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So far Andrea Tarrell has created 13 blog entries.

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

BY ERIN DUNCAN

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 AProduct 1
Product BProduct 3
Product CProduct 1
Product DProduct 2
Product EProduct 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

Continuing on the cleaning house theme — DO NOT BRING DIRTY PROSPECT DATA INTO YOUR SHINY NEW PARDOT ORG.

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

BY ALLIE CAPPITELLI

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>
<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.$(“p.limit”).removeClass(“error”);
                window.pardot.$(“.limit-text”).remove();
                window.pardot.$(“p.submit input”).prop(‘disabled’, false);
            } else {
                window.pardot.$(“p.limit”).addClass(“error”);
                window.pardot.$(“p.submit input”).prop(‘disabled’, true);
            }
            if (charCountOver < 1) {
                window.pardot.$(“#limit-text”).text(charUnderLimit);
            } else {
                window.pardot.$(“#limit-text”).text(charOverLimit);
            }
        });
    });
</script>

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!
Allie


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

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

How to Enable Pardot’s New Handlebars Merge Language (HML)

One of the newest additions to the Sercante team, Skyler Nakashima, recently wrote an awesome post on How Pardot’s New Handlebars Merge Language Improves Personalization.

Spoiler alert: it’s exciting stuff. (And not just because of the artsy bike photography I’m collecting to use in future blogs.)

If you’re sold on the perks of HML and ready to get started, then read on about how to turn this on for your org!

Pardot’s New Handlebars Merge Language (HML) was rolled out in the August 2019 release. It is now available in all Pardot accounts as a feature that can optionally be activated. Here’s the blow-by-blow on how to get rocking and rolling with this new resource.

1. Go Ahead… Click the Big Green Button.

To get started, click the magic green button on your Pardot dashboard:

2. Read the “Point of No Return” Disclaimer and Get Nervous.

Once this feature is activated, it can’t be turned off. So you’ll get the obligatory “whoa, partner” warning:

The verbiage on these feature activation windows always gives me the chills. Suddenly the blue button seems so intimidating.

Thank the Pargods for the Tell Me More link….

3. Determine if You’re a Fit by Reading the FAQ

Future Pardot functionality will be built around HML going forward. In general, with new features like this we recommend adopting them early unless there is a major red flag or reason not to.

There are only two use cases that Pardot has identified as requiring some caution:

If you use variable tags in dynamic content on Pardot forms or landing pages, we recommend you do not upgrade at this time.

The Pardot API supports both PML and HML for list emails and 1:1 email sends. If you or a third-party uses API functionality, look into any changes you may need to make before you upgrade.

4. Understand the Upgrade Path for Old Assets

The term for the “old way” is PML — Pardot Merge Language (PML). Aka the %%stuff%% from variable tags and dynamic content.

You won’t be forced to update any of your PML content in old assets, at least for now. Your content will remain untouched by the upgrade, and you can still edit using variable tags / PML. Dynamic content blocks that contain PML tags can still be used in all new and existing emails.

When you copy or edit a PML asset, a conversion wizard will walk you through converting all your PML tags to HML. According to Pardot:

Each asset can be converted individually when you’re ready to use it. All you have to do to convert is click a button, and we take care of the rest. If any issues arise, the conversion tool tells you what needs attention.

If active Engagement Studio programs, completion actions, and automation rules use old PML templates, no problemo — these will continue to work as they always have, and you can convert your PML templates when you’re ready.

5. Get Ready to Start Using HML for New Assets

When you activate HML, you will have to create all new assets of these types using HML:

  • List emails
  • 1:1 emails
  • Email templates
  • Dynamic content blocks
  • User signatures

HML is not yet available in forms and landing pages. In the meantime, you can still use PML.

Pardot has published a number of help articles to help admins get familiar with the new Handlebars Merge Language use and syntax. (From what I’ve seen, though, the “merge picker” makes this pretty straightforward to use so I wouldn’t worry about knowing every detail backwards and forward before activating this feature.)

6. Consider Activating in a Training Environment First

As a best practice, I recommend enabling shiny objects in your Pardot training environment first. This upgrade path is fairly simple, but even so, give it a practice run outside of production.

7. PULL THE TRIGGER!

If you’ve reviewed this blog and Pardot’s documentation… and you’re ready to rock…. then hold your breath and click that magic button:

8. Sigh in Relief & Commence Happy Dance

Once you click the button, you’ll see a confirmation at the top of your screen:

Okay, it’s kind of anti-climatic.

But it’s really that simple!

