How to Create an Editable Marketo Email Template Using BEE Free

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In my last post I showed you how to create a one-off email for Marketo using the BEE Free site which is always a great, easy option when you’re tired of the Marketo editor. But, what if you want to re-use one of those emails just like the pre-built Marketo email templates? Not a problem! And no, you don’t have to be an expert developer to do so. I’ll show you exactly what you need to do.

Creating an Email Using the BEE Free Site

If you don’t already have an email in your Marketo instance that you want to make editable, then I suggest choosing a template you like from the BEE Free site. The site is very intuitive and easy to navigate but be sure you deselect the “pro” option when sorting through the templates. This will ensure you’re only viewing the free options. Once you choose the template you would like to use simply click “get started”.

An editor will open allowing you to fully customize that template design. Now, because we plan to use this as a Marketo email template you don’t necessarily need to fill it in with real content just yet. However, you will want to edit things like background color, text box and image locations, fonts, etc. in order to get the design exactly how you want it.

BEE Free Editor

When you’re finished editing, simply click the “save” button in the top right-hand corner. This will take you to a new page offering the Pro version of their services. The Pro version offers storage so you can save your template inside the BEE Free site. For our purposes however, we really don’t need that so you can simply click the “I just want to download it” button.

Download Template

Adding the BEE Free Email to Marketo

First, you’ll need to open your computer’s “downloads” folder and locate a folder that’s named “beefree” followed by some random letters and numbers. Open that folder and click on the .html file inside. This will open a webpage. Right-click anywhere on this page (except on an image) and select “view page source”. Highlight and copy ALL of the text on that page. This is the coding behind your new template.

Next, you’ll open your Marketo instance, create a new email in the design studio, click “edit code” in the editor and replace the existing code with the new code you copied earlier. The reason I recommend creating an email here rather than a template is because it is easier to verify the edits we’re about to make to create editable fields. This will make more sense as we move through the next steps. Once you’ve replaced all the existing code with your new code, click “save”.

Making Your New Marketo Email Template Editable

Now that your email is created in Marketo, you’ll need to make it editable. To do so you simply need to add <div class=”mtkEditable” id=”section_name”> tags to each section of code. Editing code may sound scary to some at first, but it’s really not once you have a basic understanding of what html is.

So to start, open your new email in Marketo and get to the edit code page. In the code, your email is broken into sections. Each section is housed within <div> tags as shown below.

Example of Code Sections

Example of Code Sections

 

Also, keep in mind that the code of an email flows in the same order as your design. So if you’ve got a text block in the middle of the template you want to make editable, you’ll find the block of code for it toward the middle as well.

Example of code location

Making an Image Block of a Marketo Email Template Editable

If you want to make an image block editable, look through the code for an <img> tag. This is noticeable by the URL linking to the image and the <img> start tag. I typically use control-F to search for the URL of the image. For example, if I know the image is titled “wine” then I search the page for that term and will be taken directly to that portion of the code. Once you have the correct image located, back up through the code and find the <div> tag that comes directly before the <img> tag.

example of image location in code

You’ll notice that in my example this <div> tag already contains a “class=” designation. Since you can only have one of these designations per <div> tag, you’ll need to remove what’s there and replace it with class=”mktEditbale”. Also, Marketo requires every editable section to have an “id” designation. They use this as the section name in the “content” column on the right-hand side of the email editor. So you’ll need to add id=”header-image” (or whatever title makes sense for your email) directly after your new class designation.

To test to see if you added it in the correct location, click save code to get back to the Marketo editor and if when you hover over that section it highlights it or you see the section in the right-hand column, then you know it is editable and your edits to the code worked!

verify your work

Making Text Blocks in a Marketo Email Template Editable

You’ll need to repeat the step above for every section you want editable. For text blocks, the easiest thing to do is to hit control+F and search for some of the words in the text of your email. In the example below that would be “Lorem Ipsum dolor sit…” That will take you directly to the appropriate section of code. Then you’ll again locate the <div> tag directly before the text and add class=”mktEditable” id=”section_name” like below.

locating text block making text editable verifying in Marketo

Finalizing Your New Marketo Email Template

Once you have all the editable areas in place and your email looks just how you want it (again actual content isn’t necessary just yet), you’re ready to save it as a template in your Marketo instance.

Click edit email to open the email editor for your new email. Once in the editor, click the email actions drop down in the top left corner. Choose “save as template” and set your desired location and name. Then hit save.

save as template in Marketo naming your template

You now have a brand new Marketo email template ready for use. Go to your Marketing Activities and locate a program or campaign you’d like to add an email to. Create a new local asset. Choose email and you’ll new see your newest Marketo email template in the template picker.

Plus, as an added bonus, you can now say you know how to edit HTML code!

Social Media for Pardot Marketers

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One of the best ways to get your content in front of a receptive audience is through social media. No secret to content marketers, social media can help you grow a new following as well as stay in front of the followers you already have. Much of marketing is about being in front of the lead at the exact time that they are ready to buy. And on another token, more touch points in a campaign generally correlates with more brand legitimacy and trust, as well as more interest in the product or service you are offering. Social media has a place in your marketing efforts, and your investment will be increased tenfold by integrating social posting with your Pardot platform.

The Benefits of Using Pardot for Social Media

A Comprehensive Picture of Your Prospects

The number one benefit to leveraging Pardot for your social media posting is that it will offer you a more comprehensive picture of your prospects and the type of content they are engaging with. The process is similar to your website tracking process. Anonymous web activity is reported, and when Prospects are cookied by Pardot, they are then matched to their web sessions. At that point, you are able to view a specific Prospect’s web activity and how it relates to the rest of their profile. Prospects can also be cookied and matched to their social media profiles, filling the missing gaps in their digital activity.

