Customer Relationship Management

How to Implement Pardot External Activities with Zapier

Pardot is delivering a whole new way to leverage your prospect data in the Winter ‘22 release. Similar to webhooks, the new Pardot External Activities feature allows users to receive data from third-party systems and use the data in automations and Engagement Studio Programs. For instance, you could record when a prospect registers for a webinar, completes a survey, or watches a video.

In an earlier blog post, we describe how to set up the External Activity in Salesforce so a third party can begin sending activities to Pardot via API. This post will detail how to actually send the activities with Zapier. Similar approaches can be done with other meta-services. If you want hands-on help, we’d love to work with you.

Pardot External Activities Zapier Solution

Before we get started, it is important to note that Zapier doesn’t actually support this Pardot API request. Zapier only supports four of the many API requests possible, so we will be taking advantage of the Zapier Webhook capability to build our solution.

At a high level, we need to:

  • Configure Salesforce to allow our Zap to make API requests to Salesforce and Pardot
  • Create a new Zap which listens for a third-party event (such as registering for a Webinar)
  • Enhance the Zap to submit prospect information to a Pardot Form Handler
  • Enhance the Zap to get an OAuth token from Salesforce
  • Enhance the Zap to publish the External Activity (which works well as the Form Handler has ensured the Prospect exists already)
  • Test

Now I realize this is a lot, but don’t worry, we’ll walk through it all. Once you are done building this Zap, you’ll end up with something like this:

Configure the Salesforce Connected App

Anytime we want to work with the Pardot API, we first need to “authenticate” with Salesforce to receive an Access Token that can be used with the Pardot API. To do so, create a new Salesforce Connected App for Zapier. We highly recommend creating and testing this new Connected App by following the steps in our earlier blog post, Pardot API and Getting Ready with Salesforce SSO Users.

Once you have created your new Connected App, you should have a new Salesforce and Pardot User for the Zapier connection. Keep the user’s username, password, and security token handy for later.

In our example, we will be creating a Zap for a Zoom Webinar Registration. Due to the way Zoom Webinars are integrated with Zapier, you will need to create a Zap for each webinar, as well as creating automations in Pardot for each webinar. This may vary depending on which App you are using in Zapier.

Create a new Zap in Zapier

  1. Log in to your Zapier Account
  2. Create a new Zap and give it a name
  3. Find the third-party app that will trigger this Zap. For our example, we’ve chosen Zoom.
  4. Select your Trigger event. For our example, we have chosen “New Registrant”.
  5. Choose the Zoom account for your connection. If you haven’t already connected the app, now will be your chance!
  6. Next, (and this might differ based on your app), select the upcoming webinar you wish to integrate.
  7. Click “Test trigger”
    1. This often works best if you have a recent “event.” For Zoom webinars, it helps if you have at least 1 person who has already registered for the webinar via the Zoom registration page. In doing so, you will see sample fields and values, making the process a bit easier. 
  8. Finally, click “Continue” and you should have a nice clean “trigger.” Zapier will prompt you to make your first Action.

Enhance Zap to submit the Pardot Form Handler

Zapier now has a handle on prospects registering for the selected webinar, now we need to send this information to Pardot. 

In this first Action, we are going to send details about the person who registered for the Zoom webinar to a Pardot Form Handler. This allows us to create/update a Pardot prospect with the right field values.

Why are we using a Form Handler instead of API calls? 

  1. This approach greatly simplifies the integration by natively handling new prospect creation.
    1. Reduces sync errors for new prospects who have not interacted with a Pardot form yet
    2. More cost effective and efficient than using the Read API to create new prospects
    3. Ensures duplicates are not accidentally created
  2. The action that the person took will actually show up as Prospect Activity. This is good since they took real action and submitted a form.
  3. You can apply Completion Actions, which are not available in the API.

Make sure you have the Pardot Form Handler created and that you have the field names and the https URL handy.

  1. Continuing from the previous section, create a new Webhook Action by selecting “Webhooks by Zapier.”
    1. This step is important to establish who is registering and to make sure we associate the External Activity with a prospect. 
  1. For the Action Event, choose POST.
  2. Set up the action by filling in the following fields:
    1. URL: The https URL of your Pardot Form Handler
    2. Payload Type: form
    3. Data: Enter the Pardot Form Handler field name, and the values coming from the trigger setup earlier. Add new “rows” for each field you wish to populate in the Pardot Form Handler based on your trigger data available.
  3. Once you have finished setting up the Action, test the action, check that the Pardot Form Handler was called, and verify that the data is where it should be.
  4. Rename the Action to “Send Registration Info to Form Handler” so that it’s clear what this Action is accomplishing. 

Enhance Zap to get OAuth token from Salesforce

Now things start to get a bit tricky. Since we can’t leverage the Pardot app in Zapier, we need to do things manually. This is where we will use the Salesforce and Pardot User we set up with the Connected app in the first section.

  1. Create a new Webhook Action by selecting “Webhooks by Zapier”
  2. For the Action Event, choose POST
  3. Set up the action by filling in the fields:
    1. URL: https://login.salesforce.com/services/oauth2/token
    2. Payload Type: form
    3. Data -> grant_type: password
    4. Data -> client_id: Enter the Consumer Key from your Connected App
    5. Data -> client_secret: Enter the Consumer Secret from your Connected App
    6. Data -> username: Enter the Salesforce Username of the Pardot user we will use for API calls
    7. Data -> password:  Enter your Salesforce user’s password followed by the Security Token
  4. Once you’ve provided all the values above, Test and Review. A successful request should show values like access_token and instance_url for your Salesforce org.
  5. Rename this Action to “Get Salesforce OAuth Token” so that it’s clear what this Action is accomplishing. 

