About Marcos Duran

Marcos Duran is a CRM and Marketing Automation Strategist at Sercante with a diverse background in design, marketing, and automation software. He loves to craft complex solutions and manage campaigns with Pardot (and other marketing automation/campaign management tools) for our B2B/B2C/NGO customers. He was recently named a Marketing Champion by Salesforce and is currently the co-Leader for the Austin Pardot User Group. He is also a Salesforce event aficionado, and a knowledge sharer of marketing operations and Pardot on LinkedIn.

Q&A: Everything You Need to Know about Pardot Engagement Studio


One of the most highlighted and versatile Pardot features is the Engagement Studio program.

Plain and simple it is the most flexible feature Pardot has when it comes to building strong workflows, email sequences, and even taking your Pardot (and Salesforce) operational game to the next level. This is without a doubt my favorite platform feature.  

For many people fresh to the Pardot scene, building a program can look complicated or confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of practice and this blog, you will be a program architect in no time. 

This blog post covers some more advanced capabilities of Engagement Studio. If you are new to Pardot, I suggest you check out our trailmix in Trailhead. New to Trailhead? Start here and complete the Engagement Studio program modules here before you proceed.

Back to the blog. Below is a Q&A guide to help bring clarity to your questions around Engagement Studio programs that you couldn’t find on Google (or just find yourself searching for over and over aging), located all in one place. *hits bookmark icon*

Getting Started

Help! We need to send this email out tomorrow, is it okay to start an Engagement Studio without all my content ready?

In an ideal world, you would have all of your content polished and ready to send when you click the start button in your Engagement Studio program, but sometimes that’s simply not possible. This may sound scary but with a little planning and solid understanding of how Engagement Studios work, you can start your program with the intention of adding onto it when you have more content ready.

For details on how to set up a program and build on it later, check out our blog post “Ship It Already: How to Start an Engagement Program & Build On It Later”.

I’ve seen Pardot Engagement Studio programs online (or in demos) that look really complicated, but mine looks very linear and simple. Am I doing something wrong?

While some logic or the general layout may look different from program to program, the length and complexity totally depends on the purpose of the program and your goals. For some people, having more steps and branches makes it easier to visualize the flow and collect data points, for others as long as prospects complete a specific action, the rest doesn’t matter (you can always use email templates reports to review email KPI’s). 

In short, if you are accomplishing your goals, your design will be fine.

Do timezones matter? How do I personalize for different time zones?

Yes, timezone settings do matter, especially if you are targeting a range of audiences in different locations. Depending on your use case, sometimes you only have time to build one program. That being said, it would be nice to avoid sending someone an email at 4am. Not bueno!

I would suggest you look at your own list email sending reports and evaluate what times work best for your audiences prior to sending. Some Engagement Studio programs will work best if emails can be sent at any time (think Trial Sign Ups), others may work best in a specific time frame (regional event nurtures).At the end of the day think about what makes sense for your audience.

Have offices in other timezones? You can copy a program and update the list and timezone to target those prospects. We cover how to copy nodes or full programs a little later in this blog.

What is the best way to notify my team when emails go out? Can I BCC or CC them?

There is not a default BCC/CC setting for programs, unfortunately. If your program is set to be a “static” program, meaning a set number of people will go through it, you can always add your team to the recipient list(s), and they would get the emails around the same time as your prospects. This, however, doesn’t work well with evergreen campaigns (where we add batches of new prospects once a month for example). 

Alternatively, you can review a prospect’s interaction with the program in Salesforce campaigns (if your program has the appropriate actions), on the lead/contact page layout if you have the Pardot prospect activity visual force page, email related list (must have the email template tied to the appropriate campaign), or the engagement history component (record must exist in Sales Cloud). This ensures you have the information in multiple places to report on in both Pardot and Sales Cloud.

Are there limits to the capacity of a Pardot Engagement Studio program?

Aside from the availability of data (and how “clean” it is), these programs can be used for pretty much anything. Pardot recommends that for best performance, you limit your program to fewer than 300 nodes (or steps). 

