Using Pardot to convert visitors to leads | YouDigital Insights

Pardot is an amazing tool for any business that wants to be more data-driven. It automates many of the tedious and time-consuming tasks in marketing, allowing you to spend more time on your high-value activities.

Pardot - Salesforce’s B2B marketing automation solution

If you’re a business that sells to other businesses, Pardot can automate your marketing activities and unite your marketing and sales departments so that they can work better together. It allows you to create marketing campaigns, drip campaigns, email marketing campaigns and to track the results.

Salesforce Pardot

Source: EMS Consulting

Pardot Glossary

Lead (or demand) generation: The act of creating interest in your products or services through marketing efforts.

Visitor: An anonymous person who visits your website and is now tracked in Pardot.

Conversion: Once a visitor gives you their contact information by submitting a landing page or form in Pardot, they are converted to a prospect.

Prospect: An anonymous visitor that has converted and is now identified. If you’re familiar with Sales Cloud or other CRM software, this is also called a lead.

Lead nurturing: Sending targeted messages at specific intervals based on a prospect’s actions and whether or not they’ve met certain qualifying criteria.

Lead qualification: You probably have thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of people interacting with your organization. Your sales teams can’t contact each of them, so as marketers it’s your job to help send them the best prospects. This process of finding the gold needles in the haystack of prospects is called lead qualification. You decide the threshold for when a prospect is ready to be assigned to a salesperson for them to follow up.

Pardot uses two metrics for lead qualification: score and grade.

  • Prospect score: A prospect’s score is a numerical value indicating how interested they are in your product or service, based on specific actions the prospect takes.
  • Prospect grade: A prospect’s grade is represented by a letter (A, B, C, D, etc.) indicating how well a prospect fits the profile of your ideal prospect.

Once your prospects are qualified, you can apply your threshold criteria to your prospects to assign them to your sales team.

Pardot campaigns: These are typically the first marketing-related contact your prospect has with your company. If you’re familiar with campaigns in Sales Cloud, this is very different from how campaigns work there—think of a Pardot campaign as being equivalent to a Sales Cloud lead source.

Progressive Profiling: Progressive profiling allows you to display new form fields to prospects based on the data points that have already been collected. This means that prospects won’t have to fill out their information all at once, so you can collect their information over time and form a profile on them. Not having to present prospects with long forms to get all of their information at once results in higher conversion rates.

Soft Bounce vs. Hard Bounce: A Soft Bounce is an email that is recognized by the recipient’s mail server but is returned to the sender because the recipient’s mailbox is full or the mail server is temporarily unavailable. A Hard Bounce is an email that permanently bounced back to the sender because the address is invalid. A hard bounce might occur because the domain name doesn’t exist or because the recipient is unknown.

More: Pardot Blog

From visitor to prospect to lead

Source: Jeremy Mason


A visitor is an unidentified person to a website (without a known email address).

Source: Salesforce Release Notes


Salesforce dashboard

Source: Automation Champion

Filter the visitor table using one of these views.

  • Identified Visitors — Displays all visitors with identified companies.
  • Active Visitors — Displays all visitors who visited two or more pages, regardless of whether their company could be identified.
  • All Visitors — Displays all visitor sessions.

How Pardot tracks visitor data:

  • Tracking code embedded on a website
  • Landing pages
  • Forms and form handlers
  • Cookies
  • IP address and DNS reverse lookup
  • WHOIS IP lookup

Converting Visitors to Prospects

A prospect is a visitor with a known email address.

Methods for a visitor to become a prospect:

  • Submits a Pardot form that is in an iframe on your web page
  • Submits a form on your site that’s connected to a Pardot form handler
  • Submits a form on a Pardot landing page
  • Clicks any link from a Pardot tracked email
  • Is manually associated with a prospect


Salesforce dashboard prospects

Source: HipTen

Each prospect has an Activities table displaying the prospect’s actions. The activities are composed of an icon and a description of the activity. The description includes the name of the marketing element or email and the date that the prospect took that action.