Enhance Zap to publish Pardot External Activity

Finally, we will send the External Activity to Pardot

  1. Create a new Webhook Action by selecting “Webhooks by Zapier”
  2. For the Action Event, choose POST
  3. Set up the action by filling in the fields:
    1. URL: https://pi.pardot.com/api/v5/external-activities
    2. Payload Type: json
    3. Data -> extension: Enter the name of the Marketing App Extension you created in Salesforce
    4. Data -> type: Enter one of the Activities you set up and associated with your Marketing App Extension in Salesforce
    5. Data -> value: Enter a unique value to identify this Activity, event IDs work great here
    6. Data -> email: Enter the email address that was used in step 3 of the “Enhance Zap to submit the Pardot Form Handler” section
    7. Headers -> Authorization: This one is a bit tricky to fill out. First, when you click in the text box, type “Bearer “ (with the space) and then select the Access Token.
    8. Headers -> Pardot-Business-Unit-Id: Enter the ID of the Pardot Business Unit that is associated with the Marketing App Extension. You can find the Pardot Business Unit ID by navigating to Salesforce Setup >Pardot Account Setup. (Detailed instructions here).
  4. Once you’ve provided all the values above, Test and Review. Check the Pardot Prospect for the new Activity record. This activity will appear between the Prospect Activities and Custom Fields section of the prospect page.
  1. Rename this Action to “Send External Activity” so that it’s clear what this Action is accomplishing. 

Test

Now it’s time to test our Zap end-to-end. 

Activate your Zap and perform the action that you are capturing in the Zap’s Trigger (i.e. register for the Zoom webinar). After a couple of moments, check the Pardot prospect that you are testing with. You should now see all the information you passed through the Zap!

Considerations

  • The Export Activity API call only works for known prospects, and it will not work if the email address is not already associated with a prospect in your Pardot Business Unit. This is why we have the form handler in our example.
  • If you have multiple Pardot Business Units, there is no intelligence of “choosing the right one.” You need to target the right one with your Zap, which assumes all prospects going through this trigger are from the same Business Unit. Proceed with caution and test rigorously when attempting more advanced solutions with business units.
  • Salesforce only allows five access tokens to be issued at a time. With high volumes of a triggering event, it is possible that Zaps may fail due to Salesforce Access tokens getting recycled before they can be used in the following actions (this is due to us manually getting an Access Token with the second Action).
  • Any time the user’s password and/or security token changes in Salesforce, each ZAP that uses it will also need to be updated.

These considerations are best addressed by writing your own code, which can properly address the edge cases, etc. For assistance with this or other Pardot External Activities, reach out to Sercante!

The post How to Implement Pardot External Activities with Zapier appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2021-10-15T18:27:46+00:00October 15th, 2021|Categories: Data Management, Integration, Pardot Business Units, Release Notes, Salesforce|

ParDreamin’ 2021: The Pardot World’s Big Virtual Gathering

ParDreamin’ 2021 is the only global virtual conference that lasts three days and focuses on all things Pardot and marketing automation.

We’re pulling together marketing minds at all levels to learn together, network, and explore new territories. Pardot experts from around the world are gathering to share information they’ve learned the hard way through determination, and the easy way — from the Pardot community.

So pack your satchel and grab some snacks. Here’s what you can expect as you trek your way through ParDreamin’ 2021.

How to Attend ParDreamin’ 2021

ParDreamin’ is for people who want to immerse themselves in all things Pardot. However, it’s easy to attend if you’re new to Pardot or B2B marketing automation as a whole.

You’ll have access to more than 50 sessions, keynotes, and panel discussions hosted by some of the most recognizable names in B2B marketing and the Salesforce community.

ParDreamin’ 2021 kicks off with some pre-conference fun on October 26, and the main show happens October 27-29. No matter which aspects of the conference you attend, you’ll have to complete the ParDreamin’ registration form

Registering for ParDreamin’

You’ll see Ticket Options after you complete the Personal Information page. Here’s what you get with each of the ticket options.

pardreamin registration form

Conference Ticket: Free Pass

  • Three-day virtual conference access through the ParDreamin’ platform
  • Access to session recordings

Conference Ticket: VIP Package ($75)

  • Standard admission ticket
  • Conference t-shirt 
  • VIP After-Party access

Pre-Conference Workshop Pass ($299)

  • Standard admission ticket
  • Conference t-shirt (if you register by Oct. X)
  • VIP After-Party access

Send an email to [email protected] if you need help with the registration process.

ParDreamin’ Pre-Conference Training Workshops

Choose the Pardot training workshop that best fits where you are in your career so you can get closer to where you want to be. You’ll build strong foundations before moving on to more complex actions and insights. 

Register for ParDreamin’ Pre-Conference Training Workshops

You can secure your spot in a pre-conference Pardot training workshop when you sign up for a ParDreamin’ conference ticket. Choose ‘Pre-conference Workshop Pass’ under Ticket Options when you register for ParDreamin’.

You can select only one training workshop with the exception of  “Pardot Fundamentals,” which runs 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. ET. All other pre-conference Pardot training workshops run simultaneously from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET. 

The 2021 ParDreamies: A Pardot Award Show

People do really cool stuff in Pardot, and we’re recognizing them for it. Prepare yourself for the first-ever ParDreamies Awards!

The ParDreamies Awards will honor Pardot community members for finding creative and thoughtful methods to reach business goals using the power of the Pardot platform. 

We’ll announce the winners of the ParDreamies Awards during the ParDreamin’ VIP After-Party on October 28 from 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. ET. And, remember to sign up for a VIP pass to ParDreamin’ 2021 so you can cheer for the winners during the live event. 

How to submit your entry to the ParDreamies

The ParDreamies recognize exemplary work utilizing the power of the Pardot platform. 

You have to submit your entry before the deadline for a chance to win. The deadline for entering is October 15, 2021.

