by

Tutorial: Creating Your First Pardot Handlebars Email Template With Conditions

,

I’ve been testing Pardot’s new Handlebars Merge Field feature this week and wanted to publish my exact test steps.  If you are just getting started with Pardot or curious how to use this new feature I hope this tutorial will help you understand the basics.  Keep a watch out for an expanded tutorial walking you through the full process of creating an automated personalized content newsletter using FeedOtter for Pardot and the new Pardot handlebars (HML) feature.

Step 1. Create 4 Prospect custom fields. I used my favorite barnyard animals.

  • chicken_content
  • dog_content
  • fish_content
  • horse_content

All of these fields are type CHECKBOX with one value ‘TRUE’ and no default value. This is important because the handlebars conditions only evaluate empty OR set. The actual value doesn’t matter and cannot be compared against at this time.

Create a pardot custom field

Step 2. Edit a non-important prospect and set any 2 of the new custom fields to TRUE

Adjust Pardot custom fields

Step 3. Create a new Email Template and paste in the following code:

{{Recipient.FirstName}},

Here is the content you asked for and nothing else:

{{#if Recipient.fish_content}} Fish Content{{/if}}
{{#if Recipient.dog_content}}Dog Content{{/if}}
{{#if Recipient.horse_content}}Horse Content{{/if}}



Regards,
{{Sender.Name}}
{{Sender.Title}}
{{Sender.Phone}}

You are receiving this email because you signed up to receive our monthly newsletter at http://www.example.com
Unsubscribe from email communications

{{{Organization.Address}}}

PRESTO! Now click the preview tab and select the contact whose fields you set to TRUE in step #2.  You will see that you email only shows Dog and Chicken content not all 4!

Demonstrate how Pardot's HML conditions work.

It’s Not Perfect Yet

While this advancement is a major step forward and super-exciting there are a couple improvements I immediately have asked for such as:

1. The ability to chain {{#if}} {{#elseif}} statements. 

During testing I wanted to create several sections of content shown only to user’s with matching custom field values. Because here is no way to do an ELSEIF and chain several statements together it is possible to send an email where no content is shown.  An ELSEIF would allow me to create a default content area where I could display general content to those who did not match other conditions.

2. The ability to condition based on list name e.g. {{#if recipient.List.my_list_name }}

For my immediate use case I wanted to change which content was shown based on preferences set on an email preference center page BUT preference centers only allow me to opt users into and out of lists.  To get around this I created a number of Automation Rules to set and unset custom field values when a user enters or leaves a list.  Do-able but a bit tedious.

3. Actual comparison

I suspect this was left out to keep things simple but adding the ability to say {{#if Recipient.dog_content = “1”}} would be nice.  As it is now the IF statements only compare if the field is set  IE any value will equate to TRUE and thus the content being shown.  It works, you just have to setup your fields carefully with this in mind.

 

Important Pardot Handlebar Links:

List of all Pardot handlebars merge codes

Pardot explanation of how to use conditionals with the new handlebars tokens

by

What You Need To Know About The New Handlebars Merge Fields in Pardot

,

Yesterday I had the chance to test one of the exciting new features coming to Pardot over the next month: Handlebars Merge Fields in Pardot.  This is a new-to-Pardot way to merge data from your Accounts and Prospects into emails and landing pages.  At its simplest, %%first_name%% changes to {{recipient.FirstName}} see the full list of new merge tokens here.

What About Your Existing Emails?

Rather than re-state what Pardot has already put forth you should read the official Pardot HML FAQ.  In general, it sounds like our existing email templates including those used in Engagement Studio programs will continue to function as-is.  This is true for any information passed through the Pardot APIs like we do at FeedOtter.

The Exciting Part!

While the handlebars notation itself is not so exciting are also receiving the ability to add IF / ELSE statements into our email code. You will now be able to create emails that conditionally show and hide content or email sections based on the fields available in the merge code list including the familiar Account and Prospect fields as well as any Custom Fields.

