How to Manage Engagement Studios across Time Zones and Nurture an International Audience

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Pardot Engagement Studio is where marketers visually map out their campaign flow – connecting actions, triggers and rules-based routing for automated lead nurturing. Much of an Engagement Studio program’s success lies in timing. Getting the timing right to deliver the next marketing message – to strike while the iron is hot.

As Pardot is primarily a B2B Marketing tool, Pardot built in Business Hours into Engagement Studio.

“Whatfix"

As you can see from the images above and below, you are able to restrict email sends within certain business hours and on which days, to ensure your email lands into a recipient’s inbox when they are sat at their desk, working.

There’s a caveat to this, however. The business hours defined are tied to one timezone, also defined in the program’s settings:

This puts a spanner in the works for international organisations that are marketing to different audiences globally. An Engagement Studio sending emails at 9am GMT would deliver the email at 6pm to someone in Tokyo (after they have left the office), and at 1am for someone fast asleep in San Francisco. It’s a challenge to overcome in order to give your emails the best chance of being read. This post covers the workaround.

The Workaround

In short, the solution is to segment prospects by time zone first, then route to the correct Engagement Studio for that specific time zone.

Step 1: Copy the Engagement Program
Create 1 copy per time zone, not forgetting to change the ‘time zone’ dropdown.

Step 2: Dynamic Time Zone Lists
Create dynamic lists with criteria that will segment prospects automatically. You may have options here, whether you will use a country field, state, or set up a specific ‘time zone’ field.

It’s also worth checking if your chosen field has good data (no blanks), and to either capture the data upfront on forms, or place Salesforce validation on this field, to ensure it’s always filled in.

Top tip! Leverage ‘Auto-append country and state from prospect IP address’ for form submissions. 

Step 3: Apply Correct Recipient Lists
Ensure you switch out the original list on your Engagement Program, and replace with the dynamic list. Start all of your programs once done.

Summary

While this is a far from an efficient solution, you are giving your emails the best chance of being read at a proven time for optimal email engagement. Aside from replicating any amendments across all programs, you can see the silver lining. You may find that tweaking programs according to regional preferences actually improves your marketing engagement. Moreover, if a prospect’s data is updated, they will leave the old program and enter the correct one for their time zone.

Finally, if you feel strongly about this functionality, you can upvote this Idea to maybe see it delivered in future releases:
Vote here.

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