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Automation Rules

Overview

Automation rules allow you to perform certain marketing and sales actions based on criteria that you specify. For example, you may set the system to automatically assign all prospects with a country value of Canada, the United States, or Mexico to your North American sales representative.

Although similar to segmentation rules, completion actions and prospect table actions, automation rules have unique functionality and are best used in certain scenarios. If you are unsure which action to use, review our Prospect Actions comparison table.

Instructions

  1. Navigate to Marketing > Automation > Rules
  2. Push +Add Automation Rules
  3. Choose a Name for the rule for internal use.
  4. Select a Match type
    1. Match all – All aspects of the Rule must be satisfied in order to take the action(s)
    2. Match any – Only one aspect of the Rule must be satisfied in order to take the action(s)
  5. Rules – Press + Add new rule to add individual rules, or press + Add new rule group to add a group of rules that can be set to Match any or Match all (see Rule Groups below for more details). Click the + and – buttons to add or remove criteria. See below for a table of rule options.
    You can also add multiple criteria in a single line by separating each value with a semicolon, which uses OR logic (“Match Any”) when selecting a positive operator (“contains” or “is”). If a negative operator is selected (“doesn’t contain” or “isn’t”), then it uses AND logic (“Match All”) due to boolean logic.
    Adding rules
    Notes:
    The text field is limited to 255 characters, so you may have to split up very large rules into several lines.
    If you want the rule to match values that include a semicolon, you will need to add quotes around the value (i.e. ”this has a ; semicolon in it”).
    When using semicolons, you can put spaces between the values or you can leave spaces out (i.e. “GA; AL; TN” or “GA;AL;TN;”). Either method will work.
  6. Actions – Select at least one action to take place when your rule criteria are met. Click the + and – buttons to add or remove actions. See below for a table of action options.
    Actions for Automation Rules
  7. Execute in Real Time – We recommend leaving this option disabled unless the action is very time sensitive (example: sending an email to prospects upon completing a form and selecting a certain field value). Intensive, real-time rules could cause slower load times for forms and landing pages. Rules not running in real time will be processed in batches regularly. You can check if your rules are running in real time by filtering in the top left corner.
  8. Click Create automation rules to save the rule.
  9. Your rule will be saved in “paused” mode, allowing you to complete all the components of your campaign before activating the rule. A preview of matching prospects will be generated and you will be notified by email once the process is complete. We recommend that you do not unpause your rule until after you have reviewed and confirmed the preview. To activate the rule, locate your new rule in the Automation Rules table and press Resume. Rules can be paused and resumed at any time.

Rule Groups

Within an automation rule, complex rules can be created by adding a new rule group. Rule groups allow you to construct combinations of criteria while reducing the restriction of “match all” and “match any” requirements. The flexibility of rule groups allows users to combine multipart rules that would have previously been two separate rules. For example, within the same rule, assignments to a sales representative can be qualified by both location and industry by using two groups.

Notes

  • Although similar to segmentation rules, completion actions and prospect table actions, automation rules have unique functionality and are best used in certain scenarios. If you are unsure which action to use, review our Prospect Actions comparison table.
  • An automation rule will only affect a matched prospect once. If you want to change a rule and have it affect the same prospects again, you would need to delete the first rule and recreate it with the changes.
  • Automation rules typically run every 10 minutes. If a newly synced prospect fits an automation rule, but has not been affected by the rule, wait a few minutes until the automation rule runs.
  • Assigning actions will not reassign prospects who already have an owner but assigning actions will assign “Reviewed” prospects.
  • Automation rules are retroactive and will affect prospects who met the triggers in the past.
  • Deleting an automation rule will stop it from running, but the previous actions will not be undone. It will resume if the rule is ever undeleted from the Recycle Bin.
  • Select the “– ANY –” criteria option for forms, form handlers, landing pages, files, and custom redirects rather than listing out every item in your rules:
Selecting any item completed in an Automation Rule

