4 Things to Clean in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) for Faster Processing Times

Nothing is more frustrating than when you experience a slowdown in your Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) org. 

I just need this one Dynamic List to run, why is it taking so long!?! 

These slow downs are frustrating. But they’re typically a sign that you need to archive old, continuously running, processes and/or optimize how you are using the platform. 

The following best practices will help keep your Pardot org running efficiently. Many of these strategies are going to be more relevant to large orgs with 1 million+ prospects. But this information can be used to help increase processing times in Pardot orgs of any size.

1. Clean your Dynamic Lists

Dynamic lists are constantly running, matching and unmatching prospects as they fit or do not fit criteria. Old Dynamic Lists that are no longer matching prospects, or Dynamic Lists that are not actively being used can be a big strain on your system. 

Salesforce recommends a limit of 1,000 Dynamic Lists per Pardot org. Also, if you have millions of Prospects, consider reviewing Dynamic Lists matching over 5 million prospects to see if these lists can be broken into smaller pieces. 

I like to CSV export my Dynamic Lists so I can sort them by Updated Date and look at the oldest ones first. You can also sort by number of Prospects to tackle your biggest Dynamic Lists.

2. Check those Automation Rules

To keep things running smoothly, limit your automation rules to 5 million actions per day. This is a lot more than I see most Pardot orgs needing or using, but it doesn’t hurt to review your repeating automation rules and ensure the “Repeat Rule” settings are set appropriately to your needs. 

I also recommend reviewing which Automation Rules are set to run in real time. Although Pardot can handle this, it is still not recommended to use this for every rule. I find most of the time a Real Time Automation Rule can instead be replaced by a Completion Action. 

3. Only keep the best Prospects

The more Prospects you have in your Pardot Org, the more processing your org needs to do. Cleaning up unwanted or unneeded Prospects is a great way to cut down the number of processing requests quickly and our Junk Data in Your Pardot Org and 7 Ways to Clean Your Mailable List in Pardot blog posts have some great tips on how to do so. 

Dynamic Lists and Automation Rules are also going to look at every Prospect in your org to see if they match criteria. If you can’t cut down on the number of Prospects in your org, consider adding criteria that will exclude Prospects from recurring automations. 

For example, if I am creating a dynamic list for an email send, I don’t have to include the criteria “Prospect email status isn’t Opted Out” because any Prospects who have Opted Out won’t be sent the email anyway. However, including this in my Dynamic List criteria means Pardot can rule out that chunk of Prospects and process by request faster. 

If you exclude the same set of Prospects from most of your emails and/or automations, consider creating a “Master Suppression List” that can easily be referenced. 

4. Optimize your Engagement Studio Programs (ESPs)

Spread out your wait steps

ESPs can perform a ton of actions on a ton of prospects. Keep in mind that an ESP performs an action per node per prospect. For example, if my ESP starts with 

  1. Send Email
  2. Apply Tag
  3. Check if Grade is B- or above

And I’m sending 5,000 Prospects through this ESP, that is 15,000 processing requests right off the bat. Wait steps can be used to space out the amount of processing one ESP needs to do per day. 

For example, going from this:

To this:

There are still 7 days between the 1st and 2nd email sends, but the processing requests are spread out over the wait period rather than happening all at once. 

Use Complex Rules

Complex Rules are another great way to streamline your ESPs. Rather than have multiple Rule nodes

Combine your rules into one Complex Rule node to simplify your ESP.

Consolidate Branches

Consolidating ESP branches is another great way to cut down on the number of nodes an ESP has and therefore the number of requests it has to process. I find a lot of times users forget that ESPs can branch out, then back in, then back out again etc. When you don’t consolidate branches, your ESP will get very wide and updating them can be a big headache. 

For example, moving from this:

To this:

A little Pardot org cleanup goes a long way

These are just some of the strategies you can employ to keep your Pardot org running smoothly, especially if you have a large org that is tackling numerous processes everyday. 

Regularly auditing your org and Pardot processes is not only going to improve processing times, but it will make the system easier to use overall. 

What other tactics do you use to keep your org clean? Tell us in the comments!

Original article: 4 Things to Clean in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) for Faster Processing Times

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

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By |2022-05-10T14:54:08+00:00May 10th, 2022|Categories: Engagement Studio, Getting Started, Marketing Automations, revive, Setup & Admin|

Nonprofits on Salesforce: How to leverage Pardot for marketing and more

Nonprofits that are using Salesforce have much to gain by incorporating Pardot into their marketing strategy. 

