About Lauren Drugan

Solution Engineer. Lauren Drugan is a multi-disciplined marketing technologist with 10+ years of hands-on experience managing marketing automation systems and improving marketing and sales operations. She joined Sercante in 2018 from the client side. Outside of her consulting work, she enjoys sports, art, reading, and spending time with her spouse and animals.

Most Common Pardot Issues

  1. Sync errors are out of control

Unresolved sync errors will lead to your Pardot and Salesforce databases being completely out of whack. Your marketing team won’t be able to send important updates, your sales team won’t have access to important information, it’ll be anarchy.

Monitor the Sync Errors table on a daily basis. You can export the errors to a .csv file to review them in more detail. 

Common errors include duplicates, field integrity exceptions, flow errors, invalid picklist values, permissions errors, and validation exceptions. Work with your Salesforce admin to correct the root of the error.

Be sure to reimport the fixed prospects into Pardot or manually sync each one to remove them from the error queue. Remember: regular sync triggers don’t apply to prospects in the error queue.

  1. Haven’t implemented Connected Campaigns

If you haven’t enabled Connected Campaigns, chances are good that you’re doing a lot of manual reporting or your marketing data is disappearing into the ether. 

Connected Campaigns align your Pardot and Salesforce campaigns and create automated source reporting. This helps you to prove the value of marketing outreach with comprehensive Campaign Influence dashboards and gives your sales users insight into marketing interactions right inside Salesforce. 

Sure, without Connected Campaigns you can still use completion actions to add prospects to Salesforce campaigns, but you’re missing out on a lot of interesting data. You work hard on your marketing initiatives. Make sure that data is working for you! 

After you decide on your campaign fields and cleanup strategy, enable Connected Campaigns, and align your existing campaigns. Then add Campaign Influence related lists to your Salesforce page layouts, and make sure to enable Engagement History as well! 

When you’re all set up, make sure to check out our free Campaign Influence Starter Pack to get a head start on the reporting that is going to change your life! 

  1. Maintaining a sleepy database

Don’t pay to hold onto records you aren’t emailing. 

Create 3 lists using the rule called “Prospect has been emailed,” and set the criteria to:

  • “Emailed at least 1 time in the past…” for 30 days (1 month)
  • 90 days (3 months)
  • 180 days (6 months). 

The Emailed in the past 30 days list should have the largest number of prospects. 

If it doesn’t, meaning your prospects haven’t been emailed in the past 2 or 3 months, consider running a wake the dead campaign. Identify your 2 best performing content offers: look at white papers, blog posts, webinars, guides, reports, anything you publish. Then create a series of 3 emails: offer the best content, then the second-best content, then send a message explaining that you haven’t heard from the prospect recently so you’re going to remove their information. If they interact with any of the email content within, say, 2 weeks, they’re active and mailable! 

If not, send them to the Recycle Bin and focus on your actually active database.

If you’re concerned about maintaining GDPR-compliant explicit permission, consider running a permission pass on anyone in your database who hasn’t opted-in. First, check that your Email Preference Center is set up (see #5 below!). Then send a friendly, direct email to your prospects linking them to your Email Preference Center so they can opt into whichever lists they want, and bam, they’re mailable!

If they don’t opt-in or you don’t want to take the chance of asking them to, send them to the Recycle Bin and focus on your actually mailable database.

  1. Skipping automations

Marketers wear a lot of hats and get a lot done, so it’s no surprise that sometimes we run out of time to get absolutely everything set up. But today, give yourself the gift of Pardot automations!

Take a step back and review all available automations against your marketing strategy. What automations would make your life easier? Where could you be capturing data on prospect actions and intent? What can you set-and-mostly-forget-but-still-check-occasionally? 

Use Automation Rules to identify a group of prospects and run actions: send activity-based emails, add prospects to Salesforce campaigns, tag prospects, and more.

Use Engagement Programs to group similar actions against the same audience, nurture prospects over time, and perform database management checks.

Use Page Actions on high-value website pages to increase a prospect’s score, alert the sales team, assign tasks, and trigger automated emails. 

