Work Confidently in Pardot through Quality Assurance Testing

Feel more confident as an admin or end user by kicking ass at Pardot quality assurance testing.

We’ve all been there before. Everything is set up in Pardot for an email or engagement studio program. But the fear hits before clicking the button to launch it. Is everything set up so it tracks correctly? Could there be a typo or broken link somewhere? This is where checklists and quality assurance testing are helpful.

The term ‘quality assurance testing’ makes the process seem more complicated than it needs to be. What you’re essentially doing is checking the details to be sure everything looks and behaves the way it should before you finalize and launch whatever it is you’re doing in Pardot.

While checklists give us a certain level of assurance real confidence comes from experience and learning, if you are interested in learning from our seasoned experts then why not check out these Pardot training courses Sercante offers to immerse yourself in the topics you aren’t totally confident about yet.

What types of Pardot quality assurance testing should admins do?

Lots of quality assurance testing needs to be completed to be sure that any Pardot instance works as expected. Pardot advanced users and admins can complete quality assurance in a Pardot sandbox environment. But most of the day-to-day Pardot QA testing tasks happen in production orgs. Typically, QA tasks related to the flow of data between Pardot and Salesforce are completed in a sandbox environment to prevent the potential loss of data.

You should complete quality assurance testing  in a Pardot production environment (that’s a fancy term for your regular ol’ Pardot instance) when you create or launch the following:

  • Engagement studio program
  • List email
  • Pardot form or form handler
  • Static list
  • Dynamic list
  • Social media post
  • Custom redirects
  • Page actions
  • Dynamic content
  • Email preference centers
  • Scoring
  • Grading

Seasoned Pardot admins likely have lists in their heads to double-check each of these items before sending, saving, or launching them. But admins and end users who are newer to Pardot lack the experience of knowing what can go wrong without proper QA testing. 

If you’re in the latter category, then you’re in the right place! These checklists are for Pardot admins and end-users who are in the beginning stages of learning to use Pardot.

You can find information about more advanced types of Pardot quality assurance testing & the Pardot Sandbox in this blog from Mike Fazio.

Pardot Quality Assurance Testing Checklists for Admins and End Users

As you build your confidence in Pardot, you’ll feel less apprehensive about sending your marketing efforts out into the world. You’ll also get less and less of those “please fix it” messages from your team.

Here’s a checklist of things you can double-check to feel more confident about the work you do in Pardot.

Email Templates and Drafts

You can perform basic quality assurance checks on Pardot email templates and list email drafts. But you may need to invest in a more advanced tool, like Litmus, to be sure your email will render correctly and pass through email spam filters. 

When you’ve finished building your email, click on the ‘Testing’ tab in Pardot to send yourself and any other reviewers test emails. This list may be longer depending on the complexities of the email itself. But we’re going to assume it’s a simple email for the purposes of this checklist.

  • Basic Info
    Look at the Basic Info tab in case there’s something you overlooked. Pay attention to the Campaign and Folder to be sure you selected the right ones for this particular email.
  • Subject Line & Preview Text
    Check that you remembered to add them and proofread.
  • Header Text
    Proofread the email header and adjust if necessary.
  • Email body copy
    Read through the entire email twice and fix any grammatical errors or typos. Then read it again.
  • URLs
    Click every link including linked images to ensure they are working correctly.
  • Text Email
    Make sure the text version of the email matches the HTML version.
  • Sending
    Look at the sender details and to be sure you chose the right ones. 
  • Mailing Lists
    Check your list so you know it’s going to the right email addresses. And remember to add any suppression lists you may need.
  • Completion Actions
    Make sure you successfully added completion actions if that was part of your plan.

Pardot form or form handler

  • Complete the form to test
    Using incognito mode in your browser, complete the form or form handler. You can add the word “test” as you’re completing the form so other Pardot users know your form data is from a test.
  • Find your test data
    Verify data from your test entry made it into Pardot and Salesforce, if applicable, as expected. Pay attention to every field.
  • Check completion actions
    Verify completion actions are carried out as expected.
  • Cause form errors
    Repeat testing the form by trying to “break” it. Fill out the form again, and mess up your entry (use an incomplete email address, leave required fields blank, etc.)
  • Test in other browsers
    You can use a tool like Browserling (free and paid versions) to mimic different types of browsers and operating systems for further testing.

Segmentation Lists 

Static list

  • Spot-check the list to ensure the correct prospects are present.

Dynamic list

  • Click the Preview button. Spot-check the prospects on the list to ensure the correct prospects are present.

