Pardot Tips for Thank You Content Part 2: Free Advertising

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 www.sharelinkgenerator.com to build custom social posting links.

www.sharelinkgenerator.com offers generators for a number of different posting links
www.sharelinkgenerator.com offers generators for a number of different posting links

That will give you a URL, like this:

Generated LinkedIn social posting link from www.sharelinkgenerator.com
Generated LinkedIn social posting link from www.sharelinkgenerator.com

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 www.sharelinkgenerator.com 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.


Pardot Tips for Thank You Content Part 1: Bonus Opt-Ins

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

Getting Noticed Part 2: Embedding Social Cards on Pardot Landing Pages

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!


Getting Noticed: Using Social Cards with Pardot Landing Pages

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.