Use Dynamic Content to customize landing pages and follow-up emails to targeted accounts or industries. 

Use Custom Redirects integrated into your social media strategy to track interactions. 

Use Completion Actions automate lead assignment/routing, campaign association, and list management. 

Use Dynamic Lists to segment your database into personas based on region, industry, product interest, title, and other important factors. 

Use a combination of Automation Rules and Dynamic Lists to automate junk data cleanup.

It’s also a good idea to review your existing automations and make sure the right tool is performing the right actions. 

  1. Not providing an opt-down option

The Email Preference Center is a central location for your prospects to tell you what they want from your email marketing, and can often result in prospects opting down instead of opting out. Make sure you give them options! 

Set up your Email Preference Center to include lists for all products and services your company offers. If industry or topic are important to your audience, include those too. Consider including email frequency, event type, content type, or other company-specific options. 

Make sure your company name and logo are displayed prominently. Include company branding like fonts and colors. Use clear, friendly language and easy-to-use fields and buttons.

Make sure there aren’t any Pardot lists mistakenly set to “Public” because those will show up on your default Email Preference Center.

Even if your company is using a custom Email Preference Center page or even a form cleverly styled to look like one, you still need to maintain the default Email Preference Center because it could be inadvertently linked in an email or on a landing page.

PS, it’s also really important to brand your Unsubscribe Confirmation page. Don’t sleep on this chance to create a seamless branded experience for your prospects – even if they are unsubscribing.

The post Most Common Pardot Issues appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2020-10-26T16:35:00+00:00October 26th, 2020|Categories: Integration|

DIY Pardot Audit: 5 Step Quick Audit

  1. A seamless Salesforce-Pardot sync: Your marketing and sales teams all rely on having accurate information. Make sure your Salesforce connector is working, without permissions issues or sync errors, and check it regularly. Here’s what to check:
  • Connector User: If you are using the Connector User (vs. the B2BMA Integration User), it should be an account on your company’s email domain, such as [email protected] If you are using a person’s account as the Connector User, be sure it is a current employee and an administrator can access their account if needed. 
  • Permissions. Make sure the Connector has all the Salesforce permissions it expects. If it doesn’t, you’ll see a large yellow box with an error message describing which permissions need to be added.

