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6 Creative Ways to Use Pardot Automation Rules

6 Creative Ways to Use Pardot Automation Rules

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Pardot automation rules are a great way to set repeatable processes in motion and save yourself from repetitive admin tasks. Most Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) users employ automation rules to assign prospects when they are sales ready, send prospects to relevant Salesforce campaigns, assign grading profiles, etc. But there are endless ways to get creative with Pardot automation rules and really take your marketing efforts to the next level. 

Creative Uses for Pardot Automation Rules

Below are some of my favorite creative uses for automation rules, as well as some amazing use cases from the Pardot community!

Tip 1. Take action if a prospect performs a specific combination of activities

Completion actions are a great way to automate based on an activity a prospect does take, but what about automating when a prospect fills out a form but doesn’t request a demo? Or, a favorite for non-profits, visits the donate page but doesn’t make a donation? This is a great opportunity to use an automation rule to find those prospects and send them to an Engagement Studio Program so you can nurture them towards the next step in their journey!

Tip 2. Ensure only invited prospects can register for an event

Courtesy of Martin Farrell, Pardot Administrator

“We use automation rules to ensure only invited prospects are able to register for an event. In this case, if someone completes the registration landing page but is not on our invitee list, they are dropped into an uninvited list, which alerts our Events Coordinator to reach out. Since the landing page completion action added them to the registration list, the automation rule also removes these prospects from said list.”

Tip 3. Split lists for A/B testing

Courtesy of Bill Fetter, Principal and Founder of UnFettered Marketing

“I use 2 automation rules to assign random numbers to prospects based on the first letter of their last name. This gives me an approximate 50/50 split of US last names based on A-K and L-Z. This is especially useful for throttling sends and/or A/B testing.” 

Read more about how Bill accomplishes this in his blog post.

Tip 4. Use tags to customize prospect activity digests

Courtesy of Rebecca Sweetman, Snr Manager, Global Systems & Sales Operations

“We use automation to tag a prospect’s country and then use those tags to be excluded from prospect activity digests (as you can only exclude not include) so teams only have to see their own region’s activity.”

To expand on this great idea a bit, if you are not using prospect activity digests you can customize these for each of your Pardot users. Just navigate to one of your Pardot users and select Edit Preferences

Select the “Send daily prospect activity emails (for my prospects)” checkbox and then exclude prospects based on tag, as shown here:

Tip 5. Review active, “CRM Deleted” prospects

Courtesy of Bill Fetter, Principal and Founder of UnFettered Marketing

“Use an automation rule to find prospects who have taken an action within the last 1 day and are marked as “CRM deleted,” then notify someone to review the prospect for possible restoration. 

Normally, what happens here is a lead was deleted in Salesforce and was sent to the Pardot recycle bin. A form fill restores the prospect, but the prior delete action does not allow the prospect to be re-created in Salesforce. This action is normally paired with a second automation rule that uses the “allow deleted lead or contact to re-create in salesforce” action when a tag is added to a record such as “allow CRM recreate.”  

You can of course use the “allow deleted lead or contact to re-create in salesforce” action in a single automation rule, but this action will automatically create a new lead. And sometimes the reason the lead was deleted in the first place is it’s a habitual form spammer that you don’t want continuously re-creating in your org. So the 2-part action with a manual check is more conservative.”

Tip 6. Lower prospect score based on inactivity

A great use of repeating automation rules is to gradually lower the score of prospects who have been inactive for a period of time. This will keep your prospects from looking “sales ready” when they really aren’t engaging with your marketing and sales activities (or may have since left their company). I like to max out this rule at 10x in order to keep any prospects from going into the negatives. 

How do you use Pardot automation rules?

What other creative uses for automation rules do you employ in your org? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Erin Duncan is the Pardot Product Director at Sercante. Erin is 3x Salesforce certified and has 10+ years of experience as a Salesforce and Pardot Admin. She is the leader of the Atlanta B2B Marketers User Group, the leader of the Pardashian Pardot Slack group, and a Salesforce Marketing Champion.

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