The competition is open to all individuals, companies, and organizations involved in producing any marketing and communication materials utilizing the Pardot platform for external or internal audiences.

To be eligible, an entry must have been produced after January 1, 2020.

Complete the form on this page (scroll down) to submit a ParDreamies award application. You can complete multiple applications for different stories, but you can only win once per year.

Award categories

Each entry can only be submitted to one category. 

  1. Personalization Perfection: Right-time, right-message marketing
  2. Social Impact: Creating positive change through Pardot
  3. Grassroots Innovation: Scaling small business with Pardot
  4. Extending Pardot: API-driven solutions
  5. Best in Show: Overall winner

Getting Permission to Use Pardot Stories

You, your employer, and your customer (if you’re a consultant) must be willing to publicly share any stories you submit. Your customer does not have to be present to accept the award, but they have to grant permission to you for the public mention of their company name and story in reference to the award.

We realize that may create some barriers to submitting a Pardot story, so here are some considerations for those situations:

  • Let the company or client know what’s in it for them. Winning a ParDreamies award is a great way to show that a company is innovative and forward thinking. It also provides an easy publicity opportunity and gets the company name in front of thousands of business executives and potential employees.
  • Leave the company name out of the story. Including an impressive enterprise-level company name definitely makes a story stronger, but your story is probably solid without it. You can say something like “an enterprise-level company in the insurance industry” if you cannot get permission to use a company name publicly.

Flex Your Pardot Knowledge: Pardot Trivia Party

After a day of learning at our pre-conference ParDreamin’ 2021 workshops, join us to show off your brain powers. We’ll gather virtually to play Pardot Trivia and enjoy healthy competition and networking opportunities. 

pardot trivia

The Pardot Trivia party is open to all ParDreamin’ attendees, and it’s taking place during the pre-conference festivities on Tuesday, October 26. We encourage ParDreamin’ Pre-Conference Training Workshop attendees to stick around after the workshops to use their newly gained knowledge and maybe win prizes.

We have limited spots available, and registration is almost full at the time of this blog. So, get there quickly if you want to join.

Choose your team. You can choose to register as a team (6-8 players) or sign up as a free agent and we’ll add you to a team. 

Prizes. We’ll award cash prizes to the first, second and third place teams. You can also win a special prize for the best team name, so get your creative juices flowing. Pardot puns are welcome.  

Get Instant Answers: Genius Bar

Open October 27-29 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET

You can spend hours scouring the interwebz for the answer to your pressing Pardot question. Or, you can visit the ParDreamin’ 2021 Genius Bar to book a one-on-one session with an expert to get the info you need.

Choose the Genius Bar topic that’s related to your question to book an appointment.

Genius Bar Topics

Pardreamin genius bar

Our genius bar is organized by topics to ensure the right expert is available to discuss your individual questions. Register for the topic related to your questions to get the most out of your 1:1 session.

  • Automations – Talk with our automation experts to discover the best route to take. Bring us anything — from Engagement Studio Programs to dynamic lists and page actions.
  • Analytics – This is the place for questions about analytics topics like B2BMA or campaigns & ROI reporting. Meet 1:1 without analytics experts to talk about your specific tracking needs.
  • Tech/Dev – Working with integrations or the Pardot API can be a challenge. Talk with our developers to discuss your more complex technical questions.
  • Scoring & Grading – If you’re not fully utilizing Pardot scoring or grading rules, then you’re missing out. Our geniuses are here to talk through or take a peek at your current setup.
  • General/Misc. – Have a question not related to any of the topics above? Sign up for one of our general sessions.

Reserve a Genius Bar time slot

Space is limited in the ParDreamin’ Genius Bar. Please claim your spot by making a reservation. 

You can make a reservation inside the ParDreamin’ conference platform. Navigate to the Genius Bar page and scroll down to the Reserve My Spot link.

genius bar reserve my spot

Birds of a Feather roundtable discussions

birds of a feather roundtable discussion

Birds of a Feather roundtable discussions are a great way to network and collaborate with like-minded individuals. In these informal sessions, the moderator will present five discussion questions before sending everyone to smaller breakout groups.

We’re limiting the size of these sessions so everyone has a chance to share. That means you have to grab a spot at the table to join the fun.

Reserve a Birds of a Feather time slot

Space is limited in the ParDreamin’ Birds of a Feather sessions. Please claim your spot by making a reservation. 

You can make a reservation inside the ParDreamin’ conference platform. Navigate to the Birds of a Feather page and click the graphic for the topic that resonates with you.

Explore Pardot career opportunities

Hey, we’re all here for one reason, right? Learning more about Pardot and B2B marketing automation is going to boost your career potential and open a world of opportunities. 

Here’s how you can focus on landing your dream job while you’re navigating through ParDreamin’.

Your Pardot Career Path: Panel Discussion

October 29, 2021 | 12 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET

Digital transformation entered the fast track last year. Companies are creating marketing operations roles for the first time while organizations are doubling down on new functionality and integrations. The job market for marketing operations professionals (MOPs) is exploding as a result. 

your pardot career path

At the same time, Pardot is leading the charge as one of the fastest growing products in the B2B marketing space. We’ve experienced more product innovations for Pardot in the last year than in the 5 years before it combined. 

In this panel discussion session, we’ll talk to people from the Pardot community who work in various industries and roles. They’ll share stories of their successes and failures, talk about the future of the job market and provide advice for advancing MOPs careers.

We invite attendees to come equipped with excellent questions for a Q&A session with our panelists.

The Spot for Pardot Jobs: Job Board

Find the marketing job you’ve been dreaming about. Inside the ParDreamin’ platform, you’ll see a Pardot Jobs Feed that’s filled with open MOPs opportunities.

