A Simple Salesforce Hack for Tracking Pardot Email Replies

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Tracking prospects replies to Pardot Engagement or List Emails is a frequent request. When a prospect replies, the conversation turns to the inbox, leading you to feel like the message has been lost down a black hole.

While you can look to specialist providers, such as Siftrock, you may neither have the proof for its usefulness (is it just on your ‘nice-to-have’ list?), nor the budget!

There is one Salesforce feature you can use in lieu of committing to a full-out solution. ‘Email to Salesforce’ allows you to relate the emails sent from your inbox, to the matching lead, contact, or opportunity record by simply adding a unique email address to the BCC field.

The first time I mentioned this in passing to a client that had pined for several months for reply tracking, he exclaimed: “How wonderful! This is precisely all we need!”. He’s awfully British, in case you hadn’t picked that up. Nevertheless, I hope you, too, will be equally as “chuffed”.

How to Set Up Email to Salesforce – a 5-minute job.

Good news: Email to Salesforce is available in all editions, across both the Lightning and Classic interfaces!

The instructions to set up this feature is detailed on the Salesforce Help portal, which you will find relevant links to below:

Step 1: Enter your email address into ‘My Acceptable Email Addresses’, set Email Associations, and Excluded Domains. (Instructions)

Step 2: Activate, and send a notification to your users. (Instructions)


Note: In order for Email to Salesforce to record the email to the recipient’s Salesforce record, they must have the standard email field populated. Also, the user doing the BCC’ing must have read access to the record, as a minimum. Read here for more considerations.

The Most Important Thing: Discipline

For this to work, your team needs to be disciplined. Users need to get into the habit of adding the BCC email when replying, or your campaign reply reports will be skewed. I have not seen adoption be a problem, due to its simplicity, I guess.


Of course, it’s not the most sophisticated solution – but it’s something!

For reporting, you will need to rely on the activity’s subject line. For as long as Engagement History and Salesforce Activity History remain separate, you won’t be able to see these email replies in Pardot, which in turn, means you can’t trigger automation based on a reply action (unless you build in some hefty customisations).

Going with a 3rd party vendor will give you far more analytics and data mining ability (more on this in a future post)!

2 thoughts on “A Simple Salesforce Hack for Tracking Pardot Email Replies

  1. Great article. You can actually fix the issue of having to manually add the unique BCC email by creating a new mailbox which is dedicated to sending marketing emails. So, say that all of your marketing emails are sent by Joe Bloggs. Joe could be fictional, but if he is a real person then you just set up an “alternative” mailbox for Joe which is dedicated to sending these marketing emails. Then you can add his real email to this mailbox. And you can add the BCC email to this mailbox. And you can even add a departmental sales@ or marketing@ email to the mailbox too. Basically, anyone who needs to be copied on responses to marketing emails could have their email address added to this mailbox. Obviously, for this use case though, the most important one is the unique Salesforce BCC email. Here’s how it might work in reality:

    Joe is the Head of Marketing and he personally sends every marketing email. His email address is Joe.Bloggs @ made-up-company.com. But now in order to capture responses to his Pardot emails, we will create another mailbox for him which is Joe_Bloggs @ made-up-company.com. All Pardot marketing emails will now be sent from this address. We’ll add his normal email address to the mailbox too, so that any responses come into his everyday inbox and he can respond from there (or forward to sales). We’ll also add the unique Salesforce BCC address, and we can add sales @ made-up-company.com too so that they can jump on it if it’s a good lead. You can use Email to Salesforce to do this or if you need additional premium functionality you can use our app Email-to-anything (which is on the AppExchange). We use it for exactly this use case internally. You can pull people out of Engagement Studio programs automatically if they reply to one of your marketing emails. You can even allow for automatic OOO responses and ignore them accordingly. And you can capture every single email conversation against the relevant lead or contact in Salesforce, without having to switch to Outlook/Gmail. It’s pretty cool.

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