The most common request I get when redesigning forms is to do something, anything, about the required asterisk. “It’s too hard to see!” “People don’t know it means required!’ “We have so many form errors!” If any of this sounds like you, then you’re in the right place.

You probably also have some idea of what you’d like it to look like. Some people want it in one of their brand colors, some people ask for it to be a bright red so that it stands out, some people just ask for Pardot’s default yellow star to go away. Well we here at Invado Solutions have a little script patch that will let you do pretty much whatever you want to your required field character in your Pardot forms. Here’s an example of what you can do with it:

We’ll start by talking about Pardot’s basic options, then we’ll move on to how to use the script.

Step One: Removing Pardot’s Little Yellow Star

No matter what you want to accomplish with your required field character, the first step will be swapping out Pardot’s little yellow star for a plain text asterisk. For some, this may be enough on it’s own.

This is a point and click operation, no code needed just yet. Simply open the form wizard for the Pardot form you want to change by clicking the “edit form” button.

In step 3 of the wizard called “Look and Feel”, under the “Styles” tab, you’ll find a few settings that Pardot will let you change about your form. The one that we’re most interested in is called “Required Field Character” all the way at the bottom.

Out of the box, Pardot has two options for required field characters. Its default setting is an image of a little yellow star. The second option is a plain text asterisk that matches whatever formatting your field labels have. This is what the two options get you:

Regardless of your feelings on the plain asterisk, we have to choose this setting for our script to work. So select the plain text asterisk and save your form.

Step Two: Choosing the Script That’s Right for You.

I’ve built out two versions of this script that mirror Pardot’s two options. The first will just change the color of the asterisk, the second will allow you to replace it with an image of your own.

To change your asterisk’s color you’ll first need a hex color value. You can use a known brand color if you have that information, or you can use Google’s built-in hex value picker to select an eye catching, but not retina searing red color.

Whatever color you select will replace the highlighted section in the code below:

<!--VVVVthis script changes the color of the required asterisk-->
	var all = document.getElementsByClassName('field-label');
	for (var i = 0; i < all.length; i++) {
		var $oldReq = all[i].innerHTML;
		var $newReq = '<span style=\"color:#ff0000!important;\">*<\/span>';
		$oldReq = $oldReq.replace("*", $newReq);
		all[i].innerHTML = $oldReq

To use an image for your required field character, first upload your image into Pardot by going to Marketing → Content → Files and then clicking the “+ Add File” button.

Click the button to choose your file and then set a vanity url for the file. This ensures that if you ever change the image you won’t have to update all of your templates.

Finally Copy the image URL and replace the highlighted part of the code below:

<!--VVVVthis script replaces the required asterisk with an image-->
	var all = document.getElementsByClassName('field-label');
	for (var i = 0; i < all.length; i++) {
		var $oldReq = all[i].innerHTML;
		var $newReq = '<img src=\"\" style=\"width:12px; height:12px;\"/>'
		$oldReq = $oldReq.replace("*", $newReq);
		all[i].innerHTML = $oldReq

Note: Make sure that you do not accidentally remove the slashes ( \ ) that are located before the quotes ( “ ); the script will not work without them.

Step Three: Adding the Required Field Character Customization Script to your Layout Template

Once you have your script configured with your color or image of choice, it’s time to put it into place. We’re going to do this in whichever layout template is currently applied to your form.

Open the Layout Template Editor and navigate to the “Form” tab. In here, scroll all the way down and paste your script right above the closed form tag ( </form> ). In the image below you can see my script (highlighted in blue) already pasted in place.

Save your form layout template. If you selected the script that only changes the color of your asterisk you should have a form that looks something like this:

If you chose the script to replace the asterisk with an image you should now have a form that looks more like this:

This script can easily be used with our downloadable form template and most other layout templates. If you’d like any further assistance customizing forms, emails, landing pages or other Pardot tips, feel free to reach out to our Pardot consultants at any time!

Texas Dreamin

Invado Solutions is making a splash at Texas Dreamin’ in a big way! If you’re in the Austin Area June 13th or 14th then swing on by and say, “Hey!”

Did Someone Say Breakfast Tacos?!

Breakfast Tacos
We’re kicking off the festivities right by treating all of our Marketing pals to some breakfast tacos before the conference gets underway. Come join us and Get Feedback in the courtyard at the AT&T Conference Center from 9:00am until Noon to grab some brain food before heading downstairs for the event. Pre-register for the breakfast here to make sure we save you a taco!