  • Connector Type. Confirm whether you are on V1 or V2, and if you are eligible to upgrade to V2. Click here to review the upgrade considerations. 
  • Prospect Creation. Review the connector setting for “Automatically create prospects in Pardot if they are created as a Lead or Contact in Salesforce” and ensure it matches your company’s goal. If you want a two-way sync between Pardot and Salesforce, or want all Leads/Contacts in Pardot, this setting should be enabled. If it is enabled, check that it’s adding new prospects to the correct campaign; we most often see a campaign called “Created in Salesforce” or “Sales-Generated.”
  • Sync Errors. Monitor the Sync Errors table on a daily basis to ensure your prospects are syncing to Salesforce as expected. You can export the errors to a .csv file to review them in more detail. Common errors include duplicates, field integrity exceptions, flow errors, invalid picklist values, permissions errors, and validation exceptions. Work with your Salesforce admin to correct the root of the error, then reimport the fixed prospects into Pardot or manually sync each one to remove them from the error queue. Remember: regular sync triggers don’t apply to prospects in the error queue.
  1. Effective lead entry: When someone is ready to contact you, it’s important to make the process easy for them. If your forms are too long, causing errors, not syncing properly, not alerting your sales team, or your autoresponders aren’t working, you’ll lose leads. Here’s what to check:
  • Forms. Utilize progressive profiling and dependent fields to keep your forms short. The first time someone fills out a form, ask them for only as much information as sales absolutely needs to start a conversation. Use the “always display” option only for the email field, and any fields that are really important to confirm. 
  • Form Handlers. Make sure your form handlers are set so that only the email field is required. This avoids potential submission errors. If there are fields you absolutely need, be sure to customize your form handler’s error message to tell you which field is missing when a submission fails. 
  • Lead assignment. How are you assigning leads? If you’re using a queue or group for a round-robin assignment, check that the sales team is monitoring those. If you’re using an Engagement Studio Program to send an autoresponder and process lead assignment, make sure the program isn’t set to run during business hours only, as that would delay the assignment. If you’re using an Automation Rule, make sure the rule is active.
  • Autoresponders. According to GetResponse, autoresponders such as welcome or thank you emails have the strongest open rates of any emails (88.7% open rate and 35.01% click-through rate, on average). Be sure all forms send an autoresponder. Check that the autoresponder Email Template(s) are being sent from a person or a monitored email address (no [email protected] email addresses, please!), with an engaging and appropriate subject line, and render well across all devices, especially mobile. This is a huge opportunity to get in front of an engaged prospect – harness it! 
  1. Administration: Most Pardot account settings fall into the set-it-and-forget-it-forever category, but it is important to review a few of them occasionally. Set a reminder on your calendar to check these every few months. Here’s what to check:
  • Product and Service Notifications. This is especially important if you inherited a Pardot org from someone else or worked closely with a consultant on your implementation. Pardot uses these settings to communicate with you in case of issues with usage limits, compliance, critical incidents, and updates requiring user action. Be sure that the person listed here is a current employee of your company, and that their email address is correct. 
  • Usage and Limits Table. This handy table shows all available Pardot features, your current usage, your account limit, and a utilization bar and percentage. Sort by the utilization column to easily view features that are approaching their limit. The most important ones to consider are your mailable database, file storage, automation rules, and engagement programs. Monitor usage on a regular basis so you don’t run up against the limit as you’re trying to create a new marketing program.
  1. Domain authentication: Maintaining a verified email sending domain and validated tracker (or vanity) domain ensures a seamless user experience for your prospects as they interact with your marketing assets across the internet. Here’s what to check:
  • Email Sending Domain: Setting up email authentication is critical for achieving good deliverability. Major ISPs and spam filters check authentication when determining whether to allow emails into a recipient’s inbox, so if you are sending from an unverified domain your emails could end up in a filter, marked as spam, or even blacklisted. Your email sending domain should have verified entries for SPF, DomainKey Policy, and DomainKey. If you are seeing any errors here, work with your IT team to resolve the issues ASAP. 
  • Tracker Domain(s). This feature allows you to assign a brand-specific vanity domain to Pardot assets like landing pages, custom redirects, forms, content, and more. You can add multiple tracker domains as they apply to different parts of your brand or business. Each tracker domain should be validated, SSL-enabled, and default to HTTPS. Your main tracker domain should be set to Primary. If you are seeing any errors here, work with your IT team to resolve the issues ASAP.
  1. Clean house: Many of us don’t love tidying up, but we can’t argue that a tidy Pardot org benefits everyone. Creating a regular maintenance schedule will help you maintain a clean org and avoid undertaking a major clean-up project down the line. Here’s what to check:
  • Data Cleanliness. From spambots to competitors to prospects who want your content but really don’t want to provide their info, junk data is going to find a way to get into your system. You can set up dynamic lists to identify and mitigate junk data, keep your database clean, and pass good data over to sales. My colleague Erin Duncan explains how
  • Asset Audit. No one wants to sift through a marathon-length dropdown menu to find that one particular recipient list for an important email send. Review your Email Templates, Landing Pages, Forms, Form Handlers, Engagement Studio Programs, Automation Rules, and Lists, and Dynamic Lists on a quarterly basis and recycle assets that are older than 2 years or you otherwise won’t immediately need. 
  • Naming Conventions. Having a naming convention will keep Pardot organized and allow you to quickly filter and identify your marketing assets. This is especially important when a team of marketers work alongside each other because Pardot uses dropdown lists for many features. If your assets don’t follow a naming convention they can be impossible to find. Consider also using tags to help with filtering and clean-up. 
  • Recycle Bin. The Pardot Recycle Bin is a great way to clean up old assets instead of permanently deleting them. Items in the recycle bin don’t count toward usage limits, so if you really want to hang onto that 2014 event landing page, you can. 

