5 Template Pardot Engagement Studio Programs – and How to Build Them

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Pardot Engagement Studio offers many possibilities for automated email nurture campaigns, effective at all stages of the customer journey – from new prospect, through to loyal customer and beyond.

As a Pardot Consultant I have the pleasure to work with many customers to improve their use of Pardot features and help them to get the most out of Pardot. One feature that can be under utilised is Pardot Engagement Studio – so I thought I’d put together a list of the top 5 Engagement Studio programs my clients ask for. As well as an overview, I will share the start list criteria (dynamic lists), the number of assets, actions and triggers I recommend, and finally, when the prospect should exit the program.

1. Nurture New Leads

By far the most common request is for a program to feed in new leads that come into the organisation and build the relationship to nurture that lead into a good enough quality lead you can pass to sales. Usually combined with lead scoring to give a threshold for moving to sales qualified, this is a key activity in most organisations. One of the most important aspects here is to really consider the content you will provide.

Start List Criteria

Leads that are newly created for your organisation. Maybe they have had their badge scanned at an event (so you have permission to email them) but they aren’t proceedable leads for your sales team.

  • Prospect List = New leads

Suggested Number of Assets

6 emails to run a minimum of a 6 week program.

Suggested Actions and Triggers

Assign in salesforce to user, group, queue or using an assignment rule when scoring threshold is reached

Exit point:

Assign in Salesforce when the scoring or grading threshold is reached.

2. Re-engage Lapsed Customers

As marketers we know that getting brand new customers is hard! Some warmer prospects that can often yield great results is revisiting your old customers.

Assuming you’ve given great customer service before, they’ll already have a great view of your company and be much more primed to buy then a totally cold lead. Contacting your lapsed customers with personalised, relevant and enticing content on a semi regular basis can really boost your engagement and bring some of these customers back into the fold.

Start List Criteria

It’s important to build a list of customers who have purchased in the past but not purchased for a specific time period, this could be different depending on your product or service.

  • Prospect account type = Customer
  • Last Closed Won Opportunity date – more than 365 days ago (see below for the two dynamic list criteria)

Suggested Number of Assets

I like to set these up as longer term nurture campaigns, I would prepare around 8 emails in a series and send these every 2 weeks.

Suggested Actions and Triggers

Trigger – If a prospect opens your email by the second day, you could send them an incentive to get in touch, or a discount code.

Notify user – to notify the owner of this customer when they interact with your content, then they can contact them personally to continue the conversation.

Exit point:

Let them flow to the end! You can also allow your prospects to repeat engagement studio programmes to deliver them the content again at a later date.

3. Event Follow-up

Running events, in-person and online, can take up a large bulk of time and effort for any marketing department. The leads you generate are valuable, and you need to keep the momentum going to eventually realise the ROI with them.

Some prospects may not be ready to buy or even in a position to take the conversation further. By nurturing these potential customers you can see an increased ROI on your event and ensure you don’t lose those prospects that aren’t ready to buy straight away. The most effective content for these prospects can often be something educational, whitepapers, ebooks and further webinars.

Start List Criteria

This list would come directly from the event – a downloaded csv. file from the event scanner, or you used a Pardot form on an iPad at the event to capture leads. Using a Pardot form here can be really effective as their details are immediately in Pardot and the first email can be in their inbox before they’ve even left the event!

  • List = [event Pardot list]


  • CRM Campaign = [event connected campaign]

Suggested Number of Assets

A minimum of 4 emails, but the more the better! Starting with a nice to meet you email and follow with an ebook, a whitepaper, an invitation to a further online event.

Suggested Actions and Triggers

  • Assign to a queue or user if they click on specific calls to action.
  • Assign a sales user a task to follow up after the prospect has clicked on 2 emails.

Exit point:

Keep them in the program unless they are assigned to your sales team. Consider adding pause steps to continue to extend your engagement program in the future.

4. Customer On-boarding

You’ve won that deal your team have been working on and you have a new customer. An excellent way to deliver them the information they need is by using Engagement Studio for customer onboarding. Whether you want to send a welcome email, customer survey, educational emails, documentation, or tutorials this can all be done right from Pardot. Meaning your team are no longer required to manually send out the customer info, it’s all automated, saving you time and standardising the process for your customers.

Start List Criteria

  • Prospect opportunity status — Closed won

Note: read up about opportunity contact roles and how they impact Pardot segmentation by opportunity criteria.

Suggested Number of Assets

This depends how much information your customers need! If your product or service is extensive or complex, then consider breaking the information down into manageable tasks. Also consider if it will take new customers some time to see the value of your product – perhaps send an email one, two or three months down the line to bring their ROI front of mind.

Suggested Actions and Triggers

You may want to capture further information about their organisation and usage of your product or service using forms during the program. What about including a one question survey (NPS) using custom redirects?

Consider how you will serve them better as a customer – how should they get in touch with support? If you are a Salesforce Service Cloud customer, there’s some additional smart automation you could set up here.

Exit point:

Let them flow to the end!

Read this guide for more information and an alternative example: How to use Pardot Engagement Studio to Improve Customer Onboarding

5. Industry Specific Programs

It’s clear that the more relevant your content is to your prospects, the better the response rate will be. Complex Rules in Engagement Studio means we can segment the data we have running through the programs by multiple criteria. So if we have a list with different industries and we want the final email of a program to provide different content depending on the industry, we can now do that! You don’t need multiple lists or rule steps.

The key to gaining the benefit of any of these programs and to nurturing your prospects is to plan these, sometimes complex, journeys out. Ensure you are taking your prospects on relevant, personalised and tailored journeys and the work will pay off!

Start List Criteria

  • Industry is = industry A; industry B; industry C etc.

Suggested Number of Assets

You would need at least two emails for each industry you want to target.

If you want to have a mix of industry specific paths and general path in order to compare your results from each, then you will need to open up your start list criteria to include all prospects.

Suggested Actions and Triggers

Use a rule to segment by industry field within the campaign. Assign leads to sales if they fill in certain forms or reach certain points threshold.

Exit point:

If the prospects fill in a form and are assigned to sales I would suggest removing them from these general emails to send more targeted content you would send to Sales Qualified Leads.


Pardot Engagement Studio offers many possibilities for automated email nurture campaigns, effective at all stages of the customer journey – from new prospect, through to loyal customer and beyond. I’ve shown you 5 templates in this post, which you can take away and make your own!

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