Robust Campaign Tracking

As with all other assets in Pardot (emails, forms, landing pages, files, etc), social media posts will be assigned to a campaign. This gives you more robust campaign tracking when it comes to evaluating which pieces of content have had the most face time, and how it performed across different channels.

Page Actions and Custom Redirects

A strong feature in Pardot, Page Actions allow you to trigger automated functions based on a Prospect’s visit to a particular page on you website. Think sending an autoresponder email to follow up, adjusting their score, creating a Salesforce task for a sales rep to follow up, etc. Similarly, Custom Redirects provide you tracked links that redirect to another web page. When you include these in your social media posts, you reach your Prospects on another channel to nudge them toward your web content. And if they click, it will trigger any designated automated functions and cookie them in the process.

Connecting Your Social Channels

Pardot currently allows you to connect Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for easy posting through Pardot. These can be set up with a few easy steps.

  1. On the blue lefthand sidebar, select Admin and then Connectors.
  2. Click on the social media platform you would like to connect.
  3. Click on Create Connector.
  4. The system will refresh and the connector will show up in your list as unverified. Click on verify now, which will launch a window for you to log into Facebook and accept Pardot’s permissions.
  5. Save, and you should be all set!

How to Make Sure Prospects Are Cookied

To really take advantage of Pardot social media posting, you will want to make sure that you can cookie as many of your Prospects as possible. This happens at the point where a Prospect clicks a tracked link.

Social Links in Emails

By including social links in your email templates, you will increase the likelihood that your Prospects are found on social media. If they click on your social icons, they will be cookied and that information will now be tracked.

Those Custom Redirects Again

Because Custom Redirects are tracked, your Prospects will be cookied when they click them. Incorporating these in your social posting can help you cookie more people and trap activity that may relate back to a Prospect you already have in Pardot.

Interested in other great ways to use Pardot? Check out our guide to Pardot best practices.

The Top 3 Free Email Builders

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As a content marketer, one of your most valued duties includes creating content and sharing it. However, using different marketing software may present as your biggest challenge. Picture this, you’re up against a tight deadline to launch an e-newsletter containing this month’s featured content, but you’ve run into a snag because your email template just doesn’t translate the way you imaged or worse isn’t rendering correctly.

If you’ve ever found yourself in this scenario, this blog is for you! By the end of this piece, you will know how to use the top free email builders and how to import your new design to use in Pardot.

 

BEE Free

BEE Free is one of the easiest email builders to use. You can drag and drop content onto email templates, including buttons, text blocks, images, and more.  With BEE Free, marketers can design sleek and modern emails with ease. This site also offers a way to export HTML to transfer into email marketing platforms.

To begin building your email template, head over to the BEE Free homepage and “Start Designing”. The site will prompt you to start your own design from scratch or select a template where you can filter through an abundance of free templates, usage types, and different industries.

 

Once you’ve selected a template you’re now ready to customize it! The drag and drop email builder gives you a seamless user experience. Once you’ve got the look you desired you want to “Save” the email template. However, if you’re using the free version, BEE Free will ask if you’d like to sign up for a paid plan or if you’d just like to download your template – you want to choose to download it.

 

After selecting to download the email, a zip file should load where you will find an image (holds all the images to the email template) and .html file. You’ll want to open this file and right-click to reveal the drop-down for “View Page Source”. This will allow you to view the code of the whole page. This is the code we’ll later copy and paste into Pardot.

 

In the Pardot email builder, you’ll want to paste the code from the page source into the HTML tab in Pardot.

 

*Note: You may receive the following alert: HTML message: An unsubscribe tag (%%unsubscribe%% or %%email_preference_center%%) is required somewhere in the body of the email. This can be done by highlighting the text you’d like to link for unsubscribers and selecting the hyperlink icon to choose the unsubscribe tag as the link type.

 

Once the HTML code is added I suggest previewing your email template and making revisions. Please note if you’re adding images to the BEE Free template, you will need to readd them to the Pardot template.

 

TOPOL.io

Similar to BEE Free, Topol.io allows users to design emails with a drag and drop tool and it’s “sooooo easy”. In comparison to BEE Free, Topol.io also provides a number of email templates but not nearly as many. One feature I believe Topol.io does better is the process of exporting the email HTML. Topol.io automatically creates a download of the .html file, rather than a zip file.

 

After selecting your email template to design, you’ll want to “Save & Download”, which will prompt an automatic download of the HTML. From here the same process as stated above should be followed to import the email HTML into Pardot.

Stripo.email

Unlike our first two contenders, Stripo requires users to sign up for a free account and caps off at 4 free downloads each month. However, Stripo.email states the download limits get reset every month. By selecting “Email Templates” in the navigation bar, you’re able to select from numerous email templates and filter by type, industry, and season.

 

“Try Out” your email template once you’ve selected the right fit and begin to make your revisions. When you’re ready to export the HTML, you will save the email template which will then prompt you to create a free user account.

 

When your new account has been registered you will be brought to an overview screen of all your email templates. Select the one you’d like to export the HTML and proceed with selecting the “Export” button > HTML > Download HTML file.

 

Not a Pardot user? Here’s a similar article for Marketo.