In practice though, several people on the Sercante team noticed that 250 is the magic number as programs start becoming harder to manage after that. Reminder that you can link multiple programs together if one program becomes too cumbersome.


When should I use a static versus a dynamic list for my Engagement Studio program?

Consider a static list for a program if a) you only want a set group of prospects to flow through the program, b) if it has a specific start and end date, or c) concrete email send dates. This would diminish the opportunity of someone getting emails later than your intended goal (and less of a chance of someone receiving emails after the fact).

On the other hand, dynamic lists will continuously feed prospects into a drip. These are better for evergreen programs that are not tied to specific time frames. Again, think trial sign up or an opt-in newsletter welcome series program.

You are able to use both types of lists throughout the program and as recipient/suppression lists.

What happens if a prospect starts the program but no longer meets the dynamic list criteria shortly after?

If a prospect no longer meets the dynamic list criteria or is manually removed from the static list, they are no longer part of the program. This would cause the number of prospects that started the program to not match the number of prospects that end the program.

What happens to newly introduced prospects (if added after the program starts)?

New prospects always start at the first step regardless of when they are added to the lists that feed the program.

What happens if a prospect who was removed from the program is reintroduced? 

If prospects leave (or are removed) and then re-enter the program (via addition to recipient list), they pick up where they left off including any wait times. In other words, if someone was “pulled” before receiving the 3rd email from the series, they would return to the step they were before receiving the email as the next step and continue.

What happens to prospects in a program list who are marked as unmailable due to unsubscribing themselves or triggered via a hard bounce?

The prospects remain on the list and they will continue through the program, however, Pardot will not send them any emails. 

Since these prospects continue to flow through your program, they can still be affected by the different nodes (think “Add to Salesforce Campaign” or “Add to list”) which will affect your tooltip reporting. I strongly suggest you filter these out prior to adding them to the Engagement Studio program.

What happens to prospects on the suppression list?

If prospects are part of the suppression list in the program, they will never enter the program and will not move through any of the steps. I like to add this to the criteria of the recipient list to avoid any issues (e.g. if duplicates are present). If you have anyone on your lists that are opted out or do not email they will go through the program but won’t receive emails.

Why would a prospect get emails if they are being suppressed?

In instances that have AMPSEA enabled (pretty much everyone after June 14, 2016), if you suppressed one record but they still received the email, it is very likely you have duplicate records in your lists and are only suppressing one of the multiple records with the same email. Sometimes this issue isn’t identifiable with just looking at one list if you are using multiple recipient lists. 

For more information on AMPSEA and suppression lists, check out this blog post: When Suppression Lists Don’t Suppress

Oh no! My event passed. Why did my prospects get an email inviting them to an event from a month ago?

Sending emails after an event has passed is, unfortunately, more common than Pardot Admins would like to admit. The root can usually be traced to two main causes. 1) You used a dynamic list to populate and feed the event program and you forgot to turn off your program (after the event or as you set it up). 2) People will continue to move through an Engagement Studio regardless of the IRL event dates. 

You can avoid this by simply scheduling the program to stop after a specific date when you start it. Having a clear wrap up process for your event/webinar campaigns can also ensure that this step is not missed.

Actions, Triggers, and Rules

I’m building the same steps multiple times through the program, what is the best way to get this done?

First you would need to create the first group of nodes (or steps). Then, use the select option to copy and paste up to 10 steps (note: the steps must be connected). This can save you quite a bit of time if you are replicating patterns through the program. 

A caveat here is to make sure you update the asset used on each step once the node is pasted in the program. You don’t want to send the same email multiple times or create the same task multiple times (with the exact same information). 

I need a new program that is very similar to the one from last quarter, can I reuse the old one?

I like to think of this use case as building off of an Engagement Studio program template. You did the hard work already so instead of rebuilding it, why not duplicate it? Use the copy feature (in your list view of Engagement Studio programs) to make a copy of a previous program. Again, just remember to replace the assets. This can be very useful for webinars, events, and customer/constituent communications when the structure stays relatively the same.

Do I need to have multiple end points or just one in my Engagement Studio program?

