What is Pardot Einstein Behavior Score? vs Pardot Score

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Einstein Behavior Score is a Pardot Einstein feature that looks at if a prospect signals ‘ready to buy’ engagement. Over time, this behavior feeds into the Einstein ‘engagement model’ which learns which touchpoints lead to a purchase. When Einstein spots these positive insights with other, future prospects, their scores will be automatically increased too.

Pardot Einstein is AI-enabled B2B marketing automation by Salesforce that is available to customers on Pardot ‘Advanced’ and ‘Premium’, the highest Pardot editions. Popularity has been spreading steadily since its launch in 2018, with the growing number of use cases and marketers’ confidence.

Let’s start at the basics: what Pardot Einstein Behavior Score is, how it’s different to traditional Prospect Score, and whether you should only use one (or both).

What is Pardot Einstein Behavior Score?

To explain what Einstein Behavior Score is, I’m going to break it down how I explained it to myself. There are two concepts I will refer to:

  • Patterns of engagement
  • Buying signals

When a prospect interacts with your brand, they leave a trail of tracked touchpoints. Einstein looks at the string of marketing touchpoints from first-touch to purchase, and takes note of the patterns high-converting prospects make, and which occur commonly. Einstein teaches itself that these are buying signals.

Rephrased, Einstein learns which combination of prospect engagement leads to a purchase. Over time, these form patterns, which Pardot recognizes as buying signals.
The score and insight are displayed as a Lightning component:

Source: Pardot Blog

How is Einstein Behavior Score Different from Prospect Score?

Einstein Behavior Score quantifies engagement beyond the traditional Pardot Score. Basically, Einstein is faster and more accurate than traditional rules-based lead scoring. Here are the key differences:

 Einstein Behavior ScoreTraditional Pardot Score
Activity PatternsSeeks patterns of engagement that led to successful conversion previously – it’s about the combination, not single actions.Counts tracked activities as they happen, in isolation from other activities.
Score LimitThe maximum Einstein Behavior Score is 100. Behavior scores are adjusted up or down in line with high-converting patterns.Is infinite! Scores can become skewed easily by prospects being tracked doing minor activities repetitively, eg. opening an email.
Cohort ComparisonAdjusts a prospect’s score in relation to your prospect database as a whole, comparing what positive/negative insights other prospects are doing. This makes comparison easier and avoids skewed scores causing discrepancies.Every prospect is scored as an individual, in isolation.

The greatest benefits of Einstein Behavior Score are:

  1. Limited Score: The maximum Einstein Behavior Score is 100. It compares a prospect to the rest of your prospect database, and scored in proportion to the rest of your prospects. A capped score is neat and immediately understandable – you know what the maximum is, and from that, you know where a prospect sits on the scale. Have you ever had scores in the thousands, tens of thousands? How did these people get there, is automation causing their score to inflate uncontrollably?
  2. Automatic decay: Score decay is perhaps one of the trickiest tasks to tackle as a Pardot admin. The data model underlying Einstein Behavior Score retrains itself every 10 days, learning from the new data that has been generated in that time. Behavior scores will increase and decay automatically, without intervention.
  3. Likelihood to convert: the two scores track two different things – number and type of activities (Pardot Score) vs likelihood to convert (Einstein Behavior Score). Clearly, buying intent patterns is a more sophisticated measure than simply racking up activity.

Should You Use Einstein Behavior Score, or Pardot Score?

“Do you recommend using both Einstein Behavior Score and the Pardot Prospect Score functionality at the same time?” – a question that grabbed my attention. This is my take on whether you should use only one, or both.

We can break the question into two parts:

  1. Can you use Einstein Behavior Score (are you on the correct Pardot edition)?
  2. Should you use both simultaneously?

Yes, you can use both together. I think you should use both together. Here’s why (and some considerations):

Transition period:

Change won’t happen immediately, especially if Pardot score is embedded into your processes, for example, being used in automation rules, assignment logic, or the sales team use it to prioritize their leads in List Views.

Think of the potential work involved to transition fully to Einstein Behavior Score – all those engagement programs, automation rules you have in your account will need to be amended!