 

 

 

 

 

Pardot Best Practices

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When you are a Pardot marketer, it is important to keep yourself organized and follow Pardot best practices to ensure that your platform operates the way you need it to. Pardot relies on your data as fuel to deliver more targeted, personal campaigns. You can accomplish the most when you have an organized interface and understand all of the information you have stored. So, as you set out on your endeavor with Pardot (or want to revisit your setup and get organized!), take some time to audit your platform for the following items.

Salesforce Sync

Pardot and Salesforce are built to work in unison, but there are some quirks that can make the syncing process confusing. It’s important to remember that these systems are intended to be customized for your company’s needs, and may need some configuring before they will produce the results that you expect.

Salesforce Connector

Naturally, the first place to start with your Salesforce/Pardot sync is with installing the Salesforce connector. Your platforms are connected through one user, and this user must be selected wisely to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Pardot best practice for this is to create an alias account such as pardot@yourcompany.com or marketing@yourcompany.com so that your configuration is not affected by any individual users. That way, if someone leaves the company or if any user permissions need to change, you will not have a big mess on your hands.

Once you have selected a user to connect Salesforce and Pardot through, double-check to ensure that this user has maximum permissions and visibility into the entire Salesforce database. Pardot will only be able to “see” what this user can see, so it is important that they have access to key fields such as ownership and custom objects. This will allow all of your records to properly sync.

Everyone is a Prospect

While Salesforce differentiates between Leads and Contacts, and any existing Opportunities, Pardot considers everyone in the system to be a Prospect.  To see a list of only Leads or Contacts in Salesforce, use a dynamic list such as in the screen shot below. Your rule would match all prospects that match the desired CRM status, and pull them into the list. This is helpful for curating a list in order to send customer-specific newsletters and updates, or generating a list of only leads so that you can avoid sending marketing material to current customers.

Syncing Must be Enabled

All new records that are created in Salesforce will be automatically created in Pardot. However, new records that are added to Pardot will not automatically be added to Salesforce. This is by design, because every company’s sales process is slightly different and there may be varying use cases. Best practice is to hold all leads in Pardot, and bar them from Salesforce until they are qualified by certain criteria. Typically, this criteria is reaching a certain lead score, or submitting a form. Use an automation rule such as in the below screen shot to let Pardot know when it’s okay to create a record in Salesforce.

Custom Fields Need to be Mapped

To be able to segment your prospects based on field criteria, your Salesforce custom fields must have a counterpart created in Pardot. In your admin panel, you can use the Configure Fields tab to accomplish this. For each custom field, you will be able to select the Salesforce field that should be linked.

For the best possible data accuracy, use dropdown and checkbox fields anywhere you can. This makes things easier for everyone while preventing multiple different versions of the data being entered. That way, you can cleanly pull a list of everyone that has a certain value. For example, you could pull a list of everyone who has an Industry field that matches Healthcare without having to worry about “health”, “HC”, “health care” or any other variations having been entered.

Campaign Tracking

The concept of campaigns in Pardot can be a bit hard to grasp, especially if you are used to the way Salesforce campaigns are used. While leads in Salesforce may touch several campaigns over their sales cycle, prospects in Pardot can only be a member of one campaign. Think of Pardot campaigns as glorified folders that help you group assets together to track lead generation ROI. The campaign they are assigned to is the one that they entered Pardot on, such as through a form that you are using for an Adwords campaign, a contact form on your website, or a manual import from a tradeshow.

Cost

With each campaign that you create, you will have the option to enter a Cost. This may be your Adwords budget, for example, or what is costed to send a team of three to a tradeshow. If you use this feature, you will be able to analyze your campaign ROI later on to determine which lead generation sources provided the most value.

Tracking Codes

Even if you don’t track these campaign costs in Pardot, there is a major benefit to utilizing Campaigns. Each asset that you create in Pardot, be it an email, form, landing page, or anything else, will require that you associate it to a particular campaign. You are also provided a designated tracking code for each campaign. All web activity will be tracked from your main Pardot tracking code, but your campaign-specific tracking code can be embedded on any pages that are directly involved with your campaign. This will help you effectively measure your success, as well as give you more visibility into which assets are helping your prospects convert.

Folder Structure

In addition to requiring you to associate every asset that you create to a Campaign, Pardot also requires that you add these assets to a Folder. Many Pardot users find themselves leaving all of their assets in a general “Uncategorized” folder, or naming the folders the same thing that they named the campaigns. At the end of the day, your folder structure is about what makes sense for you to be able to quickly find your assets later.

Pardot best practice is to keep your folder structure referencing a time period. That way, you can quickly navigate to your most recent emails and workflows, or check out what was done in a previous year. This avoids the inevitable “Tradeshow – Email #1 – Spring – 2018 – copy 4 – hr” naming conventions that can get very confusing. Instead, in this example, you should name your email HR Tradeshow Email #1, associate it with the HR Tradeshow campaign, and place it in the Spring 2018 folder. Then, when you copy these emails the following year or for a different tradeshow, you will be able to find the proper assets.

Segmentation Functions

Advanced segmentation functions and automation capabilities are what makes Pardot the robust tool that it is.

Dynamic Lists

Pardot best practice is to create dynamic lists for groups of users when you can instead of uploading static lists. This will ensure that your information stays current and you always have the most accurate list. Manual lists may always need to be uploaded following an event, or when acquiring a list from another source. However, if the prospect group can be generated in a Salesforce report, it should really be a dynamic list.

As we discussed above, dynamic lists can be pulled to match all prospects with their CRM status of Contact or Lead. They can in fact be pulled based on any identifying criteria such as custom field values, scores, or the sales rep that is assigned to them. In addition, a dynamic list can be pulled for prospect behaviors such as accessing a certain file, filling out a certain form, or opening an email.