Each listing includes a link you can use to apply for a job that interests you. Or, you can visit The Spot for Pardot Jobs to  browse other jobs.

The Spot for Pardot Jobs is a one-stop-shop for finding marketing-related jobs working with Pardot and Salesforce. You can also post jobs and connect with the perfect people for your team.

the spot for pardot jobs

Witness Pardot in Action: Industry Days

Pardot can look different for you depending on your industry. Learn about the differences and immerse yourself in real-life Pardot use cases that are specific to certain industries. 

Each conference day includes content to highlight diverse industry solutions.

Par-take in the Pardot Event of the Year

ParDreamin’ 2021 will be here before you know it. If you’ve already registered for ParDreamin’, then watch for an email that will give you early access to enter the ParDreamin’ platform. Get in there early so you can preview the schedule, register for special sessions, and build your perfect agenda.

If you haven’t registered, then get on it now! Remember, you can complete the form again if you got a free ticket but decided you’d like to add VIP access or a pre-conference training workshop.Click here to complete the registration form and get your ticket to ParDreamin’.

The post ParDreamin’ 2021: The Pardot World’s Big Virtual Gathering appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2021-10-15T18:14:50+00:00October 15th, 2021|Categories: Career, Events, Salesforce|

Pardot External Activity: What it is and how to use it

Pardot is delivering a whole new way to leverage your prospect data in the Salesforce Winter ‘22 release. Similar to webhooks, the new Pardot External Activities feature allows users to receive data from third-party systems and use the data in automations and Engagement Studio Programs. For instance, you could record when a prospect registers for a webinar, completes a survey, or watches a video, and then trigger automations from those actions.

Pardot external activities

There are 3 main steps we will be guiding you through in this post. 

  1. Register the Pardot External Activity types in Salesforce
  2. Integrate third-party systems with Pardot External Activity (we use the API here)
  3. Leverage the new External Activities inside Pardot

To use External Activities, you must have a Plus, Advanced, or Premium Pardot Account and be using the Pardot Lightning App (remember, the Pardot Classic app is being retired).

Register the External Activity types in Salesforce

Similar to how a Salesforce Custom Object needs to be defined before you can start creating records, we need to set up an Extension and the Extension’s Types before we can record External Activity on Prospect records. A Salesforce Administrator or a Marketing Setup Administrator will need to perform these steps. 

  1. Create a Marketing App Extension.
    1. Navigate to Setup > Marketing App Extensions.
    2. Select “New.”
marketing app extensions
  1. Name your new Extension.
  2. Select “Active in Automations.” This is what allows the extension to show up within Pardot.
  3. Select “Save.”
new marketing app extension
  1. Create an associated Activity.
    1. Select the “Related” tab.
    2. Select “New” next to Activity Types.
      • This will be an action your prospects perform, such as registering, attending, or being absent from a webinar.
      • Activity types cannot be shared across extensions, so make sure you create these activities for each extension!
      • Choose activity type names that make sense to your users.
new activity type
  1. Select “Active in Automations.”
  2. Select “Save.”
  3. Assign the extension to your Pardot Business Unit(s). 

You’ll need to perform this step even if you only have one Business Unit. Extensions can be assigned to multiple Business Units. 

  1. Within the Related tab, select “New” next to Business unit Assignments.
  2. Select the first Business Unit.
  3. Select “Save.”
  4. Repeat if you’re using multiple Business Units.
new business unit assignment

Before you build/set up this external activity, check to make sure the solution you are looking to integrate doesn’t have an existing solution built. They may handle this whole side of the process for you, or you may only need to assign the extension to your Pardot Business Unit(s).

Integrate third-party systems with Pardot External Activity

This step is where we’ll connect the third-party system that is collecting the prospect’s activities and extension we built above. This step will use the Pardot API and should be included in any vendor’s solution that supports External Activity. Given this is a brand new feature, odds are External Activity is not yet supported by existing integrations.

If it is not included, you should be able to glue things together yourself. Below are three guides that will help: 

Leveraging the new External Activities inside Pardot

Now that you’ve created an External Activity and have a solution to send the prospect’s activities to Pardot, “Prospect External Activity” will be available within Automations:

rules prospect external activity

And “External Activity” will be an available Trigger in Engagement Studio:

trigger external activity

The value for the External Activity refers to the individual event, webinar, etc. These values will change for each activity and will NOT be pre-populated, so you’ll want to ensure your users know the exact values to look for when using the External Activities in Pardot. You can use the semicolon operator for a list of values.

rule match all

Keep in mind

External Activities do not update the prospect’s last activity time stamp. That means external activities will not trigger a sync between SFDC and Pardot, and they should not be used to indicate the last time the prospect took an action.

rules match all

Finally, Automations will process External Activity data even if the external activity is inactive within Salesforce. So, if you deactivate an extension, you’ll want to review the Automations and Engagement Studio Programs that are using the External Activity. Consider using tags on your Pardot Automations to help you easily find and administer them.

Requirements

  • Plus, Advanced, or Premium editions of Pardot
  • Requires the Pardot Lightning App
  • Work with your Salesforce Admin or Marketing Setup Admin to configure this. 

External Activity helps Pardot customers send information to Pardot from external systems. While many things are possible with the Pardot API, this feature does not send information from Pardot to other systems. If this is a critical capability for your org, you can help impact the Pardot Roadmap by sharing your Product and feature ideas on the  Salesforce Idea Exchange

Want to keep learning about External Activity? Check out these two additional blog posts:

The post Pardot External Activity: What it is and how to use it appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2021-10-15T17:38:10+00:00October 15th, 2021|Categories: Campaigns, Data Management, Email Marketing, Integration, Pardot Business Units, Salesforce|

Launching Pardot Careers for Military Veterans

We have big news for military veterans who want to launch careers in the Salesforce ecosystem. The Sercante team is working with a nonprofit organization that’s well known in the Salesforce world to revamp its entire sales and marketing technology stack while enabling the expansion of Pardot training programs. 