But, isn’t Pardot only meant for teams following a B2B marketing strategy? While Pardot is built for B2B marketers, lots of nonprofits follow the business-to-business marketing model to deliver a diverse range of services to communities.

Here’s how nonprofits of many shapes and sizes use Pardot to drive marketing, fundraising, and volunteer management strategies.

Why use Pardot instead of other marketing automation platforms?

Missions of all nonprofit organizations of the world are as diverse as the communities they serve. With that in mind, the marketing automation platform you choose must meet the specific needs of your team. You may already be using an email marketing platform like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or HubSpot. And migrating to Pardot may be the thing you’ve been looking for to scale your marketing efforts and open departmental silos at your organization.

Pardot is a lead generation and nurturing tool that falls under the Salesforce umbrella.

Here are three main questions you should ask yourself when determining if Pardot is right for your organization.

  1. Does your organization already have a Salesforce org in place?
  2. What is your marketing team trying to achieve?
  3. What resources are available to your organization?

Take a few minutes to consider these questions. Pardot is a powerful tool, but it can only make teams successful when it’s the right tool for the job.

Pardot for nonprofits on Salesforce

If your organization is already a Salesforce customer, then using Pardot for marketing may be the right choice for you. Pardot is built on the Salesforce platform. That means, it’s fairly easy to pass data from Pardot to other Salesforce clouds that are connected to your org.

One of the advantages of using a combination of Salesforce clouds is the ability to view Salesforce as the single source of truth when checking on the health of your organization. It also makes it easy to gather valuable reporting data you can use to show the results of your work and the impact your organization has on the community.

You can see Pardot data inside other Salesforce products, like Sales Cloud, Nonprofit Success Pack, Nonprofit Cloud. Philanthropy Cloud, and Education Cloud. This creates a connection between marketing and other teams at your organization, whether they’re fundraising, sales, or volunteer recruiting teams. 

For example, content from Pardot is available inside Salesforce. That means your marketing team can control branding and content usage in other departments and create consistent experiences for everyone.

However, you can still use Pardot at your nonprofit organization if you’re not on Salesforce. Check out this article to learn more.

What Pardot does for marketing teams at nonprofits

Pardot works great for small teams, which means it may be ideal for smaller nonprofits with limited resources. Beyond connecting teams that use Salesforce by eliminating data silos, Pardot provides nonprofits with the tools they need to nurture prospects throughout long engagement cycles.

Pardot Dashboard View

Marketers at nonprofits use Pardot for many reasons. But here are the main ones:

Fundraising and Donor Communications

Many nonprofits rely on individuals and companies to provide the funding they need to accomplish their organizational mission. Pardot allows nonprofits to track engagement with prospective and existing donors so they can see the results of specific marketing campaigns. They can adjust their marketing strategies to focus on the types of campaigns that result in the greatest fundraising success.

The engagements these nonprofits track are related to content and email marketing efforts. Nonprofit organizations leverage their website, social media, Pardot landing pages, paid advertisements and other marketing channels to generate interest in their organization. 

Pardot collects engagement data as people interact with the organization’s content. After nurturing prospective donors for an extended period of time, fundraising teams can use the engagement data reporting to pinpoint the most interested individuals and companies. Then, they can swoop in at the perfect time because they know when prospective donors are most likely to make a donation. And, they have rich data they can use for impact reporting and budget justification.

Volunteer Recruitment and Management

Engagement studio program

Recruiting volunteers and managing the day-to-day operations of a nonprofit organization is no easy task. In general, the teams at nonprofits wear many hats and do what they do more out of passion than pay grade. That’s where Pardot comes in. It’s a versatile tool built to ease the burden for small marketing teams with limited resources.

Pardot can help to recruit and manage volunteers for nonprofits similar to the way it tracks prospective donors. You can pull volunteers into Pardot by uploading their information through a .csv file or syncing to a custom field in Salesforce. 

You can also gather prospective volunteer data in Pardot. To do that, you create a conversion point, like a form on a ‘Become a Volunteer’ page on your website. Then, create a Pardot campaign for that form so you know people in that campaign have interest in volunteering for your organization.

Once they decide to start volunteering, you can use Pardot for onboarding and to keep them informed and engaged after they join. Pardot Engagement Studio allows you to create automated journeys for your volunteers. Then, they get the communications they need in the right place and at the right time based on engagement activity.

