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.
No matter how fantastic a marketing automation tool may be, it still requires a savvy marketer to run it. Though it saves time, marketing automation does not replace the need for human input altogether and especially in the case of Pardot email, we need to make sure we are keeping a laser-sharp focus on testing, monitoring and improving our campaigns. Without our attention, email automation can become a set and forget’ activity, which can impact results negatively.
I want to share the essential tips I think can take Pardot email campaigns from regular, to exceptional. With a little extra time and attention to detail when managing email, these actions can boost your response rates, increase the quantity of nurtured leads, and get those sales coming in faster.
8 Quick Pardot Email Tips
1. Associate all email sends with the correct campaign
One of the major concerns of any marketer when investing in Pardot is to be able to demonstrate return on investment later down the track. For this to be possible, we need to set our emails up in a way that allows us to track and measure everything, so we can easily tie sales back to particular marketing content or tactics. Of course, setting Pardot emails up in a way that gives visibility over which campaigns were most effective also means we can repeat or improve these in the future.
With this in mind, always associate your new Pardot email send with the most relevant campaign. Whether it’s a newsletter, lead generation email, monthly blog roundup, or an email assigned to a specific campaign, such as an event or offer, creating a Campaign will make assessing success that much easier.
2. A/B test your List emails
When we abide by the rule always be testing’ we are setting ourselves up to continuously uncover insights and improve our marketing approach. The rule definitely applies to sending email campaigns to your Pardot Lists (we’ll leave Engagement Studio emails aside for this post as that’s probably another article in itself!).
Test subject lines, From name, images, body copy, titles… but of course, remember the golden rule that a fair test should only have one variable (so don’t test the subject line and a different image at the same time).
3. Include dynamic content to personalise your Pardot emails
If dynamic content is new to you, head to this post to learn more about why the feature is so essential. Then start using dynamic content in your email campaigns to ensure that each recipient feels as though your brand pays attention to them, their interests and pain points.
4. Use custom redirects on banners and buttons
In Pardot email campaigns, custom redirects enable us to track clicks whilst triggering automated completed actions. In turn, this helps to build a picture of what each prospect is engaging with and provides more information within their profile. When they are assigned to Sales, they will have an even more complete history of brand interactions and behaviour that will enable the salesperson to build a rapport with them. These types of interactions may also impact that person’s score or grade and flag them for follow up with the sales team.
5. Use custom redirects on any website or third party links
This one comes back to attributing ROI and is indirectly associated to email conversions. We can use custom redirects to pull in Google UTM information, so we are then able to combine this tracking with Google Analytics and see which emails led to conversions on the website. It's important we consider that all entry points for Pardot data should have the source clearly shown because when an email does provoke a positive response, we wan't to be able to attribute ROI back to the true source!
6. Don’t forget Dynamic Lists
The goal with Pardot automation is to keep prospects flowing through the sales funnel and continuing the journey i.e. from prospect to marketing-qualified lead, to sales-qualified lead, then won/closed as a customer. So Pardot email campaigns should make use of Dynamic Lists, which pull in prospects automatically depending on preset rules, to propel this journey. Whether it's your newsletter list, VIP customer list or even a sales suppression list and so on, these lists will play a big part in all of your email sends.
If you’ve not approached using Dynamic Lists too much yet because this is the part that can get a little unruly, feel free to get in touch to chat about our on-site training or support services.
7. Set up progressive profiling on forms to feed information for email
It’s no secret that the fewer form fields there are, the more likely a prospect will fill out a form. For first-time customers then, we want to make sure that our forms only ask the questions we really require. However, for returning customers, progressive profiling on forms means we can ask only the questions that the prospect hasn’t answered before. By doing so, building a clearer picture of that person.
The more data we can collect from a prospect, the more we can segment and tailor our emails with dynamic content to better resonate with them.
8. Use Scoring Categories
Absolutely every engagement with a Pardot email campaign can be scored in line with the product or service being promoted as part of the Campaign. Taking the time to assign Scoring Categories will again ensure each of your prospects has as complete a profile as possible in your CRM and that they are flagged for follow up as sales-qualified leads as soon as they have reached your scoring threshold.
Creating the right processes for Pardot email campaigns from the start will allow you and your team to be analytical about your email communications and how effective they are at re-engaging or funnelling your prospects and leads along the sales journey. It might take a little extra time to implement but it’ll be worth it in the long run!
As I mentioned, you do have the option of seeking training or support for some of these more complex Pardot features. If that’s the case, the MarCloud team is always psyched for a chat! You can contact us here.
We've also packed more Pardot email tips and tricks into our free Expert's Guide to Great Pardot Email Marketing eBook for a more comprehensive look at how to create exceptional Pardot email campaigns, and a checklist to help keep you on track!