How to Prevent Competitors From Downloading Your Pardot Files

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You don’t want competitors to download your marketing assets such as ebooks, white papers, or brochures to see your content strategy. In a typical Pardot account, these assets will be stored as files in Pardot, gated by a Pardot form, then either served up on a thank you landing page or an email autoresponder.

Sure, in reality, a competitor could try to access a file incognito using a personal email address. This method in this post isn’t full-proof but it will help to deflect some of the snooping competition.

“Validity”

I recently wrote a post on preventing your competitors from receiving email campaigns from Pardot, which includes reasons why you don’t want to delete them out of your Prospect database. Now, let’s dive straight into file downloads.

Content Download Flow

I already outlined the typical gated content flow, from submission to Prospect download.

  • The ebook is stored as a file in Pardot
  • It’s gated by a Pardot form (the Prospect must complete a form to access the content)

There are two ways to serve up the ebook file, either:

  • In an autoresponder email, or,
  • On a thank you landing page, eg. via a download button.

How you can prevent competitors will depend on which way you choose to set the flow up.

Option 1: Autoresponder Email

Even though this flow adds extra steps for the Prospect (they have to navigate away from your website to their inbox, open the email, click to download), it’s a preferred way to send out valuable content. There’s an added step of validating the email address is mailable – and in our case, validate the Prospect is not a competitor!

Start with following Step 1 and 2 from this tutorial.

Locate the automation rule that sends the autoresponder email when the gated content form is completed successfully.

Add your competitors dynamic list to the rule criteria:

Prospect List — is not a member of — [competitor list]

You’re set to go! While it’s simple, don’t underestimate the setup process, though. The hardest part is perhaps aligning everyone in your team to always add the competitors suppression list to each automation rule that fires autoresponder emails – the more downloadable assets you have, the more work will be involved!

Option 2: Thank you Landing Page

Although this is not my recommended way to serve up valuable content (removing the extra validation benefit), there is a way you can implement Javascript into a form to recognise a competitor, and divert them away from the download landing page.

Javascript is beyond the scope of my knowledge – so check out this post which gives you the Javascript code and instructions.

Both methods require you add competitors manually, of course, but consider that adding competitors names to Javascript code may not be something everyone is comfortable with. You will need to test each time a change is made to the code, which can quickly become a time sap.

Summary

What may at first seem like an impossible task (to deflect any competitors) is actually a simple, flexible solution because the dynamic competitors list updates itself when new competitors worm their way into your Pardot database. You may even be surprised to find out just how many competitors you do have active in your Pardot account, or how many are trying to download your content! As the saying goes: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer!

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