When you are done with lists, go ahead and add an archive date for them so that they no longer appear your list view. You will always be able to pull up all Archived Lists if you need them again down the road.

Tagging

Tagging is helpful in situations where you want to note something about a prospect, but not necessarily pull them into a unique list at this point. Tags can be used to trigger automation rules, add prospects to a workflow, or just store passive information about a prospect. If it is necessary in the future, you can always pull a dynamic list in the future based on all prospects that match a particular tag or group of tags.

Some of the most commonly used tags include “hot”, “cold”, and “inactive”. Pardot can also be leveraged to apply these tags to your prospects based on their behaviors. For example, you can set an automation rule to add the tag “inactive” to any prospect that doesn’t open an email for 60 days.

Another great use case is to apply tags for different page views on your website. When your prospect engages with a page about a particular product or service, you can tag them as such. Or, if they read content pertaining to a certain industry, you can apply a tag for that.

Everything looking good? Once you are comfortable with all of these items, it’s time to dive into designing Pardot campaigns and navigating Engagement Studio!

Learn 4 Tools to Determine Audience Segmentation in Pardot

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What is Audience Segmentation?

As a content marketer, it’s common to hear that segmenting your data is important, but do you know why it matters? Segmenting your customer data allows you to pinpoint different subgroups that relate to another in one or more ways. This simple strategy can be extremely beneficial to a content marketer. The most significant reason a to consider audience segmentation is due to the fact that it hones in on a data subset, which allows you to better understand your customer. In turn, you can create customer-specific content that resonates with the right target audience.

Why Does it Matter?

With all the advertising and marketing clutter today, it is more imperative than ever to offer relevant and valuable content to your target consumers. By delivering worthwhile resources, customers immediately see value within the company and brand. This can result in a greater opportunity for cross-selling/up-selling, consumer retention, higher conversion rates, and more.

Who is your Audience?

If you are just starting out with content marketing and have yet to determine who your audience is, here are the most common characteristics for segmenting your data.

1) Geographical/Regional (i.e. State)

2) Demographic (i.e. Income)

3) Behavioral (i.e. Product Purchased)

Keep in mind your audience segmentation is going to be specific to your company – learn more about audience building. For example, as a loan lender, you may choose to segment your data by income. The greater the income a contact has, the larger loan you may be able to offer them. This would determine the specific campaigns marketed to these groups – leverage your content the right way.

4 Pardot Tools for Audience Segmentation

If your company utilizes a marketing automation tool like Pardot, you can take advantage of the native tools within the platform to create audience segmentation. These tools include:

1) Static vs. Dynamic List

  • With this tool, you are able to create a one-time list (static) and lists that automatically update based on a set of rules and criteria (dynamic). Static lists are manually updated by importing or removing contacts. These are the standard types of email lists. As for a dynamic list, the only way a contact can be added to that list is if they meet the criteria. For example, you may create a dynamic list that only holds contacts with the state MA. If a contact has the state RI, they will not be added to the dynamic list and you cannot manually add them.

2) Suppression List

  • Pardot allows you to prevent certain contacts from receiving specific mailing communication when opting to “suppress” them. For example, you may want to create a suppression list of everyone who has not opened an email within the last 30 days to avoid mailing uninterested leads.

3) Tagging

  • This functionality in Pardot allows you to apply “tags” to individual contacts. This helps to organize and segment your data even further. For example, you may want to tag your “tradeshow contacts” within Pardot to easily distinguish they need to be placed in a pre-show campaign. You can also use these tags to create dynamic lists or automation rules later on.

4) Automation Rules

  • Pardot allows users to create automation rules, which can automate a number of things. Specifically, regarding segmentation, automation rules can push contacts to a mailing list based on criteria. Automation rules can also automatically apply tags to contacts given criteria has been provided. There are many other actions you can take with automation rules like updating contact fields or adjusting their Pardot score.

Now that you have learned how to segment like a pro, let’s look at how to create an effective content and distribution strategy.

Effective Content Strategy & Distribution in Pardot

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As a content marketer, you understand the value of content and the role that it plays in your marketing strategy. Writing strong content establishes us as thought leaders on a subject and engages our audience without pushing an aggressive call-to-action. This inbound strategy helps naturally attract new leads and opportunities. Often considered the most crucial part of your website, cornerstone and evergreen content draw new visitors to your web pages and increase your search rank. But, aside from SEO, how can you leverage this content?

With a marketing automation tool like Pardot, you have the ability to track your prospects’ behaviors and activity. This includes the topics that interest them, as well as the form of content that they prefer, whether that be blog, video, whitepaper, or something else. Then, you are able to take that knowledge and segment your database in order to provide the best types of content to the prospects that are looking for it.

 

Tracking Content

Set yourself up for success with content marketing by having the proper tracking mechanisms in place.

Tagging

Add tags to prospects that you know are interested in different subject areas. For intelligent and dynamic tagging, make use of page actions and custom redirects.

Page Actions

Page actions allow you to trigger actions, such as applying tags or updating field criteria, when specific pages are accessed on your website. This function is often used to alert a sales rep when a prospect visits a page that indicates high intent, such as a product pricing page. Thinking a little more critically, this can also be used to apply tags to prospects when they visit certain pages of your website.

Custom Redirects

For content that is not hosted on your own website, such as your Youtube channel, or even third party content, make use of custom redirects. This Pardot feature has the same functionality as page actions in that you are able to trigger actions based on the designated URL being accessed. Pardot replaces the end URL with a tracked one, which you can then use in your campaigns.

