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.
Why Might You Need Pardot Layout Templates?
I get asked one question about Pardot more than any other question and I'll tell you what that it is a little further down the page (hint: it's related to Pardot Layout Templates!). First, I want to give a bit of background and to make it a bit of fun, let's turn it into a story.
Our fictional character for this story will be Dave and he's the lovable Head of Marketing who brought Pardot into his fintech company as he knew the potential the platform has when integrated with Salesforce.
After a relatively quick implementation, Dave is finally happy that the system is set up properly, information is flowing across systems and now he wants to get his hands dirty and set up some high converting marketing campaigns so he can really show the ROI of Pardot.
Here's the problem, Dave thinks the stock templates he's using in Pardot kinda suck. They're not on brand, they aren't very responsive and they're not converting well. He's got an idea; he wants to build his own templates.
So, Dave does some Googling and finds MarCloud Consulting who offer this exact service but he's got a burning question he needs answering before committing…
You ready? The question is ‘What are the limitations of building landing pages/forms/emails in Pardot?‘.
The answer we always give is, fortunately, there aren't any!
Now, when I say ‘there aren't any' I should clarify that landing pages & forms have the same limitations as any other web page or form. The same goes for email, we still can't be building forms in emails guys!
Saying that, we've previously set up Pardot landing pages with features such as parallax scrolling, countdown timers (users just set the end date in the landing page editor), pop-up forms on click or timer, editable 2-tab tables with financial information as well as customising fonts, favicons and other cool design features. We even write validation scripts to embed in forms to help standardise data so, for example, you might only be able to enter numbers into the phone number field.
So what can you do in Pardot?
A lot. In fact, it's easier to say what you can't do. But that's not what you came here for, let's be a little more specific. Here's a list of possibilities, not a complete list because the internet isn't long enough. Let me know if any of these pique your interest:
Remember, these assets should always be fully responsive and editable!
Landing Pages (and preference centres)
- Custom thank you messages with images and/or video
- Custom Validation scripts
- 50% and 100% width fields
- Custom placeholder text
- Automatically preselect dropdown values
- Pull in custom information via hidden fields (e.g URL of form completion)
- Custom success questions e.g 9 +2 is… Prospect must enter 11 to complete the form.
- Custom error flag styling
- Thank you code scripts
- Dynamic content
Learnings from someone who has already made all of the mistakes
I'll be upfront about this, I've learnt the hard way when it comes to this development business.
I've spent long nights trying to work out why the hell a bit of code isn't working, only to find out it's a weird Pardot quirk or it was in a place Pardot didn't like.
So, to save you some time, I'll write my top tips below:
- If you're using a custom font in an email, use the @import method. DO NOT USE the link href= method. Why? Because otherwise, it will trigger a link click once you've sent the email and it will really skew reporting.
- Utilise the different Pardot content regions available to you. Marketers don't like code and I don't blame them, so make their life easier by locking down parts that don't need to be completely changed. Removing the ability to create a problem essentially removes the problem. More on content regions here: https://marcloudconsulting.com/development/pardot-content-regions-101/
- When building the template, ensure image regions are set to the width they're supposed to be. If you have a 150px x 150px space, make sure the template automatically keeps the image within that space. Otherwise, users could upload a bigger image and mess with the whole structure of the template. Code with the end-user in mind!
- Do not delete files in Pardot that are being used in templates! My best advice here is to use good naming conventions and tag all assets that are being used on a Pardot landing page, form or email. This is because if the file that the asset points to is deleted, it cannot load and will mess up your beautiful, or not so beautiful anymore, template.
- Outlook is a *Insert swear word here*. We all know it. So make sure you're testing your emails properly! I mean that, it really is tricky especially when using buttons and tables and even custom fonts. You've got to really make sure you're bulletproof when it comes to Outlook and code with Outlook in mind, your deliverability will thank you for it later.
Pardot Layout Template FAQ
Ask questions in the comments section and we will update this section!
Q: Can you use custom fonts?
Yes. It's best practice to fallback to a web-safe font but we can embed in any custom paid fonts if you have the file hosted on your CDN. Google fonts are a lot easier.
Q: Why can't I move things up and down in the landing page editor?
This functionality is limited to emails so you won't be able to move things around with the landing page WYSIWYG editor when you have a custom template.
If you use the Pardot landing page builder, then you'll be able to drag and drop.
Q: Can you have more than one form on a landing page?
Yes, although it might confuse your reporting and you shouldn't really have 2 CTA's. However, be mindful that if you do this you'll probably have 1 form that the landing page uses and 1 form that's iframed into the page. In this case, the landing page form will show stats on the landing page report but the iframed form will show reporting on the form report. Subtle difference, but a big deal for reporting.
At MarCloud we love building Pardot templates so if you want to know more about how we can help you, drop us a message here.