End points are an easy way to visualize completion of the flow after specific actions. If you want specific actions like completing a landing page or form to push prospects off the program versus getting the next email, then it makes sense to have multiple endpoints at different places in the program as they have completed the goal. 

If you want everyone to get all the emails in the program or continue so other actions can trigger, then having one end point at the very end works well. 

If in doubt, run a few tests (under the testing tab) and simulate how people would behave based on different branches in the program.

What if I need to review multiple criteria before a prospect moves through the next step?

Previously you would do this with a dynamic list (which still works). However, now you are able to set up to (5) pieces of logic on a rule node using complex rule logic. 

You can read more about complex rules on our blog: “Creating Complex Rule Login in Pardot Engagement Studios” by my colleague Chloe Wilde.

Do I need to include an email in an Engagement Studio flow?

The short answer is, no. Programs can be used for many things like data manipulation, for example, and do not require any emails to launch.

Here’s an example of how to use Engagement Studio to assign Leads: The Three L’s in Pardot: Lists, Location, and Lead Assignment

Can I send the same email [template] more than once?

Yes, you can absolutely use the same template multiple times. Usually email templates are included multiple times in a program if someone doesn’t open the email the first time (e.g. send the same email 24 hours later to anyone who didn’t open the first send). 

If your Engagement Studio program is set to repeat, prospects might receive the same email multiple times. You could also use the same template in multiple Engagement Studios. Although most accounts have this setting turned on, I would check under your account settings for the checkbox –  “Engagement Programs: Allow email templates to be sent more than once to the same prospect” in order to enable you to send the same email template to prospects multiple times.

Timing and Program Edits

How does pausing and editing my Engagement Studio program impact its performance? What about prospects?

If you pause a program, prospects remain on the same step they left off until the program is resumed (time does not pass unless the step includes a specific date). When the program resumes, the prospects will finish any remaining wait time before moving to the next step. 

Remember, if you pause your program to edit, beware that your initial estimate of when a program would end has now changed (even if it’s by a few minutes). The more you add to the program and the closer you get to the 300 node mark, it will start to slow down (this also applies to simple programs that process large amounts of data)

What happens when you add a 0 days wait period on a step?

This is the equivalent of you not setting a wait period or selecting immediately. It does, however, record the wait period with an activity using a visual marker called a tooltip. In most cases, 1+ day(s) would be the more appropriate option so the step actually has time to process people’s actions.

Why did my email go out during the weekend?

One of the worst things that could happen is your email doesn’t go out the date you planned. This can happen if you enabled the program to run during non-business hours or manually selected Saturday and Sunday. Also, weekends are included on wait times regardless if you set your program to run on Saturdays or Sundays. So when doing your setup remember that.

What is the difference between “up to X number of days” and “wait X number of days”?

Think of the first option (up to X number of days) as a range (0 – X days). In this example, let X = 3 days. If someone completes the action that you were “listening” for within 1 minute up to 3-days timeframe, then that causes the prospect to proceed through the “yes” branch at that time. If at the 3-days mark (from the time they reach the trigger) the criteria is still not true, then the prospect goes through the “no” path.

On the other hand, if you make a step “wait” for 3 days, nothing they do will change how fast they move forward. All prospects will be on standby for 3 days (from the time they reach the trigger). This is a hard waiting period. Once the waiting period is up, the program will evaluate their actions and push them through the appropriate node (yes or no).

What is the difference between wait and choosing a date for email actions?

The main difference between these options goes back to the purpose of the program. If you need one email to go out on a specific date, you will use the date option. If someone passes through that step after the set date has passed, they will not receive this email and will continue to the next step.

On the other hand if you have a 3-days waiting period, people will have to stick around for 3-days (regardless of activity) prior to moving forward in the program. For more details on wait periods, see the answer above.

Testing / Reporting

When I test my program flow, there is a large variance of time from the moment a prospect starts to when a moment completes the program. Why does this occur?

During the testing phase, you may see completion time differences. As you test you get to create different scenarios that illustrate how some people may be more reactive to your call to actions, while others might not. For example, if you have a trigger that is “listening” for an open in the next 3-days, some may open it within 5 minutes of receiving the email and move forward immediately, while others could take 2-days to open your email.