Lara Black the Connected Campaign Queen

Catch us on stage

Did we mention that our very own Lara Black - the Queen of Connected Campaigns - is going to be hosting a session on this hot button topic? Make sure to catch “How connected campaigns will change your life!” If you’d like to study up on the subject before hand you can take a peek at her blog series here.

Find us later for questions!

Invado Tshirts
The whole Invado team will be making ourselves available throughout the conference for quick Q&A sessions about whatever Pardot needs you have. Shoot us an email to schedule a time slot for a one-on-one, or just keep an eye out for our bright blue t-shirts!

Over the course of this series or Pardot tips, we’ve talked about how to use our Thank You Content to further your marketing automation goals. In Part 1 we talked about getting some bonus opt-ins with nested forms. Then in Part 2, we encouraged our prospects to share our thank you pages and get us some free advertising. For this last post, we’ll focus on moving Prospects further through our nurture with Dynamic Thank You Content that suggests the “next best” piece of content to download.

This is a great way to push people from top-of-funnel to middle-of-funnel content that aligns with their interests. For our example, however, we’re going to be directing people towards the next item in our three part series. The simplest solution is to make out Thank You Content look something like this:

Thank You Content with suggestion for next download
Thank You Content with suggestion for next download

The idea here is that the Prospect will fill out the form for part one, and while they’re waiting on their auto responder, they’ll click through the link to the landing page we’ve built for part two.

Simple Content Forwarding

This is pretty simple to achieve. Edit your Thank You Content so that it becomes one giant CTA for your next item. Insert an enticing thumbnail or some text explaining the connection between the two items such as “Don’t forget to check out Part 2!” or “We think you’d also enjoy this other white paper about (insert topic here).” Top it off with a nice colorful button and then use the hyperlink tool in the WYSIWYG editor to link everything to your next landing page.

Select your Landing Page in the link tool

Offer More on a Full Page

You might be thinking to yourself “Well what if more than one item could come next? Not everything is a direct series!” Great point!

We like to have lots of content on hand so that we can be as relevant as possible to our Prospects. Maybe the first thing they downloaded only answers some very broad stoke questions.  We can offer them some more specific items that speak to specific products or solutions and based on their next choice, we can gain some information about their interests.

Even if the content follows a direct series, there’s a possibility that our Prospects landed on our part 2 page and missed part 1 entirely. It seems very rude to suggest part 3 but leave them guessing on where to find part 1.

Regardless of why we’d like to offer extra content, it’s probably going to need some more breathing room. Switch from simple Thank You Content to a full Thank You Page. That should look something more like this:

Full Thank You Page with suggested next downloads
Full Thank You Page with suggested next downloads

Once we have the page built out, we need to make sure we’re redirecting to the full page instead of showing the Thank You Content. We do this in the Completion Actions Section of our form. Check the box that tells the page to redirect and then put our Thank You Page URL in the Redirect Location field. This is found right under where were building out our simple Thank You Content.

Switch from Thank You Content to a redirect
Switch from Thank You Content to a redirect

Now we have two options. We can make a new Thank You page for every form that shows the appropriate “next content” or we can build out some Dynamic Content that will populate our Thank You Pages for us.

If you’re new to Pardot Dynamic Content you may also want to check out this blog post that uses Dynamic Content as an easy way to personalize forms.

Recording What was Downloaded

Pardot Dynamic Content works by checking a field. In our case, we need to know what just got downloaded so we’re going to create a new Pardot Field called “Most Recent Download.” Make it a simple text field so that we can fill it in however we like.

Create a new text field to hold the names of whatever document was most recently downloaded
Create a new text field to hold the names of whatever document was most recently downloaded

Then add a completion action to our forms that changes that field to say the name of the document that was just downloaded. Repeat this for every form that will lead to your Thank You Page.

Add a completion action to change our new field to the title of the document
Add a completion action to change our new field to the title of the document

Build your Dynamic Content

Now that we have all the parts in place we can start building out our content blocks.

Start by defining the variations based on our field content. We’ll set Most Recent Download as our field and then enter the same names we used in our completion actions for each variation.

Use the exact names we set in our completion actions for each variation
Use the exact names we set in our completion actions for each variation

Next I’ll click on the grey boxes to open the WYSIWYG and build out how I want the body of each Thank You Page to look. For our example, I just want it to show whichever two parts weren’t just downloaded. (So if the Prospect downloads part 1, the content will show parts 2 and 3. If they download part 2, the content will show parts 1 and 3. Etc.) It might suit your needs better to show two or three other pieces of content similar to what was just downloaded.

