5 Pardot Engagement Studio Examples – and How to Build Them

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Pardot Engagement Studio offers advanced segmentation and automation tools that mean you can produce email nurture campaigns that can be effective at all stages of the customer journey.

Unlike Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Pardot doesn’t come pre-fitted with engagement program templates. Therefore, many marketers who start out with Pardot find themselves overwhelmed.

As a Pardot consultant, I am often tasked with setting up many organizations’ first engagement programs. I find that the customer lifecycle is always a good starting point.

Lifecycle-based programs are automated workflows that trigger upon the prospect’s actions, or changes in their attributes (such as moving from a prospect customer, to a customer).

In this guide, I provide practical, step-by-step instructions on how to set up typical engagement programs that are applicable for most B2B organizations.

1. Pardot Welcome Email Campaign

When a website visitor submits a form, and therefore, gives their marketing consent (e.g. guidebook download or webinar signup) it is a good idea to welcome and engage them to find out their interests.

Goal:

Activate new prospects right from the start (i.e. click an email button, visit your website, download content).

This will maintain an engaged (active) customer base in the future, too. It could look something like this:

Recipient List:

Create a dynamic list with the following rules:

Prospect time – created days ago – is less than – 0
AND
Prospect form / Form handler / Landing page – (choose the applicable form/s) – was completed successfully

Note: if you wish to add several forms to your rule, you will need to use a rule group, as shown below. Pay attention to the match type when adding multiple rules.

Engagement Studio Actions:

  • Email 1: “Welcome and What to Expect From Us”
    CTA: Link to a form with checkboxes that add the prospect to public segmentation lists in Pardot (that can be used as part of your email preference center).
  • Email 2: “Give Feedback on Our Marketing” (wait 30 days after the previous email send)
    CTA: Link to a short survey to find out how your marketing matched the prospect’s expectations and how it could be improved.

2. Pre-Sales Program (Prospects with New Opportunities)

Pre-sales is the process of preparing the prospect for the sales negotiations. Pardot allows you to automate repetitive pre-sales tasks, such as sending a link to customer testimonials (success stories), or a free demo – all intending to sway the prospect’s decision.

Goal:

Automate parts of the pre-sales process to save salespeople’s time, maximize the chance of closing the deal and ensure a uniform customer experience.

Recipient List:

  • Option 1 – create a dynamic list with the following rules:

Prospect opportunity status – Opportunity Created
AND
Prospect opportunity default field – created – less than – 0 days ago

Also, ensure that the “Add to Engagement Studio List” action is visible on the Salesforce Lead and/or Contact record page for salespeople. This will allow salespeople to control which prospects enter this engagement program instead of using rule-based logic.

  • For both options: create dynamic lists for won and lost opportunities:

Prospect opportunity status – Opportunity Won / Opportunity Lost

Engagement Studio Actions:

  • Email 1: “View this handy pre-meeting material” (before sales meeting)
    CTA: Link to free demo / past client cases / testimonials / FAQ / promo video / questionnaire.

Rule – List: Won Opportunities – Evaluate when? → Wait 30 days (or more, depending on your sales process)

  • Email 2: “Thank you for becoming a customer” (if opportunity is won)
    CTA: Link to content based on purchased solution (dynamic content is useful here).

Rule – List: Lost Opportunities – Evaluate when? → Immediately

  • Email 3: “Give us feedback on our proposal” (if opportunity is lost)
    CTA: Link to a short survey for finding out the reason for the lost opportunity and the sales process could be improved in the future.

3. Onboarding Program (New Customers)

  • Customer onboarding is arguably the most important factor in ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty. It is an intensive process of learning and collaborating.

Luckily, parts of the process can be automated with Engagement Studio. In this example, we use Salesforce campaigns for reporting purposes.

Goal:

Ensure that your new customers have the understanding and capabilities to fully use your product/service.

