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9 Creative Ways to Use Pardot Automation Rules

Marketers, what parts of your day-to-day you would like to automate if you could (lead qualification, assignment, notifications, task creation, applying tags, adding to campaigns, etc.)?

Pardot’s automation rules allow you to perform seemingly unlimited tasks to help you achieve your overall marketing goals. Automation rules make your job easier when you need to send the same weekly newsletter to more than one list, adjust a prospect’s grade or score, or better segment your database.

Pardot’s Client Advocate team put together a list of their most recommended uses of Pardot’s automation rules. Take a look and see how you can start “automating” your marketing automation (not a Pardot user? Scan the list for ideas!).

1. Send Marketing Content Based on a Prospect’s Last Activity

“Consider creating an automation rule to send targeted messages based off of a prospect’s last activity date or creation date. For example, if they have not been active in two months, send a “We Miss You!” email. Similarly, if they created a profile one year ago, send a ‘Happy Anniversary.'”

Lindsay Stanford | Pardot Client Advocate

2. Take Action on Prospects Who Have Performed a Specific Combination of Activities

“For example, If you want to send an email whenever someone views a specific landing page but does not convert (this can be great for form abandonment on high-value or bottom-of-funnel content), you can use a completion action on the form to apply a certain tag, then use an automation rule that says when the landing page is viewed AND the tag ISN’T that specific tag, send the email.”

Kylie Nickles | Sr. Client Advocate

3. Tag a Prospect’s Sales Rep

“Use automation rules to tag prospects with the name of the sales rep they are assigned to so the marketing team can easily filter reports based on who their sales rep is.”

Cristina Moscoso | Pardot Client Advocate

4. Add to Salesforce Campaigns and Update Status

“Adding prospects to Salesforce campaigns allows you to generate Salesforce Campaign Influence reports on opportunities. Automation rules are a great way to add prospects to these campaigns based on who they are and what Pardot campaign or activity they’ve touched.”

Hannah Freeman | Sr. Client Advocate

5. Decay Lead Scoring

“When using a scoring threshold for marketing qualification, create an automation rule to decay the score if a prospect hasn’t been active in the last X days or weeks. This ensures that only active prospects are qualified as marketing-qualified leads.”

Richard Lewis | Sr. Client Advocate

6. Automatically Send Customers or Prospects a Birthday Greeting

“Using Salesforce and want to automate an annual birthday email to your prospects? Set up a Next Birthday formula field in Salesforce that will take a current Birthday field and populate the prospect’s next birthday. Then, create an automation rule to scan for that Next Birthday field that is less than one day in the future and add the prospects to a static list that feeds a birthday drip program. In your drip program, start with a 1-day pause, then send your birthday emails with a 365 day pause between each one. Make sure to disable the option to only send emails during business hours, since your prospect’s birthday might be on a Saturday or Sunday!”

Lindsay Stanford | Client Advocate

Birthday Drip Rule

7. Customize Your Autoresponder Emails

“Sending unique autoresponders to a prospect who fills out a form can help increase content engagement. Automations can be set up to look at field criteria and form completions to drive which autoresponder email is sent to each prospect.”

Richard Lewis | Sr. Client Advocate

8. Stagger Automation Rules with Tags

“When you need automation rules to fire in a certain order, use tags to ensure one rule fires before the other. When rule one fires, include an action that applies a tag. Then have one of the criteria for rule two include ‘Prospect tag is [x].'”

Hannah Freeman | Sr. Client Advocate

You can see how this is built in the screenshots below:

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9. Improve Your Lead Qualification Model

“Automation rules are a powerful way to customize your scoring and grading models. Consider customizing your global, baseline scoring rules, while using automation rules as an additional layer of measuring and responding to customer engagement and intent. You might look at prospects who meet a certain scoring threshold in addition to specific, tracked activities to do things like:

  • Increment score even higher. The combination of certain activities may be even more valuable and indicative of buying intent, wherein the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Create a task in Salesforce for the assigned rep. Sales will find great value in real-time alerts through Salesforce Engage. Up the ante by automating task creation for sales users when their Leads or Contacts are especially engaged and ready to buy.
  • Alert a member of the marketing team. This is a way to proactively alert marketing to affirm the effectiveness of their lead qualification model, or to encourage them to revisit their model to regularly improve and iterate.”

Susan Spicknall | Senior Implementation Specialist

We recommend you review your automation rules 30 days after you set them up the first time, and then review them every 90 days after that.

Finally, the Pardot Client Advocates are here to help our customers achieve their marketing goals by providing Pardot strategy and marketing automation best practices. If you’d like to receive a free account audit, reach out to your Advocate or email our team. We’ll be happy to pop the hood on your account and see what features you could be utilizing more.