Not all Content is Created Equal: How to Setup Custom Scoring Models in Pardot

Pardot offers a great way to score your prospects with its out-of-the-box scoring model. You can add points to a prospect’s score when they open an email, click a link, access content, and much more. 

Although the baseline scoring model is a great place to start, it scores all content viewing behavior the same. However, as a marketer, you know that not all content is created equal. You know the prospect who has viewed a product pricing sheet is more sales ready than someone who views an industry white paper.

Before you dive into setting up a custom scoring model, engage with your sales team to agree what behaviors define a MQL/SQL, and what pieces of content have been effective in driving sales. Also, if you’ve already setup Connected Campaigns you can run a report to see which pieces have positively influenced sales to date.

Once you’ve identified the behaviors that indicate a qualified lead, Pardot gives you the ability to update the default scoring model to better align to your specific business needs. Below, we outline the steps for how you can create a custom scoring model that will help you identify your most engaged prospects.

Update Your Out-of-the-Box Scoring Model

To setup different scoring for different types of content you’ll need to do two things. First, we recommend updating up the baseline scoring model. At a high level the baseline scoring model enables you to weigh and score the behavior of prospects. 

For example, you might assign an email open 1 point but a link click in an email 2 points. You might also assign any time hosted content is viewed as 4 points because you view that as a stronger buying indicator than an email open or click. But again you know that not all emails opens or clicks and content views are created equal.

Add In Completion Actions

This is where Completion Actions come in. Completion Actions enable you to tweak the base scoring model in Pardot so that the score can more accurately reflect a specific piece of content, link, or form submission. 

To set up a completion action for a specific piece of content, open the file hosted in Pardot and click edit. In the Completion Actions section, select ‘Adjust Score’ and enter the appropriate number of points to weight the piece of content. In the pictures below you can see that the pricing sheet was given more points than the white paper.

Completion Actions can be used for more than just content to adjust scoring. Completion actions can be used in emails, forms, and links (i.e. custom redirects).

However, please note that it might not make sense to adjust the score for each form because you may want to reuse a form for multiple landing pages and use progressive profiling. In this case, you can create an Automation Rule in Pardot that adjusts the score based on both the form submission and landing page.

Simplify with Tags and Automation Rules

It might be a bit overwhelming to decide how much the score each piece of content should be adjusted. To simplify this you can leverage Tags and Automation Rules in Pardot.

For example, you could add a “High Funnel” tag to a prospect record when an industry white paper file is accessed. You could then have an Automation Rule to increases the Prospect’s score by 1 point. 

In addition, for a product pricing sheet you could have a “Low Funnel” tag added to a Prospect and an Automation Rule that increases the score by 3 points. If you go with this approach, ensure that you allow the Automation Rule to repeat.

By using the base scoring model and tweaking it with Completion Actions you can score each piece of content based upon where it falls in the sales funnel. The outcome will be better alignment between marketing with sales for the perfect prospect handoff!

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