How to Snooze Prospect Email Subscriptions with Pardot

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There’s an increasing volume of content flying into our inboxes every day. Sometimes we’re in the mood to read and relish it, other times, we simply could just do without it.

That’s where ‘snoozing’ comes in. There’s been a rising trend for subscription snoozing, where brands give their subscribers the option to temporarily stop receiving email communications from them. After all the effort that was put into acquiring a subscriber, you don’t want to lose them that easily.

It’s a wise move. Snoozing offers an alternative to unsubscribing, diverting their attention to pausing rather than stopping altogether by opting out.

I often get asked how to build this in Pardot, as there is no obvious way at first glance. The post you’re about to delve into will cover exactly this – how to send your Prospects snoozing with Pardot.

Pardot Snooze Flow Overview

I began mapping flows and matching features to allow Prospects to ‘self-snooze’ all from the Email Preference page. I came up with the following flow:

  • A Snooze button/hyperlink is clicked by the Prospect on the Email Preference page.
  • This Custom Redirect will check a custom checkbox field, marking the Prospect as ‘Snoozed’.
  • The Prospect enters a Dynamic List, that automatically includes any Snoozing Prospects.
  • The Dynamic List is the start of an Engagement Studio Flow.
  • The Engagement Studio Flow will wait 30 days, then uncheck the Snooze checkbox.

Now, I will expand on what’s required for each, in the correct sequence to build.

Step 1: Snooze Checkbox Field

The Pardot Snooze checkbox field will be the basis for the whole flow, the controlling piece.

To create a custom field, navigate to: Admin ? Configure Fields ? Prospect Fields ? + Custom Field

Name your field something related to Snoozing (…Prospect Snoozed, Subscription Snooze)
Select ‘Use Pardot’s Value’ for sync behaviour, and ‘Checkbox’ for Type.
Then add the values ‘true’ and ‘false’.

Step 2: Create Dynamic List

Next, create a ‘Snoozing Prospects’ Dynamic List, and set the rules to be:

Prospect Custom Field | [Name of field created in Step 1] eg. Subscription Snooze | is | true

! It is also a good idea to mark this clearly as a suppression list in the list name. More on this later.

Step 3: Build Engagement Flow

Possibly one of the simplest Engagement Flows you will ever build. Start by clicking on the drip symbol at the top, and add your Snoozing Prospects list in the ‘Recipients’ box.

Next, do the following (as seen in the image):

  • Add the Action ‘Change Prospect Field Value’
  • Select the name of your custom field and the value to change to ‘false’
  • Select the ‘Wait’ radio button
  • Enter 30 days

The ‘Wait’ functionality is exactly why we are leveraging Engagement Studio. Not only is it clearer when it’s visual, it’s something that isn’t possible with standalone Automation Rules.

The ‘Wait’ functionality is exactly why we are leveraging Engagement Studio. Not only is it clearer when it’s visual, it’s something that isn’t possible with standalone Automation Rules.

Step 4: Create Custom Redirect  

Custom Redirects are found by navigating to: Marketing ? Content ? Custom Redirects
The purpose of the Custom Redirect, is to create a trackable link with Completion Actions attached to it. The link that’s generated will sit behind a button or hyperlinked text on the email preference centre (Step 5).
When you create the Custom Redirect, do the following:
Name it clearly
Input a Destination URL: this is where the Prospect will land when they click the link. It could be a separate landing page, or just the email preference centre.
Add Completion Action: Change Prospect Custom Field Value | [Name of field created in Step 1] eg. Snooze Subscription to | true

Copy the Tracked URL that’s generated (highlighted below).

Step 5: Add it to the Email Preference Centre

As I mentioned briefly, you have two options for how you want the Snooze option to display on your email preference centre:

  • A button
  • A hyperlinked piece of text (recommended if you’re not familiar with coding)

You can add either of these to the Before Form/After Form Content by editing your email preference centre. You can see how the editing wizard looks like below, plus I’ve highlighted how to switch to the source code view, if you want to add/edit your button styling:

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to add additional fields to Pardot Email Preference pages. Nevertheless, these are fine options to achieve what we set out to do. Plus, remember it’s common knowledge that having only one call to action button on a page is best practice – in this case, the ‘Submit’ button should be alone to stand out.

That’s nice, how about Snooze twice?

It appears we run into a problem when we realise that Engagement Flows aren’t repeatable (at the time of writing). This means that a Prospect can only go through once, and essentially are ‘spent’ for that particular flow.

By adding multiple Custom Field change steps, a Prospect can be snoozed multiple times. Remember that a Prospect is only ‘spend’ for the flow if they reach an ‘End’ step.

When the field is changed to false, the Prospect leaves the flow because the Dynamic List controls who is allowed on it. If they opt to snooze again, they will merely be added on to the flow at the start of the next step. This can continue multiple times with no problems, as long as you add enough steps in the flow – which could potentially end up looking like this ? ?

 

…in fact, there is no known limit to the number of nodes you can add to Engagement Studio, but keeping Engagement Flows to under 300 is recommended for optimal performance. 300 snooze steps? That’s the equivalent of 25 years of Snoozing!

! Don’t Forget !

Don’t forget to always add your Snoozing Prospects Dynamic List as a suppression list in all email sends! Communicate this to your team, and if necessary limit their email sending permission for peace of mind.

Summary

In this post, I have walked through how to build a Snooze Subscription flow, using a handful of standard Pardot features, available to all editions. Give it a go! Snoozing is a tactical diversion to give your Prospects a break from your content, without losing them forever with a plain opt-out.

 

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