You can even track whether or not volunteers are getting proper training. For example, using a Pardot Engagement Studio Program, you can send emails containing training sessions recorded through Zoom over a 30-day period for new volunteers as they join your organization. The Pardot-Zoom integration allows you to see whether or not new volunteers watch the training videos. Then, you can understand the effectiveness of the training and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Fundraising Events

Nonprofits use fundraising events to get the community involved by promoting a culture of giving. These events are often the culmination of all the hard work teams endure throughout the year, and they drive budgetary allocations for the entire organization. 

Things have changed in recent years for nonprofit organizations that use event-based fundraising tactics. Giving the option to participate in events virtually has become commonplace and essential for many organizations. That’s where Pardot becomes a game-changer.

Pardot is ideal for all types of events — in person, virtual, or hybrid. You can track prospect engagement in all of these situations using Pardot, and marketing automation makes it easy to build a journey that builds excitement while providing essential information for your event.

But how can you track in-person event attendance, you ask? Since Pardot is built on the Salesforce platform, you can enlist the help of a Salesforce developer to build custom apps. Then, in-person attendees can use the app to check in to the event and specific presentations. Or, you can use a third-party event platform to host a hybrid event. This allows you to pull engagement data from the platform into Pardot through integrations.

Resources for nonprofits marketing with Pardot

Now that you know how Pardot works for marketing teams at nonprofits, you can start thinking about your next steps. Evaluate your current marketing processes to identify what’s working, what isn’t, and where there are opportunities for improvement. Then, you can start to explore Pardot to weigh it against other marketing automation tools available and see if it’s a good fit.

Keep it going with these resources to learn more about nonprofit marketing with Pardot:

Tell us how your organization is handling marketing and donor communications in the comments. And reach out to Sercante to see if Pardot is the right option to take your organizational goals to the next level.

The post Nonprofits on Salesforce: How to leverage Pardot for marketing and more appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

How to Empower Higher Ed Marketing Teams with Pardot

Higher ed institutions around the world are embracing a digital future with the shift to marketing with Pardot. 

The traditional way of reaching prospective students, donors, and community partners is being replaced by personalized digital marketing tactics. And Pardot is the key to connecting institutional departments while providing right-time and right-message marketing.

Enter Pardot. Marketing teams at higher education institutions that are also Salesforce customers can finally feel like they’re part of the action. That’s because Pardot is built on the Salesforce platform, which enables marketing teams to connect their data and content to other departments at their institution. And Pardot allows marketers to generate valuable leads, nurture relationships, and convert more prospects throughout the power of marketing automation.

This is how Pardot empowers marketers working in higher education to reach their goals.

Pardot Connects Higher Ed Marketers to Other Departments

Have you ever had the feeling that your marketing team is on an island? Well, if the college or university you’re at already has an existing Salesforce org in place, then you’re in luck.

Pardot is a Salesforce product. That means it connects seamlessly with other Salesforce clouds in place at your institution. You can pass data (e.g., prospect activity) and content (e.g. email and landing page templates) for better cross-departmental collaboration.

Pardot has a cloud product for just about any type of company and organization. That includes clouds different departments in higher education may be using already. For example, here’s how the technology stack may look for a mid-size regional university.

higher ed marketing with pardot

Prospects get better experiences with higher ed institutions through Pardot

Pardot is great for B2B companies because they have a long sales cycle. This cycle includes lead generation, nurturing, and multiple opportunities and sales over a long period of time. Many institutions of higher education operate in a similar fashion.

Current students may come from a long line of repeat students and family legacy. 

They may engage with your institution by attending as undergraduate students. While at your university, they require student success resources so they keep coming back each semester. After graduation, they may slowly start giving back as their earnings increase each year. And finally, their children will make it to your mailing lists as the time to look at colleges arrives.

Pardot ensures a consistent and personalized experience for everyone in your funnel. And it gives you the opportunity to tailor your efforts based on tangible insights through engagement activity tracking.

Here’s how it works.

Lead Generation

You create a conversion point, like a form on a ‘Schedule a Visit’ page on your website. Then, create a Pardot campaign for that form so you know people in that campaign have interest in visiting your university campus. 

Pardot creates a prospect record for everyone who completes the form. Then, you’ll start to see engagement activity on the prospect record as they interact with your content (e.g., web pages and emails) thanks to the power of web tracking cookies.