Finally we have to back track a bit and decide what to set as our default content.

It’s unlikely that anyone would land on your Thank You Page without passing through a Landing Page, but it’s possible. Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, let’s make sure that we have something in place. For our example, I’ll let the default content show all three parts to our series. If your goal was to suggest tailored content based on whatever they downloaded first, you may just want to offer one item from each category.

When we’re done we should have some dynamic content that looks like this:

Finished Dynamic Content
Finished Dynamic Content

Finishing Your Thank You Page

In the upper right hand corner of the Dynamic Content page click “View Embed Code” and copy the code.

Grab your embed code
Grab your embed code

Open the WYSIWYG editor for the body of your landing page. The toggle the HTML view and paste the embed code.

Paste the Dynamic Content Embed Code into the body of your landing page
Paste the Dynamic Content Embed Code into the body of your landing page

When you preview the page it should show you the default Dynamic Content. Once you test one of the actual Landing Page, the Thank You Page should load with only the appropriate content. The final product should look something like this:

Finished Thank You Page with Dynamic Content
Finished Thank You Page with Dynamic Content

Having trouble with your Pardot Dynamic Content or just unsure what your “next offering” should be? We can help you set up a brand new content strategy for your next Pardot Campaign!

In our last blog post in this series, we talked about how to gain some additional opt-ins and maybe learn a little more about the kinds of content our prospects want from us. However, there are tons of clever ways to use Thank You Content to reach different business goals.

For this example we’re going to talk about getting your Prospects to advertise your page for you by offering a little something extra for sharing your content.

This time we’re going to make our Thank You message look something like this:

Thank You Content with Social Posting Links
Thank You Content with Social Posting Links

When a Prospect clicks one of the social links to share our page, they’ll receive a second email with bonus content.


Keep your Message on Brand

Although we’re asking our Prospects to lend us a share, that doesn’t mean we should let them decide what the message should be.

You can keep your message on brand by using sites such as to build custom social posting links. offers generators for a number of different posting links offers generators for a number of different posting links

That will give you a URL, like this:

Generated LinkedIn social posting link from
Generated LinkedIn social posting link from

Bonus:  If you have a social card set up for your landing page, all you really need to include is the page URL at the very top. If you don’t have a social card set up, you can still enter descriptions and titles for your post that will auto fill for the Prospect when they click the link.

Tie it to Pardot with Custom Redirects

The next step is to set up a custom redirect for each of the Social Post links you want to include.

Paste the full url generated by into the “Destination URL” slot and then set a completion action to send an autoresponder email with your additional content.

Add your generated link into the "Destination URL" field and then add your Completion Action
Add your generated link into the "Destination URL" field and then add your Completion Action

When the Prospect clicks the link to share your page they’ll automatically be sent whatever bonus content you’ve included in your email.

That finishes all the back-end work. Now we just need to get it into the Thank You Content for our form.

Put the links into your Pardot Thank You Content

In the Thank You Content section of your form add icons for each of the social media outlets you want to feature.

Thank You Content with social icons for LinkedIn and Twitter
Thank You Content with social icons for LinkedIn and Twitter

Then use the hyperlink button in the Pardot WYSIWYG editor to link them to their corresponding custom redirect.

You can add Custom Redirects from the drop down menu in the link generator window
You can add Custom Redirects from the drop down menu in the link generator window

Finally, write something in the content that explains why they should share your page. When you’re finished the page should work like this:

This is how your new social friendly Thank You Content should function
This is how your new social friendly Thank You Content should function

Take social sharing to the next level

In this example, our goal was to get our Prospects to promote our new content. However, this same set up could be used for a number of applications.

On a thank you page promoting a training event you could provide the following content to prospects that share the page:

  • Offer a pre-training study guide so they can be extra prepared for training
  • Provide a downloadable agenda for those that share the page
  • Offer a lunch coupon to a restaurant localized to the training facility

If you’re attending a trade show you could provide your social sharers with:

  • Raffle tickets for a booth door prize
  • A VIP invitation to a “Social Partners” gathering
  • A redeemable coupon for some extra fancy booth swag

If you’re hosting a webinar consider rewarding your more social attendees with the following:

  • A chance to submit questions in advance that they would like answered during the webinar
  • A sneak peek at the slide deck that will be used during the webinar
  • A link to a private post-webinar meeting with extra hands on help


Need help executing the exciting things we are showing you with your Pardot form Thank You messages? Our team of experienced Pardot Consultants can advise you on how to best use them. Contact us today.