 

Leveraging Content

With all of that information stored in Pardot, you can design your next email campaign accordingly. Build out your next workflow in Engagement Studio with smart rules that send your prospects down different paths based on their tags. To do this, select your best content pieces in each subject area, and promote them to prospects that are tagged with those subjects. Then, follow up with similar content pieces that the prospect may be interested in. These emails should be personal in nature and come from a specific sender rather than a nameless company email address.

Some other ways to leverage content over email include:

  • Sending weekly blog newsletters to the prospects that have shown previous engagement with your blog page — learn how to automate this
  • Using content pieces as the main focus of one of the first touches in your nurture campaigns
  • Taking the absence of activity, such as a group of prospects that has not opened an email in 90 days, and sending those prospects a strong content piece in an attempt to re-engage them

Not sure where to start with curating content for your emails? The most efficient, automated process for curating content is through the use of RSS feeds. To learn about integrating your Pardot instance with RSS feeds, schedule a demo of FeedOtter.

Build a Workflow in Pardot’s Engagement Studio

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A workflow can be summed up in one phrase. They can save you a ton of time! Specifically, a workflow is a sequence of actions that are automated based on set criteria. This criterion is usually established by a prospects behavior and/or data your business has collected on that individual. A workflow can be built out using Pardot’s Engagement Studio tool. This tool is a visual workflow builder that allows a number of actions to be automated such as sending emails, updating fields, adjusting prospect score, and more. While the most common type of workflow is client facing, they can also be used for internal efforts, such as setting notifications and updating custom fields via Salesforce.

Common Types of Workflows

1) Prospect Activity Workflow

Based on your prospects activity, you can automate actions like sending email autoresponders. Pardot’s Page Actions are meant to “flag” priority pages on your website. You can also set Completion Actions within these Page Actions that tell Pardot to kick-start an automated activity when this page is visited. If you’re a content marketer, Pardot’s Page Actions are going to be a dream come true. This tool will allow you to mail more relative communication to prospects who have visited content offers. For example, a contact visits your blog The Best Snacks to Have with Peanut Butter. Using Pardot’s Page Actions you can automate an autoresponder email linking to your related blog Top Peanut Butter Desserts for the Holidays.

**Note: Keep in mind that page actions do not work if you do not have a website tracking code from Pardot present on your website.

2) Nurture Workflow

This type of workflow is exactly as it sounds. The idea is to nurture prospects over time to introduce your company and offer value. New leads may not be ready to commit to your company’s product/service, but by nurturing them you stay top of mind. Nurture workflows typically have three objectives

Create awareness — Introduce your company and it’s products/services. What makes your company special? Why choose your products/services over the industry leaders?

Offer value — Share valuable content that will resonate. Blog posts, case studies, white paper, etc. Offering valuable resources helps creates trust.

Convert — Converting the prospect is the most important objective in a nurture workflow. A prospect converts to a lead or contact once they’ve requested more information in one form or another. Some examples include inquiring on a web form, creating a membership, starting a free trial, etc. This signifies a point of interest or sale.

3) Upselling/Cross-Selling Workflow

Creating additional opportunities for your company can be easily automated with Pardot’s dynamic list and engagement studio tools. If you’ve ever heard the expression data is key, here’s a great example of why it matters. Dynamic lists are emails list that can automatically populate based on criteria. Furthermore, these auto-populated lists can be entered into engagement programs, which automatically filter contacts through a workflow. Companies can use these Pardot features to cross-sell or upsell to their market segments. For example, by creating a dynamic list based on recent customers who have purchased a lawnmower you can automate an email series showcasing your top grass seed brands.

3 Steps to Build a Workflow in Engagement Studio

Workflows can vary in size and complexity. If it’s your first time with a marketing automation tool like Pardot the set-up and launch of an engagement program may be overwhelming. Just remember to take a step back and always keep in mind what the ultimate goal is get more help on building Pardot campaigns.

Step 1: Ask yourself these questions

  • What is the end goal/objective of this workflow?
  • Who is your audience?
    • What does your audience want to hear from you?
  • Are you offering value to your audience? (i.e. Whitepaper, Case Study, Downloadable Resource, etc.)

Step 2: Create your assets (if applicable)

  • Resources
  • Landing Pages
  • Email Templates/Write Content

Step 3: Build and Launch

  • Sketch your workflow out on paper
  • Build in Pardot’s Engagement Studio
  • Launch!

Engagement Studio Terminology

If you have started to play around with Pardot’s Engagement Studio, you’ve probably realized the three different options when building the steps to your workflow — Action, Trigger, and Rule.

An action is an activity Pardot is taking internally or towards your prospect. Some examples include adding a prospect to a list, applying tags, and sending an autoresponder email.

A trigger is an activity your prospect has taken in which you are looking to track. Triggers can consist of tracking email opens, clicks, form submissions, landing page visits, and more.

A rule is checking for internal data you have on your prospect. Rules include checking if they have a custom field, if they’re a member of a list, if they have a certain score, and more.

Both a trigger and rule can be used to build out different “yes” and “no” paths within your workflow – get more hands-on with an engagement studio webinar.

Learn more about the basics of Pardot’s Engagement Studio.

Designing Pardot Campaigns in 5 Steps

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When you are first getting started with Pardot, the concepts of nurture marketing and marketing automation may be new to you. And, even if you already have a good understanding of these concepts, you may need some new campaign ideas from time to time. The way to ensure that you are successful when designing Pardot campaigns is to understand the audience that you are speaking to and what types of content will best suit the purpose that you are trying to achieve. Pardot’s automation and segmentation tools allow you to think more intelligently about which messages different groups of your audience should receive, and therefore control their experience.

