Listen, we know that Pardot can seem pretty overwhelming at times, especially when you’re making your way through Trailhead and noticing multiple tools in Pardot that all seem to do the same thing. We know the feeling well, and that's why we put together this handy lil’ cheat sheet on what each one does and when to use them!

Automation Rule

This tool allows you to continually run certain action items that you want to run. For example, every time someone with an open opportunity in the “proposal” stage hasn’t opened an email in 15 days, you can notify the account owner by

creating a Salesforce task telling them to call. Something very important to keep in mind is that Automation Rules are retroactive, and you have the option to have the rule repeat every time the option meets the criteria or just that first time.

Pardot Prodigy Tip: Always run a “preview” of your ruleset. Even those little automations that seem simple on the surface might end up pulling in or leaving out unintended prospects. You’ll want to be sure before you commit to any of those.

Segmentation Rule

Need to create a one-time list of all your prospects that are in Texas? Segmentation Rules are going to be your go-to answer. You might be saying “Why can’t I just create a ‘Dynamic List’ to do that?”, and the answer is that you can,

but your dynamic list is going to run on a continuous basis, which may not be ideal for what you’re hoping to achieve. Segmentation Rules run as a short of “snap-shot” of your current environment, creating a static list that doesn’t change going forward. For example, if you want to create a suppression list of everyone who has ever filled out your form up to today, and use it in all email sends moving forward, a Segmentation Rule would be perfect. If you were to use a Dynamic List, then the list would simply keep growing as more people fill out the form. Segmentation Rules allow you to use automation while still keeping it a static, unchanging list. With Segmentation Rules, you can also add/remove tags in bulk, add to a Salesforce Campaign, add to an existing list, add to a new list, or remove from a list, so it’s pretty versatile once fully established. As with anything, it’s just about picking the right tool for the situation.

Completion Actions

Great to add to assets in Pardot (Think forms, form handlers, files, custom redirects and page actions, etc.) these actions only fire immediately after the asset is used and are not retroactive, so they will only apply to prospects

who use the asset after you’ve applied the Completion Action. Here is an example of how it could be used: You want to send an autoresponder email when someone fills out a form, right? Well, If you set up an Automation Rule, everyone who has ever filled out the form would get the email, which might be what you’re looking for in certain situations, but maybe not this one. However, If you set up a Completion Action, only those who fill out the form moving forward would receive the email.

Dynamic Lists

The key to Dynamic Lists is that they apply entrance and exit criteria. These are absolutely amazing for Engagement Studio Drips if you want an easy way for prospects to automatically match with and go into a drip.

A popular example would be to build a Segment for all current customers and another one for current prospects. Since these are ever-changing fields, you could create a dynamic list to make sure that when a prospect has a new closed-won opportunity, they are automatically removed from the prospect list and added to the customer list. That dynamic list would do this for you automatically with no work on your part!

Pardot is a huge tool with a lot going on inside of it, but to understand it, you only need to break it down into smaller pieces. Instead of looking at this massive beast as a whole, pick smaller pieces to learn about, and go from there. It’s about building from a strong foundation, and we know you can do it.

If you need help figuring out where to begin, or you’d just like a little more guidance than independent study would give you, why not sign up for a free demo? We can take a look at where you are, figure out where you want to go, and determine how to best use automation to get there! Don’t let your competition pull ahead. Put pressure on them by investing in automation for you and your organization!

Share Article:

Need Assistance?

Fill out the form below and a Salesforce + Pardot expert will contact you for a free walk-through.

Current Waitlist For All New Subscribers: 21 Days