Engagement studio program

  • Test every path
    Click on ‘Testing.’ Run the test several times until you’ve tested every possible path.
  • Check your dates
    Double check all of your dates to be sure they align with your goals and best practices.
  • Add test prospects
    Create test prospects and add them to your program first when you want to test more complex programs (make sure your test prospects fit your rules). You may have to shorten your wait times to complete the test in a reasonable amount of time.

Automation Rules 

  • Check the preview
    Preview automation rule to be sure it matches your expectations.

Social media post

  • Review post copy
    Proofread your text. Then read it again.
  • Verify @ mentions
    Go to the social media channel and search for actual profiles to verify any @ mentions you include in the post. Keep in mind that @ mentions on one social media channel probably won’t work on other channels. You’ll have to duplicate tje post and change the @ mentions for other social media channels.
  • Check hashtags
    Look up any new hashtags you want to include on the social media channel you want to use it on. This is so you know you’re using something that’s related to your post and not already in use or irrelevant.
  • Link to something
    Remember to include a call-to-action URL if applicable. Click ‘Insert Link’ if you’re sending people to something that’s in Pardot or a custom redirect.
  • Check the link
    Copy the URL and paste it into a separate tab to check the link.
  • Include a graphic
    Make sure you include a graphic (if applicable). Also, check that the graphic size is appropriate for the social media channel.
  • Check the profile
    Double check that you selected the correct social media profile for the post.
  • Proofread again
    Read the text one last time.

Custom redirects

  • Click the link
    Access the link from your usual web browser. Then, look for your prospect record in the custom redirect prospect list.
  • Test in incognito
    Test the link again from a web browser that’s in incognito mode and look for your click on the custom redirect.
  • Check completion actions
    Verify any completion actions are carried out as expected.

Page actions

You can check that your page actions are working properly after you add tracking code to your website.

  • Configure page actions
    Set up your desired page actions.
  • Go to the pages
    Visit those pages as a cookied prospect.
  • Look for results
    Verify that your page actions worked as expected.

Get a PDF checklist to use for QA testing in Pardot

You can view and download a handy PDF checklist to use every time you’re launching Pardot admin campaign materials. Fill out the form to get your Pardot QA testing PDF checklist:

Be fearless with your Pardot quality assurance testing skills

It’s totally normal to feel uneasiness before completing tasks in Pardot. I mean, you’re sending things out into the world that hundreds or thousands of people might see. Sorry to startle you. But that’s also the cool part about working in marketing. The stuff you’re marketing is going to solve problems for people. And you’re going to help them find out about it!

Confidence will come to you in time after you click around in Pardot and test all the things you’re building. 

Build confidence faster through Pardot training courses

You can fast-track yourself to feeling confident in Pardot by attending structured training sessions. There is so much to learn about Pardot with a seemingly endless list of resources. But nothing beats the real-life applications you learn through talking to people who understand Pardot and use it every day.

Check out the training courses and workshops Sercante offers for Pardot users and admins. You can find specific courses for deep-dives into a topic or beginner-level overviews for people who are new to Pardot.

Click here to view all Sercante training workshops and courses.

The post Work Confidently in Pardot through Quality Assurance Testing appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2021-07-28T15:56:19+00:00July 28th, 2021|Categories: Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Engagement Studio|

Watch the Data Flow into Pardot with Zapier

If you’re like me, then you often work with marketing tools that do not integrate nicely with Pardot forms.

Maybe they claim to have a ‘direct’ integration with the tool. However, we all know it’s nothing more than a Salesforce integration.


Don’t give up! There is a way around this common frustration. 

Enter Zapier webhooks, which you can use to bring data into Pardot.

This handy little-known feature is the solution to all your Pardot integration problems!

Dramatic maybe. But it’s still a game changer. 

How to use Zapier webhooks with Pardot

With Zapier Webhooks, we can capture data from nearly any place and push it to Pardot as a form handler submission.

You read that correctly — a form handler submission. 

Prerequisites for using Zapier webhooks with Pardot

You’ll need to do the following before we get into the setup: 

  1. Create a Zapier account. (they have a free account that allows for 100 zaps a month)
  1. Set up a Pardot form handler.

    Here are two rules to follow when you configure your form handler:

  • ONLY have email as ‘required.’ You can add other fields. But do not mark them with ‘required.’
  • Set the form in kiosk mode.
    Pardot FH - kiosk mode
  1. Identify how you’ll bring data into Zapier.

    This can look like using one of Zapier’s native integrations or using a Zapier webhook to get data. Whichever method you use, the most important thing to do is to get the data triggering the Zap. 

