Tips for Managing Multiple Languages in Pardot (Account Engagement)

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Who uses Pardot to market to prospects in multiple languages? My guess is many of you. Pardot has become the de facto marketing automation tool for organizations using Salesforce which means that global organizations rely on Pardot, taking its place beyond the SMB space (small-medium business).

Marketing in multiple languages brings its own challenges – content localization, various privacy regulations, extensive team collaboration – so ensure that your marketing automation tool can support your endeavors.

We need to do some configuration in order to “stretch” Pardot to accommodate multilingual campaigns.
While working as a Pardot consultant I worked with multinational organizations that put translation challenges “on my plate” to solve. Here’s what I learned along the way.

1. Choose a Primary Language

This is the language that your internal Pardot users will use within the Pardot interface. Pardot can be translated for users in a select number of languages (unlike Salesforce).

Users can set the language they would like to use Pardot in from their profile (Pardot Settings → Account Settings → “My Profile” tab):

Why do you need a primary language? Global search – the search box at the top of the page – doesn’t search for marketing assets matching your search term.

  • Establish a naming convention – or at the very least – a common term per campaign to filter all your assets by.
READ MORE: Pardot Naming Convention and Account Organization Tips
  • A single language should apply for Pardot tags too. Tags in different languages are a pain to consolidate, wasting time having to manually untag and retag Pardot assets.
READ MORE: What are Pardot Tags? (+ 11 Ways to Tag in Pardot)
  • When you edit a Salesforce Campaign, you have free reign to set campaign member statuses for each individual campaign. If you don’t stick to one language, the statuses can mismatch the campaign hierarchy and will destroy any chance of clean, accurate reporting. Alternatively, investigate Salesforce Flow to set campaign member statuses automatically.
READ MORE: 7 Tips for Working With Salesforce Campaign Member Status

2. Set Up Pardot for Multiple Languages

We need to do some configuration in order to “stretch” Pardot to accommodate multilingual campaigns. Follow these steps:

  1. Create a ‘Language’ custom field prospect field in Pardot. Select dropdown for the field type as we want to restrict the list of languages to specific values.
  2. To ensure data stays clean when syncing with the Salesforce data, check the “Use pre-defined values” and “Validate this field on import” settings. If unchecked, you risk having a connector sync error backlog when field values don’t align with your defined list, e.g. the dropdown field value is ‘French’, and so will not accept ‘FR’ or ‘Francais’. Consistency is key, and this is the way to maintain it.
  3. Sync behavior: “Use the most recently updated record”. This means that prospects have the ability to update their own language (i.e. on forms) while also giving sales users the ability to edit Lead/Contact records from Salesforce – all without one overwriting the other.
  4. In the Values section, add the languages. Keep the “Prefill with” blank.

Following this setup, you should make a push for everyone in your organization to populate this field whenever the opportunity arises. A couple of things that marketers can do:

  • Infer the prospect’s language from their country, and leverage Automation Rules to update the “Language” field. This is not a sure-fire solution, and tread carefully for countries where there is more than one official language, e.g. Belgium (speaking from experience!)
  • Add the field to forms.
  • When importing prospect records, add their language alongside their country.

These tactics marketers can use will mean the “Language” field gets populated gradually over time. Salespeople know their prospects better, so encourage them to ask the prospect what their preferred language is. You can set up a Salesforce dashboard to monitor the % of Leads/Contacts (i.e. prospects) records that have the “Language” field populated.

3. Standardize Forms

Translating Pardot forms adds a layer of complexity. I’ve seen Pardot form translations done in an incorrect way, where marketers will create a new field for each language – for example, to capture a prospect’s first name, there are separate fields called “First Name”, “Prénom”, “Imię”, etc.

  • You need to use the same field, regardless of the language it will eventually appear in. This means that all data will point to the same field in the back-end. Use Pardot form field labels to ‘relabel’ your form fields in different languages. Don’t forget to translate dropdown values, too; click on the pencil to edit the dropdown field, go to the Values tab, and click the “A” icon by each value (also pictured below):
  • Templated forms per language: Create forms, for each language, that include the 5-10 most likely fields to be included on forms. The idea is that other users can copy and remove the fields they do not require (it’s far less time-consuming and error-prone to remove the fields that aren’t required than to add fields). The translations will be consistent across all forms.
  • Templated Form Templates per language: The same principle should be applied to form layout templates. All text can be changed at the form level by using form field labels, apart from two pieces of text that are, instead, controlled by the form layout template: The “Not [name of prospect]? Click here” and submission error message: e.g. “Please correct the errors below”.
READ MORE: How to Change the ”Not You?” Link Text on Pardot Forms

4. Create a Multi-language Preference Center in Pardot

I will start by saying that if you are looking to build a complex preference center, then consider seeking a custom build/third-party platform to host it. Pardot preference centers allow prospects to manage their email list preferences. Read about their capabilities here:

READ MORE: Pardot Email Preference Center Best Practices

Using Pardot Dynamic Content, you can create a multilingual email preference center that translates according to the prospect viewing the page. You can set up translations into a maximum of 25 languages.

I’ve included an example below, which explains the anatomy of the unsubscribe page:

1. Check that the lists which should appear on the email preference center for prospects add/remove themselves have the “Public Lists” list checkbox setting checked.

2. Create a dynamic content record for each list. The variations should be based on the “Language” field:

3. For each list, copy the dynamic content embed code. Go to the list and paste the embed code into the list “Label” box.

4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 if you would like to include translated list descriptions on the email preference center. This field is found below the list’s “Label” box.

5. Create a dynamic content record for the “Above form” content. Repeat for any other sections, such as the title and submit button text.

6. Copy the standard layout template (or the one your preference center is currently using), and edit the new version.

7. Paste the “Above from” embed code where you see %%form-before-form-content%% (Note: The terminology is slightly different i.e. above/before). Repeat for the other sections you’d like to translate.

8. To test this, you will need to click on the email preference center from a sent email. Each time, change your prospect record’s language in Pardot before sending a new test email.

The bonus with using Dynamic Content is that you can make changes all from one screen. Imagine – it would be a pain if you had to go into each template to make even a small change, or rely on someone with development skills.

5. Translate Pardot Emails

You can also manage email translations with Pardot Dynamic Content. Email content will translate according to the prospect viewing the page – in a maximum of 25 languages.

Personally, I find the Dynamic Content interface helpful because the original content and translation can be compared side by side, for effective proofreading among teams.

I’m hopeful that Pardot will deliver a language selector feature in the future. Salesforce released the Language Selector in Service Cloud, where service agents can use this component to switch languages swiftly.

Tip: Never use Google Translate, or other automated translation tools, for email content. Get assistance from someone who is fluent when localizing content.


Marketing in multiple languages brings its own challenges, so I hope that these tips will result in Pardot supporting your endeavors. Remember to choose a primary language to make assets more searchable and reporting cleaner, create the custom language field, standardize Pardot forms by using field labels correctly and creating template forms for each language that can be reused. And finally, consider creating an email preference center that translates itself according to the prospect viewing it at the time.

One thought on “Tips for Managing Multiple Languages in Pardot (Account Engagement)

  1. is there an update for this solution? (4 Tips for Managing Multiple Languages in Pardot)
    I do not have the button’s variable tag but something close to it %%form-submit-button-text%%. However I am not able to exchange the variable tag to the javascript, because that variable tag is in the value of the button ( )
    So my result is, that I get the javascript text in my button instead of the value defined in the dynamic content.
    And the button does not lead me further to the success page or content but just reloads the same content on the successpages url.

    Any help is highly appreciated

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