Rule Criteria Options

Rule Criteria Definition
Prospect account field Allows you to define an action based on the value of an account field. Prospects must have an account in order to match, even if the rule uses the “doesn’t contain”, “isn’t”, or “is empty” options.
Prospect assigned queue Allows you to define an action based on whether the prospect is currently assigned to a salesforce.com queue.
Prospect assigned user Allows you to define an action based on whether the prospect is currently assigned or unassigned to a user.
Prospect assignment status Allows you to define an action based on the user currently assigned to a prospect.
Prospect campaign Allows you to define an action based on a specific campaign.
Prospect CRM campaign Allows you to define an action based on the prospect’s salesforce.com campaign.
Prospect CRM campaign status Allows you to define an action based on the status of the prospect’s salesforce.com campaign (Registered, Attended,, Cancelled, etc.).
Prospect CRM status Allows you to define an action based on the status of the prospect’s synced CRM record – contact, lead, or deleted (only available for accounts with salesforce.com or SugarCRM connectors).
Prospect custom field Allows you to define an action based on the data that the prospect entered on a form field that is tied to a custom field, or that was imported for that custom field. You can use this rule for each existing custom field.
Prospect custom redirect Allows you to define an action based on a whether a specific custom redirect was accessed (clicked). You can also select “- ANY -” custom redirect rather than a specific one.
Prospect default field Allows you to define an action based on the data that the prospect entered into a form or that was imported for that default field. You can use this rule for each existing default field.
Prospect email status Allows you to define an action based on whether or not the user’s email status is Opted Out or Do Not Email.
Prospect file Allows you to define an action based on whether a specific non-image file hosted within Pardot was accessed (clicked). You can also select “- ANY -” file rather than a specific one.
Prospect form Allows you to define an action based on the form managed by Pardot that the prospect viewed or filled out. If the form is on a Pardot landing page, you will want to use “Pardot page” for your rule instead. You can also select “- ANY -” form rather than a specific one.
Prospect form handler Allows you to define an action depending on the form handler in use. You can also select “- ANY -” form handler rather than a specific one.
Prospect Google Analytics parameter Allows you to define an action based on the values of the Google Analytics fields we capture (campaign, content, medium, source, and term) and display in a prospect’s record.
Prospect grade Allows you to define an action based on a prospect’s grade.
Prospect landing page Allows you to define an action depending on whether a specific landing page was completed or viewed. You can also select “- ANY -” landing page rather than a specific one.
Prospect list Allows you to define an action based on a specific prospect list.
Prospect opportunity default field Allows you to define an action based on various default opportunity fields such as probability and stage.
Prospect opportunity status Allows you to define an action based on a prospect’s opportunity status: won, lost or created.
Prospect profile Allows you to define an action based on a prospect’s profile.
Prospect query Allows you to define an action based on a search that the prospect performed, either from site search, paid search, or organic search.
Prospect score Allows you to define an action based on a prospect’s score relative to a value that you define.
Prospect tag Allows you to define an action based on a prospect’s tag values.
Prospect time Allows you to define an action based on the number of days passed since the prospect has been created or since the prospect’s last activity. Also, if you choose ‘is blank’, it will include everyone who has no activity on your site, while ‘is not blank’ will include anyone with any activity on your site.
Prospect webinar Allows you to define an action based on whether the prospect was absent, attended, or simply registered for a webinar. This rule criteria will only be present if your account has a verified GoToWebinar, ReadyTalk, or WebEx webinar connector.
Visitor hostname Allows you to define an action based on the host that the prospect is coming from during a visit to your site.

Action Options

Action Definition
Add prospect to list This action will assign a prospect to the list of your choice when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled.
Add prospect to salesforce.com campaign This action will tag a prospect with the salesforce.com campaign of your choice when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled. You will also be able to select a specific status to tag your prospects with (sent or responded).
Adjust Prospect Score This action will adjust a prospect’s score by a selected number or reset it to a specific number. For example, you can increase or decrease scores overall (+10 or -50 applied to each score), or reset the score to a baseline (set all prospect scores to zero points).
Allow Deleted CRM Lead or Contact to Recreate from Pardot Typically, when a lead or contact is deleted in salesforce.com or SugarCRM, the corresponding prospect in Pardot is flagged to never recreate a lead in the CRM. This action allows assigned prospects who were previously deleted in salesforce.com or SugarCRM to create a new lead the next time they sync with the CRM.
Apply tags This action will apply the prospect tag(s) of your choice when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled.
Assign prospect to queue This action will assign a prospect to the salesforce.com queue of your choice when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled. This will not reassign prospects who already have an owner, but will assign “reviewed” prospects.
Assign prospect to user This action will assign a prospect to the user of your choice when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled. This will not reassign prospects who already have an owner, but will assign “reviewed” prospects.
Assign prospect to user in group This action will assign a prospect to a user in the group of your choice (round-robin lead assignment) when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled. This will not reassign prospects who already have an owner, but will assign “reviewed” prospects.
Assign prospect via salesforce.com active assignment rule This action will push a prospect to your salesforce.com active assignment rule when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled. The prospect will be pushed to salesforce.com without an owner and then the assigned user will be pushed back down to Pardot once the active assignment rule has determined who it should be routed to. This will not reassign prospects who already have an owner, but will assign “reviewed” prospects.
Change profile criteria This action will change grading criteria for a profile when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled.
Change prospect campaign This action will change the campaign a prospect is associated with when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled.
Change prospect custom field value This action will change a custom field value to the value of your choice when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled.
Change prospect default field value This action will change a default field value to the value of your choice when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled.
Change prospect profile This action will change a prospect’s profile when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled.
Clear prospect field value This action will clear a field of its value; if you are syncing with a CRM, please unverify your CRM connector before using this action to clear field values, and take measures to clear the corresponding field (if any) in your CRM before reverifying the connector.
Create salesforce.com task This action will create a salesforce.com task for prospects. This data will be pushed into salesforce.com during a sync, which typically takes place upon an assignment for net new leads, or on set intervals (roughly every 15 minutes) for records that already exist in salesforce.com. If the prospect only exists in Pardot (no lead or contact record in salesforce.com), the task will not be pushed up to salesforce.com unless you assign it (to a user, a queue, a group, or active assignment rule).
Increment prospect field value This action allows you to add to or subtract from values for number fields (only number fields will appear for this action).
Mark as reviewed This action will mark a prospect as “reviewed” when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled. Prospects that already have an owner will not be marked as reviewed.
Notify assigned user This action will notify the assigned user when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled.
Notify user This action will notify the user of your choice when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled.
Remove prospect from list This action will remove a prospect from the list of your choice when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled.
Remove tags This action will remove the prospect tag(s) of your choice when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled.
Send prospect email This action will send a prospect the email of your choice when the requirements of the rule are fulfilled.