For the first part of our Marketing Automation productivity series, we asked Lead Lizard to provide some efficiency tips for Pardot. As an agency partner of Pardot, Lead Lizard uses the technology on a daily basis for its clients. In doing so, they’ve picked up a few handy tips and best practices over the years that they’re willing to share. While this hardly covers the full range of the platform’s offerings, the following guidelines will help you get the most out of your Pardot instance.

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1. Know your tools

Pardot provides users with a full-fledged arsenal for manipulating and monetizing various forms of consumer data. With so many options, however, it can be difficult to find a place to start.
Understanding the tools at your disposal, and the situations in which they should or should not be used, is critical to mastering this system.
Automation rules, for example, are ideal for creating ongoing actions that dynamically apply to your user records as they update to match certain criteria. While similar in concept, segmentation rules are used more for creating one-time lists based on select factors.

Both completion actions and drip programs are used to respond to a lead’s reaction to your outreach, but differ greatly in methodology. Completion actions respond with direct actions to lead, such as sending an autoresponder or adjusting their score. Drip programs, on the other hand, subtly funnel the prospect into new marketing programs to keep them in your pipeline.
This table is handy starting point for understanding the true potential of Pardot’s tools.

2. Use Dynamic Lists

Dynamics lists are found at the core of any well-oiled marketing-automation machine. These lists automatically add and remove records based on your selected criteria, streamlining outreach and lead nurturing initiatives.
However, it is important to understand that they are only as effective as the criteria you assign. You cannot manually add or remove prospects from these lists, nor will they appear anywhere in Pardot where you can manually edit list membership. Additionally, a static list cannot be converted into a dynamic list.

3. Lead Scoring vs Lead Grading

While both essential parts of the lead nurturing process, lead scoring and lead grading have some inherent differences that are important to understand.
Lead scoring measures the success of your marketing strategy with “hard, objective data.” It works by tracking your prospect’s interactions with your outreach, such as the number of emails opened or webinar invites accepted, and calculating their effectiveness using point values you define.
Lead grading, on the other hand, measures how closely a prospect matches your ideal buyer profile. It takes a variety of factors into account, including company size, industry and job title.

4. Stay organized

It’s easy to get lost in the myriad of options that Pardot presents. This can be mitigated by approaching it with top-down organization in mind from the beginning.
Use logical and well-established naming/labeling conventions for all parts of the instance. Files, lists and folders that are sorted according to a robust organizational philosophy are much easier to locate than the alternative. Random campaign names are a signal that you’re not approaching marketing automation in a systematic way.
Combining both of these methods will help you further increase the efficiency of your organization’s sales and marketing initiatives.

5. The Big Picture

Connectors enable you to get even more out of Pardot by integrating it with the rest of your sales and marketing ecosystem. It can sync with a variety of third party software, including Salesforce, Linkedin and GoToWebinar.

6. Tell better stories

At the end of the day, the most direct way to increase prospect engagement is to send better content. Leads are more likely to interact with outreach that is relevant to them and easy to consume. Speaking directly to their needs and interests will make your content more valuable, while using responsive design will ensure that they can receive this insight on any format.

Check back for tips on Marketo, the next product in our Marketing Automation Series.

By David Sydiongco

A pro at front-end development, David transforms high-level client requests into tactile, responsive end-user realities. His diverse skill set offers a unique perspective on marketing challenges, like how analytics can give you just the info you need. David has written for publications such as Slate and the Phoenix New Times.

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