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Connected Salesforce + Pardot Campaigns: How They Rock Our World

Connected Salesforce + Pardot Campaigns: How They Rock Our World

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Salesforce and Pardot connected campaigns bridge two distinct campaign reporting functions into one powerful feature. 

Prior to 2019, Salesforce and Pardot campaigns were independent of each other. But with the introduction of connected campaigns the two entities joined forces. And with that, the humble marketer’s life is made easier. 

The Difference Between Salesforce and Pardot Campaigns

Before we jump in, let’s do a quick 101 refresh on the difference between Salesforce campaigns and Pardot campaigns.

The Skinny on Pardot Campaigns

Pardot campaigns refer to the first touch interaction that could be tracked. It answers the question: “What brought this person to us?”

For example, let’s say someone visits your How to Be Good At Stuff webinar page. They didn’t sign up, came back 30 days later, and converted to a lead by downloading your I’m Awesome at Stuff whitepaper. Their campaign would be set to the How to Be Good At Stuff webinar, since that was the first initiative that brought them to you.

Pardot campaigns are one-to-one. That means each person has ONE source campaign. And every asset created in Pardot has to be tied to one campaign as well.

This gives you useful reporting data on the number of leads sourced by your campaigns and how these convert into closed-won opportunities downstream in the pipeline.

How Salesforce Campaigns are Different

Salesforce campaigns are more… how normal people think about campaigns. Campaigns are marketing initiatives, and each contact or lead can belong to multiple campaigns.

Tracking this in Salesforce is hugely impactful. If you leverage Salesforce campaigns to record who you touch with your marketing efforts, then you’re laying the foundation to be able to show all of the marketing touchpoints that led to a sale on each of your opportunities:

Opportunity Dashboard

And at the campaign level, you can see the total volume of opportunities that were influenced by your marketing activities.

Salesforce Campaign dashboard

Marketers have been talking about revenue attribution for the last decade. But for most organizations, this stops with “talk.” We all like the idea of being able to link marketing campaigns to hard revenue numbers, but our disparate systems and measurements make that incredibly hard to deliver.

Campaign influence reporting finally makes revenue attribution doable for a typical marketing team — all with tools native to the platform. This comes together in first touch, last touch, or any other custom attribution models your team needs to analyze the impact of its marketing spend.

Campaign performance dashboard

How to Set Up Connected Campaigns in your Pardot Org 

The good news is that connected campaigns are automatically activated for Pardot orgs setup after 2019. But, there are a few settings we’ll want to take a look at to make sure everything is functioning.

 The magic is in the Pardot connector!

Connected campaign settings are managed by the connector that bridges Salesforce and Pardot. 

In Pardot Lightning…

  1. Click on Pardot Settings
  2. Connectors (on left menu)
  3. Click the settings cog under Actions on the right for the Salesforce connector
  4. Select Edit Settings

On this screen, you’ll notice the campaign that is being used to connect contacts that come from Salesforce into Pardot. They will be marked with this “first touch” campaign when they sync from Salesforce. If you do NOT have a campaign here, you should create a campaign in Salesforce, something generic like “Salesforce Contacts,” and select it here. 

Question: I created the campaign in Salesforce and it doesn’t appear in this picklist?

This is pretty common. There are three reasons why the campaign would not appear, here are some troubleshooting steps…

  1. When setting up the campaign in Salesforce you must check the box to make the campaign “Active.”
  2. Be patient! It can sometimes take 5-10 minutes for the campaign to appear in Pardot. You may need to refresh the connector settings page to see it appear.
  3. As a last resort, delete the campaign you created in Salesforce and create a new campaign. You might be shocked at how often this solves the problem.
Connector Settings

Let’s Look at Campaign Settings

Once you have the connector settings worked out, click on the Campaigns tab at the top.

Pardot Settings, campaign tab

Let’s take a closer look at the setting options.