Nurture Marketing

A nurture marketing strategy is one that incorporates multiple touch points with the goal of nurturing a lead to a point of sale or interest.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is the concept of utilizing technology to automate communication with your audience. It allows audience behaviors, such as email opens and website visits, to be tracked, and even trigger subsequent actions.

 

Step One | Build Your Audience

The best place to start with a new Pardot campaign is to define the audience that you would like to create a campaign for. This may be new prospects that enter Pardot through a contact form on your website, leads from a recent trade show you attended, or existing members of your database. When marketing to existing leads, you will have the ability to segment the list based on prospect score, tags, activity, or any field data. Read more on audience segmentation here.

Some examples of target audiences from your existing database may include:
Inactive Prospects → Run a re-engagement campaign to prospects that have over 90 days of inactivity.
Open Opportunity → Run a reminder campaign to stay in front of your open opportunities with targeted, personalized messages.
Industry → Run a campaign geared toward prospects within a certain industry.

 

Step Two | Create Campaign Messaging

Once you have selected the audience for your campaign, the next step is to craft the content and messaging that will resonate with that audience. Be sure to incorporate a central call-to-action, such as purchasing a product or signing up for a demo, and tailor your messages to align with that call-to-action.

An important part of this step is determining how many email touch points the campaign should have. Is this an audience that will benefit from weekly or biweekly communication? Is this lead at the end of their sales cycle and needs more aggressive communication? Consider your audience, and how many different touch points should be assembled.

Crafting effective content often involves informative or educational pieces. These pieces should be related to your call-to-action, but should not be overbearing. For example, if you are marketing commercial loans, you may provide a content piece that contains tips for positioning your business for financing. This helps to establish you as a thought leader in your space, and is a soft nudge to nurturing your lead to the point where they are ready to make a purchase. When your prospects engage with this type of content, it is also typically indicative of their intentions and helps to qualify them as a sales opportunity.

 

Step Three | Design Campaign Assets

When you have written your content, it is time to design the digital assets for your campaign. This will mainly be the email templates that you will need for sending, and may involve landing pages that you direct your prospects to during the campaign, or any accompanying downloadable infographics/whitepapers.

Your designs should convey your call-to-action clearly, and stick to your company’s branding. To really tie everything up with a bow here, make sure that you have generated a text version of your email, and included links behind all of your photos. Mobile users especially will expect that they can tap on an image rather than a text link to arrive at the intended destination.

 

Step Four | Build the Workflow Structure

With your audience segmented, content crafted, and design created, you are ready to build out your workflow in Engagement Studio. In addition to sending out your emails at specific intervals, Engagement Studio allows you to send your prospects down different paths depending on their behaviors, or any of their profile data. Think about any behavioral triggers such as email clicks or form submissions that may make you want to treat the prospect differently. Or, would you like to have prospects of a particular industry receive a specific case study that pertains to them, while the rest of the prospects receive a more general case study?

Building out a workflow can be overwhelming, so the best advice is to map it out on paper ahead of time. Draw a physical path that you would like your prospects to take, and then take that to Engagement Studio to investigate your options. Read more on building out your workflow here.

As part of the beginning and end of your workflow, consider adding a notification or task for sales reps. This can help them prepare and adjust for incoming inquiries as well as prioritize who they follow up with.

 

Step Five | Launch

If you have built your workflow in Engagement Studio and everyone involved has had a chance to review it, go ahead and schedule out your campaign! Be mindful of the best sending times for your audience, and adjust your workflow accordingly. The Engagement Studio allows you to set specific days and time periods for sending, so that your emails will always be delivered at the ideal time for your prospects.

Looking for more workflow ideas? Check out these templates from Pardot.

5 Quick Basics of Dynamic Content for Email Marketing

It is easy to wonder—what is the future of email marketing? How can I improve my well-oiled email marketing strategy? The most recent advancement in email marketing strategy that every marketing manager should consider is the use of dynamic or personalized content in their email marketing.

Dynamic content is the term used to describe sending out one email campaign to your entire contact list, but being able to customize and tailor each individual email by using subscriber data that is unique to each individual on your email list. This information ranges, and the ability to collect useful subscriber data is increasing in capabilities regularly. As of now you can think of information like a first name, last product or recent products purchased, gender, location, or other things that are easily collected.

A study cited by Campaign Monitor showed that emails with personalized subject lines are 26.7% more likely to be opened than those without—further, emails that leverage personalization also generate revenue that is 5.7 times higher than emails without. The key is being relevant and meaningful to your subscribers, and believe it or not, in the world of massive amounts of email every day, being able to appeal to unique qualities and interests of subscribers can be enough to stand out.

So what do you do with this information if you want to create an actionable strategy? There are a lot of things you can do with dynamic content and we are going to discuss a few today!

1. Use First Names!

This may seem simple, but so many businesses still do not utilize first names in their email marketing. Using the subscriber’s name is on the of simplest and most effective way to add a touch of personalization to email content. The main reason it is so effective is because the subject line, headline, or initial body content where the name is placed is one of the most prominent positions on the email. It is also effective because people just like things to be personalized with their names! It is such a simple touch that can be enough to catch a subscriber’s attention in their busy inbox.

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According to a Kissmetrics presentation (pictured above), email campaigns that use a first name are 26% more likely to be opened!