To test this out I created several custom fields named after my favorite barnyard animals and created the simple email template seen below.

{{Recipient.FirstName}},

{{#if Recipient.fish_content}} Fish Content{{/if}}
{{#if Recipient.dog_content}}Dog Content{{/if}}
{{#if Recipient.horse_content}}Horse Content{{/if}}
{{#if Recipient.chicken_content}}Chicken Content{{/if}}


Regards,
{{Sender.Name}}
{{Sender.Title}}
{{Sender.Phone}}

You are receiving this email because you signed up to receive our monthly newsletter at http://www.example.com
Unsubscribe from email communications

{{{Organization.Address}}}

Here you can not only see the new handlebars merge fields in use but pay special attention to these statements: {{#if Recipient.fish_content}} Fish Content{{/if}}

This is a “conditional”, a special feature in the Pardot handlebars merge field feature that will show and hide the text “Fish Content” based on whether or not a prospect’s custom field has a value.

To continue my testing, I editing a prospect and set 2/4 animal custom fields:

Adjust Pardot custom fields

The actual value of the custom field DOES NOT MATTER.  IF statements validate if ANY value is present so a field that is NULL or unset will be false and a field that has ANY value set will equate to true and show the content block.

My example is basic but when I set only 2 of 4 custom fields on a test prospect you can preview the new conditions feature in action. Only the “dog” and “chicken” blocks show.  Pretty cool!

Demonstrate how Pardot's HML conditions work.

When is this rolling out?

Pardot told me this feature is rolling out slowly over the next month.  When you login to Pardot keep your eyes peeled for a popup that looks like this appearing on your dashboard. If you see this HML has been activated in your account and you can start testing and using these new features.

Pardot HML Update

 

At FeedOtter, we are always looking for ways to help our customers personalize and deliver targeted content to their Pardot prospects so having the ability to show and hide email parts is a great first step to delivering a more personalized content email experience.

As you can see this opens up the possibility of further personalizing your Pardot emails based on field values.  We’re just scratching the surface of this new feature but look for our upcoming post where we will take this new feature to its limit and create a fully conditional content newsletter based on content preferences defined in a Pardot email preference center.

Want to try the handlebars merge fields and conditionals for yourself?  Here are the exact steps I followed when I tested this feature.

Read my Handlebars Merge Field Tutorial

 

Other Important Pardot Handlebar Links:

List of all Pardot handlebars merge codes

Pardot explanation of how to use conditionals with the new handlebars tokens

 

 

by

How DivvyHQ Became an Essential Content Marketing Platform

, , , , , ,

DivvyHQ is a content planning and workflow tool used by heavy hitting content producers like Aflac, Red Bull, Mercedes-Benz, the National Geographic Channel, and many others.

We talked to DivvyHQ co-founder Brody Dorland about how the content marketing platform company got started and how a company lines up high-value customers like the ones listed above.

Brody Dorland, co-founder of DivvyHQ

As you’ll read, DivvyHQ’s success has a lot to do with the co-founders’ strategic networking tactics. (Spoiler: Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi played a big role in the launch of the platform).

Specifically, Dorland and co-founder Brock Stechman were super smart about finding allies, building relationships with influencers, and understanding customers from the perspective of an agency and product developer.

Here’s the DivvyHQ story, including what you can do to put yourself in similar positions.

Part 1: Finding Allies

Ten years ago, digital marketing was still a relatively new concept. For many companies, it was a wholesale shift in how they marketed themselves, and the process changes proved difficult to manage.

As Dorland explained, “Email platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact were making email marketing really easy to do, websites and blogs were getting easier to deploy through platforms like WordPress, and all of the social networks were starting to explode. Companies were trying to come to grips with all these new marketing technologies. They recognized the power of leveraging all these new channels to engage customers, but these new channels required a regular flow of good content.