  • First, ensure the check box for “Enable Connected Campaigns and Engagement History” is checked. This should already be checked by default, which turns on all the wonderful connected campaign magic. 
  • Enable Campaign Member Sync should also be checked to ensure that when you add people to your campaign in Salesforce or Pardot they stay in sync. Note: If you add people to a campaign in Pardot but they do not exist as Contact or Lead records in Salesforce, you will not see them in Salesforce under that particular campaign. 
  • Use Salesforce to manage all campaigns should be checked allowing you to create and manage campaigns in one place — Salesforce! No more duplicating efforts in Pardot.
  • Limit Campaign Creation by Date – this handy feature gives you the ability to limit what campaigns sync to Pardot. If your Salesforce org has been around for a while, it undoubtedly has campaigns that were created and you may not wish to clutter Pardot with old campaigns. You can select a cut-off date here!
  • Show unconnected campaigns in Pardot Campaigns tab is good to check if you wish to see what campaigns in Pardot are not connected to Salesforce. As the subtext under the box states: Unconnected campaigns are always shown unless Manage Campaigns in Salesforce is enabled.
  • Finally, Campaign record types enabled for connection. This will say “Master Record Type” by default if you only have one Salesforce campaign record type. But some orgs are fancy and have multiple record types for different parts of the business. If this is the case, you can select which record types should sync to Pardot.

Once Connected Campaigns are flowing here’s what you’ll notice

  • All new campaigns will be created in Salesforce — you can not create campaigns in Pardot.
  • Every time you add a new active campaign to Salesforce, it’s automatically available in Pardot.
  • You can add campaign members in Pardot through automation rules or completion actions. As long as they are assigned to a user, they will sync to Salesforce and show up as members of that campaign in Salesforce. 

PRO TIP: If you have a campaign set up for a weekly or monthly newsletter, add a completion action to your signup form. This ensures that when a prospect fills out the form, they are automatically added to that campaign.

These campaign fields will also be updated by Salesforce and pushed to Pardot:

  • Name
  • Cost
  • Created By
  • Updated By
  • Updated At

Now for the Really Exciting Stuff: Show Engagement History on the Campaign in Salesforce & Report On It

To add another layer of awesomeness to this, Connected Campaigns allows you to also enable Engagement History on Salesforce campaigns.

What this means is that on Salesforce campaigns that are connected to Pardot campaigns, you can pass engagement metrics from:

  • List emails
  • Forms
  • Form handlers
  • Links & custom redirects

When you turn on Engagement History, new custom objects called ListEmail, MarketingForm, and MarketingLink are created and populated with data from corresponding Pardot records. These records DO count against your org’s data storage limits. 

Important: these custom objects do need to be added to your Campaign page layout! Here are detailed instructions to do this.

Benefits of Enabling Engagement History

Enabling Engagement History lets you add KPIs for these assets to the Campaign Page Layout:

Engagement History

And even better, it lets you get at this data in Salesforce reports & dashboards:

campaign report

My heart literally flutters with anticipation of the power this is going to bring to marketers on the platform.

 A few general FYIs on what you need to make Engagement History work:

  • Connected campaigns set up (duh)
  • Prospects syncing with a Salesforce lead or contact, and added to the connected campaign
  • The prospect must be assigned to a user, group, or queue in Salesforce (a requirement for it to sync to Salesforce in the first place)
  • To access Engagement History data, users need the Sales User or CRM User standard permission set and field-level security access to the engagement history fields.

Ready to Roll with Salesforce and Pardot Connected Campaigns?

Once you experience connected campaigns, there’s no going back. (Literally and figuratively. Once it’s on, it can’t be turned off.)

To make this magic happen, you will need your Salesforce admin on board, since a lot of the configuration changes take place inside Sales Cloud. 

Do you utilize the power of connected campaigns? What’s your experience been? We’re dying to know — please share with fellow readers in the comments!

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  • Nick has a diverse marketing background, including print and digital. For the past 15 years he has focused on database marketing, including automation, strategy and reporting. At Sercante he is focused on helping clients to achieve the full benefit of their CRM investment. When he's not working he is busy with his wife chasing their two kids around in upstate New York. He is also a youth program manager at their local church.

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