Pardot Completion Actions and Connected Campaigns – The Dynamic Duo

By Carl Mortimer

There are a lot of things in this world that you can put together but not many that go together well. Within the Pardot and Salesforce world, there’s a combination of features that are absolutely made for each other but only if they are used in the right way.

Like most partnerships, understanding how they co-exist and how to use them together effectively is the key to getting the most out of them. Get it right and your whole campaign hierarchy will become a source of valuable data into how your marketing campaigns are performing or where they aren’t.

Connected Campaigns – a match made in heaven

Connected Campaigns turn the campaign object in Salesforce into the marketer’s workspace, bringing Pardot and Salesforce closer together. Your forms, assets, and emails in Pardot all feed in so each campaign at the lowest level of the hierarchy becomes its own resource into how they are performing.

If you’ve implemented your campaign hierarchy correctly, all of these individual campaigns will feed up the chain and enable you to have a holistic view into how all of your campaigns are doing, giving you insight into where you’re having the biggest bang for your marketing buck.

Is one particular geo/region generating more interest than the others? How are your events and webinars doing this year compared to last year? Connected Campaigns gives you that.

You can only gain this insight if you have a strategy in place to help you understand who is engaging, who isn’t, and how they are. Otherwise, your campaigns are nothing more than a list of everyone you sent an email to.

So how do you know who has responded to an email, filled out a form, and engaged with your assets from within the campaign view itself? This is where Completion Actions come in.

How to use Completion Actions effectively

On each of your assets, you have the option to assign completion actions to them based on how your prospects interact with them and manage them accordingly. It’s here you will see who the email went out to, who’s clicked on your links, filled out your form, or registered for your event.

What you’re ultimately doing is designing your data model of engagement based on that prospect’s actions with the asset.

Here are some tips to utilising this partnership effectively and leveling up your campaigns.

1. Keep actions based on opens to a minimum

I’m not a fan of email opens as an accurate metric for a whole host of reasons, mostly because certain email clients will “open” the email on behalf of your prospect to check for spam so it’s not a reliable way of monitoring engagement. With that in mind, scoring someone highly for opening your email could be misleading.

If you are going to use this engagement for actions, then look at general options such as marking someone as “sent”.

2. Utilise the specific link option in the new email builder

One of the cool functions of the new Lightning email builder is that you can specify which link you want the completion action to occur. This is great for if you have a high value link in an email with multiple links, such as a newsletter that might have 3 or 4 articles but only one of them is the landing page you would like the Completion Action to fire for.

You can add people to lists, score and grade them or change their status based on the click of that specific link click. So use it, it’s a great feature!

3. Stack Completion Actions…sparingly

Stacking Completion Actions can be a good thing but it can also create an inflated perspective of overall performance if used loosely.

What do I mean by this?

Well, in the above example, assuming a prospect clicks a link we would consider to be of high importance, I can assign a number of Completion Actions. Here, one link click will adjust their score by +50, add them to a list and notify their assigned user that they’ve clicked the link.

Used incorrectly, it can create a sense of urgency and importance amongst your team that this prospect is sales ready when that might not be the case.

4. Think about your unsubscribes with email sends

Using Completion Actions on unsubscribes is an opportunity to downgrade those prospects who opt out. A popular example is to decrease their prospect score by 50 (‘Adjust score’ — by -50). Not only are you in control of adjusting prospects in a positive way but you can downgrade them too, keeping them away from your sales team.

5. Utilise different Campaign Member Statuses

Out of the box, Campaign Member statuses will include Sent, Responded and, with Connected Campaigns, Connected.

But when it comes to forms and signups for events or webinars, this would be missing an opportunity.

Consider the scenario where you send an email to a list, hoping to drive sign-ups for a webinar. Those you send it to would be Sent, those who click the link would be responded…but what about those who actually fill out the form?

Consider having a separate campaign member statuses for events that will enable you to assign them to that campaign on a successful form submission, enabling you to see who out of the whole set of campaign members has actually registered.

I’m a big fan of taking every opportunity to define your campaign members using their engagement to do so. It ultimately paints a picture for you right at campaign level of how everyone is engaging with your content. Get familiar with the options available to you in your Completion Action toolset, use them more on engagements where your prospect has actually done something and you’re well on your way to having a data-rich campaign database.

If you need help in ensuring you’re using campaigns to the best of your ability or even just trying to make the best of Pardot then get in touch.

The Author

Carl Mortimer

Carl is a Salesforce Marketing Champion and a functional consultant at MarCloud Consulting, certified in Sales Cloud, Pardot and Marketing Cloud.


    September 13, 2022 6:46 pm
    How do you attach the prospect to the campaign on sent with a sent status? Even if we attach the email to a campaign, the prospect doesnt get added to the campaign until they open or click using the completion action. There is a completion action for open, click and unsub but not for sent.

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