Use cases for Zapier with Pardot

Here are common examples of ways to use Zapier with Pardot to bring data into the platform via a form submission.

LinkedIn Lead Generation

In this example, a company is using LinkedIn Lead Generation forms to capture new leads.

There is no direct way to tie LinkedIn submissions to Pardot. So, the company sets up a zap to trigger when a new response is received. Their zap is configured to push the data to Pardot via a form handler post.
LinkedIn Form Response Zapier

Google Form Submission

For this example, our company is using Google Forms to send out a survey to their customers.

The survey itself has data they don’t want within Pardot. So, they chose to send it using Google Forms.

Still, the company wants to see the name and email address of everyone who completes the survey within Pardot.

They can trigger a new workflow (zap) using Zapier when a survey submission comes in. That’s because Zapier integrates directly with Google. Their zap is configured to push the data to Pardot via a form handler.

Drift Lead

In this case, a company captures a new lead via a drift chat. They leverage Zapier’s ability to receive those leads to route the data to Pardot via a form handler. 

Setting Up a Zap with a Pardot Form Handler

Follow these steps to set up a Zapier ‘zap’ to bring data into Pardot as a form handler submission.

Step 1

Create a new zap and select the Google Sheets integration (the app selection will change based on where your data comes from).  

The trigger is ‘New Spreadsheet Row,’ and then select the correct sheet from your drive.

Zapier for Pardot Forms - New Spreadsheet Row Google Sheets

Pro Tip: Test the data capture to ensure it’s working. This will only work if there is data in the app triggering your zap. 

In our example, I submitted example data to the form, and Zapier successfully pulled it in as a test.

Zapier for Pardot Forms - Zap Trigger - Test

Step 2

Now move to select the Webhook as the Action step. Select the POST option on the setup page.

Zapier for Pardot Forms - Zapier Action - Post 1

Step 3

Paste your HTTPS encoded Form Handler url into the URL box.

Zapier for Pardot Forms - Zapier Action - Post 2

Step 4

If we were to activate it now, the zap would trigger and post to the Form Handler URL. But, no data would pass through. 

We need to set up the data pass.

We’ll take this step by step below:

  1. Add a ? to the end of your URL
    Pardot forms Zapier Action - Post 3
  2. For each field you want to pass to Pardot:
    • Right after the question mark, add the external field name.
      Zapier for Pardot Forms - Pardot FH - Fields
    • Immediately after the external field name, add an equal sign.
      Zapier Action - Equal Sign
    • Immediately after the equal sign, add in the data source. This can be done via the dropdown in the URL field.

      Scroll until you find the field that contains the data you want to pass. Then, click on it.
      Zapier Action - Select Data

    • Your URL will now look like this. The underlined portion is the part that you’ve added to send over a single field.
      Zapier Action - Final URL
    • If you want to add another field, then add a “&” to the end of your URL and then repeat steps I – V for each field.
      Zapier Add Another Field

Step 5

Test your action and make sure the submission comes through in Pardot. The final URL will contain all the fields you’d like to pass. On the testing screen, you’ll see what the final URL will look like with your test data.

Click test. Then, ensure you captured the data in Pardot.

Zapier Action - Testing

Now, turn on your Zap, and watch the leads flow into Pardot! 

Go forth and let the data flow into Pardot

Now you know how to bring in data from third party tools into a Pardot form handler. 

This unlocks the ability to score, grade, assign, add to Salesforce campaigns and more! The sky’s the limit with how you can use this setup. 

Happy building!

Learn More About Pardot Forms

The post Watch the Data Flow into Pardot with Zapier appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2021-05-21T20:02:36+00:00May 21st, 2021|Categories: Content Marketing, Data, Integration, Integrations|

Pardot Goodies from the Salesforce IdealExchange

This past year has been a great year for Pardot Admins everywhere. With each new release, Pardot has grown in functionality and has also become more integrated with Salesforce. This is fantastic as it allows for tighter data control, better personalization when communicating with prospects, improved user management processes. and an overall better user experience. In the wake of the new year, check out the newest Pardot features and updates on the Salesforce Spring 21 release notes to gain insights into what is coming in 2021.

As Pardot Admins, we often run into corners of the platform that require a little more creativity in order to solve a specific business need. Oftentimes, you can just “Google it” and voilà! Many in the Pardot community have the exact same question or problem you do, and although you find the answer (which is a huge relief), wouldn’t it be fantastic if there was a way for Pardot simply to add a fix for everyone?

Well my friend, grab a seat and let’s head over to the IdeaExchange!

What is the IdeaExchange anyway?

