Marketing Automation Hacks: 3 Quick Pardot Tips to Up Your Game

June 16, 2015 Hannah Freeman

Pardot Hacks

“So, what’s next?”

If you’re like the majority of the marketers I’ve worked with, you ask yourself this on a regular basis. I’m a Client Advocate at Pardot, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with hundreds of marketing gurus, CMOs, and data-driven administrators all hungry for new technology, knowledge, and ideas that they can use to up their game.

The Advocate team and I are on the frontlines at Pardot with one mission: ensure our clients are successful by providing Pardot strategy and marketing automation best practices.

Because marketers are always looking to take it to the next level, I’ve developed a list of go-to tips, tricks—even a few hacks—meant to spark ideas of what else you can and should be doing.  

Here are a few of my go-to solutions for addressing common concerns:

“My email campaigns aren’t getting much engagement.”

Have you ever wondered if your emails are all going into spam because your open rate is really low? I hate to be the one to say it, but it’s more likely that your email strategy isn’t working. So how can you cut through the noise and make an impact?   

Pro Tip: Ditch the batch and blast! Use clean, targeted lists, short and friendly subject lines, and dynamic content for a highly personalized experience.

You need to be leveraging features like variable tags (auto-populated fields) in your subject lines and advanced dynamic content (variable content blocks in your emails, landing pages, and website that change based on who is viewing it) in your copy to deliver content that is relevant to your leads.

Think of the possibilities—you could start displaying different pieces of content based on a prospect’s interests, buyer personas, even where they are in the sales cycle.  Try it and see why dynamic content is a marketer’s secret weapon.

Still not convinced? Businesses that personalize web experiences are seeing an increase in sales of 19% on average (EConsultancy).

Hacker Tip: Quickly diagnose where you’re losing engagement by looking at three important stats:

“We pass leads to sales and there’s no feedback loop on what happens to them.”

You’ve been emailing Joe for weeks, and you feel confident deeming him marketing qualified. You pass Joe to sales, sales talks to Joe… and Joe tells them he won’t have budget for six months and to call back then. Sales calls him back six months later, but Joe has been wooed away by your competitor who has been checking in every couple of weeks for the past few months.

Drat.

Pro Tip: It’s a two-way street—develop a workflow for marketing and sales to pass leads off to each other.  

  1. Establish an easy way for sales to pass leads back to marketing for additional nurturing. Use field values and lead status in your CRM to automate a workflow for marketing qualified leads to be added back to ongoing nurture campaigns, or take advantage of Pardot lists available in Salesforce for sales users to drop their leads into.
  2. Avoid the traditional slick HTML template and go for a low-key rich text email for your sales nurturing campaigns. With Pardot variable tags, you can auto-populate the sales rep’s signature, making it look like genuine emails coming from the rep (check out an example here).  
  3. Figure out the right automated cadence that fits into your sales cycle, set up sales user notifications for hand-raising actions, and you have yourself a simple but effective nurturing loop.

Hacker Tip: Create a fake forward (aka a “chaser” email) from a sales rep as a follow up to a marketing email sent earlier (such as an event invite or a white paper), with a Re: Subject line and a personalized note like “Thought this might be helpful to you.” This does double duty as a sales touchpoint, looks authentic and thoughtful, and gives your marketing content more traction.

“We want closed-loop reporting, but we don’t know where our leads are coming from.”

When you integrate marketing automation with your website, don’t lose sight of how you can track your online presence outside of pages you own. When you have so many sources driving traffic to your site, every tracking opportunity counts to accurately assess ROI.

Pro Tip: Track every link. In Pardot, you can re-write any link using what we call a custom redirect. This may seem simple—and it is! That’s both the beauty of it and why it’s an often-overlooked feature.

You can be tracking:

  • Every third party ad
  • Every social post
  • Every blog post
  • Every link you have on a partner’s website
  • Links in QR codes and direct mail

You can get even more creative with your link tracking:

  • Use different custom redirects in dynamic calls to action to see in Pardot which one is performing better
  • Use two custom redirects in an email to run a quick Yes/No poll
  • Use custom redirects in your subscription confirmation emails to implement a double opt-in process
  • Use custom redirects to let prospects segment themselves based on what type of content they are clicking on

Hacker Tip: Connect Google Analytics with your Pardot account to append UTM parameters to your custom redirects and auto-populate lead source on the prospect’s record.

So, for the marketer asking about what’s next, there is always something more you can be leveraging Pardot for—and if you get stuck, reach out to the Advocates. ☺

Want more Pardot Hacks? Watch our free Pardot Hacks webinar!

About the Author

Hannah Freeman

As a Client Advocate at Pardot, Hannah has worked with hundreds of marketing gurus, CMOs, and data-driven administrators to help them achieve excellent results from their marketing efforts. When she's not talking about marketing automation, she spends her time indulging in fancy cheeses and hanging out with her two cats, Milhous and Genghis.

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