Sercante is donating $140,000 in pro-bono company resources to Merivis, which is an organization that eases the transition to civilian life for military veterans and their families. Merivis provides resources for veterans and military spouses pursuing careers in cloud computing by coordinating learning cohorts that work to gain specialized skills and certifications. 

The pro-bono donation from Sercante will revolutionize Merivis fundraising efforts by equipping the team with a robust marketing strategy that has digital-first experiences built in. Sercante is also donating Pardot training programs to Merivis members who want to gain specialized technology skills to help them launch their new careers.

The ultimate goal of the donation is to get Merivis ready for rapid growth so they can continue to change lives for military families while addressing global talent shortages that make it difficult for companies and organizations to fill technical job roles.

 

Donation expands Pardot training programs for Merivis

The donation to Merivis is expanding training programs for military veterans and their spouses who want to work in Pardot as they launch their civilian careers. While Merivis has offered Pardot training to members in the past, the donation will expand training and create a 40-student cohort that will focus on all things Pardot. 

To design programming for the cohort, Sercante team members worked with the team at Merivis to combine existing Sercante Pardot training content with the Merivis method of training. 

The Merivis Pardot training cohort program includes:

  • Content from Salesforce Trailhead
  • One-on-one coaching
  • Virtual learning sessions
  • Soft-skills work to gain professional development competencies

Merivis Logo

Merivis prepares for rapid growth

The $140,000 donation to Merivis also includes a significant amount of technical support hours from the Sercante team. Merivis will use the support hours to increase the impact of their efforts using Pardot and the Salesforce platform, which will enable Merivis to scale their marketing strategy as the organization continues to grow.

Since 2015, Merivis founders Hector Perez, Kate Perez, and Joe Castro, have worked to build the nonprofit organization to provide real-world training to military veteran families as they transition to civilian careers in technology. More than 500 military veterans and their spouses have completed the training programs. 

Members of the Sercante team will apply their technical knowledge of Pardot and the Salesforce platform to configure and optimize CRM tools for Merivis. Optimizing the technology stack for the nonprofit is enabling Merivis to reach the right audience at the right time while saving time and money for the team.

“We’re a small team of people wearing many hats. Sercante is swooping in to optimize our marketing technology stack so we can increase our impact while using fewer resources. Ultimately, the donation will help us to grow as an organization and expand our transformational training programs to more individuals so they can gain in-demand skills to launch new technology careers,” said Kate Perez, co-founder and executive director of Merivis.

 

Get involved with Merivis

We highly recommend supporting Merivis however you can. Whether you’re a military veteran or someone who supports them or a member of the Salesforce community, there are a few ways to get involved with Merivis. 

 

Donate to Merivis

Merivis relies on donations and volunteers to keep everything running smoothly. So, making any type of donation goes a long way. You can choose from several different donation levels depending on your level of commitment.

Learn more about making a donation to Merivis here.

 

Join a Merivis Cohort

Here’s how military veterans can get in on the action.

You can apply to join a Merivis training cohort if you are a current service member, veteran, or military spouse. If approved, you’ll get between two to five weeks of virtual training, which typically requires 5-10 hours of commitment per week.

The goal for each cohort is to work toward Salesforce certifications, like the Pardot specialist or Pardot consultant certification.

Visit this page to learn more about joining a Merivis training cohort.

 

Be a Volunteer Coach

Volunteering is a great way to give back while learning more about yourself and the community. Merivis has a few ways to participate in the program as a volunteer:

  • Salesforce Coach and Content Lead – Mentor Merivis program members either in a group or individually.
  • Volunteer Instructor – Certified Salesforce professionals who volunteer to lead training sessions are essential to the Merivis program.
  • Resume and Mock Interviews – Veterans entering the workforce get help from volunteers to perfect their resume and practice interviewing skills.

Complete the form here to apply to volunteer for Merivis. You’ll bring more professionals into the Salesforce ecosystem while enabling military veterans to launch new careers — and probably meet incredible people while learning new skills along the way.

 

Tell us About Your Experience

Volunteering to teach others how to work in Pardot or other Salesforce clouds not only cements concepts in your mind, but it also provides a vital lifeline to people looking to break into the ecosystem.

Have you volunteered your Pardot skills for a nonprofit organization or Salesforce user group? Tell us about it in the comments below!

By |2021-10-19T14:02:20+00:00September 27th, 2021|Categories: Career, careers, Marketing Automation, Marketing Operations, Pardot, Pardot Training, Salesforce|

How To Automate Salesforce Campaign Naming Conventions

Campaign naming conventions are a must have. They keep your campaigns organized, improve reporting, and provide key information about the campaign at a glance. However, campaign naming conventions can only be helpful if they are used — and used consistently. 

Enforcing naming conventions is tricky because it typically relies on the users to remember the order, abbreviations, variations by type etc. Without good governance, your campaigns will end up having disparities.

Here’s an example of possible disparities: 

Instead of continuing to rely on your users remembering your naming conventions, we can automate this process with APEX.

But First

Before you start automating your campaign names, ensure the data that goes into your naming conventions is on the campaign object. For instance, my naming convention is YYYY_MM_Campaign Type_Description/Name, so I’ll need to make sure the following fields are required:

  1. Start Date 

Year and Month will be pulled from this field

  1. Campaign Type 

Create a picklist field on the campaign object for your different campaign types such as webinar, email, trade show, etc.

  1. Short Name 

Create a text field on the campaign object for the user specified description/name. The user will only enter data into the “Short Name” field, the default field “Campaign Name” will be completed by our APEX trigger.