You usually want to lean on the conservative side and say that someone will not be reactive and will take the longest time to go through the program. This would give your prospects enough time to go through the program.

In the left example above, someone did the actions to complete the goal of the node within 1 day (likely less than an hour from when they received the initial email). However, on the right it took someone 4 days to complete. Since prospects can take multiple roads to the same destination, it is crucial you test and adjust for these possibilities.

How can you A/B test in an Engagement Studio program?

There isn’t a true way to A/B test in an Engagement Studio program. However, there are several ways to reach a specific level of randomness of paths (although I don’t believe it’s 100% random). 

  • Create a random number generator field (1-50), then use Google (or Excel) to give you 25 random numbers to use in a rule
  • Use the “First Name Starts With A; B; C” rule, then use Google (or Excel) to give you 13 random letters to use in your rule
  • Split a list into random halves (2 new lists) and use these with rules to split the flows

You can always use a combination of these options to make the paths your prospects take more random. There are of course more complex (and technical) ways of attempting A/B testing, but these are good ways to start randomized testing within a program.

What are program versions?

Versions are essentially edits you made to the logic of the Engagement Studio program. Think of them as layers. When you make an edit, you can add a description regarding what changed with that round of edits. When you click resume, it does not force prospects to restart the program but to simply continue if nothing has changed (although you can make changes). 

You can view different versions under the activity tab of your program. Under the reporting tab, you can zoom-in on the different notes that you changed and select what version you would like to see, these insights can help verify the effectiveness of the new program steps.

You cannot “go back” to a previous version once you have made changes.

How can I build the perfect nurture program?

No program is truly perfect and most require ongoing maintenance. Checking template reports and tooltip reports can help you identify any gaps in your data or processes.

Is it better to change the email template completely or update the content of the template?

The official answer is to change the template. However, in practice, it depends on how much you value your email template reporting.

If you change the content of the templates, you will not be able to tell when the change happened in your Engagement Studio program (without knowing the date of changes) as there is no need to edit the actual program. This means that you wouldn’t be able to tell if the changes caused improvements or not (unless you filter by date). However, this would be the fastest way of making a change without disrupting the program. When you make changes to an email template in use you always get a notification asking you if you are sure you want to make changes as it is in use.

If you swap the template altogether, reporting starts from the moment you click resume (this is called a version). This method would require you to click pause in Engagement Studio, then edit the program, and finally resume, effectively stopping and restarting the program. There would be an instantaneous difference in the number of people that have gone through that step as it is a new asset. The reporting on the template would also start from scratch at that point.

Architect Your Own Engagement Studio Programs

Engagement Studio programs are easily the most gratifying and flexible feature of Pardot. With a few clicks, you can create dynamic customer journeys that will help you stay on top of mind by sending communications at the right time, upsell, manage your lead routing, or even manipulate data to name a few use cases. With a little planning and patience, you will soon be on your way to creating your own programs to nurture and delight your prospects.

Still there? If you are still looking for more information around Engagement Studio programs, check out our blog “10 Engagement Studio “Gotchas” to Watch Out For”  where we outline a few additional program surprises to be on the lookout for. 

Need help building your own Engagement Studio programs? Find us here or email us at [email protected].

The post Q&A: Everything You Need to Know about Pardot Engagement Studio appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2020-07-28T12:05:17+00:00July 28th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

There’s A Badge For That! Ideas for Leveraging Trailhead For Team Learning

For many organizations, especially our friends at nonprofits, non-governmental organizations, and even start-ups, making time to learn can be difficult. Would you be interested in a flexible, easy to digest, free tool to learn about Salesforce or Pardot prior to purchase, post-purchase or simply at will to skill up in specific features in 30 minutes or less?

Well, let me introduce you to Trailhead!

What is Trailhead?

As described by Salesforce –

“Trailhead is a learning experience platform—a library of educational content that you can access whenever you like.”

And guess what? It is absolutely free.

How can Trailhead benefit you?