Hijack Your Thank You Content to Keep the Conversation Going

A lot of effort is spent trying to drive traffic to our landing pages. We often treat them as finish lines. Theform fill is all we were after and they submitted it so we’re done, right?

WRONG! (This would be a very short series otherwise.)

Landing pages shouldn’t be dead ends! Our goal is to keep the conversation going, and push your prospects through the next steps of their customer journey.

In this series we’ll look at marketing automation tactics that make better use of your Thank You Content.

Ask Your Prospects What They Want

As marketers, we spend a lot of time looking at information and making educated guesses about what our Prospects want to receive. Instead of guessing, let’s give our prospects a voice and allow them to tell us exactly what they want next.

After all, if they went through the trouble of filling out a form for your content, they probably wanted it, right? So let’s ride that wave of enthusiasm! Let’s use our Thank You Content to suggest that they self enroll in other programs. We’ll start small and make our Thank You Content look something like this:

Thank You Content with Additional Form
Thank You Content with Additional Form

Yes, that’s a form inside another form; form-ception if you will.

This second form is going to allow the Prospect to self-subscribe to a dedicated list. We're then going to use that list to send them List Emails when we publish content similar to this - we could also use this list in an Engagement Studio in the future.

Getting a Form Inside of a Form

Start by creating at least one static list named “Content Notification” and a simple one-field-form. I called my form “Notification Opt-In” and gave it a completion action that adds Prospects to the Content Notification List.

Completion Action on a Custom Redirect
Completion Action on a Custom Redirect

Finally, add a little blurb that says something like “Would you like to be notified about similar content?” I placed this in the above the form content on the Notification Opt-In form.

The next time we publish new content, we’ll send a List Email out to everyone on this Content Notification List to let them know.

Deploying the form within a form

Now that we have all the prep work done, we just need to get it live. To get our second form to display when our first form is completed, grab the embed code for the Content Notification Form and paste it into the Thank You Content section of your asset download form.

The HTML embed code is found in the little drop down at the top of the Form page
The HTML embed code is found in the little drop down at the top of the Form page
Toggle the HTML view for your Thank You Content and paste the embed code where you want the form to appear.
Toggle the HTML view for your Thank You Content and paste the embed code where you want the form to appear

The final product should look something like this:

Final Form of our Form inside of a Form
Final Form of our Form inside of a Form

Next Level: Ramp it Up and Customize it

If you have multiple content lists and want to take this a step further, we can allow prospects to pick and choose which types of content they want from you.

To do this, we're going to create a new “checkbox” type Prospect Field that lists all of our available mailing lists. To do that navigate to the Prospect Fields section under admin and click the button to add a new Custom Field. We don’t need to map the field to Salesforce, so we can just give it a name, set the type as “checkbox” and skip down to the Values section.

Set all checkbox attributes as you're creating the new Custom Field
Set all checkbox attributes as you're creating the new Custom Field

I’ve given each value a name that corresponds to it’s list in the left hand column. Then I used the middle column to enter custom labels that will appear on the form to explain what kind of content can be expected from each option. Finally, I used the right hand column to select a list that prospects who select that option will be added to.

Now we can modify our Content Notification Form and add our new checkbox field. Since the labels are set up already, just select our new field’s name from the drop down and click the “Load Default Content” button. Verify in the “values” tab that everything looks correct. Since the form is now using actions on the individual field values, be sure to remove the previously used Completion Action from the form. Save the form to update everything.

Click the button to load all of the attributes you set in the Custom Field screen
Click the button to load all of the attributes you set in the Custom Field screen
Check that everything filled in correctly by checking the "Values" tab
Check that everything filled in correctly by checking the "Values" tab

Now our Thank You Content shows neatly displayed options for the types of messaging we have available. Our Prospects can select any or all of these options by simply checking a box.

Form with Content Opt-ins
Form with Content Opt-ins

Embed Social Cards to Make Your Pages More Shareable

We discussed in a previous post how Social Cards could benefit your click through rates on Pardot Landing Pages. I suggested getting started with AnyImage, but also mentioned that are some downsides to this. Let's take a look at an example of an AnyImage card.

AnyImage Social Card example
AnyImage Social Card with co-branded URL

The first downside is that certain parts of your Social Card will be co-branded with AnyImage style links. The biggest issue, is that the Social Card will only work if the specific link that AnyImage provided is used. To complicate things further, you can't see that link anywhere in the post. Anybody linking your page directly will still get the bland text only hyperlink.