Prospect Nurturing and Student Retention

pardot engagement studio example
Pardot Engagement Studio Program Example

Once you get prospects into your funnel, the goal is to keep them engaged so your institution is top of mind when they finally make a decision about where to go to school or spend their annual donation budget. 

You can accomplish that by creating content that provides value for your audience — whether it’s educational, entertaining, or inspirational. Your content marketing strategy will include a robust website with rich content resources. Then, you can use Pardot to track the effectiveness of your content efforts.

Then, you can start nurturing your prospects by sending them on personalized and automated content journeys with Pardot Engagement Studio.

You can even use Pardot to drive student retention initiatives. For example, your team can create an Engagement Studio Program that delivers wellness and educational resources to current students. You can use the data from that program to identify students who need outreach from a school advisor or administrator.

Marketing Reporting

Higher ed institutions are feeling the crunch when it comes to scaling marketing efforts with limited budgetary resources. And nothing helps to justify budget allocation more than solid marketing reporting metrics. 

Pardot provides a set of built-in reports, which are the day-to-day reports for marketing teams. From emails to forms, these reports show the performance of marketing assets created in Pardot, and they allow you to monitor and make adjustments to assets. 

Salesforce reports and dashboards allow you to customize your reports. Additionally, it can be the first step in helping to align the marketing team with other departments within the college or university. 

That means, you can sync data from Pardot into Salesforce, such as data collected from forms. Then, you can create Salesforce reports using the data and start using shared marketing and advancement or student recruiting dashboards. 

Resources about Pardot for higher education marketers

Understanding why your college, university, or higher education institution should migrate to Pardot is the easier part. Convincing your colleagues and leadership team may be another story. 

One thing’s for sure. Your marketing team can finally feel like part of the greater team by migrating to Pardot if the rest of the institution is operating on the Salesforce platform.

Learn everything you need to know to make the case and upgrade your marketing strategy for the all-digital future by checking out these resources.

Thinking about making the switch? Tell us about your current marketing strategy in the comments. And reach out to Sercante when you’re ready to implement Pardot at your higher education institution.

The post How to Empower Higher Ed Marketing Teams with Pardot appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

ParDreamies Best In Show Pardot Award Winner: Destined

The first-ever ParDreamies awards, which were presented during the ParDreamin’ 2021 VIP After Party, celebrate solutions marketing and IT professionals built to reach their goals using Pardot. These solutions are especially impressive because they each rose to solve a specific challenge while utilizing technology to automate their way to greatness. Winners of the ParDreamin’ awards get bragging rights for their team and company, a sweet swag pack, and a fancy trophy to remind them how awesome they are every day.

ParDreamies Categories

The ParDreamin’ team created five categories to honor the teams behind the magic:

  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

Here’s the solution that won the ParDreamies 2021 Pardot award for the Best in Show category, which recognizes the overall winner among all ParDreamies award submissions. The ParDreamies Best in Show award went to Destined, which was submitted by Tammy Begley and Claudia Hoops.

Best in Show with Destined

Understanding who your prospects are and how they might interact with your brand presents a challenge to even the most seasoned marketers. The team at Destined saw opportunities in that challenge.

The ParDreamies Best in Show award goes to the team at Destined for building a fun icon-driven landing page their prospects use to profile themselves. Prospects use the landing page to provide information about themselves so Destined can send them on a personalized journey through a Pardot Engagement Studio Program.

Quick Facts:

  • Automates prospect profiling
  • Enables easy prospect segmentation
  • Empowers prospects to tell brands what they’re looking for
  • Combines Pardot forms, landing pages, scoring and grading, and engagement studio programs

About the Award-Winning Solution

Destined is a premier Salesforce consulting partner based in Australia. They do great work in the Pardot space and have several amazing marketing champions. 

With a client from the property industry, the team at Destined workshopped the criteria of an ideal client and put a Pardot grading profile together. As a result, we built an engaging, icons-driven profiling landing page for prospects to self-identify and build their own profiles. Anyone who signs up for the newsletter is added to a welcome journey within Pardot Engagement Studio. The objective of this journey is to build rapport and trust so the prospect profiles can grade them.

They built an easy and engaging way to automate the collection of information rather than for a sales team member to ask these questions over the phone to then find out that the person they are talking to wasn’t ready to buy. 

