You don’t want competitors receiving your emails to see your latest strategy for communicating with customers. On the other hand, there are reasons why you wouldn’t just delete their prospect records out of Pardot – one to keep your own sanity, the other to keep a close eye on their snooping.
Excluding competitors each time you send an email campaign may seem like an impossible task. The solution is actually surprisingly simple. Once you’ve identified your competitors, all it takes is creating a dynamic list and ensuring everyone in Pardot is abiding by the new rules. I will cover all of this and more in this tutorial.
Monitor Competitors (Don’t Delete Them)!
As I mentioned in the opening, there are a couple of reasons why you wouldn’t just delete their prospect records. If you did delete them (send them to the recycle bin) they will be back again as soon as they take an active action, like submitting a form – you would end up playing a game of competitor whack-a-mole! Perhaps you also want to keep their tracked prospect record to check if they’re snooping around on your website? As the saying goes: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer!
Step 1: Identify your Competitors
I would start in a spreadsheet and list your competitor domains (what follows the @ in their email addresses). I recommend you take a look at your Pardot prospect database as a whole, or leverage Salesforce reports. By filtering ‘email contains [competitor name]’ you will be able to scoop up any variations in the email domain. It’s best to double check!
Separate the domain names with a semi-colon:
@mazalon.com; @salesforceben.com; @apple.com
Step 2: Build a Competitor Dynamic List
Pardot Dynamic Lists are incredibly slick, and I encourage any Pardot user to leverage them. According to criteria you define, prospects are added/removed automatically whenever they match/unmatch your set criteria.
The match criteria to use is:
Prospect default field — Email — Contains — @mazalon.com; @salesforceben.com; @apple.com
Ps. If you want more dynamic lists, read 7 Core Pardot Lists for Swifter Segmentation.
Step 3: Apply as a Suppression List
There are two main ways to send emails in Pardot:
- List Emails
- Engagement Studio
How you apply suppression lists (the ‘do not send to’ list) differs depending on which way you are using to send Pardot emails, so I will show you both!
List Email Suppression Lists
You can add any list as a suppression list to the ‘do not send to’ box. Find this on the ‘Sending’ tab in the Pardot Email Builder:
Note that even if a competitor is on both lists, the suppression trumps the send list meaning they won’t receive the email.
Engagement Studio Suppression Lists
When you open up the top node of any Engagement Studio program (drip icon), you will be able to add the competitor list to the ‘suppression list box’.
See, it’s very 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 email send, engagement studio, and automation rule (that is sending autoresponder emails). It’s a simple, flexible solution because the 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!