Trailhead provides you with resources to prepare you for the start of a new career in the Salesforce ecosystem (or supplement your evolving journey with your current employer). In a way, Trailhead acts as your virtual Salesforce career support hub. You can also download the Trailhead app on your iPhone (sorry fellow Android users – our time will come…soon I hope).


To help, Trailhead outlines a few general roles in the Salesforce family and gives you statistics around them, these include: Administrator, Marketer, Business Analyst, Developers, Consultant, Services, Sales and System Architecture.


Taking it a step further, you can even sign up to become a mentee or a mentor to others who are starting to explore a career change or simply learning Sales Cloud/Pardot for their current role. You might get lucky and get paired up with someone from team Sercante (I have signed up to be a mentor twice!).

You can also set up a profile (like the one below) so you can use it as your Salesforce portfolio with your own URL. Then attach it to your different social media profiles.

What Type of learning resources are available on Trailhead?

With Trailhead you can customize your learning to tailor it exactly for you (or your team’s needs) and, similar to an online course, complete on your own time.

Some of the resources available once you create a free Trailhead account include:

  • Modules: Modules are snippets of learning material around a specific topic. (e.g. Email Templates)
  • Trails: Trails are a short chain of modules that explore specific features or use-cases (e.g. Email Marketing)
  • Trailmixes: A Trailmix is a series of custom trails, in other words you mix modules from different trails into a new learning set.
  • Projects: Like the name implies, projects are hands-on exercises with “recipes” you can follow to accomplish specific tasks. 
  • Superbages: Superbadges are like projects in that they assign specific tasks, but unlike projects, superbadges do not provide you with step-by-step directions to solve specific challenges. They’re great for applying what you have learned to common situations you’d encounter as a real admin. 
  • Supersets: These are a compilation of superbadges, which help you grow in proficiency in the skills required for specific industry roles. 
  • Quests: These act as incentives to gamify Trailhead and provide users with prizes; 


The more of these resources you complete, the more badges you earn and the higher your point count/rank will be within the Trailhead universe. In fact, some universities are starting to give college credit for these trailmixes in specific programs.

How long does it take to get through a trail or trailmix?

The real answer is, it depends. However you can always tell by the duration time at the beginning of each module. This allows you to use 15-30 minutes during lunch to tackle a part of the module and come back later or after you put the kids to sleep for the night.

Does Trailhead update their content regularly?

In short, yes. Most of the content on Trailhead is relevant to any role in the Salesforce ecosystem.


For those trailblazers trying to stay ahead of the curve, I recommend checking out:

  • Trailblazer Radio – Provides you with access to podcasts like: The Admin Podcast, the Developers Podcast and The Trailblazer’s Guide To Careers that can provide you quick knowledge snippets that are easy to digest during your downtime
  • Trailhead Live – Need fresh content? Trailhead live provides you with a series of new content webinars and virtual seminars around different topics directly from Salesforce Evangelists.

There are also several additional community components (pictured below) that you can explore to build a community both online and IRL. 

How can I use Trailhead at my company?

Trailhead can be leveraged at the individual and team level. However, Trailhead has limited content and isn’t very flexible when it comes to adding 3rd party content. For that purpose, many companies use myTrailhead to onboard their teams or develop new courses around their Salesforce use cases. You can embed videos, text, images, 3rd party links and even quiz your participants. By using myTrailhead you can even recommend modules for your team to review throughout Salesforce.

Not ready to dive into myTrailhead? Another way you can track your team’s progress is by using the Trail Tracker App. With this app, you can incentivize your team to manage their own learning by making monthly or quarterly badge challenges and also provide everyone (or management) with the visibility necessary to have impactful conversations around career development.

We just got Pardot. How do I use Trailhead to get up to speed quickly?

Trailhead is a great tool to leverage in-house expertise. If this doesn’t exist in your organization around Pardot, then I would encourage you to seek support from a knowledgeable Partner who has experience in your industry. Implementations can be tricky to do. It may seem like another cost but the amount of technical debt you can build from a partial or incorrect configuration could prevent you and your team from leveraging Pardot to the maximum.