Challenge the team wanted to solve

Australia’s property industry is very competitive. As a property developer, you want to collect as much information as possible about your potential buyers. It is imperative that sales teams can quickly follow up with clients who are ready to buy, have finance approved, and are high budget investors. 

At the same time, it likely makes sense to send prospects who are still saving and might be looking to buy in 12+ months on an educational nurture campaign. The profiling page automates the gathering of this information in an engaging way.

Hurdles they overcame during the project

There were no major hurdles to overcome other than coming up with the idea in the first place on how to build an engaging landing page that prospects actually want to complete. 

Pardot forms and landing pages helped the team to build an engaging profile page. They used Pardot’s profile feature to build the criteria of the property developer’s ideal client profile. Then, they built automation rules to trigger the grading. And finally, they built a welcome journey as a Pardot Engagement Studio Program with the profile page as a call to action to gather the information from our prospects.

Results after implementing the solution

To date, the team has seen a 34% conversion rate on average. This is for customers who have been put onto the welcome journey and who have profiled themselves and have met the MQL threshold of being the right client.

Learn more and keep it going

The project was a huge success, but it took several people and a great deal of expertise and resources to make it happen. Here are resources you can use to replicate the project in your own Pardot instance or get inspiration to do something similar.

Going to try this on your own? Tell us about it in the comments or reach out to Sercante for help along the way. 

The post ParDreamies Best In Show Pardot Award Winner: Destined appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

Implementing Pardot External Activities Natively in Salesforce

Pardot is delivering a whole new way to leverage your prospect data in the Salesforce Winter ‘22 release. Our earlier blog post covers this new feature and how to set up the Pardot External Activity in Salesforce so any third-party service can begin sending these activities to Pardot via API. This post explains what third-party services need to do to send these activities to Salesforce using Salesforce declarative solutions (Flow/Process builder). 

At a high level, we need to:

  • Configure Salesforce to allow our solution to call the Pardot API
  • Implement Salesforce APEX code to handle the Pardot API request
  • Add an action to a Flow to make use of our new code
  • Test

This solution is a little more technical than our post on Zapier. Once you are done, you will end up with a Flow like this:

Start Record-triggered flow

Configure Salesforce

Any time we want to work with the Pardot API, we need to “authenticate” with Salesforce in order to get an Access Token. 

First, follow the steps in our earlier blog post Connecting to Pardot API from APEX. By the end, you should have:

  • A brand new Connected App (to avoid issues, don’t re-use previously created Connected Apps unless they were created using the instructions above) 
  • Named Credential for connecting to the API 

Salesforce APEX code

To build this capability, we need to create an @InvocableMethod so that our Salesforce declarative automations can see it and call it to do our bidding.As with any code solution, there are a variety of ways that we can tackle this. The code sample below will work for readers with one Pardot Business Unit. The original code file (and APEX Tests) can be found in our GitHub repository: export-activities-sfdx

public with sharing class PardotExternalActivityPublisher {
    public static final Integer HTTP_REQUESTS_PER_BATCH = 50;
    public static final String ONLY_ONE_BUSINESS_UNIT_ID = '0UvB00000004000AAA';
    public static final String NAMED_CREDENTIAL = 'APEX_Pardot_Credential';

    public class ExternalActivity {
        // @InvocableVariable(label='Business Unit Id')
        // public String businessUnitId;
        @InvocableVariable(label='Extension' required=true)
        public String extension;
        @InvocableVariable(label='Type' required=true)
        public String type;
        @InvocableVariable(label='Value' required=true)
        public String value;
        @InvocableVariable(label='Prospect Email' required=true)
        public String email;
    }

    @InvocableMethod(label='Send Activity to Pardot')
    public static void sendActivityToPardot(List<ExternalActivity> activities) {
        //Very quickly pass this request into the ASYNC Queue, eliminating delays for Users
        System.enqueueJob(new QueueablePardotCall(activities));
    }

