charCountOver + ” characters over”
            if (charCount <= charMax) {
                window.pardot.$(“p.submit input”).prop(‘disabled’, false);
            } else {
                window.pardot.$(“p.submit input”).prop(‘disabled’, true);
            if (charCountOver < 1) {
            } else {

Don’t worry if you’re not a wizard at reading code. I’ll explain how to customize this script and implement on your forms. 

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Add the code to your Pardot form

  • Open the form editor 
  • Navigate to the ‘Look and Feel’ editor page
  • Select the ‘Below Form’ section and click the ‘Source’ icon 
  • Copy the code from above and paste the code into the editor

Step 2: Adjust the character limits

To increase (or decrease) the character limit, edit the charMax variable. The code below lists shows a limit of 5 characters. In your code, replace the 5 with your desired limit.

Hint: this is typically line 7 in the Pardot editor.

var charMax = 5;

Step 3: Add the limit to the Pardot field

The code is ready to go. The last and most important step is to tell Pardot which field we want to apply the limit to. 

  • Navigate back to the ‘fields’ page 
  • Open the edit page for that field
  • Click through to the ‘advanced’ settings page
  • In the ‘CSS Classes’ field, input “limit”

It’s important your page looks exactly like the screenshot below. Otherwise this will not work. 

Step 4: Save and test

The last step is to save all your changes. Now open up your form and start typing in your limited field. 

Customizing Text & Error Messages for Character Limits

There are two additional changes you can make if you want to customize your form even further: the text that’s displayed when the count is under or over the limit. This can be useful if you need to have very specific text surrounding the error.

Optional Update 1: “under the limit” text

To change the text displayed before the limit is hit, change the text that’s between the two quotation marks. (Hint: this is typically line 12)

var charUnderLimit = “Under character limit”

Optional Update 2: “over the limit” text

To change the text that’s displayed when a user exceeds the limit, edit the text between the two quotations marks. (hint: this is typically line 13)

var charOverLimit = charCountOver + ” characters over”

Once you’ve finalized all the settings above, your form is ready to go. Open it up in a new tab and test out the new limit.

Happy coding!

PS – Feel free to reach out to me at allie@sercante.com if you run into any issues!

By |2019-10-09T16:45:18+00:00October 9th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on How to Add Character Limits to Fields in Pardot Forms

Why Pardot Admins Need to Know HTML & CSS

Pardot is designed to be an easy-to-use, flexible tool to power email marketing and automated communications with clicks not code.  

But let’s be real: code is pretty darn handy, and it’s often the skill set that separates the “good” from the “great” in our industry.

Most of the admins that we work with are very self taught when it comes to tinkering in code. They’ve picked up HTML hacks to make little but important tweaks like:

  • Hiding preheader text
  • Adding that extra space between modules 
  • Inserting three rows instead of two 
  • Moving an image on the other side of the text

Those aren’t always super simple to do in an existing template without touching the underlying HTML.

And even if you have custom-built email templates, sometimes you just want to add that little extra flair or functionality without knocking on your designer or consultant’s door every time. 

If you’ve been looking for a way to modify Pardot emails on your own and add some pizzazz that goes beyond the WYSIWYG editor, look no further. Sercante is offering a 6-week Code School for Pardot Admins built specifically to give you the skills to build the perfect emails in Pardot. 

What You’ll Learn at Code School for Pardot Admins

If this sounds like you and you’re ready to put in the work to really hone your email design skills, here are some examples of what you’ll take away: 

The Basics of HTML and CSS for Email Development 

We’ll spend some time in the beginning covering HTML and CSS. If you’re already familiar with this, don’t worry, there will be plenty of opportunity for you to put you know-how to use through practical exercises that make sure you have a rock solid foundation. 

The Tools to Customize Beautifully Designed Pardot Emails on Your Own

We’ll cover the basics, but you’ll also learn how to do some pretty cool, fancy things with Pardot templates. Have a vision? We’ll teach you how to bring it to life. 

Practical Examples and Real-Life Scenarios

Let’s face it, to fully understand anything you need to put in a lot of hard work. We’ve packed a lot of knowledge into a short time… and to make sure it sticks, we’ll give you tools to apply it to your “day job” right away. When you sign up, get ready to nerd out, put in extra reading, thinking, and lots of hands-on practice. 

