Spring ‘23: Hottest Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) Updates

By Lucy Mazalon

The Salesforce Spring ‘23 release notes have arrived, just in time before the holidays (all 559 pages)!

In terms of Account Engagement (Pardot), this release is more of a light dusting to delight us, with a focus on monitoring account health. Plus, you’ll find other updates that hint at packed future releases.

Since Pardot was renamed to Account Engagement earlier this year, the tide has gradually been turning between these two names. The release notes explicitly refer to Account Engagement Settings (vs Pardot Settings), and I’m sure you will notice more name updates within the user interface.

Depending on your Salesforce instance, Spring ‘23 will arrive for you either mid-January, or the first two weeks of February 2023. Check your own release dates below:

READ MORE: Salesforce Spring ‘23 Release Date + Preview Information

Here are the hottest new features for Marketing Cloud Account Engagfvement (Pardot):

1. Account Engagement Optimizer

Optimizer gives you the big-picture view for each of your business units. If items need your attention, they’ll be flagged, plus you’ll be presented with proactive recommendations to take action quickly. Examples include monitoring email send times and visitor tracking.

  • View and manage a list of suggested actions in a table, and priortize by urgency and potential impact on your org.
  • Use table actions to act on items in mass, for example, ‘add to list’.
  • You can also pause and cancel jobs, to prevent org processing becoming overloaded, and generally have greater control.
  • Gain an ‘at a glance’ understanding with the overall account health score gauge chart (to be confirmed).

Navigate to: Pardot SettingsAccount SettingsPerformance sub-tab.

You may be familiar with Salesforce Optimizer, and thought: “Why doesn’t Pardot have something equivalent?” – well, here you go! This was advertised in the roadmap as ‘pilot’ for Spring ‘23, but Optimizer will launch in Spring ‘23, in beta.

Note: Beta is the second phase of public testing, this time to a wider, unrestricted sample of customers. Beta features come with a disclaimer that functionality may change between now and general availability – plus, they are typically unsupported or given very limited support.

See “Improve Efficiency in Your Business Unit with Account Engagement Optimizer (Beta)” in the release notes.

2. Monitor External Action Usage and Errors

Account Engagement External Actions extend your reach, allowing you to take actions on prospects outside of Pardot (Account Engagement). For example, from Engagement Studio, you can register prospects for a webinar or events, send an SMS or survey, and other third-party platforms. External actions allow us to interact with these systems via Engagement Studio and post data out to them.

READ MORE: Pardot (Account Engagement) External Actions: What’s The Big Deal?

External Actions are the counterpart to External Activities:

External Actions come with an exciting range of potential use cases. Salesforce are paving the way for extensible apps to be installed from the AppExchange. For now, Admins will be able to monitor and troubleshoot these low-code integrations using:

  • The External Actions Usage table to review all third-party app usage Navigate to: Pardot Settings → Account Settings → Usage and Limits sub-tab.
  • The External Action Errors table to identify issues with External Action automations, steps, and actions. Navigate to: Pardot Settings → External Action Errors.
External Actions Usage table
External Action Errors table

See “Review External Actions Usage” and “Monitor External Action Errors to Keep Automations Running Smoothly” in the release notes.

3. Sending Domain Validation Changes

A joint admin-IT team task you may need to potentially pencil in for your Spring ‘23 release window. Your sending domain has a reputation attached, and is used by email service providers to decide whether to let your email into the recipient’s inbox, or not.

Sending domain validation now requires proof of ownership. Sending domain validation now requires proof of ownership via a new record called the validation key. Previous verification was off the DomainKey record: “DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is the successor to DomainKeys…and gives more security and flexibility than DomainKeys alone” (source).

If you haven’t already validated your sending domains with DKIM, here’s what you will need to do:

  • For each of your sending domains, Account Engagement generates a unique validation key.
  • Copy and paste the validation key into your DNS record.
READ MORE: Salesforce Email Authentication for Pardot, Salesforce, and Marketing Cloud
READ MORE: Domain Health Check for Pardot (Account Engagement) Email Deliverability

See “Sending Domain Validation Is Changing” in the release notes.

4. Account Engagement API

Salesforce have been working on improving the Account Engagement API v5 over the past couple of years, to not only bring it up to parity with previous versions, but to align with modern integration best practices. Spring ‘23 delivers:

  • Enhanced Exports: Expanded support for 28 objects.
  • Bulk Actions: Initiate multi-select table actions for asynchronous bulk processing of records.

See “Account Engagement API: New and Changed Items” in the release notes.

Here’s a reminder of what API enhancements arrived in Winter ‘23:

Misc. Updates

  • Account Engagement for Slack app being retired: If you participated in the Beta program, on February 13, 2023, the Account Engagement for Slack Beta app will be retired. You’ll want to go ahead and upgrade your account to the Account Engagement for Slack app (generally available) to preserve any completion actions you already had set up during the Beta program.
  • Run Automation Rules in Real Time: Scheduled for retirement in all Account Engagement editions in June 2023. Our assumption is that these were taking up too much processing power in accounts.
  • Default settings for new customers (purchased Account Engagement after Spring ‘23): The following will be enabled – First-Party Tracking, Force HTTPS, Honor Do Not Track, Request opt-in from all visitors, Tracking Cookie Duration at 365 days. Note that these can be overwritten by an admin.
READ MORE: Pardot Email Deliverability and Compliance: 23 Things You Should Know
  • Webinar connectors being retired: The ReadyTalk service was discontinued (the connector removed on November 30, 2022). The Webex connector is being removed on April 1, 2023. Our assumption is that External Actions (extensible apps) or API integration will supersede these connectors should customers wish to integrate. External Actions will provide more flexibility in how you can sync data between two platforms, and take action in Engagement Studio.

The Author

Lucy Mazalon

Lucy is the Operations Director at Salesforce Ben. She is an 10x certified Marketing Champion and founder of The DRIP.

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