You’ll need to do a quick calculation to see how long your new Campaign “Short Name” field can be. The default “Campaign Name” field can only be 80 characters, so you’ll need to calculate:

calculating character count for naming convention

X=58

The Campaign “Short Name” field can be up to 58 characters.

To ensure this is clear to your users, add Help Text to both the “Short Name” and “Campaign Name” fields.

new campaign

Automating the Salesforce Campaign Name

Next, we’ve created a little Salesforce DX project that you can take a look at to see an example of how this can be done: https://github.com/sercante-llc/campaign-name-enforcer

The project includes the Custom Field, Trigger code and the APEX Test code as well.

The CampaignNameTrigger is how we can enforce the Name of the Campaign. In this code, we see that we are using the date format “YYYY_MM_” to get us started, which will write out the 4 digit year and 2 digit month. Other formats are available.

trigger CampaignNameTrigger on Campaign (before insert, before update) {
    if(Trigger.isBefore && Trigger.isInsert) {
        //we will set the Name of the Campaign based on other fields,
        //overwriting whatever was placed there before
        for(Campaign campaign : Trigger.new) {
            campaign.Name = 
                Datetime.newInstanceGmt(campaign.StartDate, 
                    Time.newInstance(0,0,0,0)).formatGmt('YYYY_MM_')
                + campaign.Type + '_' + campaign.Short_Name__c;
            if(campaign.Name.length() > 80) //make sure length is good
                //if it isn't, trim it down to size
                campaign.Name = campaign.Name.substring(0, 80); 
        }
    }
    else if(Trigger.isBefore && Trigger.isUpdate) {
        for(Campaign campaign : Trigger.new) {
            Campaign oldCampaign = Trigger.oldMap.get(campaign.Id);
            //first lets see if anyone else tried changing the name
            if(campaign.Name != oldCampaign.Name) {
                //we want to prevent that
                campaign.addError('You can\'t change the Name directly.');
                continue;
            }
            //ok, we are safe to set the correct value now
            campaign.Name = 
            Datetime.newInstanceGmt(campaign.StartDate, 
                Time.newInstance(0,0,0,0)).formatGmt('YYYY_MM_')
            + campaign.Type + '_' + campaign.Short_Name__c;
            if(campaign.Name.length() > 80) //make sure length is good
                //if it isn't, trim it down to size
                campaign.Name = campaign.Name.substring(0, 80); 
        }
    }
}

This trigger will also trim the final campaign name down to 80 characters, if needed. 

Once implemented, the above APEX Trigger will fire whenever a Campaign is created and/or edited. 

final view

This is a subtle reminder that this year’s ParDreamin virtual conference starts on October 27th! Register here.

Want to automate your campaigns even further? Check out how you can auto-generate and enforce campaign member statuses by campaign type.

Thanks to Adam Erstelle for contributing to this post.

The post How To Automate Salesforce Campaign Naming Conventions appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2021-09-21T15:09:57+00:00September 21st, 2021|Categories: Campaigns, Data Management, Salesforce|

Sercante is the first Salesforce-recognized Pardot PDO

We have big news to share. Sercante is the first Salesforce-recognized Pardot PDO!

As a Salesforce Pardot product development outsourcer (PDO) partner, we support the development of custom solutions that other vendors own and maintain.

While the Pardot PDO recognition is new to us, we’ve helped companies develop Pardot extensions and integrations since 2018. This includes our own suite of products.

 

What is a Salesforce PDO Partner?

Salesforce customers who don’t have the CRM expertise or resources can turn to Salesforce-recognized consulting partners. Most Salesforce ISVs have in-house developer teams to tackle complex customizations and integrations.

Consulting partners help with everything from product ideation, development, support services, and even sales and marketing consulting and services. 

Salesforce PDO Partners complete at least one project with any PDO specialization with a Salesforce Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score greater than 4.2/5.0.

In a way, PDO partners focus on the future of Salesforce by extending platform functionality faster than Salesforce can!

They types of projects PDO partners work with include:

  • AppExchange Listing, Trials and Demo
  • Architecture & UX Design
  • Development/QA/Release Management/Security Review
  • Ideation/Business Model/Value Prop
  • Marketing Support
  • Package Review & Optimization
  • Product Support

Additionally, Salesforce PDO partners understand the complexities that go into creating secure apps. 

The Salesforce security review process can be tricky to navigate. So it’s helpful to engage a PDO partner for their experience with the process. PDO partners can save time and avoid the headache of multiple security reviews.

Take all of that and layer on Pardot

Sercante gained the recognition of being the first Pardot PDO partner after we helped a number of companies build integrations with and extensions to Pardot. We also maintained an average 4.9 CSAT score on top of getting the work done.

And that’s the main difference with Pardot PDOs. We are expert-level consultants and developers who know how to bend the Pardot API to our will. 

 

Sercante Labs is where the Pardot PDO magic happens

The PDO side of the Sercante house lives within Sercante Labs. 

Operating as an independent division of the top Pardot System Integrator (SI), Sercante, Sercante Labs is led by VP of Engineering, Adam Erstelle, and VP of Product, Mike Fazio, with investment from Sercante founder Andrea Tarrell.

Mike explained the role of Sercante Labs in the Salesforce ecosystem.

“The vision of Sercante Labs is three-fold. One, we want to help ISVs build awesome extensions to Pardot and to bring more value-added integrations to the Pardot ecosystem. Second, we are building our own suite of products to continue to expand the power of Pardot. And third, we are focused on fostering meaningful relationships with the Salesforce ISV ecosystem in order to make sure we can collectively deliver a full package of useful products and services to our customers,” Mike said. 

The Sercante Labs division of the company is divided into three segments: 

Product Development

We build products and packaged solutions to support our clients’ needs. 

Prospect Updater is a solution we’ve created over the past few years based on real-life needs of our clients who wanted to automate their way to cleaner data. Additionally, we have a full suite of apps available and others in the works.

