As the world’s most powerful B2B marketing engine, Salesforce Pardot is a transformative tool for business owners, marketers and sales professionals alike. Companies who use the robust marketing cloud platform quickly find themselves at a strategic advantage over their competition, armed with the ability to accelerate the sales funnel and streamline previously laborious sales and marketing processes.
Pardot delivers the tools you need to reach a lot of people in a short amount of time—but we’re not talking about batch and blast campaigns of days past. With Pardot, you have the ability to automate thoughtful, targeted communications and drip relevant content to your prospects based on their engagement with your campaigns. The platform allows you to segment and personalize like the big companies do at a fraction of the cost, making it an indispensable resource for small teams with even smaller resources. Add the fact that it boasts incredible ease of use and rigorous scoring mechanisms, and you’ve got the perfect foundation for lead nurture campaigns that pack a big punch.
As Salesforce Pardot Experts, Bubblebox understands what companies are looking for in a marketing cloud platform—and we’re not all talk. We’ve put our money where our mouth is and use Pardot internally, seeing firsthand how it has revolutionized our sales and marketing initiatives.
Understanding Pardot from the perspective of a user, vendor, and strategic services partner, we’re in a unique position to offer best practice guidance based not only on our own success with the platform but our clients’ success as well. Post-purchase, we know that the pressure is really on to deliver the expected return on your investment in marketing cloud technology, but you may not have someone on your team to fulfill this role. Think of Bubblebox as an extension of your team; we work with you to determine your business objectives, educate and enable you to optimize your marketing cloud platform in ways that meet your goals—fast. To get you started, check out some of our Pardot tips and tricks that work for us and our clients—we hope they help you, too:
1. Build Trust
Newbies usually don’t know where to begin with a powerful platform like Pardot, and often rush into deploying their first campaign without formulating the right plan of attack. Successful sales conversations begin with trust; the last thing you want to do is send your first campaign only to cringe in horror as your Opt-Out list grows like wildfire. Remember—with the average inbox brimming with competing marketing messages, subscribers are looking for reasons to opt out—and once they’re gone, they’re usually gone for good. It is important to note that opting prospects back in who have unsubscribed is considered Pardot abuse and can lead to suspension of your account.
Building trust with your contacts starts before Pardot. According to the creators of the platform, trust starts on your website, where 83% of B2B buyers will go during the decision making process. As a result, you need to ensure that your website has all of the necessary elements to start conversations that end profitably. Make sure that your website introduces your team, links to your social media accounts, and offers strong client testimonials.
We build trust on our website by showing who’s boss—literally.
To deepen the trust, your website should engage in progressive profiling, a practice that encourages your prospects to divulge personal details incrementally. Lead nurturing isn’t all that different from wooing a potential mate— you wouldn’t ask for their whole life story on the first date, so why would you ask that of your prospective clients? With progressive profiling, you can create new form fields for prospects based on data that you have already collected from them; it slowly accumulates a bank of knowledge on every contact, empowering you to supply them with more targeted communications.
Insider Tip: When creating your form pages, keep them short and sweet; according to Pardot, “shorter forms lead to higher conversion rates,” and also put your leads at ease.
We keep our form pages short and sweet.
Lastly, while gated content and form pages go hand in hand, avoid keeping all of your content under lock and key. Prospects who can’t access any of your content won’t know if their personal information is worth the exchange. In order to establish the value and credibility of your published work, you need to offer something for nothing. Ungated content can come in the form of a company blog, one pagers, and teasers for white papers and e-books.
2. Create the Perfect Drip Campaign
Setting up the perfect drip campaign is a surefire way to patch a leaky sales pipeline. Drip campaigns are like email touchpoints that start relevant conversations with your leads at different stages of the journey; they automate the deployment of relevant communications based on a subscriber’s engagement with your emails (such as whether they’ve clicked on a link).
This is what a Pardot drip campaign looks like
If you’re just getting started, it is crucial that you keep your content paths simple. Pardot is capable of creating advanced drip campaigns based on a number of different variables, but typically requires a high level of expertise best left to professional training. We recommend drips between two and four emails long, reducing the margin for error found in more complex prospect paths.
In terms of campaign content, always keep your readers wanting more. This anticipation is best achieved by advertising what content they can expect in the coming weeks. Based on our own experience we know that campaign narratives have a huge impact on subscriber engagement, and lend a unifying thread to drip communications. Tell a story around a common theme throughout a series of emails and watch as your brand loyalty shoots through the roof.
Lastly—respect your subscribers, and make it easy for them to update their preferences. While unsubscribe links are mandatory, Pardot also gives the option of activating a public preference center within your campaigns, done simply through insertion of an email tag. Preference centers empower subscribers to manage and filter the types of emails they receive from your brand, reducing their likelihood of opting out of all communications.
Insider Tip: Always remember to set quantifiable goals (such as Click Through Rates) for your campaigns so that you can track and measure progress.
Understanding Pardot from the perspective of a user, vendor and strategic services partner, we’re in a unique position to offer best practice guidance based not only on our own success with the platform but our clients’ success as well.
3. Don’t Over Nurture
With Pardot, lead nurturing is easy. Sometimes a little too easy. The ability to give your leads the content they need, right when they need it has some marketers going overboard with their nurturing efforts. As a rule of thumb, avoid dripping to sales-ready leads—doing so not only irritates the potential client but puts the whole deal in jeopardy.
Similarly, avoid putting prospects on a bunch of different lists. This will inundate them with emails, leading to two very probable outcomes: SPAM or “unsubscribe.” Either way, your sending reputation is in the balance.
With a powerful technology platform at your fingertips, you need to constantly assess your subscribers and their level of engagement with your campaigns. With its advanced scoring and reporting capabilities, Pardot allows you to gauge whether your subscribers are gaining benefit from your communications. The platform wasn’t designed as a one-size-fits all email blasting tool; use its segmentation capabilities from the onset to facilitate the deployment of highly personalized, conversion-driving campaigns.
It’s easy to see how Pardot transforms the way we do business at Bubblebox. We can now lead prospects down individualized pathways that foster engagement and brand loyalty.
The platform boasts a seemingly endless array of functionalities that continue to evolve and expand. New modules and features are introduced in the blink of an eye, and before you know it—your new platform feels like old news. At Bubblebox, we understand that keeping up with the latest innovations in marketing automation and CRM technology can be an overwhelming task. With “best practice” solutions changing on a weekly basis, there’s no way you have time to stay current and do your full-time job. Leave the heavy lifting to us. We’re here to ensure that you are optimizing your technology platform in ways that achieve your business objectives. Helping you achieve that elusive ROI is what drives us. If you’re looking for support at any stage of your Pardot journey, get in touch—we’d love to hear from you.