The post DIY Pardot Audit: 5 Step Quick Audit appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2020-10-18T16:40:00+00:00October 18th, 2020|Categories: Integration|

The Emails are Everywhere

The year was 2010. It was a gray morning and the winds howled and swirled around the otherwise ordinary office building as she logged into the email system, completely unaware of what was about to happen…

She had to send a company update to 10,000-odd customers, partners, investors, and employees. As she proofread and tested the formatting, the CEO came up to her.

“Can you make sure Tom, Harry, and I get a copy of this email?”

“Sure thing!”

She looked around the email system. Should she add them to the database? No, then they’ll get every other marketing email. Maybe she should just forward the email to them after it’s sent? No, then the formatting will be wrong. Oh, look! The email system has a BCC function. Perfect.

She typed in the email addresses one by one. [email protected][email protected]… She clicked on the bold “Schedule” button and chose 2 o’clock that afternoon, then moved to her to-do list.

After lunch the mood in the office had improved. Everyone joked and laughed. The sun was shining, jack-o-lanterns were smiling, and leaves were gently wafting from tall trees. The noises of a normal day filled the hallways.

No one knew that something lurked in the shadows. And it was right on schedule.

Slowly, office by office, the building fell silent.

Then someone called out, “Sue, is your email down?”

“Yeah, is yours?”

“It just stopped.”

“Nothing’s coming in or going out at all.”

“It’s dead.”

She looked at the clock. It was 2:01 p.m. A chill slowly creeped down her spine.

She tip-toed to Harry’s office and dared to look around the door. He was frowning at his computer, confusion giving way to shock. He caught her eye and started to rise, slowly, out of his seat.

“Can you… come take a look at this?” He pointed at the computer with a shaky hand.

She gulped. Her feet moved her forward against her control. When she reached the computer screen, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

One by one, emails were popping into his inbox. The unread icon was ticking up, up, up: 1113. 3597. 5643. They seemed to get faster before her eyes. She steadied herself on the desk. She leaned in for a closer look.

The subject line almost screamed at her: “Company Updates.”

She ran all the way back to her desk, scrambling for the phone before she even sat down. “But, what? What is this?” Harry called after her, his voice fading into fear as the emails kept coming.

‘Please pick up, please pick up,’ she thought.

“Hello IT, have you tried turning it off and on again?”

“JIM TURN OFF THE EMAIL,” she scream-whispered into her handset.


“Turn off the email! For everyone! Can you do that?”

“Yes, but–”


“What are you even? Fine, hold on.” Jim gasped as he accessed the email server. “Is someone? Wait, did you? Did you DDOS us?”

“I didn’t know. The BCC. I didn’t know.” She looked at the clock. 2:06 p.m. The email should be finished sending soon. “How long would it take 10,000 emails to be received by, um, 3 inboxes?”

“You sent 10,000 emails to 3 inboxes? Separately? Not, like, a copy of an email to 3 inboxes?”

She squeaked out a quiet “Yes. To the executives. Um, CEO, CFO, COO. I’m sor–”

Dial tone.

She sank into her chair, murmuring “The emails got Jim too.” She stared at the computer for a long time, willing the emails to go back where they came from, knowing they wouldn’t… they were out… they were everywhere.

“Well,” Harry cleared his throat. She jumped. “Jim says there’s a problem with the email systems and they’re shutting everything down for the rest of the afternoon, so I say we close up early. I’m going to play a round. Tom is headed home to dress his kids for trick-or-treating. I told everyone else to finish up whatever they’re working on and head out. Happy Halloween!” He waved as he walked out the door.

She stared after him.

A new email pinged on her computer. She screamed.

The end.

Avoid your next Marketing horror story by requesting a complimentary Pardot account audit or by signing up for a Pardot training course.

By |2019-10-07T15:37:05+00:00October 7th, 2019|Categories: CRM, Marketing Automation, Marketing Horror|Tags: , , |