The solution to all of these problems is embedding Social Cards directly into your Landing Pages.

Embedding Cards is Easier Than You Think

Pardot, unfortunately, doesn’t have a point and click Social Card builder and its documentation on the matter is pretty spotty. On top of that, there are a ton of ways to tweak and optimize Social Cards which can feel overwhelming.

What I put together in this post is more-or-less a catch all best practice that the everyday marketer can use for just about every Landing Page you’ll ever make. I hope that once you get your first one built, this will feel like second nature. Let's dive right in.

Social Cards are built using a special type of code called "metadata" that should be found in the <head></head> section of your HTML. In Pardot these meta tags must be added into Layout Templates for Landing Pages.  Once you’re in your Layout Template, locate the <head></head> tags near the very top of your Layout tab.

Where to put Social Card code
Paste your Social Card code where shown

Paste all of the following code somewhere between those tags:

<meta property="og:type" content="website" />
<meta property="og:title" content="%%title%%" />
<meta property="og:description" content="%%description%%" />
<meta property="og:url" content="LANDING PAGE LINK" />
<meta property="og:site_name" content="YOUR HOME PAGE" />
<meta property="og:image" content="IMAGE LINK" />
<meta property="og:image:width" content="1200" />
<meta property="og:image:height" content="628" />

<meta name="twitter:card" content="summary_large_image" />
<meta name="twitter:title" content="%%title%%" />
<meta name="twitter:description" content="%%description%%" />
<meta name="twitter:url" content="LANDING PAGE LINK" />
<meta name="twitter:image" content="IMAGE LINK" />

When you’re done it should look something like this:

Social Card Metadata Tags
Note: Your code might have some extra tags than this screenshot and that's ok!

The only code you should ever have to replace is the content written in all caps. (LANDING PAGE LINK, YOUR HOME PAGE, and IMAGE LINK.)

Let’s talk about the individual tags

Now we can start breaking down all of our tags, what they mean, and what they do. First note that we have two groups of tags. The first group is the "og" or Open Graph tag. Open Graph is a standardized web protocol that helps social media sites classify and display third party information. The Open Graph protocol helps sites do a lot of really interesting things like rank favorites or suggest similar content. The important thing for us to know is that Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ all use the information in these Open Graph tags to build and display your Social Card.

You probably already guessed what platform uses the Twitter tags.

og:type - This tag tells the platforms what kind of content you’re linking. You can always safely use “website” for this and the Social Card will display with the standard layout. Other "types" are available and will alter what information is displayed. You can find a full list of types here if you’re interested.

og:title and og:description - These will usually appear under the post image and display information about the page. I’ve pre-filled these tags with Pardot’s variable tags %%title%% and %%description%%. If left alone, these will automatically populate with whatever you’ve set as the pages title and description in the Name section of the Landing Page builder. (see below)

Title and Description Input Location for Pardot Social Cards
This is where the og:title and og:description tags will pull their information

og:url - For this tag, replace the text in capital letters with the URL of your landing page. This lets the Social Card know where to send the traffic that clicks it.

og:site_name - This appears at the very bottom of the social card. Generally you'll want to replace this text with either the name of your company or your companies main web address. This is important to include for Pardot Landing Pages because otherwise it will default to display the CNAME in the URL tag on some platforms. *note: this is not clickable, it’s just informative

og:image - This is the image that will display in your social card. Every platform uses slightly different layouts so the best practice is to create an image that will work everywhere. For this you’ll want to make something that’s 1200x628 pixels and keep all important content (like text and logos) about 40 pixels from the edge.


Social Card Layout
Layout your Social Card image like this

og:width and og:height - These tags will let the platforms know what size your image is natively and keep everything aligned as you’d expect.

twitter:card - this tells twitter what sort of layout your want for your social card. “Summary_large_image” will display large images like the example shown in our previous post on Social Cards.

The rest of Twitter tags can match up with their corresponding Open Graph tag.

Making Sure It works as expected

If you’re worried about how your social card will display, Twitter and Facebook both offer their own debuggers. For simplicity’s sake, I prefer Social Debugger because it shows you how your Social Cards will display, on all major social platforms, all in one place. Just pop in your Landing Page URL, check your grade, and quickly scroll through the page to make sure you haven’t forgotten to swap something out.

A Few Extra Things To Keep in Mind

You'll Need a New Layout Template for Every Landing Page

You can't access the <header></header> tags from Pardot's landing page editor. Instead, you will need to create a new Layout Template for every Landing Page you want to have a Social Card. However, if you use the code above the only two tags you should need changed each time are the URL and image tags.