Back in 2006, the #Ideaexchange was born as a way to involve its customers (big and small) in a modern effort to crowdsource ideas for its product roadmap. This would ensure that the community got a platform that they could use to contribute their ideas and wishes. A place where the Pargods could go for inspiration if you will as they build the world of tomorrow.

How does one enter their idea into the IdeaExchange?

  • Come up with an idea and submit it to the exchange
  • You then get trapped and spend 2-4 hours going through other people’s ideas (definitely optional, but highly encouraged). 
  • If your idea gets enough votes (10+ points for you) then a Product Manager gets involved
  • The idea is developed and then delivered, and we all cheer!

Need more details? We wrote a little about the history of the AppExchange.

Our List of Top IdeaExchange Items 

To celebrate the IdeaExchange 14th anniversary this year, here are 14 wonderful ideas worth upvoting and adding to your wishlist, just in time for the new year.

Data Management

1. Ability to set field character limit for custom fields on Pardot side
This feature would help reduce conflicts between both platforms when it comes to character limits. We wrote about
how to fix this with Javascript.
Upvote >>

2. Country lists match between Salesforce and Pardot
This feature would help create more symmetry when it comes to Country values between the two instances. Currently, there are several different values between both. We wrote about how to fix this with Heroku
Upvote >>

3. Customize all list view columns
This feature would allow you to customize list columns for easy scanning of field completions and provide reporting-like capabilities.
Upvote >>

4. Notification on SFDC connector errors
This feature would allow Pardot admins to create notifications in summary of sync errors to make sure they are resolved promptly.
Upvote >>

5. Parameter in automation rules for “is changed”
This feature would allow you to see if there was a change in a field to trigger an action based on the change.
Upvote >>

Marketing Operations

6. Allow custom object fields to be used as email tags
This feature would allow email marketers the ability to inject values from custom objects into emails and other pieces of Pardot generated content.
Upvote >>

7. Ability to block competitor domains from all emails including autoresponders
This feature would ensure that none of your competitors receive the email you set up with your forms or enter your nurture series. 
Upvote >>

8. Conditional options for completion actions
This feature would allow marketing operations teams to save on automation rules and contain automations at the form level with some IF/THEN preferences based on user input on forms.
Upvote >>

9. Dynamic content based on list membership
This feature would enable you to do dynamic content criteria based on list membership effectively allowing you to use more than one data point as your criteria.
Upvote >>

10. Email Templates with Completion Actions
This feature would make it easier to build email templates that scale without the need to use Engagement Studio or other automations to prioritize actions. 
Upvote >>

11. SEO/Social media friendly Pardot landing pages: Images and meta tags
This feature would make it easier for marketers to update meta tags and social cards to share content using Pardot native social media capabilities.
Upvote >>

12. Time zone dependent delivery for list emails
This feature would allow marketing operations to choose one time and send it across that time in different time zones. It would save the User from creating multiple list emails with the same content.
Upvote >>

Sales Operations

13. Allow customization of notification email subject/content
This feature would allow you to use Dynamic Content and Variable tags on the subject line of notification emails (e.g. Notify User [when someone fills out the Contact Us form]) which currently is auto generated and cannot be updated.
Upvote >>

14. Allow variable fields in SFDC tasks
This feature would allow you to add variable tags to the Salesforce task you assigned to the User. Currently the message is static and everyone gets the same.
Upvote >>

You can find more ideas to browse while you binge-watch the ParDreamin’ 2020 videos.

Will your Pardot dreams ever come true?

While some Pardot Admin recommendations get picked up and implemented faster than others, it all depends on community participation and perceived need from the Pardot product team. In fact, to help drive ideas, Salesforce created a prioritization system (the next cycle starts in mid January 2021) where you can see top feature suggestions across the ecosystem battle it out!

You may be wondering, do any ideas actually make it to the product? The answer is yes.

Dreams do come true! In fact, these two ideas were just releases in the last release.

Our friend Jen Kazin recently discussed the new Email Builder at ParDreamin earlier this month. You can watch a quick demo of the feature by Salesforce here

Are there any features or functionality you wish you could see? If so, let us know below. With a little bit of luck and support from your Pardot and Salesforce Ohana, you might also uncover the secrets of the IdeaExchange and get your idea on the scoreboard.

Don’t forget to vote for these ideas, submit your own and chat with us on Twitter, LinkedIn or simply subscribe to the blog on the left side of the page.

The post Pardot Goodies from the Salesforce IdealExchange appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2021-01-19T19:02:01+00:00January 19th, 2021|Categories: Content Marketing, Data Management, Email Marketing, Experiments, Integration|