We lost our Pardot Admin (or I’m the Pardot Admin now…), what do I do now? Can Trailhead help?

In short, yes. However, similar to Salesforce Administrators everyone has a style of doing things and if you don’t have experience working in the tool, even Trailhead can be hard to digest. I would recommend you reach out to a Partner for a system audit to help you create a roadmap of how to pinpoint any deficiencies and help you find solutions that fit your business. This would Once you have a base understanding of the system and ideas for how you want to use it, you can pinpoint which areas of Pardot you can learn from Trailhead.


For training, I would recommend signing up for a virtual course like our Pardot Admin Bootcamp, especially if your timeline is tight and you need to get up to speed quickly.

Additionally, these three Trailmixes can provide you with an excellent starting point to prepare you for your first taste of Pardot:

  • Getting Started With Pardot: For Training – This trailmix is tailored for those who want a more in-depth look at Pardot or are pursuing certification and would like to supplement their learning. Get Started > >
  • Getting Started With Pardot: For Operations – This trailmix is tailored for the day-to-day operations to get up and running as soon as possible. Get Started > >
  • Power User Topics: Pardot Technical Setup, Reports, and B2B MA – This trailmix combines a series of additional topics for Pardot power users. Get Started > >

Take Control of Your Career with Trailhead

You can take control of your career by leveraging Trailhead to learn about roles in the Salesforce universe and also become trained on them fairly quickly. Although Trailhead on its own is not a substitute for real-world experience, using this tool and actively engaging with it can help you prepare for your first junior role as a Salesforce or Pardot Admin.

For leaders exploring how to engage their teams further while they’re remote, Trailhead can become a good way to gamify the process of self and team learning with its point system, quests, and community dashboards.

By |2020-07-09T21:06:38+00:00July 8th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

The Three L’s in Pardot: Lists, Location, and Lead Assignment


If your company’s sales teams are organized by region, you’ve probably gone down a long and winding road as a Pardot admin, asking the question: How can I auto-magically assign Salesforce Leads based on a prospect’s location?

I say long and winding because, eventually, you’ll reach the conclusion that you have to get all those region, state, and country values into Pardot and organized…somehow.

The good news here is that after setting everything up the first time, you can use Pardot’s automation tools to do the heavy lifting from then on. Read on to see how you can use Pardot lists and automations to route Leads to the right salesperson based on prospect location data.

Forms, Lists & Lead Assignment – The Pardot Process 

If you’re collecting location data in Pardot fields, you’re already in great shape. In a nutshell, you’ll use that data to build dynamic lists that sort prospects based on state, province (hey there Canada), and country information. As your leads convert on forms or through other methods, as long as the location fields are populating, prospects will be pulled into dynamic lists based on those location field values. You’ll then use those lists in automations to assign them to the right person.

This process has three simple steps:

  1. Update and standardize your forms
  2. Create dynamic lists
  3. Map out where prospects should go (person, team, queue, etc.)

Step 1 – Align Your Forms

As a first step, you’ll want to make sure all your forms use consistent fields and picklist values so your location data matches across platforms. For example, if you want to assign leads based on state, make sure you’re capturing a state value using a picklist with the same options on all your forms.

When it comes to forms, be aware that Salesforce and Pardot (or another marketing automation tool) could be revealing different picklist options to users. This is especially important for Lead routing because the process depends on good location data. If your data isn’t consistent across platforms, it could create pockets of Leads being routed improperly or not at all due to sync issues between tools. Make sure you audit picklist values and past location data before you set up any automation for Lead territory management in Pardot.

When you’re setting up form fields, it is highly recommended that you use picklist fields. This is the best way to ensure you have consistent data. If you’re currently using text fields in Pardot or Salesforce, then I suggest you change it to a dropdown by changing the field “Type”:

Next, navigate to the “Values” tab and prefill with Country values.

Note: You’ll need to make this update one-by-one on every form that uses the text field. 

You can also make the update to use picklist country values at the global field level, but you will still need to update existing forms as the change will only impact new forms.