Your Social Card Images Cannot be Hosted in Pardot

Due to how Pardot handles SSL certificates, none of the major social media platforms will be able to display images uploaded into Pardot. As a first step to embedding a Social Card on a Pardot Landing Page, you’ll have to upload the image into the file directory for your main website and share the link from there.

Changes to the Metadata Tags Can Effect Existing Posts

If you make an update to the information in your tags, it can change all of the existing posts. However, most social media platforms cache whatever information they pull the first time and may not show your updates right away or at all. As a warning, make sure that your Social Card is functioning properly before anyone has a chance to post it.

On the flip side, however, you can use this to your advantage if you feel like fussing with ways to clear the cache. For example, if you set up a Social Card for an event registration page, you can alter the tags to let people know that registration is closed or that the event is over. You can even change the URL tag to lead to a page of upcoming events instead of the registration page. Twitter says it revisits pages about once a week to update the cache and display all of your new information. Some people claim that Facebook can be hurried along by entering the Landing Page URL into the Facebook debugger. It may be worth trying in certain situations.

If you need help setting up your Pardot Landing Pages, let us know how we can help!

Increase Your Click Through Rate by 250% with Social Cards

Yes, you read that right. Facebook reported that Social Cards make social posts so much more enticing, that once Tumblr enabled them on their cross posts, click throughs increased by a staggering 250%.

So what are Social Cards? You probably posted a Social Card at least once without even thinking about it. Social Cards utilize a small amount of code on a web page that blooms into a vibrant, informative post when a link to that page is pasted on most social networks.

They’re great for three specific reasons:

  • First, they keep your message clear and on brand no matter how many people repost them with their own verbiage.
  • Second, Social Cards let you make your content seem more tantalizing which encourages more click throughs and reshares.
  • Finally, they let you squeeze a bit more information out of whatever character limits you’re restricted to.

Let’s take a look at what a difference they can make in getting your content seen:

No Social Cards Embedded Exmple
Social Post with No Social Cards Embedded

The above image shows a tweet about a new blog post that doesn’t have a Social Card embedded. This post is going to completely disappear in a news feed. Even worse, the short link to the actual post is getting lost in a sea of @s and hashtags.

Social Cards Embedded Example
Social Post with Social Cards Embedded

Now we have an image shows the same post with an embedded Social Card. It’s big, it’s bold, and most importantly, the whole thing is a clickable link. Social Cards are the equivalent of grabbing a bullhorn before you make your newest announcement.

Many companies already utilize some helper tools to get Social Cards for their website and blog, but have you ever considered what they could be doing for your Pardot Landing Pages?

Use Social Cards to Increase Form Fills

Think about what 250% more traffic can do to increase both new prospects and progressive profiling through form fills. Here’s a few ideas to get you inspired:

  • Webinar registration pages should definitely have Social Cards embedded that encourage a “Bring a Friend” sort of attitude. Add something to your Thank You Message to the effect of “Don’t forget to Invite your Friends and Link this Page!” Then follow that up with a Social Card image that says “Join Us!” with information for the event right in the description.
  • If you’re publishing a new gated white paper, you should also take advantage of Social Cards. Use them to advertise your new offering all over social media. With a Social Card in place, someone who found your white paper helpful could link to your Landing Page and help spread the word for you.
  • Social Cards are also great way to share contest voting pages. Start by showcasing your submissions on a Landing Page and ask prospects to fill out a form and vote. In the Thank You Message, ask them to get their friends on board (“Every Vote Counts!”). Then create a Social Card that displays “Help Us Choose a Winner!”

Start Using Social Cards Today - No Coding Involved

We’ll speak in a future post about how to embed Social Card information directly onto your Landing Pages. This comes with the added advantage of making it easier for people to simply copy and paste the page URL.

In the meantime, you can start using Social Cards right away by visiting AnyImage and building one for free. At the end, AnyImage will provide a link that will transform into a Social Card as soon as it’s posted. There are some disadvantages to using AnyImage instead of embedding your own data, but it’s a great low-risk way to get started.

There are lots of great creative ways to utilize Social Cards but the important part is to start using them today! Think about it. There are potentially 250% more prospects who could be filling out your forms right now. All you have to do is start using Social Cards to shout instead of whisper about your content. So if your Pardot Landing Pages aren’t getting the attention you wish they were, it’s time to up your Social Card game.

