Should You make a List Email or an Email Template in Pardot?

5 Ways the New Pardot Lightning Email Builder Shines (and 5 Things That Need Work)

As a Pardot consultant, one of the biggest challenges I encounter is explaining how to use Pardot's outdated, region-based email builder. The ability to craft a responsive email using a drag ‘n drop interface has been a perpetual roadmap item for the last several years, which is why I was excited to have a sneak peek into the new Lightning Email Builder functionality in early Sept 2020. 

While the first iteration of this tool has some promising blocks upon which to build, there are some items that some teams should consider before fully making the switch to the Lightning Email Builder. 

Here are the 5 features I am most excited about: 

1. Drag ‘n Drop interface with responsive design

Despite what some Pardot AE’s have been saying for years on demo calls, this actually IS drag ‘n drop. Search for components on the left pane and drag (and drop!) them into the center pane. It also seems to handle columns fairly well. Images will automatically be sized appropriately per device (you can actually toggle between 'Desktop' and 'Phone' directly from the builder to see quick previews). Oh, and built-in preheader text (very nice)! 

Pardot Lightning Email Builder









Pardot Lightning Email Builder







2. Easy button creation

Creating buttons has always been a pain, as there is no native tool in Pardot with which to create the HTML. Instead of having to leverage a tool like, Pardot makes it easy to create a button within the interface. It is unknown at this time if they render correctly in Outlook, but it’s one of the first things to test once the tool is available.

Pardot Lightning Email Builder







Pardot Lightning Email Builder

Pardot Lightning Email Builder








3. Undo

If you make a mistake (such as remove an element you didn’t intend to remove), you can now hit ‘Undo’. This acts somewhat like the current Snapshot functionality, but it’s a much simpler function.






4. Resending email to different audiences (and keeping metrics separate)

Not only has the building interface changing, but the sending interface has as well. Amongst other changes, you can now send the same email to a different list or set of lists and easily keep the metrics on each send separated.







5. Use of CMS instead of hosting files in Pardot

The new Lightning Email Builder is the same experience for Pardot, Sales Cloud, and Service Cloud, which means there is now a central repository for images (Salesforce CMS). Instead of hosting files in Pardot (where storage is limited and often quickly fills up due to poor duplication detection), they will be hosted in Salesforce CMS and accessed via the Lightning Email Builder UI.

Pardot Lightning Email Builder







Despite these very encouraging positives, the Lightning Email Builder, as demoed in Sept 2020, has some rather significant limitations.

Here are 5 areas that need some work before this tool can be considered a true replacement for the classic email builder: 

1. Lightning Email Builder is limited to List Emails only

You’ll still need to use the classic Pardot Email Builder for all of your Pardot Engagement Studio templates and autoresponder templates.

2. No built-in Litmus rendering

If you’d like to see how your HTML will render across devices and email clients, the Lightning Email Builder does not yet have an integration with Litmus like the classic builder does.

3. No advanced sending options

According to the initial demo, there didn’t appear to be a way to “Send as Assigned User” or “Send as Account Owner” - only a place to type in the sender name and sender email address.

4. No access to full-email HTML

Perhaps it wasn’t included in the demo I saw, but there didn’t appear to be a place to access the full-email HTML - only the HTML for each individual section. This could make things like implementing alternate code for dark mode considerations more time consuming.

5. Other notable features missing upon first release

  • No A/B Testing
  • No ability to use Pardot Dynamic Content (although merge fields are available)
  • No way to restrict the editing of certain sections for end-users

Conclusion: The product team at Salesforce is aware of these limitations, and will be addressing most (if not all) of them in upcoming releases. The Lightning Email Builder is definitely a step in the right direction for Pardot, especially since this interface will supposedly be leveraged for Pardot Landing Pages as well. Upon initial release, this tool will be a good fit for organizations with simple email needs who don't have the luxury or ability to have custom HTML developed. But larger orgs with more complex email needs will need to wait for future iterations to fully transition.

For more Pardot tips or help in setting up Pardot, reach out to your Pardot consultants at Invado Solutions.

5 Things To Consider When Creating Campaign Members from Pardot

The concept of Campaign Membership within Salesforce is central to a lot of functionality within Pardot, but it’s often misunderstood or misapplied. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when creating or updating Campaign Members from Pardot: 

1. Completion Actions (such as ‘Add to CRM Campaign’) only fire on cookied Prospects

This is most relevant for Custom Redirects and Files hosted in Pardot. If an anonymous (non-cookied) visitor clicks on a Custom Redirect (such as a social media post) that has a Completion Action of ‘Add to Campaign X’ and then fills out a form, the resulting Prospect will not be added to Campaign X, since they weren’t a Prospect at the time of clicking the Custom Redirect. 

One alternative is to create a Pardot Automation Rule for each Custom Redirect. Automation Rules look at retroactive activity (ie. did the Prospect ever click on a Custom Redirect, even if the activity occurred before they were a known Prospect), whereas Completion Actions do not (ie. if the visitor wasn’t a Prospect when the Completion Action fired, nothing happens). 

If it’s not feasible to create a large number of Pardot Automation Rules, it’s possible to use Pardot Engagement Studio to accomplish much of the same functionality. 


2. A Prospect must be assigned in order to have a Campaign Member created in Salesforce

Since Campaign Members are junctions between Campaigns and Leads/Contacts, it makes sense that without a Lead/Contact, you can’t have a Campaign Member. But this is sometimes overlooked when creating automation within Pardot. 

