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Benefits of using Pardot Forms over Pardot Form Handlers

It's a question I get asked often, why move over to Pardot forms rather than use Pardot form handler and keeping the same process? Here's why I recommend

Benefits of using Pardot Forms over Pardot Form Handlers

This blog was written before Pardot was renamed to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. You can read more about the name change and what it means here.

A question I’m often asked is What’s the benefit of moving over to Pardot forms instead of just using a Pardot form handler and keeping the same process?’

Pardot form handlers have 3 primary purposes:

  1. They act as a solution for businesses who want to keep the same process before they've implemented Pardot and they can keep the same style forms with minimal effort.
  2. Forms with sensitive information like passwords, financial details etc. shouldn’t be fed directly into Pardot as it’s unnecessary. So forms that ask for this would use a form handler.
  3. To be added to forms that post to multiple databases

There are some powerful features being missed if form handlers are being used as a long term approach.

All of the below benefits are exclusive to Pardot forms:

  • Progressive Profiling
    • A key part of any marketing strategy. Pardot forms can dynamically change and hide questions based on what you already know about the prospects. This keeps forms short, prospects engaged which means your conversion rates can stay healthy.
  • Built-in protection against bots
    • All Pardot forms have a honeypot and conditional CAPTCHA built-in. The best part? You and your prospects won’t even know it’s there. This naturally prevents spam submissions but if you want an extra layer of security then you can also add reCAPTCHA on there too with a tick of a checkbox.
  • Form views and error data
    • Using a Pardot form gives you more insight into how the form is performing. If 1000 people view your form and you have 1 submission, you can play around with different CTA’s and less form fields to increase the conversion rate. If there’s an unusually high error rate, then it tells us we may need a looser criteria or should use a dropdown field for example. It’s all about conversion.
  • Use Pardot forms on Pardot landing pages
    • Once you’ve built a Pardot form, you’ll be able to add it to any of your Pardot landing pages pretty easily. Remember, if a prospect completes a form on a Pardot landing page, the submission will show on the landing page report instead of the form.
  • Automate based on form views
    • As we have the form view data, it means we can create automation logic around it. If the contact form was viewed for example, do we want to notify someone? Or incrementally increase a field by +1 so we know how many times they’ve viewed it? Or maybe we just tag them for reference. Opportunities are endless.Pardot Form View Automation
  • Display Pardot Thank You content after form submission
    • If you want full control over the thank you message then you’re going to want to host the forms in Pardot. Things are constantly changing for marketers so being able to control what shows in the thank you message is important. You can quickly update it with promotions, invites to upcoming webinars and maybe even stick some dynamic content in there too to make it extra clever.

For a full breakdown of Pardot forms vs. Pardot form handlers, see the table below:

Feature Pardot Form Pardot Form Handler
Prevents data duplication in Pardot
Validates email addresses
Provides progressive profiling
Protects against bots
Integrates with third-party forms
Maintains current lead flow
Integrates with Salesforce Web-to-Lead forms
Supports custom front-end editing
Provides form views and error data
Provides field-level change audits for prospects
Integrate with Pardot landing pages
Base automation rules on form views
Base automation rules on form completions
Sends Pardot autoresponder emails
Redirects to a success page
Displays Pardot Thank You content after form submission

Source: Salesforce

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Tom Ryan

Founder & CEO of MarCloud, Tom has been on both sides of the fence, client-side and agency, working with Salesforce platforms for the best part of a decade. He's a Salesforce Marketing Champion and certified consultant who loves to co-host webinars and pen original guides and articles. A regular contributor to online business and marketing publications, he's passionate about marketing automation and, along with the team, is rapidly making MarCloud the go-to place for Marketing Cloud and Salesforce expertise. He unapologetically uses the terms Pardot, Account Engagement and MCAE interchangeably.

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