Recipient List:

Create a dynamic list with the following rules:

Prospect account field – Type – is – Customer (or something else, depending on your Salesforce configuration)
AND
Prospect opportunity status – Opportunity Won

Engagement Studio Actions:

  • Add to Salesforce Campaign – Customer Onboarding – with status – Sent – When? – Immediately
  • Emails 1–2: “Useful information to new customers” (wait 1–2 weeks in between emails)

CTA: Link to onboarding content on your website, Youtube or similar.

  • Triggers 1–2: Email Link Click (add the URL link of the CTA you used in the email)
  • Add to Salesforce Campaign – Customer Onboarding – with status – Engaged (for those who clicked at least some link) / Not Engaged (for those who didn’t click any links) – When? – Immediately
  • Email 3: “Onboarding survey” (sent to those who engaged in the onboarding program)

CTA: Link to a short survey on the onboarding process.

4. Product or Service Renewal Program

Possibly the easiest way to generate revenue is to simply remind current customers in advance of their product/service coming to an end.

Pardot allows you to send automated renewal notifications to both the customer and the account owner, making sure that both are kept up to speed.

Note: for this engagement program, you need Pardot custom objects enabled in Pardot (Pardot Advanced Edition or as an add-on feature to Pardot Plus Edition).

Goal:

Renew an expiring product/service and maintain an ongoing relationship with the customer.

 

 

Recipient List:

Create a dynamic list with the following rules:

Prospect custom object – Match prospects: related with properties to Asset by Contact (set up as a Pardot custom objects)
Lifecycle End Date – days in future less than or equal to – 30 (or more depending on your typical repurchase process length)

Engagement Studio Actions:

  • Add to Salesforce Campaign – Product Renewal – with status – Sent – When? – Immediately
  • Email 1: “Product about to expire in 30 days”

CTA: Link to self-service page / contact request web form.

  • Task 1: “Your customer’s product is about to expire” – Assigned to: Assigned User – Priority: High – Status: Not Started – Due: 30 days from today – Reminder: 14 days from today
  • Triggers 1–2: Email Link Click / Form / Form Handler Complete / Landing Page
  • Email 2: “Product about to expire in 14 days” (sent to only who did not respond to Email 1)
  • Task 2: “You have a contact request” – Assigned to: Assigned User – Priority: High – Status: Not Started – Due: 1 days from today – Reminder: 1 days from today
  • Add to Salesforce Campaign – Product Renewal – with status – Engaged (for those who clicked at least some link) / Not Engaged (for those who didn’t click any links) – When? – Immediately

5. “Sunset” Program (Inactive Prospects)

Not all of your prospects will be happy, active individuals. Some will probably never engage with your marketing.

Pardot’s pricing is directly linked to mailable prospects – regardless of whether they are actively engaging or not. The purpose of a sunset program is to try and activate these passive prospects, and if there is no response, label them unmailable and suppress them from your email sends.

Goal:

Reactivate dormant (inactive) prospects to start engaging with your marketing and to clean up your prospect database of unnecessary, inactive recipients.

Recipient List:

Create a dynamic list with the following rules:

Prospect time – last activity days ago – is greater than – 60

Engagement Studio Actions:

  • Email 1: “Check out our all-time top 5 content”
    CTA: Link to a pillar article on your website showcasing your top-performing content.
  • Email 2: “Manage your marketing preferences”

CTA: Link to an email preference center.

  • Email 3: “Final reminder for opting back in”
    CTA: Link to a thank you page. (for indicating interest in receiving marketing emails)
  • Triggers 1–3: Email link click – Evaluate when? – Up to a maximum of 14 days

Rule 1: List – Passive Prospects – Evaluate when? – Wait – 14 days

Change Prospect Field Value – Do Not Email – Change – To – True

Bonus Engagement Studio Templates

  • Nurture New Leads: by far the most common request! The goal is to build the relationship, so that the prospect becomes a good quality lead you can pass to sales. It’s usually combined with lead scoring to give a threshold for moving to sales qualified. One of the most important aspects here is to really consider the content you will provide.
  • 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.
  • Event Follow-up: 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.
  • Re-engage Lapsed Customers: prospects that can often yield great results are old customers (assuming you gave great customer service before!)

Summary

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

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