ParDreamin’ 2020 was the first Pardot specific conference, attracting 3400+ Pardot specialists and those curious to learn more about what this B2B marketing tool is all about. The 4-day community-led conference was made up of sessions led by some of the biggest names in the Pardot community – ranging from maximising Pardot specific features, other Salesforce platform products (Datorama, Interaction Studio), through to full-scale marketing tech stacks that take Pardot to the next level.
The ParDreamin’ event platform is like a goody bag of Pardot tips and tricks – so I decided to highlight 10 exceptional things I picked up from watching the sessions. You’ll find all the sessions are recorded and are available on-demand – being 25 minutes in length makes them perfect to digest at your leisure.
1. You can benchmark your Pardot database health with Dynamic Lists
From the talk: Benchmark Your Pardot Database Health
Speaker: Matt Lincoln
This was a hands-on session where the audience followed along click-by-click to look at key health metrics of their Pardot database.
Matt revealed that Dynamic Lists are your secret weapon. Use this type of Pardot list to get data markers such as the number of mailable prospects who have been emailed, never active prospects/not emailed in last 6 months, and prospects missing their first name.
2. Key Insights About the New Pardot Email Builder
From the talk: Key Insights About the New Pardot Email Builder
Speaker: Jez Kazin
Excited about the new Pardot email builder (who isn’t)?
Jen gave us insight on how to get more out of the Lightning email builder, especially when the first release does not have complete feature parity with the classic Pardot email builder.
What’s special about Salesforce CMS? If you can’t edit drafts, is there a workaround? Did you know you can share email templates across business units? What’s the trick with merge fields? Learn the answers and more by watching her session.
3. Use snippets to alleviate marketing workload and shift accountability to other teams
From the talk: Snippets – Connected Campaigns Power Tool
Speaker: Marianne Fields
Ownership for updating and verifying information intended for email campaigns can be put back into the hands of stakeholders within Salesforce, while leveraging the data in Pardot, thanks to snippets.
Marianne let us in on her smart thinking. I never thought about snippets delivering that value, to alleviate marketer burden by extending their adoption to other teams.
4. Leverage Salesforce Flows to create and update snippets
From the talk: Snippets – Connected Campaigns Power Tool
Speaker: Marianne Fields
Marianne also shared an amazing Salesforce hack when it comes to managing snippets. You can leverage Salesforce Flows to capture values from Salesforce Objects (standard and custom) to create, populate, and overwrite snippets. As more admins become proficient with Flow (and fall in love with it) this hack will prove useful for a long time to come.
5. Use Salesforce Path to manage the hand off between marketing and sales
Speaker: Jennifer Schneider
When it comes to leads in your organisation’s funnel, the hand-off between sales and marketing needs to be iron-clad, or leads will go ‘missing’. It starts with defining lead statuses that are clear to understand and where each team knows what’s expected of them when a lead record is in that status.
Jeniffer explores Salesforce Path, a native feature to Sales Cloud that you may (or may not) be using today and why it is so important for marketing to be a part of defining Path on the Lead, Contact, and Opportunity Objects.
Jennifer also tempts us in with the question: “What do we do with the 50-65% of contacts in our database that aren’t getting any attention?” – another reason why you should watch this talk!
6. Combine HML merge tags with URLs to pre-fill third-party forms
From the talk: Cool Handlebar Merge Language (HML) Tricks
Speaker: Bill Fetter
Personally, I’ve been a fan of Bill’s tips and tricks for some time on the Trailblazer Community group so I was curious to see what ways he’s been able to bend HML, “a limited form of dynamic content”, as he describes.
The HML update from Pardot’s legacy merge language opened up if/else statements; despite which Pardot edition you are on (HML is included in all) if/else means you can:
- Combine HML merge tags with URL parameters to create dynamic URLS that can lead to customized content,
- Use an ‘opted out switch’ to subscribe prospects leveraging operational emails,
- Combine HML merge tags with URLs to pre-fill third-party forms,
- Use HML to present alternative custom redirects to achieve different completion actions from the same email.
Be sure to check out the session to keep these advanced HML use cases in your back pocket.
7. Avoid negative numbers when automating Pardot score decay
From the session: Getting Sophisticated with Scoring
Speaker: Jessica Hope
Score decay is a tricky topic to approach because a) Pardot doesn’t come with decay out-of-the-box (if you want your scores to decrease with inactivity, you have to build the automation yourself), and b) there’s no right answer, it depends on your prospect database and sales cycle. This leaves people not knowing where to start.
Aside from covering baseline score best practices, scoring categories, and important gotchas, Jessica’s trick that stood out to me was related to score decay. Adding a simple criteria in the automation rule that references a prospect’s current score will prevent scores sinking below zero (you can see for yourself in the image below).
Watch this session to learn all about how to make Pardot score a more sophisticated process and accurate metric – something I know most accounts really need!
8. Add calendar invites to Pardot emails – plus track views and add completion actions!
From the talk: Bet you didn’t think you could put that in an email!
Speaker: Jacob Filipp
I asked Safiyyah, my user group co-leader, which ParDreamin’ session was her favourite – she didn’t hesitate to name this one. Who doesn’t want to add some pizzaz to their emails – or generally make life easier for prospects to take the desired call to action?
Jacob shows animated countdowns, ascii art graphics, VML graphics for Outlook emails, pixel mosaics, and dynamic images – however, the one that stood out to me was the “add to calendar” links. These invites are generated as files that can be uploaded to Pardot in order to track prospect views; being a file, you can also add any Pardot completion actions.
2021 is going to be the year when interactive email becomes mainstream, so get a feel for some of the ways you can easily breathe life into your current email templates. Jacob provides all of the links to the 3rd party tools he recommends.
9. Get more control over Pardot landing pages layout and styling
From the session: Level Up Challenge: The One With Landing Pages!
Speakers: Marcos Duran & Russell Thomas
The Pardot landing page builder is WYSIWYG which can often frustrate marketers that want more options for styling their landing pages in line with their brand. While customisation with code is possible, it’s often not territory marketers want to enter (mostly because of time constraints).
Luckily, this duo share their secrets on how to customise Pardot landing pages requiring only minimal/intermediate HTML/CSS experience! They also breakdown the anatomy of a well-designed landing page and how that translates to Pardot specific landing pages:
10. Include Pardot in a ‘compete like you mean it’ integrated solution
From the session: More than Martech: Wall-to-Wall Automation
The power trio Sara McNamara, Mike Creuzer and David Kreitter gave us the inside view on their projects that have maximised Pardot by building solid integrations leveraging the Pardot API.
The first part of the session comprises of three real project examples, including an overview of a marketing data hub with Snowflake (Pardot to Snowflake is an increasingly popular integration).
The session turns to future-looking use cases. A solution Sara labels “compete like you mean it” (@ 9:30) stood out to me, bringing together data from Gong (competitor mentions detected in call activities), Slack, Salesforce, Pardot, and Drift – and triggering automated actions in each platform.
Bonus: Learning beyond Pardot
ParDreamin’ may have been targeted at Pardot admins and specialists – let’s not forget that no Pardot is an island! Next, I’m going to watch back the sessions about other Salesforce products that complement Pardot, namely Datorama and Interaction Studio.
Which were your favourite ParDreamin’ session/s? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.