Getting to the Bottom of the ‘Do Not Email’ Field in Pardot [Infographic]

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How can a prospect become unmailable in Pardot? What are the differences between ‘Do Not Email’ and ‘Prospect Opted Out’ fields?

If you are confused and not sure how to answer these questions, then you’re not alone. Even after working with the Pardot product for years, I still need to think twice when given a specific scenario. Hopefully, you will find some answers about this key prospect field in this infographic.

‘Do Not Email’ is a field found on prospect records in Pardot. You will find it blank, or with a green tick beside it.


4 Ways Prospects Become ‘Do Not Email’

There are 4 ways a prospect gets marked as ‘Do Not Email’:

  • Unsubscribes: the prospect opt-outs of your email marketing using the unsubscribe link.
  • Spam complaints: the prospect uses the spam button built-in to their email service provider.
  • Bounces: a bounce is recorded each time an email fails to be delivered. It takes 1 hard bounce or 5 soft bounces to become unmailable.
  • Manually from Pardot or Salesforce: one of your internal team members edits the prospect record.

‘Do Not Email’ vs ‘Prospect Opted Out’

When prospects become unmailable, two fields come into action.

Whether one field or both fields are checked will depend on the scenario:

 Do Not Email Email Opt-out FieldHard Bounce Field
Spam complaints-

Prospect Resubscribe and ‘Overwrite Prospect Opted Out’

This optional Salesforce Connector setting adds another layer to the ‘Do Not Email’ functionality. Check whether you have this setting enabled from your Salesforce Connector settings in the Pardot Lightning App.

Prospect is ‘Do Not Email’ and…

Email Opt-out FieldHard BounceA user is opted back in by: What happens when a user is opted back in? ‘Email Opt-out Field’ is deselected by:
AnyRemains as status ‘Do Not Email’.
-Automated, eg. Prospect resubscribe‘Do Not Email’ is deselected. Prospect is now mailable.
--Automated, eg. Prospect resubscribeRemains as status ‘Do Not Email’.
--Manually by an internal user ‘Do Not Email’ is deselected. Prospect is now mailable.

The table above can cause confusion – we’ve all been there. Pardot is always trying to protect your reputation as a sender. If Pardot sees that the prospect opted-out, it believes that was a preference (a choice made by the prospect or an internal user), not due to a potentially damaging email address.  

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One thought on “Getting to the Bottom of the ‘Do Not Email’ Field in Pardot [Infographic]

  1. Avatar

    Loved this breakdown, so much clearer and in detail than previous infographics. I took this info a couple of months ago and worked it into a “Mkt opt out” field that gave me the freedom to manage the Opt out fields from third party apps and their automatic unsubscribe settings (Mailchimp, Outreach, etc).
    Just to say that field mapping is a quintessential part of the Do not Email features and behaviour and something to always keep in mind when looking at reports or flows.

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