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From Form Handlers to Forms: Tips and Tricks for Switching Over

When it comes to collecting certain kinds of information from your prospects, there are two options: Pardot forms and handlers. We run you through which option to use, and when.

From Form Handlers to Forms: Tips and Tricks for Switching Over

This blog was originally published as a guest post on and prior to the name change of Pardot to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement.

You could argue that forms are the single most important element on a website for marketing teams. They act as a beam of light in a dark room, piece by piece revealing a bigger picture of your clients and prospects. There are many situations where forms can come in handy, but sometimes it can be difficult to tell what kind of form you should use for a particular situation. Today we’re going to take a look at two options for marketers who need to collect certain kinds of information from their prospects: Pardot forms and form handlers.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, what’s the difference?

The difference between Pardot forms and form handlers is actually vast. Form handlers allow you to continue using forms you’ve already built, and from there, Pardot will extract the prospect’s information. 

However, these aren’t the best fix long-term. With Pardot forms, you have access to built-in features like progressive profiling, data tracking for form views and completions, dependent fields and use of the slick “thank you” messages. Since you can build form templates that look exactly like the original, there’s no real reason to use form handlers long term.

Some B2B marketers do though – and the reason is usually because we always have’. To put it in context: just because you always use your mobile phone to take photos, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a camera that can zoom like a phone cant’. Like this guy…

Image of a man using his mobile phone screen to view through his binoculars at a sports game

When should you use form handlers vs. Pardot forms?

Sometimes the process you’re used to is unnecessarily complicated and not as efficient as it could be. The idea behind using form handlers is that they’re usually temporary. As you introduce Pardot into your organisation, form handlers can act as a great temporary transition into forms. Once you start utilising the benefits of Pardot forms, you’ll be thankful that you decided to change over.

The only exception is where forms ask for personal information like passwords. In this case, it’s best to use a form handler to extract any of the non-confidential prospect information that you need.

Key benefits of Pardot forms not available from form handlers:

  • Prevents data duplication in the CRM
  • Includes progressive profiling
  • Invisible bot protection
  • Tracks form views and logs error data
  • Can be embedded in a Pardot landing page
  • Can set up automation rules based on form views
  • Displays “thank you” content after form submission

Connect with us for help making sure your forms look great and work correctly.

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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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