Step 2 – Create Your Lists

Once you have your forms set up with consistent location fields and picklist values, you’re ready to build out dynamic lists. 

Here are some pointers before you begin building dynamic lists: 

  • When defining rules in Pardot, you must use semicolons to create a string of values
  • There is a 250 character limit per row 
  • To give yourself the flexibility to make adjustments later, use rule groups so you can add more rules down the line 
  • To easily build dynamic lists without having to manually type in values, I recommend the Creuz Your Data App, which allows you to split values with commas or semicolons and with the right row limits for use in Pardot and Salesforce rule criteria. 

Domestic Routing

In this domestic U.S. routing example, let’s say you want to route Leads from specific northeastern states. Here’s how you’d create the list: 

Prospect Default Field – “State” –  is – “Connecticut; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; Vermont”

This will pull prospects with those Northeastern state values into the list.

Here’s a cheat sheet of all the US states broken out by the 250 character Pardot grouping size: 

Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri;

Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington;

West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; American Samoa; District of Columbia; Guam; Marshall Islands; Puerto Rico; Virgin Islands;

Alternatively, if Sales Cloud uses state abbreviations, you can also swap the full state names with abbreviated 2-letter codes or include them as an “or” rule in your list so you can collect either value.

Here’s how your list would look if you want to pull in either the full state name or the 2-code abbreviation for that Northeast example 

For your reference, here’s a list of all 2-code U.S. state abbreviations. 


Your list can also combine both full state name and 2-code abbreviation if you aren’t sure what data your integrations are collecting or if you have the Pardot auto-fill geolocation feature on (and want to fix it). 

Global Routing by Region

If you’re a global organization, you may want to break out your list by global region or country. Here are some quick examples you could copy into Pardot.

North America Audience

United States; Canada;

LATAM Audience

Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bolivia; Brazil; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Dominican Republic; Dominica; Ecuador; El Salvador; Grenada; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Mexico;

Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Santa Lucia; Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Uruguay; Venezuela;

EMEA Audience

Italy; Germany; France; Spain; United Kingdom;

Albania; Algeria; Andorra; Angola; Austria; Bahrain; Belarus; Belgium; Benin; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Bulgaria; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Central African Republic; Chad; Comoros; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic;

Democratic Republic of the Congo; Denmark; Djibouti; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Estonia; Ethiopia; Faroe Islands; Finland; Gabon; Gambia; Georgia; Ghana; Gibraltar; Greece; Guernsey; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Hungary; Iceland; Iran; Iraq; Ireland;

Isle Of Man; Israel; Ivory Coast; Jersey; Jordan; Kenya; Kuwait; Latvia; Lebanon; Lesotho; Liberia; Libya; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Malta; Mauritania; Mauritius; Moldova; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco;

Mozambique; Namibia; Netherlands; Niger; Nigeria; Norway; Oman; Palestine; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Romania; Rwanda; San Marino; Sao Tome & Principe; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Somalia; South Africa; Sudan; Swaziland; Sweden;

Switzerland; Syria; Tanzania; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; Vatican City; Western Sahara; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe; Russia; Russian Federation;

You may notice there are several “Russian”, “Congo”, and other values that you may not see in Salesforce. This is because Salesforce and Pardot may label them differently depending on how you’ve set up the field.

APAC Audience

Afghanistan; Bangladesh; Bhutan; Brunei; Darussalam; Cambodia; Hong Kong; Macao; Cook Islands; Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; Fiji; India; Indonesia; Japan; Kiribati; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Maldives;

Mongolia; Myanmar; Nauru; Nepal; New Zealand; Pakistan; Palau; Papua; New Guinea; Philippines; Republic of Korea; Samoa; Singapore; Solomon Islands;

Sri Lanka; South Korea; Korea; Taiwan; Thailand; Timor; Leste Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu; Vietnam; China; Australia;

Unknown & Proxy

Country is empty; Country contains Anonymous Proxy

It is important to have this list to catch what may not be routed as you may not be collecting country data at all or one of your forms/integrations may not enable you to do so. This would result in a bunch of prospects staying in Pardot [forever] and never making it to the Sales team.