You can track activities like:

  • Email opens
  • Link clicks
  • File downloads
  • Form completions
  • Webinar registration
  • Event registration

Automation Tools

  • Completion actions: Allow you to automate directly from a marketing element, such as a form, file, or email send.
  • Segmentation rules: Allow you to create a one-time list of prospects and apply a segmentation action based on specific criteria.
  • Automation rules: Allow you to create repeatable, criteria-based rules that find matching prospects and apply actions to them.
  • Dynamic lists: Allow you to create lists that update automatically based on specific criteria.

Source: Salesforce Trailhead

Completion Actions

EXAMPLE #1 - completion action

You want to send an autoresponder email when a prospect submits a form to download a white paper.

You need a rule based on the action of submitting a form. Use a completion action.

EXAMPLE #2 - segmentation rule

You want to pull a one-time list of all prospects in your southeast territory.

You need a rule based on the criteria of southeast territory that runs one time. Use a segmentation rule.

EXAMPLE #3 - automation rule

You want to create a Salesforce task when a prospect submits a form and has a grade greater than B+.

You need a rule that performs an action based on the criteria of prospect grade is greater than B+ and form submission. Use an automation rule.

EXAMPLE #4 - dynamic list

You want to create a list that you can use for an engagement program. Prospects are added to the list when they have a score of 100 and a grade of at least a B+. They are removed from the list when their score falls below 100 or grade falls below B+.

You need a rule that updates a list based on the criteria of a score greater than 100 and a grade that is greater than B+. Therefore, you need a rule that runs more than once, updates a list, and is based on criteria. Use a dynamic list.

  • Available within:
    • Forms
    • Form Handlers
    • Files
    • Custom Redirects
    • Emails
    • Page Actions
  • Completion actions are not retroactive and will only apply to activities moving forward once you add them.
  • Completion actions execute every time the action is completed except for adjusting the score and send an autoresponder email.
  • Completion actions only execute for prospects (they will not affect visitors).

Salesforce dashboard


Segmentation Rule

You can use segmentation rules to create a list of prospects and apply a segmentation action based on specific criteria. Unlike automation rules, segmentation rules don’t run continuously. Segmentation rules run once and match only the prospects that meet the rule’s criteria when the rule runs.

Segmentation Rule Criteria

Table describing segmentation rules criteria in Pardot

Segmentation Rule Actions

Table of segmentation rules actions in Pardot

Automation Rules

  • Automation rules run continuously, unlike segmentation rules which are a one-time action
  • Automation rules check every prospect in your account every time their record updates to see if they could match
  • Once a prospect matches an automation rule, all of the actions that are defined at that time in the rule are applied to that prospect and it is flagged as matching.
    • If you add new actions later, they will not be applied to prospects who have already matched.
    • If you add new criteria to the rule, the rule will not “un-apply” actions to prospects who no longer match.
  • You can set automation rules to repeat if you select the repeat rule checkbox. This option lets you control how many times the rule can match a prospect.

Salesforce dashboard rules

Dynamic Lists

  • Dynamic lists are rule-based lists of prospects that automatically update as prospect data changes

  • You can’t add or remove prospects manually — instead, you set up list rules and Pardot automatically adds matching prospects and deletes them when they no longer match.

  • Dynamic lists, like static lists, can be used as recipient lists or suppression lists for an email newsletter, to seed a drip nurturing program, or used in further automation or segmentation criteria

  • Static lists can be edited manually; however, you cannot manually add or remove prospects to dynamic lists. Instead, dynamic lists refresh constantly, adding prospects who now match the criteria and removing the prospects who no longer match

  • Dynamic lists are most helpful when you are creating a list based on prospect data that will change often

  • If you designate a dynamic list as a recipient list in a scheduled email send then the email will be sent to all prospects that are on the dynamic list at the time the email is sent


Scoring vs Grading

  • Score – Measures implicit interest in your product by assigning a points value to activities, such as opening an email, attending a webinar, and submitting a form.
  • Grade – Measures explicit information provided by the prospect, such as job title, location, and company size.