For example, if you have a Completion Action on a form of ‘Add to CRM Campaign X’ but the Prospect is not yet assigned (and therefore not synced to Salesforce), the Campaign Member can’t be created since no Lead/Contact exists. Once the Prospect is assigned, Pardot will remember the request that was made via the Completion Action and will create the Campaign Member at that time. 


3. Campaign Member Created Dates are based on Lead creation date, not request date

To continue the point made above, once the Campaign Member is created, the Creation Date on the Campaign Member record is the date of Lead creation, not the date that the request was made. This may have an impact on First Touch Attribution. If a Prospect was “added” to multiple campaigns before they were MQL, upon assignment all of the Campaign Members will have the same Created Date. This is one of the reasons why you may want to consider syncing Prospects to Salesforce early in the process. 


4. Each Lead or Contact can only have one Campaign Member

While Campaign Membership has some essential benefits, it has one significant limitation in that a Lead/Contact can only have one Campaign Member in each Salesforce Campaign. Therefore, it’s difficult to gauge the number of times a person has interacted with the content within the same campaign. For example, perhaps someone downloaded the same whitepaper three times throughout the sales process over the course of 12 months. They would only have a single Campaign Member to show for it, even though it was three separate touches. 


5. Campaign Membership can have more than one function

Not every Campaign Member needs to feed into the campaign attribution models. Sometimes it’s just helpful for SDRs or BDRs to see who has submitted a specific form (without needing access to view the data in Pardot). Something like a Contact Us form shouldn’t necessarily feed into campaign attribution, so you may want to consider filtering those out in the Auto-Association settings. 

Also, when it comes to campaign attribution, you may want to consider the driver, not the content itself. Demo Request Forms are great (and it’s a good idea to add Leads or Contacts to a Demo Request campaign when they submit a form), but it doesn’t tell you which marketing tactics are working to drive people to the form. If you have multiple drivers (Google Ads, social posts, etc) that are all pointing to the same form, consider using UTM parameters on your links in order to track the origin of the traffic. 


Campaign Members are crucial pieces to the puzzle to gauge ROI, interest, and attribution, but care needs to be taken when creating or updating them from Pardot. If done incorrectly, you could only be deriving a portion of the possible value that this tool provides. For more Pardot tips or help in setting up Pardot, contact your Pardot consultants at Invado Solutions.

Harnessing Pardot Marketing Data Sharing to Control Data Flow

One of the biggest selling points of Pardot is its “in-platform” relationship with Salesforce. In a lot of ways, Pardot can be viewed as an extension of Salesforce, but it's important to remember that the “person” records (Prospects in Pardot and Leads/Contacts in Salesforce) are actually stored in separate databases. 

Similar to how you wouldn’t want every Prospect in Pardot to be synced to Salesforce, it’s a good idea to only sync Salesforce Leads and Contacts to Pardot that you will actually be reaching out to, both from a pricing perspective (in Pardot, you pay per mailable Prospects in 10K blocks) and from a data cleanliness perspective.  

One way to control the data flow from Salesforce to Pardot is through the “Automatically create prospects when new leads and contacts are created in Salesforce” setting on the Salesforce connector, which is great for scenarios where *all* of your newly created Leads and Contacts should have corresponding Prospects in the Pardot database. 

But what if you’d like only a certain subset of Leads and Contacts to be associated with a Prospect in the Pardot database? This is where Pardot Marketing Data Sharing (MDS) can save the day. Released in conjunction with Pardot Business Units in February 2019, it is a complementary feature that also has value in situations where multiple Business Units are not needed. 

Prior to Marketing Data Sharing, if a user wanted to selectively sync Leads and Contacts, they had to adjust sharing settings and rules in Salesforce, and then write custom code that dynamically assigned ObjectChangeLog records to the correct connector user in the proper situations. MDS makes this manual work obsolete by introducing a simple visual interface in which a user can create rules per syncing object that dictates the flow of records.

MDS Rules can be defined for the following objects: 

  • Leads
  • Contacts 
  • Opportunities
  • Custom objects (optional)

Here are a couple guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Rules are limited to a single criteria per object, and that criteria cannot include a field that is already mapped to Pardot (Pro-tip: if more complex logic is needed, create a custom field on each object that is solely used for routing/sync and populate the value of that field using Process Builder or Flow)
  • The only operator is currently “equals” (examples: Region = NA or SyncToPardot = true)
  • If you define rules for Leads you must also define rules for Contacts, and vice versa
  • The criteria never increases access to records; rather it acts as an additional filter on which records are eligible to sync 
  • Whenever a Lead or Contact is edited, Salesforce will check to see if the record still meets the criteria to sync; if not, the corresponding Prospect record is archived in Pardot

When using MDS with multiple Business Units (BU), there are some additional considerations:

  • If you define a rule for an object in one BU, you need to define rules for that object in *every* BU
  • On Pardot Marketing Data Sharing Rules for Leads and Contacts, users need to manually ensure that MDS rules do not overlap (that is, that they only match one BU in each scenario)
  • Records related to Leads or Contacts (such as Accounts, Opportunities, and custom objects) can exist in more than one BU
  • Marketing Data Sharing Rules need to be set up in each BU, and this must be done before unpausing the connector

Although Marketing Data Sharing has been a welcome addition to the arsenal, Pardot is currently working on a new iteration of the concept that is thought to improve on a couple of shortcomings: 

  • Available to more users (MDS is currently only available in Pardot Advanced edition)
  • More granular control of the field-level data that is visible in Pardot on records that are eligible to sync (ie. if a user doesn’t have permission to view a field in Salesforce, they also won’t be able to view it in Pardot)

For more Pardot tips or help in setting up Pardot, reach out to your Pardot consultants at Invado Solutions.