Dorland and his partners created their own proprietary marketing strategy process, a big part of why his own marketing consultancy took off around 2008. He had a knack for seeing how all of those new moving parts he spoke of — email marketing, blogging, SEO, social media channels, etc. — should work together.

One of the primary deliverables for new clients going through their strategy process was a starter editorial calendar which covered the first three to six months of content.

“It was all of the web, email, and social content — the actual individual topics we’re going to cover, who was responsible for them, who the audience was going to be — everything we needed to execute the new strategy we had just developed for them,” Dorland said.

However, executing those strategies was always a challenge. “It got to the point where, as the projects continued to grow in scope and scale, my hoard of freelancers got harder and harder to manage on individual projects,” Dorland explained.

Enter Brock Stechman, whose agency, Brockton Creative Group, already had a full service team — including designers, writers, photographers, and website developers — ready to execute Dorland’s marketing strategies.

Dorland and Stechman — both from Kansas City — decided to team up.

“We essentially merged behind the scenes,” Dorland told us. “Any time anything came through the Brockton Creative Group front door, they would bring me on to do the upfront strategy engagements. For anything that came through my front door, I would have Stechman’s team do all the execution. And we started doing that for every project.”

The DivvyHQ team

The partnership was a huge success, and it was the beginning of a long-term arrangement.

Part 2: Building Relationships With Influencers

In 2011, content marketing was gaining traction as a driver of strategic business growth. Not coincidentally, 2011 was also the year the Content Marketing Institute was founded and the first Content Marketing World conference was held.

(That will become important in a bit.)

Dorland, along with co-host Jayme Thomason, launched a podcast called Content Marketing and Merlot to discuss content marketing tactics and build connections around this important new facet of online marketing.

The show’s not available online anymore, or we’d link an episode for you. We did find a few old landing pages from previous episodes (even though the audio didn’t work).

“The podcast was integral in gaining some of those early relationships,” Dorland told us. “Even today, there’s still a certain amount of novelty to being asked to be a guest on a podcast. It opened some major doors to people like Joe Pulizzi and Jason Falls.”

The team usually recorded the podcast in the atmospheric cellar of a wine retail store near their office. After work, they’d buy a bottle of wine, set up their audio equipment, and discuss both the wine and content marketing concepts.

Doing a podcast about a new concept (content marketing) in a novel way (while enjoying wine) was a winning combination.

Dorland explained the content marketing part further: “We would dedicate an episode to something like the importance of proper persona development, because we were literally doing that as part of our day-to-day process and digging into what that entails.”

The podcast also helped potential clients understand the value behind what they offered. “It could be its own marketing machine by itself,” Dorland said.

Part 3: Taking Advantage of Opportunities

Developing relationships is a lot like placing bets.

You never know which one will hit, but the more bets you make (or, the more relationships you develop), the more likely one or more of them will pay off — sometimes in ways you’d never dreamed were possible.

Stechman and Dorland were developing their skills and their network — all around the topic of content marketing.

Their biggest issue was scale.

When Dorland created those starter editorial calendars to map out six months of deliverables for each client, he did it using an Excel spreadsheet.

Back in 2011, people weren’t widely using cloud-based documents (such as Google Sheets).

That led to all kinds of problems.

The calendar was emailed around between team members and clients, and no one was ever quite sure if they had the latest version of the calendar or not.

Projects sometimes got lost. Deadlines were sometimes unclear. It worked well enough to get by, but it could be messy.

That led the team to try several project management tools. They, at least, were cloud-based. They worked well for general projects, but nothing they tried had the features they really needed to manage a full content process.

“What if we just build something ourselves?” the team concluded out of frustration one day.

Their concept was to replace the Excel spreadsheets with something more collaborative: a project management tool specifically designed to organize content strategy, content planning, and production workflows.

 DivvyHQ’s 1.0 calendar interface

It seemed like a great idea to improve their internal efficiency, and they started to wonder if there was a market for a content marketing management tool beyond their own organization.

