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Creating Complex Rule Logic in Pardot Engagement Studio

Creating Complex Rule Logic in Pardot Engagement Studio

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When people ask me why I want to work in the Salesforce and Pardot ecosystem, my answer is always the same — automation! Workflows! Personalization! (And usually with that many exclamation marks.)

If you already thought Engagement Studio was the best thing to happen to Pardot, it’s recently got dialed up to 11.

As we all know, personalization is super important when identifying which prospects to contact. In the past, if you wanted to get really specific in tailoring your nurture programs to each prospect, you’d usually have to build multiple rule steps into your program to identify each criteria.

Sound familiar?

Well, enter Complex Rule Logic.

Here are some reasons I’m SO EXCITED about this feature:

  • We’ll save a ton of time when building nurture flows
  • Our Engagement Studio programs will look way less cluttered
  • Our reports will be clearer (so our bosses will love us)

How to use complex rule logic: The super easy guide

Let’s say you want to send an email in your engagement program, and you have 3 different criteria to decide whether to send it to a particular prospect.

Something like…

  • Prospect score is greater than 100
  • Prospect grade is greater than a B-
  • Job title contains “Marketing”

In the past, that would be 3 different rule steps you’re adding into every point of qualification in your Engagement Studio Programs. But now, you can wrap these rules into a SINGLE step — just look for the “+ Add Condition” button on your rule in Engagement Studio, which allows you to create up to 5 total rule conditions on every Complex Rule step.

Remember to tell your rule to take action when “All Conditions Are Met” for AND conditions, or when “Any Conditions Are Met” for OR conditions.

3 examples of complex rule logic saving the day

Think of the possibilities!

We’ve even thought of some for you. Check these out:

The conventional example: My Engagement Studio program is out of hand. Help!

We love seeing creative and complex Engagement Studio Programs, but sometimes even the most badass program can turn into overkill (see also: 10 Engagement Studio “Gotchas” to Watch Out For).

There are plenty of ways to simplify an extensive nurture flow, like adding more controls to the lists feeding the program. You can also make a head start by implementing Complex Rule Logic to pare down the required steps and make your reports easier to read.

We found that this worked great for cleaning up Engagement Studio Programs that decide whether to send a prospect to Salesforce, based on specific criteria.

In this example, we have multiple steps enabled to send a prospect to Salesforce if:

  • Their Prospect default field for “Country” is US
  • Their Prospect default field for “Opted Out” isn’t Opted Out
  • Their Prospect default field for “Do Not Email” isn’t Do Not Email
  • They are not a member of the list “Partners”

Three of our rules fit into a single step (remember, you’re only allowed up to five conditions per step) so we’ve just decreased the number of steps in our program from 4 to 2.

The practical example: I want my prospects to download something different based on their form selection

If you thought the first example was cool, imagine what you could do with an even bigger program!

For example, say you want to use a form on your landing page to invite prospects to sign up to a training seminar.

But your seminar is taking place in 3 different cities, and you want them to download a different calendar invitation based on whether they choose to attend your New York, Atlanta, or Seattle event.

You could do this in a number of ways:

Create an autoresponder

Create an autoresponder to email the correct invitation to your prospects based on their selection (aka form field-based completion actions). These are SUPER useful as they allow for field value changes if the form is submitted a second time, unlike repeating an automation rule. You’ll need to use a simple script in your Pardot form’s thank you code, but this is a great option if you don’t want to redirect the prospect to a new page.

Utilize dynamic content

Utilize dynamic content in your autoresponder email. We love dynamic content — it’s so underrated! By setting the content in your autoresponder email to display variations based on the field values you set up to capture their chosen city, you can rest easy that they’ll always get the response you want. You can automate this further (YAY) as part of an Engagement Studio Program — more on this later.

Create dynamic content

Create dynamic content on your thank you page that allows them to download the invitation. You’ll need a dynamic content variation for all three invitations, but this is a great option if you want to redirect your prospect to either a Pardot landing page, or to a page on your website — you can embed the code in your page’s HTML source code.

Create a thank you page

Create a thank you page that displays links to all three invitations, so your prospect can choose which one to download — but they could accidentally download the wrong one!

We’re going to explore option #2 and how Complex Rule Logic makes this more powerful than ever.

First, set up dynamic content in your autoresponder email to change the content based on your prospects’ city selection. We based ours on the prospect default field for “City”, but the sky’s the limit — you could add a custom prospect field called “Preferred Location” that you can use in case a prospect works in one city but prefers to attend events in another, for example.

Now comes the fun part! If your form is part of an Engagement Studio Program (but make sure you use a landing page trigger, not a form trigger — see 10 Engagement Studio “Gotchas” to Watch Out For), you can now add multiple rule steps before your trigger.

Trailblazer tip: if you’re new to Pardot, remember to create email templates for both your Engagement campaign emails and your autoresponder. You can’t use list emails!

What next?

If you wanted to automate your nurture flow further (who wouldn’t!?) you could add more steps to route your prospect to the appropriate salesperson as part of a wider campaign.

For example:

1. Add another set of completion actions to your form (or an action in your existing Engagement Studio Program) to feed your prospects into a list.

2. Create an automation rule to assign prospects on this list to a salesperson, or a user group if there are multiple people in your sales team.

3. Create an Engagement Studio Program (or a branch on your existing program) with this list as the recipient list. Tell it to create a Salesforce task for your salesperson or team when a prospect is assigned. You could also send them an email if you wanted to.

We especially loved seeing this process in action in our guest post by Brittany Rhyme, How to Round Robin Prospects in Pardot without Salesforce Lead Assignment Rules.

The out-of-the-box example: Can I use complex rule logic to improve my data quality?

If you have a monster of a Pardot instance, and you’re getting close to hitting your automation rule limit… or you just want to visualize your data cleansing process in one place… you could try putting Engagement Studio to work to solve this.

And if you checked out our recent post, Junk Data in Your Pardot Org: Why it Matters and How Admins Can Mitigate & Manage It, you’ll know how important data quality is.

This Engagement Studio Program is a small one, but it’s special. We used all four of Erin’s “Junk Finder” dynamic lists, so we could put them all in a single step (remember, you’re only allowed five conditions per step).

Our favourite thing about this example is that is can be used in any Engagement Studio program. Any time you’re using a program to filter prospect data that is entering your system through your forms and form handlers, it’s a good idea to put some restrictions in place to prevent those pesky junk form fills.

What are you excited about improving with complex rule logic?

What questions do you have about complex rule logic in Engagement Studio? And if there’s something you’re excited about improving with Pardot’s new features, let us know in the comments.

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  • Chloe is a 2x Salesforce-certified Pardot pro with a varied background in product marketing, operations, and enterprise consulting. Her passions lie in building best-in-class cultures in the Salesforce ecosystem and finding any excuse to talk about GDPR and compliance. In her free time she reads obsessively, plays video games competitively, and enjoys hiking in the Malvern Hills where she lives.

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