Planning the First 4 Steps to a Pardot Implementation

This is the second in a four part series about how to have a successful Pardot implementation. If you missed the first post you should read the 3 Things to do Before a Starting a Pardot Implementation.

Pardot's training hub will guide you through the steps to a Pardot implementation. But, it can quickly get overwhelming and you can end up clicking a link and going down a rabbit hole. Save yourself some time and review these 4 things to do first when implementing Pardot.

The First 4 Steps to a Successful Pardot Implementation

1. Gather the right people

Prior to buying a marketing automation tool like Pardot should have (hopefully) already received buy in from your Executive team. Before starting your Pardot implementation you should have a discussion with the head of your Sales department to make sure that they know changes are coming and that you will eventually be helping contribute more to the sales team with lead-generation and prospect nurturing. Soon you will want to come back to both the Executive and Sales teams to review Pardot once you have it up and running. But for right now these are the four groups of people you need to work with so that you can get Pardot set up:

Your IT Admin

  • They will be responsible for creation of vanity domain record, implementing email authentication (DKIM and SPF).

The Salesforce CRM admin

  • If you already have a Salesforce then you hopefully already have a dedicated CRM Admin. You will need their help in setting up the Pardot app in Salesforce, mapping fields to sync between the two systems and adjusting any permissions to allow the appropriate CRM users to access new fields relevant to Pardot.
  • If you have a CRM database other than Salesforce, you can still integrate Pardot through that systems native integration or a 3rd-party connection like Zapier.
  • Pardot Consultant Pro Tip: If you don’t have a dedicated Salesforce CRM admin doing these steps might be tricky. You can contact us if you need help with integrating Pardot and Salesforce

Your Webmaster

  • Responsible for placing JavaScript tracking code within the element of the webpage, implementing iframe code for Pardot forms.

The Marketing Team

  • Hopefully you are not the only one in the marketing department.
  • If you have a other people on your team get them to help out by gathering all the existing assets and content you have (white papers, case studies, emails, newsletters, infographics, etc.). These will eventually all be assets you want to host or link to in Pardot so that you can take advantage of Pardot marketing content reporting and campaign attribution.
  • Pardot Consultant Pro Tip: If you have someone on your team that knows HTML/CSS then get them to start designing email templates and landing pages in Pardot. Also remember that you will need need a lot of content for the lead flow process and nurturing programs that you will eventually design. If you have a copy writer/content editor on your team, get them to start drafting emails, auto-responders and other content such as the thank you pages and success messages that get displayed after a prospect completes a form.

2. Plan out what needs to get done (and in what order)

Before you start building/sending emails and uploading content (images, pdfs, downloadable assets) in Pardot, you are going to want to work with your IT Admin to set up and validate your Pardot vanity domain and to implement email authentication with DKIM and SPF.

Next you will want to work with your CRM admin to set up the connection between Pardot and Salesforce.

Set up a campaign in Pardot for each one of the website domains you want to track prospects on. Then you need to get your Webmaster to help you set up tracking codes on your websites. There are several ways to do this:

  • Copy and paste this Javascript code right before the close body tag on your HTML pages.
  • If you have a Wordpress website then you can install a plugin on each of your sites, then choose the campaign you want to associate that site with.
  •  Pardot Consultant Pro Tip: If you are looking to have more advanced control on what campaigns get associated with different parts of your website you can use Google Tag Manager to configure and set up a Tag based on whatever your needs are.

3. Set up all the connectors

There are more than a dozen connectors that allow you to hook Pardot up to other services like Google AdWords, GoToWebinar, Wistia and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Connect any of these third-party applications to Pardot so that you can begin to sync data and start taking advantage of Pardot’s native reporting.

Pardot Consultant Pro Tip: Just because your app is not listed as an official connection with Pardot does not mean that it cannot be connected. Pardot has an API that you can use to connect to any other application for an endless amount of uses.  

4. Set yourself up as a test prospect

You’re almost ready to start using Pardot 😉. But first you will want to set up as a test form and set yourself up as a test prospect.

Creating a Pardot form to test on your website

  • Upload a PDF of a company white paper (or just a random PDF) to the content files section in Pardot.
  • Create an auto-responder email template in Pardot (have body content include a link to the URL of the PDF you uploaded as a Pardot content file).
  • Create a test page on your website (leave the content blank, and set it to 'no-index' to prevent google from crawling it and having it appear in search results).
  • Create a Pardot Form (set the ’Success Message’ to say ‘thanks check your email').
    • In the last step before saving your form add a completion action to 'send auto-responder email’ and then select the test email template you previously created.
  • Once your form is saved, it’s time to test everything out...