2. Subject Line Customization

Any decent email marketer knows that the subject line is really the one chance to grab a subscriber’s attention. This is not to say that the content of your email doesn’t matter—but if you want people to see the beautiful email you have created and the important content you have to share, then you need them to click and actually OPEN your email. Think about scrolling through your inbox in the morning, getting rid of all of the junk that you don’t actually want to open and opening the messages you do. The reason you chose to open any emails that are not professional or personal is because the subject line grabs your attention or appeals to your personal interest. Keep this in mind as you are writing subject lines that can be made dynamic and customized for your subscribers.

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3. Subscriber Preferences

Focusing on subscriber preferences is another way to incorporate dynamic content and show that you care about individual interests. Rather than simply focusing on past purchases, use past purchase to inform future purchases of products or services that you think subscribers will like. Use the “based on this purchase” method to predict other items or services that your list-members will like. Also keep in mind that you can suggest future purchases based on other demographic that you have.

The image below demonstrates one example of how StitchFix collects data on their customers/subscribers. By knowing their personalized style they are able to more effectively market and craft emails that appeal to specific individuals.

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4. Personalized Imagery

Going beyond text recommendations, you can appeal to various subscriber groups using imagery alone. The demographic and subscriber information that you have can help to target what kind of imagery you think might be most effective. Not only does this add a touch of personalization, imagery can also help to increase your email campaign’s click through rate. A study by Campaign Monitor showed that bus customizing images for a multi-country subscriber database, they were able to increase clickthrough rate by 29%. This is just one example of the impacts that dynamic content can have for your campaign.

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The above image not only showcases a personalized name in the copy, but also a good example of how imagery can be swapped out and customized based on past purchases or interests.

5. Re-Engagement Opportunities

One way to use dynamic content is to reengage customers who have already interacted with your brand. A friendly reminder with personalized content can be enough to tip subscribers who’ve not interacted in a while back onto your radar. Within these re-engagement campaigns you should still consider personalized features and utilizing dynamic aspects to not only bring attention back to you brand, but also to show subscribers that you care about their interests. We know from other marketing efforts that reengagement is one of the most effective strategies to implement, so you should definitely consider incorporating it into your dynamic content efforts as well.

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The Takeaway

Email marketing can be taken to the next level with dynamic content that is not only customized to your segmentation but also customized for your individual subscribers. By incorporating use of first names, a stand-out (dynamic) subject line, subscriber preferences, imagery, and reengagement efforts, you will be well on your way to effectively using dynamic content in your email marketing efforts.

Have you tried implementing dynamic content into your email marketing campaigns? What is your biggest concern in trying to customize and tailor emails to your subscribers? Let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you.

Understanding the Basics of Pardot Engagement Studio

Pardot’s Engagement Studio makes email marketing automation a breeze, that is, if you know how to take advantage of all of its features. In short, the Engagement Studio allows you to visualize all of your drip email campaigns. A drip campaign is like an irrigation system for your email-generated leads. A pool of leads trickles down a system of gated canals that open or stay closed depending on prospects’ actions and characteristics.

Pardot allows you to establish three things that it is important to understand first before diving into Engagement Studio: actions, triggers, and rules, all discussed below. Fortunately, while there is a learning curve it all makes sense once you start putting automation into practice.

Actions

In Engagement Studios, actions are tasks the program performs on your behalf. The actions you can initiate are:

  • Add/Remove to list. Add/Remove prospects to the list of your choosing, including different recipient lists within your drip campaign.
  • *Add to Salesforce campaign. Assign a prospect and their respective score to a specific Salesforce campaign.
  • Adjust score. Raise or lower prospects’ scores.
  • Apply/Remove tags. Assign/Remove tags to certain prospects.
  • Assign to group. Put prospects in specified user groups.
  • Assign to user. Assign prospects to other Engagement Studio users on your account.
  • *Assign to Salesforce active assignment rule. Convert a prospect to a lead and move them into Salesforce using a pre-made assignment rule.
  • *Create Salesforce task. Design and assign Salesforce tasks.
  •  Change prospect field view. Remove or alter a prospect’s internal field view.
  • Notify user. Send Engagement Studio users notifications when a prospect performs certain actions.
  • Remove from list. Remove prospects from lists of your choosing.
  • Send email. Send certain prospects designated email templates.

All the actions Pardot offers give you full control of prospect organization, interaction, and user assignment. Design your actions thoughtfully for effective and low-maintenance email automation.

*Requires a Salesforce connector.

Timing Your Actions

When it comes to timing your actions, you have two choices for when Pardot will initiate actions after a prospect reaches a certain step on your drip campaign’s pathway:

  • Immediately: The program will initiate the designated action as soon as a prospect hits the step.
  • Wait: Pardot will delay a certain amount of time (specified by you) before performing the action. This is often determined by the rules and triggers set.

Triggers

Triggers are actions performed by email recipients that initiate certain steps along the path of your drip campaign. They’re like gatekeepers along the route your email prospects take from initial contact to (hopeful) conversion.

The Engagement Studio triggers include:

  • Email open. Monitors for HTML email openings.
  • Email link click. Watches for recipients clicking on any or specified links in the emails you send.
  • Form. Activated when a prospect opens and/or fills out forms of your choosing.
  • Landing page. Monitors for successful landing page visits via emails you send.
  • Custom redirect click. Initiated by clicks on custom redirect links in your emails.
  • File download. Triggered by non-image downloads of Pardot content files.

