Pardot Form ‘Gotchas’ – 7 Things Should Know About Pardot Forms

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Pardot forms are simple to set up and maintain, entirely from inside Pardot’s point-and-click form builder. There are plenty of resources that cover how to create Pardot forms and the function of each setting, so instead, I thought that I would call upon my experience working as a consultant to drum up some tips that are often not found on the official help documentation.

These are ‘gotchas’ – things about Pardot forms that can sneak up on you, complicate your campaigns, skew your reporting and put a real ‘spanner in the works’ on your data quality. I will briefly introduce each and explain why I consider them sneaky. You will come out of this clued up and in a better position to maintain Admin control!

1. Forms vs. Form Templates

Every form is based on a template. This is how forms can look different from one another, or share the same style for branding consistency, and to save time when creating them. You set this on Step 3 of the Form Wizard called ‘Look and Feel’:

Your template needs to exist before you get to this stage in creating the form.

Layout Templates define the style of both forms and landing pages. These are not so obvious to find, under the section ‘Layout Templates’. Gotcha!

2.Where to Add Style to Pardot Forms?

Now you know that a form’s style, is controlled by the layout template, using CSS which is code that controls how HTML elements are displayed on screen (such as text font, colour and field positioning).

Pardot have a ‘clicks not code’ philosophy, and so have opened up some styling options in the Form Wizard:

Naturally, you will want to customise beyond these options, eg. using custom fonts. For this, you will need to dive into the layout template section and go ‘under the hood’. It’s a ‘gotcha’ if you realise that CSS is beyond your capabilities, and you need to find other resources for those skills. Unexpected things like this can affect the amount of time it will take to develop and launch your form.

3. Prospect Fields Only

Only Prospect Fields are available to choose from when building forms. This means that you cannot use Prospect Account, Opportunity or custom object fields. Although frustrating for some marketers, it does make sense when we are talking about 1-to-many data relationships.

4. ‘Load Default Data’ button

When adding or changing a Prospect field on a Pardot form, always click ‘Load Default Data’. This is beside the ‘Prospect field’ dropdown (step 2 of the Form Wizard). Doing this ensures the correct field type (eg. text, dropdown, checkbox etc.) is selected, and it will also pull in the predefined options for dropdowns, checkboxes, radio buttons.

5. Kiosk Mode

Kiosk mode is a Pardot form setting that prevents prospects from having a Pardot tracking cookie placed in their browser when they submit a form. Basically, with Kiosk Mode enabled, no one gets cookied.

The most common use case for Kiosk Mode is at events, where you may have a device set up to capture prospect data, but don’t want any activity on the device to be associated to the most recent prospect that submitted the form. Are you with me?

Hidden out of the way under ‘Look and Feel’ → Advanced, it’s not exactly part of the UI that catches people’s attention. It’s particularly a ‘gotcha’ if your team have a habit of copying forms. If you find copying forms efficient, go ahead! However, it’s worth checking the ‘Advanced’ tab and these settings or your reporting will suffer.

6. Web-to-Lead

Here’s an equation: Web-to-Lead + Pardot = Duplicates

So, choose one! When organisations have used Salesforce for some time and then purchase Pardot, they rush launch Pardot forms or form handlers but fail to disable web-to-lead in the process.

The way the connector sync works puts you at high risk of duplicate records. Web-to-lead forms do not check for duplicates that may already exist in Salesforce, whereas Pardot is able to do this based on email address match.

Aside from the negatives, using Pardot forms will mean all new leads follow your nurturing process and assignment logic. Finally, it puts forms back into marketing’s control as opposed to relying on the Salesforce Admin or website team.

7. Form vs. Landing Page Reporting

Golden Rule:

When a Pardot form is placed on a Pardot Landing Page – the Landing Page wins.

Therefore, if you look at your form report and see no numbers, you are in the wrong place. Look on the Landing Page report for your statistics. For landing pages, Pardot reports on Views, Successes, Errors out-of-the-box.


This post has run through 7 Pardot form ‘gotchas’ that can sneak up on you, complicate your campaigns, skew your reporting and put a real ‘spanner in the works’ on your data quality. Hopefully, you’re now clued up and in a better position to maintain Admin control!


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