What This Looks Like in Your Org After Activation

HML in New Templates

When you go to create new emails using Pardot default templates, you’ll see HML in the place of the old variable tags, for example:

HML in the Email Editor

In your email editor you’ll see a familiar looking “merge field” button:

HML in the “Merge Picker” (aka Actually Trying to Use it in Templates)

Clicking the “merge field” button launches the updated “merge picker” which streamlines the process for inserting HML:

HML When You’re Doing it Wrong

Another comforting thing to note: Pardot won’t let you save an email if your HML conditional formatting contains an error or isn’t closed, and itwill let you know what to fix.

Here’s an example of the kind of errors you would see if trying to save HML that’s incorrectly formatted:

HML When You’re Using & Viewing Old Assets

When you go to view existing email templates and assets, you’ll see a little pop up like this:

And on attempt to edit an old template, you’ll get a note about converting to the new HML format:

Click got it, and you’ll get confirmation that your PML was converted for you:

Are You Ready for Pardot’s Handlebars Merge Language?

Overall, I have to say I’m super impressed with the ease of use and UX of the upgrade path to HML. Can’t wait to start putting this to use!

There are lots of exciting use cases made possible by HML, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Word on the street is that this merge language is the foundation of future efforts to insert merge fields from opportunities, customer objects, and more. And since this is the exact same language used in Lightning templates, this brings Pardot and Salesforce one step even closer together.

Have you started working with HML yet? What are you learning? Any surprises or things you’re eagerly anticipating in future releases?

Let’s hear it in the comments!

By |2019-09-06T01:30:12+00:00September 6th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on How to Enable Pardot’s New Handlebars Merge Language (HML)

How to Enable Pardot’s New Handlebars Merge Language (HML)

One of the newest additions to the Sercante team, Skyler Nakashima, recently wrote an awesome post on How Pardot’s New Handlebars Merge Language Improves Personalization.

Spoiler alert: it’s exciting stuff. (And not just because of the artsy bike photography I’m collecting to use in future blogs.)

If you’re sold on the perks of HML and ready to get started, then read on about how to turn this on for your org!

Pardot’s New Handlebars Merge Language (HML) was rolled out in the August 2019 release. It is now available in all Pardot accounts as a feature that can optionally be activated. Here’s the blow-by-blow on how to get rocking and rolling with this new resource.

1. Go Ahead… Click the Big Green Button.

To get started, click the magic green button on your Pardot dashboard:

2. Read the “Point of No Return” Disclaimer and Get Nervous.

Once this feature is activated, it can’t be turned off. So you’ll get the obligatory “whoa, partner” warning:

The verbiage on these feature activation windows always gives me the chills. Suddenly the blue button seems so intimidating.

Thank the Pargods for the Tell Me More link….

3. Determine if You’re a Fit by Reading the FAQ

Future Pardot functionality will be built around HML going forward. In general, with new features like this we recommend adopting them early unless there is a major red flag or reason not to.

There are only two use cases that Pardot has identified as requiring some caution:

If you use variable tags in dynamic content on Pardot forms or landing pages, we recommend you do not upgrade at this time.

The Pardot API supports both PML and HML for list emails and 1:1 email sends. If you or a third-party uses API functionality, look into any changes you may need to make before you upgrade.

4. Understand the Upgrade Path for Old Assets

The term for the “old way” is PML — Pardot Merge Language (PML). Aka the %%stuff%% from variable tags and dynamic content.

You won’t be forced to update any of your PML content in old assets, at least for now. Your content will remain untouched by the upgrade, and you can still edit using variable tags / PML. Dynamic content blocks that contain PML tags can still be used in all new and existing emails.

When you copy or edit a PML asset, a conversion wizard will walk you through converting all your PML tags to HML. According to Pardot:

Each asset can be converted individually when you’re ready to use it. All you have to do to convert is click a button, and we take care of the rest. If any issues arise, the conversion tool tells you what needs attention.

If active Engagement Studio programs, completion actions, and automation rules use old PML templates, no problemo — these will continue to work as they always have, and you can convert your PML templates when you’re ready.

5. Get Ready to Start Using HML for New Assets

When you activate HML, you will have to create all new assets of these types using HML:

  • List emails
  • 1:1 emails
  • Email templates
  • Dynamic content blocks
  • User signatures

HML is not yet available in forms and landing pages. In the meantime, you can still use PML.

Pardot has published a number of help articles to help admins get familiar with the new Handlebars Merge Language use and syntax. (From what I’ve seen, though, the “merge picker” makes this pretty straightforward to use so I wouldn’t worry about knowing every detail backwards and forward before activating this feature.)

6. Consider Activating in a Training Environment First

As a best practice, I recommend enabling shiny objects in your Pardot training environment first. This upgrade path is fairly simple, but even so, give it a practice run outside of production.