Note: If someone is using VPN you will likely get an “Anonymous Proxy” as the Country value.

Other Known Audience

This list will allow you to catch any additional Country data that you might not initially catch, identify patterns, decide how to manage them and avoid awkward encounters with prospects.

And, without further ado, let’s get into how you set up assignment through Pardot automations. 

Step 3 – Automating Assignment

Now that your forms are consistent and your lists are segmented based on how you want to route your Leads, you’re ready to design automation rules or even engagement studios to automate sending your Leads to the right people.  You might even choose to route your inbound Leads using this round robin set up in Pardot.

If you know who you want each list to go to, here are some options for automating their assignment.

Friendly reminder: Pardot respects the owner of the Lead or Contact in Salesforce first, and will not re-assign leads or contacts that have been previously assigned. These routing rules will only affect net new prospects or those who were never assigned.

Option 1: Automation Rules

Once you’re ready to create the automation rules, the set up is a cinch. Just use the dynamic list you created as the rule and the person, group, or queue you want to assign prospects from that list to as the action.

Automation rules are one of the faster automations in the Pardot universe. You can assign to a user, group of users (round robin), or Salesforce Queue and add additional criteria to ensure you are forwarding the right leads. 

The downside to automation rules is that you can run into usage limits. Depending on how granular your lists are, you would have to run from four to 15 different automation rules. 

Automation Rules can also make it hard to prioritize one over the other, so be aware, if one prospect could potentially match criteria from multiple lists, you won’t have control over which criteria is triggered first.

Option 2: Engagement Studio

Engagement Studios is one of the most versatile features in the Pardot platform, and although they are typically used for email nurturing, they can be used for other processes, like Lead assignment, as well. 

For example, you can combine all of your lead routing, domestic and international, into one constantly-running ESP. This gives you one place in Pardot to manage all routing from, as opposed to several automation rules. ESPs also allow you to prioritize one rule over another (if someone matches criteria earlier in the program, they’ll be assigned the first time they match). 

The downside to using an ESP is timing. They can be slower to start than automation rules, sometimes up to 10 minutes after a form conversion. As long as you take this wait time into account if you’re doing other automations based on Lead assignments, using an ESP is a great way to assign Leads.

And there you have it, Lead routing in Pardot. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

While Pardot can be a great place for Marketing to set up the Lead hand-off, there are a couple of alternatives to Lead routing you could use instead.

Alternative to Lead Routing in Pardot #1: Set Up Assignment Rules in Sales Cloud

Sometimes it’s just easier to set up your Lead routing rules in Sales Cloud. Queues and assignment rules can become great allies, especially if you need additional actions to happen upon assignment that can only be managed via Sales Cloud. 

The cool thing about Salesforce assignment rules is that you can rank them and easily see the cascade of priorities (similar to an Engagement Studio Program). 

Note: If you want additional actions, like field updates or task creation, you will likely need to develop a process builder. 

Once you have assignment rules set up and activated, you can add the completion action “Assign via Salesforce active assignment rules” to Pardot’s forms and form handlers. This automation will essentially push people into Salesforce in a “waiting area” after which they’ll get assigned based on the Lead assignment criteria you created in Sales Cloud. 

Alternative to Lead Routing in Pardot #2: Third Party Integrations

There are some great external solutions to support all business sizes and processes. Tools like Lean Data, Engagio, and RingLead can help solve lead routing issues without a lot of effort. In fact, many provide helpful training and resources to get you up to speed. Of course, there is an additional cost to these tools, but if you have complex requirements, investing in one may be worth the time savings.

Getting Your Lead Routing Machine Humming

Through the power of Pardot’s dynamic lists, automation, and a little forethought, you can set up a repeatable process for Lead assignment based on prospects’ location that will save your team a lot of time.

If this seems complicated, it isn’t. You just need a little patience, lots of testing, and a solid process on paper.

What are some creative ways you’ve set up Lead routing? Let us know in the comments.

Need a little help getting your Leads assigned to the right salespeople through Pardot or Salesforce? Give us a shout here.

By |2020-05-28T18:10:43+00:00May 28th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|