Monitor how the scores compare:

Do you remember the effort that went into embedding score into the lead processes? You shouldn’t ‘pull the plug’, but first, monitor how Einstein Behavior Score compares to the Pardot score for the same prospect. Take a reasonable sample.

If and when you transition to Einstein Behavior Score, you will have new thresholds to work with, for example, a qualified lead (MQL) won’t have a score of 100, but could have a score of 80 (a relative score, out of 100).

How did Einstein come to its conclusions?

Which engagement data is Einstein using to come to its conclusions? What if it took into account some prospects’ activities that you didn’t want included?

You can explore these factors using the Einstein Behavior Scoring Dashboard to explore the weighings that the AI-enabled model has assigned. This includes an ‘Influence by Asset’ widget which is worth monitoring in the first few months after activating Einstein Behavior Scoring.

All in all, you could build trust with the AI-enabled data models, that they’re discounting anomalies, under the hood.

Pardot Score gives more control:

With Pardot Score, you are able to control the specific number of points that each activity should add to the prospect’s score. You’re able to manipulate the points further by weighting an activity score in addition to the baseline score, for example, a submission for a particular form can be assigned more points than the baseline score for all other form submissions. Then, in addition, you can even pinpoint specific prospects, then apply a score increase (or decay).

Marketers find these capabilities come in handy – with Behavior Score, you have to learn to be hands-off.

How to Use Both Einstein Behavior Score and Pardot Score (Practically)

Let’s look at how you can get these numbers in front of your teammates.

Both scores can be applied as:

  • Prospect fields (shown below)
  • Rule steps in Engagement Studio
  • Criteria in Automation Rules
  • Lightning component on the lead/contact record
  • Lead/contact fields*
  • Lead/contact list views.

*You will need to create a custom field to achieve this.

It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing switch to one type or another. You can perhaps begin to phase out Pardot Score in favor of Behavior Score step by step, for example, changing list views for lead prioritization first (a low-level change).

Einstein Behavior Score: Additional Functionality

Pardot Einstein, and Einstein Behavior Scoring, has been spreading steadily since its launch in 2018, thanks to a number of enhancements that have increased its appeal:

  • Use Einstein Behavior Score in Salesforce Process Builder (Summer ‘19 release): tapping into Salesforce automation is powerful to leverage any standard or custom criteria in your Salesforce org, and tell Salesforce to take a number of different actions.
  • Use Einstein Behavior Score in Engagement Studio (Rule steps) and Automation Tools (January 2020 release)
  • Use Einstein Behavior Score for ‘unconnected’ prospects: for any prospects with activity in the past year, regardless of whether they are syncing to Salesforce (January 2020 release).

The image shows how Admins will select Behavior Score when building processes:

Note: ‘Behavior Score’ is an object related to the Salesforce Contact / Lead – not a field. When stored in a field, it can be used as a criteria in Process Builder/Workflow Rules/Engagement Studio. There’s a setup process that involves creating a custom field, and automation to transfer the score value into that field – there are step-by-step instructions here.

Pardot Einstein is available for Pardot Advanced Edition customers (the highest tier). Note that if you are on the older top edition (Ultimate) you will need to ‘upgrade’ to the new equivalent.

Another FYI: ‘Behavior Score’ is an object related to the Salesforce Contact / Lead – not a field. When stored in a field, it can be used as a criteria in Process Builder/Workflow Rules/Engagement Studio. There’s a setup process that involves creating a custom field, and automation to transfer the score value into that field – there’s step-by-step instructions here.

Summary

This guide has taken you through the basics – what Pardot Einstein Behavior Score is, and how it’s different to traditional Prospect Score – through to considerations when weighing up whether you should only use one (or both).

Will Einstein Behavior Score fuel marketing lead qualification in the future? In the next era of marketing automation innovation, I predict we will continue to see more businesses ditching traditional rules-based lead scoring, which is easily skewed and not self-adjusting, in favor of scoring models that view tracked activities as patterns, as opposed to one-off actions.

When will you get started? Let us know about any cool insights you’ve discovered so far!

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