Recently we have been managing a couple of clients from the California area, that would be considered “Unicorns”. Like most firms of their size, they use a combination of Pardot and Salesforce. For context, all the above mentioned are B2B firms. However I am sure these learnings could easily be applied to the consumer sector as well.
Multi-Touch Attribution – No One Really Has The Secret Formula
The most surprising thing I noticed when we first started working with more “data-driven” Silicon Valley startups was how even they had not really cracked the code of multi-touch attribution. What we quickly realized while assisting these startups, and even through our close relationship with Salesforce itself, is that there is no “secret formula”. Divvying up how to credit marketing for a webinar vs. a retargeting ad vs. a conference takes work. This basically comes down to making sure that you have your Salesforce integration set up correctly and you are leveraging campaign influence reports. After these basics, the next steps always get a little more cloudy. How much credit does a retargeting ad get compared to the conference? The truth is you have to get good at testing, creating baseline metrics and comparing a control group with a group whose retargeting ads have been disabled, to verify how much of an impact all these really make. Once you have rough estimates you can always start assigning percentages for certain actions. Of course this would be the right opportunity for you to leverage the traditional scoring model, in combination with campaign attribution modeling, in Salesforce.
Make sure you are A/B testing with a large enough audience size.
Surprisingly, the temptation to A/B test everything even spills over to giant firms. The advantage some of these unicorns have is that their Pardot active prospect list could be in the hundreds of thousands. This does allow them to reach statistical significance a lot quicker. Even so, the temptation to A/B test a subject line within a segment of a few 100 prospects is still there. This usually comes from the halo around subject line optimization, A/B testing in general and stories of massive conversion rate increases in open and CTRs by adding [ ] or emojis to subject lines.
A/B testing is amazing, and it lets you evolve with your customers and really pin down messaging if done correctly. There is always the tendency to overdo it, especially given that Pardot makes it super easy. When samples sizes are small they lead to false positives which might end up hurting you in the long run.
Use A/B testing only when your audience size is large enough (usually in the thousands) and you actually have a theory you are testing. Does my audience like questions or numbers in subject lines? How should my preview text be formatted? Do emojis appeal to my audience? All great questions to ask and answer when leveraging Pardots’ A/B testing functionality appropriately.
Engagement Studio Drips Are The Infinity Stones
Yes, it is hard to get time to build them out “correctly”, but when you do leverage them appropriately it is amazing. Most companies using Pardot, always feel as they could be doing more with Engagement Studio drips, and the truth is that no matter the funding stage or market cap of a company we saw this as being true.
The unicorns we assist usually do have a “Request a Demo” or “ Book Time” drip built out, but even for conferences with six-figure budgets, we saw lackluster Engagement Studio Drips being built out. The first step is always planning out ahead of time what the user experience and the behavior you are encouraging at each step is going to be.
We like to use tools like Lucid Charts with our clients to really map the whole journey out, and then we break up the tasks in Asana so that we can have every stage built out and planned ahead of the big day. Some of the aspects of Pardot we saw really helped supercharge Engagement Studio drips, were adding Page Actions and auto-reply templates that came from reps.
A firm who is really good at leveraging page actions (sometimes a little too good) is Salesforce themselves. Try it out, go to fill out any asset form, and then go to a high intent page a few days later. But be warned you will never get out of the funnel :).
If you want to control the universe as unicorns do with their Infinity Stones, take some time and go ahead and plan out those Engagement Studio drips.
Learning what others are currently doing with Pardot, especially those with huge budgets and aggressive growth targets does help get your own strategy trimmed down. Take some time and fill out some forms and see the journey you go on. As with all things automation, it isn’t automatic, so try some of these techniques in your own environment today.
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