 

Product Development Outsourcing (PDO)

We support the design, build, and go-to-market strategy of custom Pardot integrations and Salesforce AppExchange solutions that are owned and managed by other vendors. 

 

ISV & External Partnerships

We interpret existing third-party technology options and areas for growth to core Sercante business. 

We hatched our Pardot-Zoom integration from this idea. The integration we built is more robust than the one Zoom currently offers.

 

Sercante Labs materializes Pardot dreams

Demand for extending Pardot functionality is growing rapidly as marketing teams use automations and integrations to make life easier for everyone.

“We used to say ‘wouldn’t it be nice if Pardot _____’. Now we get out there, build those solutions and share them with others,” Adam said about the founding of Labs.

Recognition from Salesforce as the first Pardot PDO solidifies the work Sercante Labs has done already and enables us to venture even further into uncharted Pardot waters.

“And it’s great that we now have the recognition to prove we can help others take action on their Pardot app ideas as well,” Adam concluded.

If you’re interested in our products or PDO services, drop us a line. We’d love to help however we can.

5 Fab Functions of Salesforce Formulas

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “formula”? If you are anything like my 13-year old daughter, the quadratic formula and other dreaded mathematical functions come to mind. While formulas in Salesforce can be used to do calculations, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Below are five cool things that you can do with formulas.

Keep Data Clean

Is poor data derailing your marketing efforts and making your reporting impossible?

Hey – I’ve been there and feel your pain. Fortunately, formulas in validation rules can save the day!

Here’s a good example. Let’s say that you are in charge of marketing a product to individuals in the USA and Canada and that state or province is needed for your marketing segmentation. Your organization also does some business in other parts of the world, so state is not required when entering leads into Salesforce. Formulas to the rescue!

The simple formula below checks the country of leads upon entry and will not let the record be saved if the country is USA or Canada and the state field is blank.

Nothing too fancy, but effective. When users try to save the record with missing data, they are greeted with a friendly reminder at the top of the page.

Build Picklist Dependencies

One of my favorite Pardot form functions is dependent fields. This feature allows you to shorten forms and only show select fields based on the response to a dependent field. You can build very similar dependencies in Salesforce using formulas.

Let’s put our marketing hat back on for a moment and consider the situation below. As the marketing leader of an organization, you know the personas of your customers quite well and have determined that job function is one of the most critical factors in identifying future buyers. Based on customer analysis, you have created picklists in Salesforce to capture this information in a consistent manner when leads are entered (nice job!). You also had the foresight to include “other” as an option in your picklist to capture titles that may not be in your list or may be associated with future product releases. 

After creating “Job Function” as a required field (with picklist values) and creating a non-required “Other Job Function” field, the formula below can be added as a validation rule. This rule will require that the “Other Job Function” field be completed prior to records being saved if the “Other” option is selected in in the picklist.

Here’s the error message that users will see if “Other” is selected and the “Other Job Title” field is not populated.

Add Images

If your Salesforce org is any like the ones that I work in, there is a lot of data on your lead and contact page layouts. While the data is needed and serves a purpose, finding key information can often be a challenge. We’ve all heard the expression “a picture is with a thousand words” – you can leverage this concept by adding images with formulas. 

The example below is used to apply visual indicators based on lead rating. If the lead is Hot, five stars are displayed. If the lead is Cold, only one star is displayed.

Simplify Complexity

One of our core values at Secante is to “simplify complexity” and formulas can help us do that too. Sometimes we don’t need all the data presented on a page layout. The information needed can be conveyed through the humble checkbox.

Let’s say that your organization has a list of target accounts that are treated differently than other accounts. Asking the sales team to memorize a list of accounts that may be in a state of perpetual change, is just not scalable. However, the addition of a simple checkbox on the contact page layout to serve a visual indicator would easily address the need.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.png

Simplify Other Formulas

We’ve started off with some pretty simple formulas, but the reality is that formulas in the real world tend to get much more complex. In this example from the Advanced Admin Trail, a text formula named Case_Category _ _c was created to color code cases based on the length of time that they have been open.


While technically accurate, this formula has a lot of redundant components. Sticking with the “simplify complexity” theme that we mentioned earlier, a helper formula can be used to make this formula a bit more efficient.

In this case, the logic for calculating the case’s age can be defined in another formula called Case_Age_In_Days_ _c. We can then insert this formula field into our original formula and eliminate the need to do the age calculations within the “IF” statements. The result is a streamlined formula that’s much easier to read and understand.

Learn More

Check out these great resources from Salesforce to build and expand your formula skills.

By |2020-05-02T17:45:03+00:00May 2nd, 2020|Categories: CRM, Salesforce, Uncategorized|

The Curse of the Unruly Import

Every year, when the date in the corner of my screen turns to October, I still get the chills thinking of it. No amount of pumpkin spice latte can warm my bones; no cozy fire can break the cold grip it still has on my very soul.

But here I am, telling my story, hoping someone can avoid the Curse.

It was a Monday, and was to be a momentous day for at least one person at our firm – our new CEO, whose email announcement would go out to our entire database in a news release later that morning. Not trusting this task to anyone else, it fell on my shoulders, as leader of our nascent marketing operations group.

The first email I saw that morning was from our Northeast Regional Sales manager, Dan. Timestamp: 2:24 a.m. He’d been at a tradeshow Friday and apparently in addition to free pens, he also got insomnia.

From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]m
Subject: URGENT IMPORT NEEDED

Hey – got all these leads from the Widgets and Witches show on Friday in Salem. Can you upload them AS damn P in the morning so we can send out a follow up? These are hot leads man and I need to make quota.