Dorland had established a relationship with Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, based on Pulizzi’s appearance as a guest on the Content Marketing and Merlot podcast. So they ran the idea by him.

“Joe Pulizzi was on the board of a company in Kansas City,” Dorland said. “We found out he was coming to KC for a board meeting, so we bought him dinner and said, ‘Hey, we’re thinking about building something. Is this something that would be a viable idea to roll out to this starter industry you’re working on?’ And he was like, ‘Absolutely.’”

 

It was at this moment that opportunity struck: Pulizzi made them an offer.

If Dorland and Stechman could put something together in time, Pulizzi said, they could demo their new tool at the first Content Marketing World event happening later that year (September of 2011).

So they got to work. Stechman led the effort to raise around $90K from friends and family to accelerate the process of developing the platform. They incorporated a separate company, created a prototype in two months, and launched the newly named product, DivvyHQ, at the event.

Pulizzi had been right about demand for a solution like this. There were several Fortune 500 companies in the audience for Dorland’s presentation.

“There were representatives from McDonald’s, Toyota, Dell, and Nokia at the event… And they immediately signed up for a beta because, as it turns out, we weren’t the only ones struggling with the painful process of creating content,” Dorland said. “It exploded from there. We got over 500 companies on our beta between our pitch at the show and promotion of the launch on Twitter.”

Part 4: Listening to Customers

In the years since that September 2011 presentation at Content Marketing World, Dorland and Stechman have raised $3.5 million between two rounds of VC funding.

They could have raised more, but revenue has been growing enough to meet their needs. “We’ve been able to sustain solid growth without getting additional funding,” Dorland told us.

One key to their success since launching their product has been their dedication to their customers.

When the DivvyHQ platform launched, they were still running an agency as well, and that gave them unique insights into the needs of their customers.

For instance, their agency clients helped them understand that teams within a single company may prefer to work independently on different campaigns and strategies. They built DivvyHQ around that idea.

“Customers were able to use a hub-and-spoke structure, so that at the hub, the executive team can see everything that’s going on in all of the different spokes,” Dorland said. “Meanwhile, the different spokes could also set up their development environments the way they needed to, with their own strategies and workflows.”

As their user base grew, they developed new features to support different types of clients.

For example, in the early days, one large client came close to crashing their system. They added upwards of 250 users and were trying to manage thousands of content projects from one account, a use case and scale Dorland and Stechman had not yet considered.

Once they saw the need, they made changes accordingly.

DivvyHQ: What the Content Marketing Platform Looks Like Today

DivvyHQ’s current calendar view

Eight years after its initial beta launch, DivvyHQ has grown into a robust platform that has defined a completely new category of software: content marketing management platforms.

Currently, the platform is used by thousands of marketers to oversee and execute content marketing strategies.

It’s an ideal choice for companies committed to content marketing — or that are looking to improve their content process.

It also has a free trial if you want to try it out.

The Power of Personal Connections

Throughout the DivvyHQ story, Dorland and Stechman expanded their network while gaining experience and insights by:

  • Collaborating with each other. They accomplished more together than they could have on their own.
  • Leveraging a channel (the podcast) that connected them to influencers.
  • Broadening their reach with agency work and product development.
  • Listening carefully to customers.

They didn’t know that Joe Pulizzi would be a key reason they’d be able to get in front of heavy hitters like Toyota and Nokia.

They were — however — working hard to put themselves in a position for those kinds of lucky breaks to happen.

When opportunities arose, they took advantage.

Whether you’re growing a business or just want to advance your career — that’s advice worth remembering.

by

Social Media for Pardot Marketers

, , , ,

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.

by

Pardot Best Practices

, ,

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!

by

Effective Content Strategy & Distribution in Pardot

, ,

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.

by

Designing Pardot Campaigns in 5 Steps

, , ,

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.