How Completion Actions Can Add Value to Your Pardot Instance Pt. 1

Leveraging completion actions is a great way to automate more of your workflows. That’s the whole point of a marketing automation platform, right? You can still have an effective Pardot platform without using completion actions, but being able to understand what exactly they’re capable of can add a lot of value to your marketing efforts.

In this post, I will highlight the different areas of Pardot where completion actions come into play.. Completion actions can be applied across many different elements within Pardot, and I’m going to point out how to use them to your advantage.

You can view a full list of available Pardot completion actions here. However, keep in mind that not every completion action is available depending on the trigger you’re choosing.


Completion Actions with List Emails


As you’re probably aware, completion actions are able to be applied to list emails within Pardot, but not Pardot email templates. If you’re looking to leverage completion actions within emails, there are some workarounds available that I’ll talk about in part two of this series.

Typically with completion actions, they’ll fire when triggered by a single action (form submission, link click, file download). With list emails, we actually have three separate triggers to choose from: email open, email click and email unsubscribe. With the email click trigger, you can specify any link in the email or call out a specific link.

The completion actions like ‘add tag’ and ‘add prospects to list’ will always be valuable. These are two different ways to populate Pardot lists based on your prospect’s actions. ‘Add to list’ will populate a static list and ‘add tag’ will allow you to populate a dynamic list.

The adjust score completion action is another popular one. Keep in mind that Pardot scoring rules are always in play. By default, an email link click will grant three points. If you have a high priority CTA in your email and you’d like your prospects to be scored more for interacting with it, then you can use the ‘adjust score’ completion actions to add additional points.

Another beneficial completion action with regard to list emails is ‘notify user’. I don’t usually recommend assigning prospects based on a single link click as it usually isn’t enough activity to warrant an assignment (which would then send them to SFDC), but being able to notify a sales user when a high priority CTA is clicked can be very useful.


Completion Actions with Pardot Forms


In my opinion, completion actions are most often used with form submissions, whether that be a Pardot form or a third-party form tied to a Pardot form handler.

Again, ‘add to list’ and ‘add tags’ are both great in this scenario. ‘Adjust score’ is also valuable. It allows you to prioritize how your Pardot forms should be scored. The default score value for a form and/or landing page is 50 points. But, we know that not all forms should be weighted as heavily. Let’s take a newsletter sign-up form that you’ve stuck in the footer of your website. If someone fills that out should they get the same amount of points as someone requesting to be contacted? Probably not. Using completion actions, we can keep the base score of 50 points for the form submission and then use the ‘adjust score’ completion action to subtract 40 points, netting the prospects a 10-point gain for opting in to your newsletter.

If you’re a Pardot user, you probably know that assigning prospects to a user is the only way to get them to sync over into Salesforce. You’ll typically do that when the prospect becomes ‘qualified’, whether that’s a specific activity, score, grade or other Pardot activities. If you have something like a demo or contact request form, something that would instantly qualify the prospect for next steps, then the ‘assignment’ completion action can be very beneficial. There are four ways to assign: Assign to User, Assign to User Group, Assign via Salesforce Active Assignment Rule, and Assign to Salesforce Queue. If you aren’t sure if someone should be qualified after a single submission, you can use the ‘notify user’ completion action. It will send a summary of the form submission including all values submitted and a link to the record in Pardot and Salesforce. If the prospect existed in your database prior to the form submission, it will also provide you with that prospect’s historical information.

One of the most popular form completion actions is ‘send autoresponder email’, which will automatically send out an email to the prospect with whom the second the form is submitted. If your company gates content, this is the best way to distribute your content. Simply upload the file to your Pardot file library, grab the destination URL, and drop that into your email template. Pardot forms aren’t able to verify the email address that the prospect provided, which forces the prospect to give you a valid email address as that is where the content they requested will be sent. Your other option for distributing content is to redirect the prospect to the content upon form submission. The big downside here is that they can give you a fake email address and still receive the content. Then when you email this prospect in the future the email will bounce, which will affect your deliverability rate.

The last completion action I’ll cover in this blog post is ‘create Salesforce task’. Not everyone uses tasks in Salesforce, but if you do, this completion action will allow you to generate and fully configure a task to be created for a user when the form is submitted, allowing for an easy follow-up.




Whether you’re a brand new user just setting up Pardot or have been using the tool for a while, understanding the intricacies of the platform will allow you to squeeze the most out of it. In part two of this blog series, I’ll dive into some of the shortcomings of Pardot completion actions and where I’d like to see improvements. I’ll also be covering other areas of Pardot where completion actions can be used, such as custom redirects and file downloads.

If you need help optimizing completion actions for your instance of Pardot, Invado’s Pardot consultants can help! Interested in other Pardot tips and Pardot campaign best practices? Check out our blog!

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