    /**
     * Handles Asynchronously firing each Activity to Pardot
     */
    public class QueueablePardotCall implements System.Queueable, Database.AllowsCallouts {
        private List<ExternalActivity> activities;

        public QueueablePardotCall(List<ExternalActivity> activities) {
            this.activities = activities;
        }

        public void execute(System.QueueableContext ctx) {
            //depending on how many Activities we are processing, 
            //we might hit the APEX limit of 100 Web Callouts
            List<ExternalActivity> remainingActivities = new List<ExternalActivity>();
            Integer processedCount = 0;

            for(ExternalActivity activity : activities) {
                if(processedCount < HTTP_REQUESTS_PER_BATCH ) {
                    HttpRequest req = new HttpRequest();
                    req.setHeader('Pardot-Business-Unit-Id', ONLY_ONE_BUSINESS_UNIT_ID);
                    req.setHeader('Content-Type', 'application/json');
                    // req.setHeader('Pardot-Business-Unit-Id', activity.businessUnitId);
                    // activity.businessUnitId=null;

                    req.setEndpoint('callout:'+NAMED_CREDENTIAL+'/v5/external-activities');
                    req.setMethod('POST');
                    String body = System.JSON.serialize(activity, true);
                    System.debug('Submitting: ' + body);
                    req.setBody(body);
                    Http http = new Http();
                    try {
                        http.send(req);
                    }
                    catch(Exception e) {
                        //we fire it off and don't do anything if there's an error
                        //probably not the best approach for Production, though it will
                        //be up to you how to handle it
                        System.debug('There was an error submitting the External activity');
                        System.debug('Message: ' + e.getMessage() + '\n' +
                                        'Cause: ' + e.getCause() + '\n' +
                                        'Stack trace: ' + e.getStackTraceString());
                    }
                    processedCount++;
                }
                else {
                    //we will process this in the next batch of Payloads
                    remainingActivities.add(activity);
                }
            }
            if(!remainingActivities.isEmpty()) {
                System.enqueueJob(new QueueablePardotCall (remainingActivities));
            }
        }
    }
}

To use this code, make sure you replace the Business Unit ID at the top of the code with your Business unit ID (to find this, navigate to Salesforce Setup > Pardot Account Setup).

For readers with multiple Pardot Business Units, remove the constant ONLY_ONE_BUSINESS_UNIT_ID and then uncomment the businessUnit lines throughout. You will need to either specify the Business Unit ID in your Flow, or you could write additional APEX to iterate through your Pardot Business Units by working with the PardotTenant object in Salesforce.

You might also want to specify how you want to handle any exceptions you get from making the Pardot API call. In our example, we simply write exceptions to the debug log.

Our APEX code does assume that the Contact has synced over to Pardot already. If you can’t make this assumption, you may consider calling a Pardot Form Handler to make sure that the prospect is in Pardot already. We have an APEX example for that too (which follows a very similar pattern, so it should be easy to merge them).

Adding an Action to a Flow

Once the APEX has been deployed, you will now be able to use it declaratively.

In our example, we have a Zoom Webinar Member (which is a Junction Object between a Zoom Webinar and a Contact).

To set this up in a Flow:

  1. Navigate to Setup > Flows
  2. Select “New Flow” or edit an existing Flow
  3. Select the + symbol to add a new Element, select “Action”
  4. In the “Search all actions” window, locate “Send Activity to Pardot”
  5. Provide a meaningful Label and Description
  6. Set your input values
    1. Extension: Enter the name of the Marketing App Extension you created in Salesforce
    2. Prospect Email: Source the email from one of the fields/variables in your flow
    3. Type: Enter one of the activities you set up and associated with your Marketing App Extension in Salesforce
    4. Value: Enter (or source from a field/variable) the unique value to identify this Activity, event IDs work great here
  7. Click “Done”
Send activity to pardot

Test

Once all elements of your Flow are ready, testing can begin. Activate your Flow and perform the action you are using to trigger the Flow. After a couple of moments, check the Pardot prospect you are testing with, and you should now see all the information you passed through.

prospect activities

Testing is a little bit tricky, for two reasons:

  1. We are executing this functionality asynchronously, meaning a problem won’t show up in Salesforce like you are used to seeing. Debug logs will be your friend here. But don’t worry, there isn’t too much to sort through.
  2. If the Named Credential or anything else isn’t quite set up right (from step 1), Salesforce and debug logs aren’t very helpful in troubleshooting. You will have to painstakingly go through the instructions again to make sure that nothing was missed / done incorrectly.

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 APEX solution, which assumes all prospects going through this code are from the same Pardot Business Unit. As we mentioned in the APEX section, you have the flexibility to code whatever you need to handle your business case. 

 For assistance with this or other Pardot External Activities, reach out to Sercante!

The post Implementing Pardot External Activities Natively in Salesforce appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

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|