Marketing Automation Hacks: 6 Creative Tricks for Building Better Pardot Forms

September 9, 2015 Cara Valle

pardot hacks

Most marketers will agree that nothing feeds their marketing automation activities better than clean, plentiful prospect data. And that data is usually captured through forms when visitors convert on their websites.

When a visitor submits a form, the data they provide can determine which lists they are added to, how often they will receive emails, who in the organization will contact them, if they will be pushed to the CRM, and many other important details.

If you’re a Pardot user, chances are that you’re already a Pardot form pro. You’ve set up progressive profiling fields, there are intuitive completion actions added to your forms, and you have a library of slick layout templates to style your forms and landing pages to perfection.

Like a true pro you’re always looking for new form tricks to add to your arsenal. The below form hacks and tips are easy to implement and pack a mean punch.  It’s time to take your black belt in Pardot forms another rung up the ladder to... whatever is better than black.

List management within forms

Scenario: Your prospect stated on the form that they are interested in Product B and that tells you exactly which content you should send them. The first step is getting them on a list, but you don’t want to create hundreds of similar automation rules to manage list membership based on product interest, and you need more flexibility than a dynamic list can provide.

Pardot Hack: When editing the form, use the + icon in the “Values” tab of the form field to select a list for each of the predefined values. This will enable prospects to be automatically added to the list of the corresponding value when they select that value in a form.

pardot hacks

Assigning grading profile based on field values

Scenario: You’ve gotten a prospect to offer some key information like job title or industry, great! If you have multiple grading profiles based on a certain prospect characteristic then you know that making the move from one grading profile to another can take up extra automation rules in addition to the ones already created for the grading changes.

Pardot Hack: Rather than using an automation rule to assign a new grading profile to a prospect, use the grid icon under the “Values” tab of the form field to assign a new grading profile to a prospect based on the predefined field value they select on the form. This will automatically add them to the new grading profile, allowing grading changes from automation rules to take effect.

Labels, labels, labels

Scenario: You know it’s important to keep your field names simple and try not to complicate field IDs in the back end. However, you need to explain in greater detail what a certain field on your form means, or keep your forms fun and conversational without creating long and complicated field names.

Pardot Hack: Labels are a great way to change up the copy for your forms without impacting the field name or ID. The label area for the form field or a specific field value is found when clicking the “A” icon and can be used to achieve the extra level of detail you need to go from “Email” to “Work Email” or “Yes” to “Yes, I’d like to sign up to receive monthly communications from your organization”.

pardot hacks

"Thank you" content based on field values

Scenario: You want to tailor your "thank you" content based on the data a prospect provides in a form. Being limited to one thank you page would mean sticking to generalized content and that’s just not your game.

Pardot Hack A: If your Pardot account is the Pro or Ultimate Edition you have access to advanced dynamic content, which can be used to tailor your "thank you" messages. You can quickly achieve a targeted "thank you" message based on specific form field values by creating dynamic content blocks with variations associated with the field value, then adding it to the form "thank you" content.

Pardot Hack B: For those without the advanced dynamic content feature, fear not! Form field specific "thank you" messaging can still be achieved! Simply place Javascript in the "thank you" code of a Pardot form, and it will magically redirect to a location of your choosing. Check out more detailed instructions on this process here.

Completion actions based on field values

Scenario: Similar to the above scenario, true seasoned marketing automation users know that different automations can often be required based on the field data given in a form submission. For example, when visitors indicate different interests in a form it is common to send varying autoresponders or notify different users.

Pardot Hack: Form field-based completion actions can be accomplished by combining Javascript with some form handler magic. Use a form handler to indicate the specific completion actions for each specific field value and then pair it with the Javascript to have the correct form handler execute for each alternative. Check out further details on this process here.

Avoid incorrect visitor associations with the “not you” link

Scenario: It’s an age-old marketer’s dilemma: an email is sent to Recipient A who found the content so fantastic that he/she forwards the email to a friend or colleague. The friend or colleague then clicks on a tracked URL in the email and their IP address is now associated with Recipient A’s visitor record, meaning when they visit a page with a form, they will see Recipient A’s email address prefilled by default.

Pardot Hack: To remedy this situation, the new visitor can be given the option on the form to indicate they are not Recipient A by clicking a “Not You?” link. To add this link to any (or all) form(s) on your website, go to the “Look and Feel” step in the Pardot Form Wizard on the Advanced tab.

pardot hacks

So there you have it. More fuel for your form fire so you can continue to build your most important marketing automation asset with success. Hacks like these will be sure to help you accomplish all of your capture, nurture and automation goals.

About the Author

Cara Valle

A Marketing Automation Success Manager at Cheshire Impact, Cara has the pleasure of leading Pardot Implementations for both new and seasoned marketing automation users. She also works with clients on ongoing marketing automation strategy. Cara enjoys geeking out over developing creative marketing campaigns with results that are easily tracked and measured. In her off time Cara enjoys travel, reading, and anything dipped in chocolate.

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