Create a new prospect using your personal email address.

Testing Your Pardot Emails, Forms, Files and Tracking Code

  • Go to your personal email account...
    • Open the email, click the link, go to your website site
    • Fill out the form (using your same personal email account) then wait for the auto-responder email to come
    • Open that email and download the PDF that you uploaded as a hosted Pardot file
  • Now navigate back to your test prospect record in Pardot and take a look at the results in the Prospect Activities section of your test record.

Pardot Test Prospect Activity

Doing all this allows you finally have an example prospect that you can show off to other members of your team so they can see how Pardot works. With this test record you were able to confirm that your website tracking code is installed, your emails are able to be sent and your vanity URL is working.

The Next Steps in Your Pardot Implementation

Now that you have a couple assets set up and tested in Pardot the next step is to circle back with the other people involved in your Pardot implementation.

  • Teach the other members of the marketing team how to get all the other email templates, forms and downloadable files set up Pardot
  • Coordinate with the Sales Team to schedule a training on how Pardot and Salesforce interact with each other to influence and update prospect records
  • Meet with your Executive Team to give them a high-level overview of what Pardot can do (use your test Prospect record as a demo), then ask them what kind of marketing influenced reports they want you to report on in the future.

If you need help with a Pardot implementation reach out to our team of Salesforce and Pardot certified consultants at Invado Solutions.

3 things to do before a Pardot Implementation

As a Salesforce Certified Pardot Consultant that has done over 30 Pardot implementations over the past 6 years I have amassed a list of website bookmarks to pdf's, videos and blogs to remind myself and provide my clients with resources and advice on what to do, and what not to do, to have a successful Pardot implementation.

Links to Pardot Training Resources

Flash forward to 2018 and I am happy to learn that Salesforce has taken the time to gather all these links together and put them all on one page. The Success Cloud has put together a great Pardot training hub on their site with links to resources, videos and pdfs that will guide you through the steps to a successful Pardot implementation.

Pardot Resource Hub on Success Cloud

But, it can quickly get overwhelming and you can end up clicking a link and going down a rabbit hole. To save you some time our Pardot consultant put together a couple of resources to review before you start the Pardot implementation process.

3 things to do BEFORE you read the Pardot Implementation Guide

1. There are 3 different editions of Pardot: Know what you bought

As you dive into the Pardot implementation guide, some of the set up instructions might be dealing with features that you do not have because they are only available in a more expensive edition.

Pardot Editions Compare Features

Nothing is more frustrating, than spending an hour reading about a new feature or watching a webinar on a new feature, then finding out that it only applies to a Pardot edition that you don't have. Save yourself some time by downloading this PDF from Salesforce that reviews the 3 Pardot editions and features. Note the features and you do not have, then mark those off your checklist whenever you start to dig into the implementation process.

2. Pardot Terms and Definitions: Review the Pardot Glossary

If you are brand new to the world of marketing automation, then a Pardot consultant would suggest you review these 15 basic marketing automation terms and definitions.

Even if you are familiar with marketing automation, Pardot terms and definitions of things like "layout template" and "campaign" can be deceiving. Brush up on all the terminology by reviewing the Pardot Glossary.

Pardot Glossary in the Salesforce Help Portal

Once you get up and running with Pardot you will regularly design and send emails. This Pardot Email WYSIWYG Editor Icon Glossary is a helpful resource to reference whenever you are getting started.

3. Download the Pardot Implementation Worksheet

This is actually a link from inside of the implementation guide, but it is often overlooked and is an easily forgotten step. As a seasoned Pardot consultant, take my advice: Download this form and fill it out. Doing so will make the entire implementation process a lot easier. Here's a link to a PDF of the Pardot Implementation Worksheet which will help you plan and stay organized throughout the entire Pardot implementation process.

Pardot Setup Implementation Worksheet

This will help you get an idea of all the different files your team will need to gather to begin designing landing pages, emails, and other assets in Pardot.

Start Your Pardot Implementation

Once you have gone through the 3 steps above, you can confidently begin to dive into the 24 page Pardot implementation guide.

Pardot Setup Implementation Content

After you read through the implementation guide you might be thinking to yourself: This is a lot of work, and I might need some help. If that is the case, a Pardot consultant can help. Learn about our marketing automation and Pardot consulting services. If it looks like we are a good fit for what you need, you can contact us.