How to Build a Template from Scratch

Want to go beyond modifying emails and get down and dirty and build one from scratch? We’ll teach you how to do that too. 

Resources to Continue Expanding Your Knowledge

Students get access to a trove of resources so you’ll know where to go to expand your knowledge and how to approach new, advanced email development techniques.

Get support after the course ends with an active Slack group of learners, tons of resources for continued learning, and the confidence to tackle any Pardot email challenges thrown your way. 

Code School for Pardot Admins: Sign Up! 

Interested? Here’s what you need to know: 

  • The course starts October 8th and runs through November 14th 
  • The investment is $2400 per participant
  • It’s an interactive, discussion style format
  • We’ll cover focused topical sessions broken out over 6 weeks so you learn and apply concepts to your work right away
  • Attend weekly office hours to troubleshoot challenges you encounter along the way

Learn more and register here!

By |2019-10-01T10:07:55+00:00October 1st, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Why Pardot Admins Need to Know HTML & CSS

When ABM Meets Conversational Marketing

I’ve always been kind of “meh” on the term ABM, because it is so frequently misused.

Some vendors try to use the label “ABM” to define a product or a product category — but if you’re truly embracing an account-centric strategy, ABM is way more than a single product or tool. It’s an approach that should permeate every aspect of your marketing and sales efforts.

My definition for ABM is a marketing and sales program designed at penetrating a defined list of target accounts that meet specific criteria. Steps in running a comprehensive account-based program include:

  • Defining what makes a “sweet spot” account
  • Identifying / naming specific target accounts
  • Finding stakeholders within target accounts
  • Building a communication strategy & mix of channels to reach target accounts
  • Executing in a way that creates a cohesive experience for your target accounts when they’re exposed to your brand
  • Reporting on revenue that is sourced and influenced by ABM efforts

Where the Best Marketers Shine with ABM

What separates the good from the great in ABM is #5 above — executing in a way that creates a cohesive experience for your target accounts when they’re exposed to your brand.

You want the right stakeholders, at the right accounts to receive the right message at the right time… and have the best possible experience on every channel.

This is certainly not an endeavor of the faint of heart. The average marketer uses a whopping 91 cloud services for marketing, and the number of ways a potential buyer can interact with a brand has proliferated dramatically.

Creating a unified experience is worth it, though — and the closer integrated we can make our systems, the better an ABM strategy will perform.

Where Conversational ABM Enters the Picture

Let’s talk about one channel that can be critically important in an ABM mix: Conversational Marketing.

Say you’re running tailored ads, sending personalized email communications, and executing focused 1:1 outreach against your target accounts. Your white hot target account bites on what you’ve been tempting them with, and they come to your website.

A one-size-fits-all chatbot experience would be a missed opportunity — this is your chance to give them the white glove treatment and make an impression.

6 Ways to Incorporate Conversational Marketing into ABM

Conversational Marketing allows you to identify qualified website visitors and engage them in a real-time sales meeting, led by either sales reps or bots (or both!).

So how should you fold Conversational Marketing into your larger ABM strategy? A few ideas:

  1. Alert sales reps and/or BDRs tied to ABM accounts the second a target account lands on your website
  2. Greet them by name (Think: “Welcome Dwight! Astrid here from the Acme team. How can I help you & the folks at Dunder Mifflin today?”)
  3. Shared content tailored by persona, industry, or role in the buying center
  4. Show personalized prompts that encourage the website visitor to engage
  5. Route them directly to a human conversation instead of serving a bot experience
  6. Treat sales & service requests differently and remove clutter for your front line sales reps

Of course, all of these strategies depend on data and having your conversational marketing platform closely integrated with Pardot/Salesforce. We’re big fans of Qualified, a company who has developed its product on the Salesforce platform to allow for this type of seamless integration.

What’s Your Take on Conversational ABM?

A comprehensive ABM strategy depends on having one clear picture of the entire customer, and then using this to orchestrate a cohesive experience across all of your marketing and sales touch points. Conversational marketing, when done right, can complement this strategy in a big way.

How have you incorporated conversational marketing into your ABM approach? Where have you seen some major wins? Any hiccups or lessons learned? Let us know in the comments!

By |2019-09-17T19:03:37+00:00September 17th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on When ABM Meets Conversational Marketing