Salesforce dashboard Scoring rules

Scoring Rules

You can also use Automation Tools to adjust the score of your prospect:

  • Automation Rules – For example, an automation rule can be set up such that if the prospect has requested a demo or a special white paper, 50 bonus points will be added to their score. Automation rules can both increase and decrease prospect scores.
  • Forms/Form Handlers – Scores can be customized at the Form/Form Handler level by designating an Adjust score Completion Action on Step 4 of the Form Wizard.
  • Engagement Programs – Scores can be increased or decreased using an action in the Engagement Studio.


Profiles are used to grade your prospects based on your ideal customer. Set criteria, such as location, company size, job title, and other factors, and use the information to tier your prospects. Using profiles to grade prospects has two stages:

  • assigning the profile
  • matching the criteria

Engagement Studio

  • Engagement Programs allow you to send targeted emails based on real-time buyer behavior and critical qualifying values, providing a personalized and adaptive buying experience for your prospects.
  • Use Engagement Studio for ongoing marketing campaigns and to nurture leads that may not be sales-ready.

Available steps in Engagement Studio:

  • Action – let you do something to prospects, like sending them an email or changing a field value.
    • Add to List
    • Create Salesforce Task
    • Send Email
    • Adjust Score
    • etc
  • Rule – define criteria-based paths for prospects
    • Salesforce Status
    • Pardot Campaign
    • Prospect Custom Field
    • Assigned User
    • etc
  • Trigger – use trigger steps to define paths based on prospect actions.
    • Email Open
    • Email Link Click
    • Form View or Completion
    • Landing Page Completion
    • File Download
    • Custom Redirect Click

Things to remember about Engagement Studio:

  • Emails sent through Engagement Studio will be recorded in the Prospect Profile as an activity.
  • Use a static list for a fixed list of prospects to enter into the drip program
  • Use a dynamic list for a dynamic list of prospects to enter the drip program based on changing criteria
  • Use a suppression list to exclude prospects from the drip program

Forms and Form Handlers

  • Use forms on your website to collect information about visitors and turn anonymous visitors into identified prospects.
  • Pardot forms are designed and managed completely in Pardot
  • Form handlers allow you to use your already existing form and simply connect them to Pardot

Source: Salesforce

CRM & Pardot Integration

  • Data can be passed back and forth between the two systems
  • Pardot acts as the Campaign, Lead, Marketing tool, whereas Salesforce is generally the CRM and for the sales process


  • Data syncs from Pardot’s Prospects to Leads and Contacts in Salesforce
  • Campaigns and Campaign Members from Salesforce to Pardot

Source: Jenna Molby

When Salesforce connector works with Pardot, the default fields for leads/contacts and accounts are set up automatically. However, any custom fields will need to be created in Pardot and mapped to the corresponding Salesforce field.

Source: Jenny Molby

Pardot Administration

  • Connectors allow Pardot accounts to sync with third-party applications such as a CRM system or Google AdWords
  • Pardot User Roles

User roles in Pardot allow you to control access to the product for individual users. Pardot comes with four default user roles: AdministratorMarketingSales Manager, and Sales.

  • The Administrator role is for “power users.” Users assigned this role can control broad account settings found within the Admin Module as well as campaign and prospect management functionality within the Marketing and Prospect modules. They can also view, edit, delete and import users.
  • The Marketing role is for users working primarily in the Marketing and Prospect Modules. They can manage prospects and create new lists, forms, landing pages, email templates and send list emails.
  • The Sales Manager role can view all prospects and visitors and associated reports. They do not, however, have any marketing functionality. Sales Managers may send individual emails but not list emails.
  • The Sales role has the simplest interface view in Pardot. Sales can view, edit, and export prospects assigned to them only. Additionally, they can send individual emails to prospects, but not list emails.

Source: Pardot

One of the most important aspects of marketing right now is automating your processes so that you can focus on other things. This is the idea behind marketing automation, and Pardot is one of the best tools on the market for doing this.

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