7. PULL THE TRIGGER!

If you’ve reviewed this blog and Pardot’s documentation… and you’re ready to rock…. then hold your breath and click that magic button:

8. Sigh in Relief & Commence Happy Dance

Once you click the button, you’ll see a confirmation at the top of your screen:

Okay, it’s kind of anti-climatic.

But it’s really that simple!

What This Looks Like in Your Org After Activation

HML in New Templates

When you go to create new emails using Pardot default templates, you’ll see HML in the place of the old variable tags, for example:

HML in the Email Editor

In your email editor you’ll see a familiar looking “merge field” button:

HML in the “Merge Picker” (aka Actually Trying to Use it in Templates)

Clicking the “merge field” button launches the updated “merge picker” which streamlines the process for inserting HML:

HML When You’re Doing it Wrong

Another comforting thing to note: Pardot won’t let you save an email if your HML conditional formatting contains an error or isn’t closed, and itwill let you know what to fix.

Here’s an example of the kind of errors you would see if trying to save HML that’s incorrectly formatted:

HML When You’re Using & Viewing Old Assets

When you go to view existing email templates and assets, you’ll see a little pop up like this:

And on attempt to edit an old template, you’ll get a note about converting to the new HML format:

Click got it, and you’ll get confirmation that your PML was converted for you:

Are You Ready for Pardot’s Handlebars Merge Language?

Overall, I have to say I’m super impressed with the ease of use and UX of the upgrade path to HML. Can’t wait to start putting this to use!

There are lots of exciting use cases made possible by HML, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Word on the street is that this merge language is the foundation of future efforts to insert merge fields from opportunities, customer objects, and more. And since this is the exact same language used in Lightning templates, this brings Pardot and Salesforce one step even closer together.

Have you started working with HML yet? What are you learning? Any surprises or things you’re eagerly anticipating in future releases?

Let’s hear it in the comments!

By |2019-09-06T01:30:12+00:00September 6th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on How to Enable Pardot’s New Handlebars Merge Language (HML)

Women & Minority Business Owners: Make A Splash at Dreamforce with This Diversity Scholarship

One of the many, many things that I love and admire about Salesforce is the emphasis the entire company places on diversity and inclusion. It’s really from the top down — Marc Benioff is a fierce advocate for representation of minorities and women in tech, and as a Salesforce partner I’ve seen this trickle down to the various regional offices I’ve had the pleasure to visit.

But there’s more work to be done.

A few weeks ago, I posted a list of Women-Owned Salesforce Partners & AppExchange Companies. This list was born of extensive Googling, AppExchange trolling, and research. Since its publish date, it has grown to almost 30 companies with the suggestions of others in the community who are shining a light on ladies kicking ass and growing thriving businesses.

30-some companies, though? Surely we can do better than this.

Introducing the Dreamforce Diversity Scholarship

I’d love to see this of women-owned businesses grow, along with the growth of other diverse founders and talent in the ecosystem. To that end, Sercante is teaming up with Spekit, TaskRay, and Cloud Giants to offer the first annual Diversity at Dreamforce Scholarship

Here’s the deal:

If you’re a woman or minority business owner, we want to help YOU make a splash at Dreamforce.

There’s a super simple application process, and the winner will get a fully sponsored booth at Dreamforce (valued at $30K) and 1-on-1 advisory sessions with 6 women leaders (valued at $50K) to make the most of this awesome moment.

How to Apply for this Opportunity

Dreamforce is seriously like the Superbowl of Salesforce — seize this opportunity to help your business (or someone that you know) shine!

There are 3 quick steps to apply:

1. Review Eligibility

Applicants must be:

  • Fully minority owned & operated
  • Have a Salesforce integration
  • Be ready to go to market
  • Be ready to accelerate their growth! (Can I get a “heck yes?!” here?)

2. Record a Pitch

In a 5-minute or less video, tell us who you are, why you started your business, and what problem you solve.

3. Submit Your Application

Submit your company with an application video using this link

Please Throw Your Hat in the Ring and/or Spread the Word!

Diversity in the broader Salesforce ecosystem is incredibly important. It ultimately leads to better customer outcomes, and is critical to driving continued growth.  

You can learn more about this opportunity here: https://spekit.co/women-in-tech-dreamforce-scholarship/#apply-here

Word of month is how we found most of the companies on the Women-Owned Salesforce Partners & AppExchange Companies list. We need your help to share this opportunity with underrepresented rockstars — please share with your networks!

The deadline to apply is Monday, September 23, 2019.

[Psst. Looking for other ways to be an awesome ally? Check out The 8 Best Ways to Support Women-Owned Salesforce Businesses.]


By |2019-09-02T23:37:47+00:00September 2nd, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Women & Minority Business Owners: Make A Splash at Dreamforce with This Diversity Scholarship