Despite it being Monday, despite the fact I’d not had a drop of coffee yet, I opened the file. What I beheld cannot be described to any mortal without instilling fear and loathing into even the purest of hearts.

It was a data horror show.

Dan had obviously been under the influence of some kind of drug when he gathered these leads. There was a “Fullname” column. The first 10 emails were either “[email protected]” or “[email protected]” Job titles were a mix of all caps or no caps. There seemed to be a nonsensical amalgamation of random data across columns – leads from Atlanta had Connecticut as the state. New York’s famous zip code appeared in the same row as a lead from Wichita. It then hit me like Frankenstein’s bolt of lightning: HE HAD SORTED THE COLUMNS INCORRECTLY!!

I immediately popped my head over my cubicle and yelled in Dan’s general direction, “Good GOD man, what did you do??!?!!”

That part, thankfully, was in my head.

I was told this later by marketing colleagues who’d gathered nearby, drawn by the incessant tap-tap-tapping of my pen against the desktop.

Coincidentally – or not – it was then that Jim made his presence known by Slacking me good morning. Given the state of our industry, Jim, the latest member to join my team, was green. Proverbial wet behind the ears. Listed Mailchimp as a skill on his resume. I had no choice but to groom him and teach him the Ways of the (Marketing Operations) Force.

Hey dude – saw that email from Dan. No worries – I took care of it. Happy Monday!

I glanced again at the email. DAN HAD CC’D JIM. My fingers took to the keyboard with the fury of a thousand scorned ghosts:

What do you mean you took care of it???

His reply seemed to take hours to travel the tubes.

Dan came to me this morning. He said he’d screwed up the sorting, and also told me that he was worried we already had some of the people in Salesforce. So, I just downloaded our global database, did some Excel magic to match everyone, and BAM – we’re all set! .

Bing again:

Even ticked the “global” box

Global box? What global box?

Bing: Another Slack. From the VP of Marketing. The urgency of her words seeming to pierce my monitor. Was the news release ready to go, she inquired? I replied confidently:

You bet – I scheduled it before I left on Friday. Sending at 11:30am.

“Scheduled it”…I remember this vaguely from Friday. Deep in the mid-afternoon torpor of a post-bar-b-que lunch, I decided help my future Monday self and take care of the email for him.

Excellent – thanks. Had a bad weekend! Just want this to go right.

A curious tone and surprising emotional confession from a superior? Maybe this will line me up for a promotion…

My daydream ending, I decided I’d check the news release email before explaining the finer points of data integrity to Jim.

Under Lists, I couldn’t believe what my optic nerve was relying to my brain:

Company News (0)

Zero? Zero? How can it be zero? My heart racing, thumping, pounding from my chest I darted out of my cubicle and over to Jim’s.

“Tell me about the global box?? What global box did you tick?” I screamed, grabbing him by the V-neck of his office casual golf shirt.

“The box to update stuff globally when you’re importing prospects!” he said. “The one in Pardot!!”

“The one under ‘select action’??!?!” I yelled.

“Uh, I think so,” he said, looking to the ground, searching his brain.

“That was the global opt-out option! YOU’VE OPTED OUT OUR ENTIRE DATABASE!!! OUR ENTIRE DATABASE!!!” I sunk dramatically to the floor, out of breath, a pressure on my chest I was unfamiliar with. IT WAS THE CURSE.

When I awoke, it was well-past 11:30am. The news release that should’ve gone out, did not. In the end, a call to support was made. The data, restored. The email went out the next day. Jim was made to take a remedial course in Excel and was never allowed to import leads again.

BUT IT WAS SCARY. For a hot minute.

And each year on that day, no one is allowed to import anything into Pardot on that day, lest the Curse of The Unruly Import strike again!

Don’t be a BCC Ghoul this Halloween…

This story comes to you from the deepest, darkest depths of a Marketing Operations professional’s soul. It’s a tale that one wishes to forget. The most horrifying surprise of all surprises.

As a Marketing Operations professional, you work tirelessly all year to ensure every email that goes out on your company’s behalf is perfect. On brand, technically formatted correctly for delivery, developed for optimal conversions and metrics, following a standard naming convention, structured for ease of reporting, the list goes on – and that list is also opted in, valid and compliant.

Processes are in place and most people, even the werewolves of the group, tend to follow the established processes.

Then, one dark and spooky Halloween morning, you receive an email to your inbox. Huh, it looks like one of the branded templates you usually send out of your marketing automation platform, but why is the header reduced to 100px wide? Where is the formatted company footer? This isn’t the approved font color and weight for our headers. Wait a second, this isn’t addressed to me, it’s to Chad. [GASP!] CHAD!

As you recall, you replied to Chad’s request that we can’t email a significant portion of his German contact list because they have not confirmed their opt in to receive Marketing communication. Sending to them would be a GDPR violation. He also did not like that he couldn’t change the headers to a different color because it wasn’t approved according to your company’s brand standards. But he replied with a cheeky “You’re awesome. Thanks so much for your help!” and moved on.

Freaking Chad. Don’t be Chad.

It is never ok to paste a branded, formatted template into Outlook, tweak it and BCC your entire audience. Marketing Operations is here to help you be a Marketing superhero! They have worked with creative to perfect the template – EVEN FOR OUTLOOK RECIPIENTS. They have read the ever so exciting GDPR documentation to ensure your company’s Marketing efforts are in compliance. They have worked hard to ensure your sender reputation is maintained and held to the highest standard.

Don’t be the ghoul that ruins your team’s Halloween this year. Don’t be Chad.

By |2019-10-15T20:16:16+00:00October 15th, 2019|Categories: CRM, Email Design, Marketing Automation, Marketing Horror, Marketing Operations|Tags: , , |

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.

“What?”

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

“Yes, but–”

“IT’S THE EMAILS, JIM! IT’S THE EMAILS!”

“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: , , |