Deciding which triggers to use and where to place them along the path is a crucial component of your drip campaign. Certain triggers should only initiate certain follow-up emails and/or actions. For example, if a recipient hits the “Form” trigger by opening a form, you’d want to follow up with an email encouraging the recipient to return to and complete that form. When your emails are targeted and specific, there’s a greater likelihood for conversion.

Timing Your Triggers

You can choose how long Pardot waits to assess triggers with the following timing options:

  • Wait up to a maximum of. The program looks for triggers for a maximum amount of time (set by you) once a recipient has reached a specific step in your drip campaign.
  • Wait. Pardot will keep prospects at a trigger for the amount of time you choose before moving them onto the next step.

Rules

Pardot rules are what govern which paths email recipients will take. They are like the different branches of an irrigation system; depending on factors like grade, user assignment, and campaign, recipients will trickle down your drip campaign by way of the most promising routes you design for varied scenarios.

The rules you can choose include:

  • Assigned Salesforce queue. Design a path based on which Salesforce queue where a prospect resides.
  • Assigned user. Designate paths based on which Engagement Studios user prospects are assigned to.
  • Assignment status. Choose paths dependent on whether a prospect has been assigned or not.
  • Grade. Create paths based on prospects’ grades.
  • List. Choose paths based on the list(s) a prospect is on.
  • Prospect custom/default field. Designate pathways based on a prospect’s custom/default field value.
  • Score. Make paths based on prospects’ scores.
  • Prospect tag. Allow entrance to different pathways by way of specific prospect tags.
  • Salesforce campaign. Design paths based on prospects’ Salesforce Campaign membership. You can also create paths based on their Salesforce Campaign status.
  • Prospect email status. Designate pathways based on whether a recipient has opted in/out of emails from you.
  • Pardot campaign. Design paths for prospects with Pardot Campaign memberships.
  • Salesforce status. Make pathways based on whether a prospect is a lead, contact, or deleted.

Not all paths are created equal—and for good reason! Your recipients form a mixed bag and each pathway requires specific actions, triggers, and email templates to best suit their varying needs. Defining and creating different rules will help you organize your drip campaign and strategize the best email marketing tactics for the wide array of recipients you contact.

Timing of Rules

You can decide when rules are put into action by choosing between the following rules timing options:

  • Immediately. A rule is enforced as soon as a prospect lands on a certain step.
  • Wait. You set a time period the program must wait before enforcing a rule when a prospect has reached a certain step.

Once you have your parameters for actions, rules, and triggers in place, you should always run a test to ensure the paths you’ve created are effective and work properly. Pardot offers testing so you can go through your entire drip campaign from start to finish and verify everything works as you’d expect.

Using Engagement Studio for Drip Campaign Visualization

Once you’re set to go, visit Marketing > Engagement Studio in Pardot and click on the Drip campaign you want to visualize. Learn how to include you campaign in Engagement Studio here.

Your report will look something like below, with of course the option to zoom in and see more closely each email (shown in the next section). The screenshot below gives a good overview of what a large drip campaign may look like for a company:

engagement-studio-pardot

Being able to see where your users are going is extremely important when thinking big picture, but the real value is being able to drill down into your reporting while still keeping this visualization happening. This makes it much easier to keep track of what you want to edit and why, saving you time sifting through multiple campaigns and multiple emails within those multiple campaigns.

Reporting

Once your drip campaign is up and running, you’ll need to monitor how well it’s working. Engagement Studios offers the following to help you track the effectiveness of your pathways:

  • Tooltips. This is a more general, high-level analysis of your overall campaign. You’ll be able to see how many prospects have completed a step along your drip campaign and how those prospects are divided (via percentages) along the different branches of your campaign pathway.
  • Report Card. You can click on an individual step for a more in-depth look at how prospects interacted with specific aspects of your drip campaign. This report will give you an idea of which actions, rules, and triggers may need adjusting.

As you can see in the screenshot below, it’s as easy as hovering over a campaign in the Engagement Studio to see your reports by clicking on the links. This helps keep the visualization a part of your decision making so that you don’t have to sift through all of your campaigns and each email within each campaign to see the information you need to see. You can even click the camera icon to see a photo of the email.

As your company scales, this will be extremely important (trust us!).

engagement-studio

Engagement Studios Tips & Best Practices

Now you have a general idea of how Engagement Studios helps you visualize and organize drip email campaigns. However, as you go along, don’t forget these tips and best practices for a smooth email automation experience:

  • Keep your drip campaigns to under 30 steps.
  • If you remove a prospect from a list in your drip campaign, they will stop moving along the pathway in which their respective list applied and resume where they were originally removed if you decide to add them back to the list.
  • You can send a succession of emails (via “send emails” action) without using triggers or rules to govern their initiation.
  • When a prospect opts out of a certain email list, they’ll still continue on the designated path (but won’t receive subsequent emails). If the prospect is on multiple lists and only opts out of one, they’ll continue to go along the paths and receive emails related to the lists they haven’t opted out of.
  • You can add prospects to a drip campaign at any time (regardless of where other prospects are on the path). However, they will always start at the beginning of the pathway.
  • You can add new emails to your drip campaign at any time; only prospects who haven’t yet reached the action with the new email design will receive the updated version.
  • Standard Pardot accounts are allowed up to 20 email drip campaigns; Pro and Ultimate account holders can make up to 50.

For a successful email drip campaign, you’ll need to put a good amount of time into deciding what your rules, actions, and triggers will be. Once everything’s set up, you’ll still need to tinker with your settings and designs but Engagement Studios should be able to do most of the heavy lifting for you. Now, go forth and automate some emails!