Form Fields


Form Fields are various data fields available for use in your forms and landing pages. They can be a variety of data formats (text, checkbox, etc.) and are tied to either default fields or custom fields. Values entered into these fields can later be used to trigger automation rules and can generally also be synced with your connected CRM system if applicable.

Creating Prospect Fields

Before adding a field to a form, a corresponding prospect field must be created. There are two types of fields, Default and Custom fields.

A handful of Default Fields appear in all Pardot accounts and they can be added to any Pardot form. If you need to globally change the field type, predefined values (for radio buttons, dropdowns, etc.) or default mail merge value, please refer to our helpful article on Default Fields.

If there are additional fields that you want to appear on your forms and to record data on prospect records, you can add Custom Fields to Pardot. For instructions on creating and globally modifying Custom fields, visit our Custom Fields article.

Configuring Form Fields per Form

Default Fields and Custom Fields can be added to Forms in Step 2 of the Form wizard.

To add field(s), press Add Another Field. You can drag the fields in the order you would like by using the arrows to the right of the field.

To edit the settings of the form field as it appears on the form you are editing, click on the wrench icon.

    1. Basic options
      1. Label: What the prospect will see on the form as the label for the field.
      2. Prospect Field: Select the Default or Custom Field you’d like to add to your form. If you select a Custom Field, you will not be able to select a Type within the Form wizard – that must be changed under Administration > Prospect Fields.
      3. Load Default Data: If you have existing field data in a default field (ex. a dropdown of all U.S. states) that you want to pull into this form too, click the Load Default Data button. Doing so will load the default field data associated with the selected default field and replace the data that is currently in the form field. This applies to default fields only, custom fields will still pull in their existing custom field data automatically.
      4. Type: Select Text, Checkbox, Radio Button, Dropdown, Textarea, or Hidden. If you select an option that requires pre-defined values (Checkbox, Ratio Button, or Dropdown), you will be able to access the Values tab (see below). This option is only available in the Form wizard for Default Fields. Custom Field Types can be edited under Administration > Prospect Fields.
      5. Data Format:  Select Text, Number, Email, Email with valid mail server, or Email not from ISPs and free email providers. This will generally be Text, but for Email fields you may wish to only accept data with a certain validation. For example, “Email with valid mail server” requires the submitted email to have valid looking email address syntax and requires that the email address’ domain name is live and has a receiving email server listed in its DNS records.  Number fields only allow for numeric characters, therefore any special characters (for example in telephone numbers) will cause an error on the field.
      6. Required:  Check this option if you’d like the field to be required in the form, so that prospects can only submit the form if they enter or select a value.
    2. Advanced options
      1. Error Message: Enter the message that you’d like to appear on your form if the field is left blank or filled in with an invalid value. For example, if you set the Data Format for the Email field to be “Email not from ISPs and free email providers”, your error message could be “Enter a valid business email address”. This is optional, but recommended if the field is required or set to a Data Format other than “Text”.
      2. CSS Classes: Optionally enter a class to use for specific CSS in the Layout Template associated with your form.
      3. Description: Enter a description that can be set to appear under the form field in your form (i.e. instructions on using a multi-select field). This is optional.
      4. Always display even if previously completed: Useful for fields such as “comments” where the prospect may want to submit a value more than once (if this is not checked, the field will not display again once the prospect has completed it).
      5. Do not prefill: Useful for fields such as “comments” where the prospects may want to submit a value more than once (and you would not want to display their previous response).
      6. Maintain the initial value upon subsequent form submissions: Retains the initial field value even if the prospect has submitted additional forms with other values for the same field (for example, if they cleared their cookies or are using another machine).If a prospect completes a form with a new email address, a new prospect record will be created rather than overwriting the email in the original record. This helps prevent merging records when a prospect forwards an email to another prospect and they click on a tracked link and complete the form with their own email address.Enabling this option will not prevent current values in your prospect records from being overwritten if you are using the ‘Change field value’ option in a form’s completion actions, the ‘Change prospect field value’ action in an automation rule, importing a CSV file with new values for existing prospects, or manually editing prospects.If you would like to only set values for your fields if they were blank (i.e. not overwrite current values), you will want to create an automation rule that includes ‘Prospect form field :: [name of field] :: is empty’ in the criteria.
    3. Values
      1. The Values tab is available if you select a Type that requires pre-defined values (Checkbox, Ratio Button, or Dropdown). Prefill the values with one of the available options in the dropdown, or add your own values by clicking Add new value.
      2. Clicking the ‘A’ icon allows you to optionally enter a different Label that will display in your forms, while the Value will display on your prospects’ records.
      3. You can also select a List for the pre-defined values so that prospects who select the field value will be added to the appropriate list automatically. Note: If you update your field options later, add new values using the [+] button. Do not simply change old values to new ones. Changing values without deleting or adding will cause the field value to be overwritten in the prospect record and may effect automation rules in place.
      4. You can add a description for the field.
    4. Progressive Profiling
      1. Progressively display this field only if the prospect already has data in the following field(s): Enable this option if you’d like to utilize the progressive profiling feature to collect more data over a series of form submissions. Select the field(s) that must have values in the prospect’s record before this field will be displayed in a form. See the section below titled “Advanced Feature: Progressive Profiling” for more information.Example: The first time a prospect visits, only ask for their first name, last name, and email. Then use progressive profiling to ask for their company and phone number on the next form, then job title and department next time, and so on.
    5. Dependent Fields
          1. Display other fields in this form based on the value of this field: Enable this option to conditionally display certain fields when certain values for other fields are selected in the same form. For example, you may want to show the State field when United States is selected for Country.
            Note:  Dependent fields can only be based on text or dropdown field types.
          2. When this field equals: Select or enter the value that should trigger another field in your form to display when it is selected. In the example above, you would select/enter United States.
          3. Show this field: Select the field that should be displayed when the field you are editing has the value specified in the step above. In the example above, you would select State. If the field you select here has not already been added to the form you’re editing, you’ll get a warning message that will allow you to add it.
          4. Note: Additional dependencies can be added below the first one. For example, in addition to showing State when United States is selected for Country, you may want to show Territory when Canada is selected for Country.
            • The %%form-field-dependency-css%% variable is present by default in the form area of a layout template, and must be present for form field dependencies to function.
          5. Note: If you are not using the default CSS, make sure you include this styling in your CSS so that dependent fields are not displayed on the blank form.
            .dependentFieldSlave {
                display: none;

Be sure to click Save to confirm your changes.

Advanced Feature: Progressive Profiling

One of the more powerful features is the ability to conditionally display a form field based on other fields already being complete. For example, you only want to show a small number of fields on any one form to maintain a high conversion rate.

By default, all forms could show first name, last name, company, and email. Then, conditionally, if first name was previously completed, show a job title field instead. If job title was already completed, show a number of company employees field. If number of employees was completed, show a drop down of industries to choose from field. This functionality allows marketers to progressively gather more information over time and build a profile of the prospect. Each form thank you page should provide links to request more resources, like white papers, to streamline the profile building process.

For more information see: How do I set up a progressive form using conditional fields?

Read Next

Layout Templates

Ready to see how marketing automation can help you grow at record speeds?
Request a personalized demo today!
Need help?No problem. Chat with our sales experts or call us at 1-800-667-6389.