Pardot Lead Grading: Why Default Grades Don’t Work as Intended

One of my co-workers is in the final stages of implementing lead grading for their prospects. This has been a long process, both because of deciding what we want to grade and because of deciding how to grade what we want to grade.

Being this is the final stages before releasing to our customer-base at-large, we tested the grading process internally. Everything worked as planned…

…except one test.

Out of 15 tests, all but one had a grade associated with the prospect.

This is the one prospect out of fifteen that didn't have a Grade.
This is the one prospect out of fifteen that didn’t have a Grade.

Why didn’t this one prospect have a grade?

We looked at everything. We compared this prospect against the other 14 to see if there were any differences. Looked at the Audit tab to see if there was a reason why the Automation Rules didn’t run.

Nope, nothing.

Next step, we looked at the fields in question, the ones that drive the grading and the Automation Rules. This is where things got interesting.

“The Perfect Storm”

One by one, we looked through the fields and tried to determine if the test answers should have changed the prospect’s grade. What we found out was a perfect combination of answers over five fields that did not adjust the prospect’s grade.

And due to Pardot not displaying the default grade of “D” “until it changes either positively or negatively at least once,” there was no grade displayed for the prospect.

Our initial assessment that the prospect didn’t have a grade was incorrect. What happened was the prospect did have a grade, and did go through the grading process, but continued to have a default grade.

It’s our suggestion that Pardot remove this limitation on Lead Grading. If a prospect is assigned a Profile and has run through a Grading process, they should clearly have an assigned Grade, even if it continues to be a default grade.

Head over to the Ideas section at Salesforce to upvote our idea.

Pardot Workaround: How to Upload Files with a Single Pardot Form

I recently wrote on how to upload files using Box.com and Pardot Forms. That solution wasn’t totally clean and simple, as it required placing two embed codes on the page – one for the Pardot Form, one for the Box.com Upload Widget.

I am happy to write that I was able to embed the Box.com Upload Widget within the Pardot Form itself! This allows you to only place one embed code in the final landing page, and allows for a cleaner layout.

What you need:

  • Pardot
  • Box.com

Step 1:

Create your form as needed in Pardot. In our case, we were having customers place orders for branded marketing materials. This particular form needs to gather standard shipping-type information (name, address, etc.)

Pardot Form - Pink Button

Step 2:

Go to your Box.com account. If you haven’t created a folder for the uploads, do so now. Click on the […] icon to the right of your folder, and click “Upload Widget.”

Box.com Upload Widget Animated GIF

Step 3:

Fill out what you want the upload widget to say. You can place instructions here if you want, rather than on the resulting landing page.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-3-40-24-pm

Step 4:

Copy the embed code from Box.com.

Step 5:

Now, instead of placing the embed code for the Box.com Upload Widget on your landing page, you get to place it directly in the Pardot Form! Edit your Pardot Form, and go to the “Completion Actions” tab. Click the Source Code button, and then paste your embed code for the Box.com Upload Widget.

pardot-form-thank-you-code

You can also include your Thank You message before the code, along with any upload instructions you want your audience to see.

Now you’re all done! Here’s how the final form and upload widget work together.

pardot-form-completion-box-upload

 

Make sure to test out the form and upload widget before releasing to the masses.

Workaround: How to Upload Files with Pardot Forms

If you Google “upload files with pardot forms,” you’ll find plenty of people asking for this feature or offering workarounds with Google Forms.

Here’s something we came up with the other day. (Note: This is more of a two-part solution, but can be varied — probably — for a one-column, or single-form solution. I’ll be trying to create that shortly.)

What you need:

  • Pardot
  • Box.com

Step 1:

Create your form as needed in Pardot. In our case, we were having customers place orders for branded marketing materials. This form needs to gather standard shipping-type information (name, address, etc.)

Pardot Ordering Form

Step 2:

Go to your Box.com account. If you haven’t created a folder for the uploads, do so now. Click on the […] icon to the right of your folder, and click “Upload Widget.”

Box.com Upload Widget Animated GIF

Step 3:

Fill out what you want the upload widget to say. You can place instructions here if you want, rather than on the resulting landing page.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-3-40-24-pm

Step 4:

Copy the embed code from Box.com.

Step 5:

Open the source code of the landing page that houses your form, and paste the embed code from Box.com where you need the upload widget.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-3-41-35-pm

Now you’re all done!

Make sure to test out the form and upload widget before releasing to the masses.

Something I may be testing out in the near future: The ability to place the Box.com upload widget directly in the Pardot form. I’ll keep you updated!

Update: September 23, 2016: I wrote another post on how to do this with a single Pardot form here.

How To Piss People Off In The Email Marketing Industry

Funny story.

Scrolling through Twitter this morning and I see the following:

Shit. This is quickly followed by:

This just got real. And I’m thinking to myself, “I do this.”

A few weeks ago, I set up an IFTTT recipe to add any Twitter user to a list when they use #emailgeeks in a Tweet. I thought this was a pretty harmless way for me to see who is talking about email marketing on Twitter.

Email Marketing Twitter List
832 Members! Whoa…that IFTTT automation is a little too successful!

I should have realized that when my list reached 500 users that I needed to re-think this method.

Unfortunately, I didn’t really think about this until I saw the aforementioned tweets. Nothing like a good public shaming to get people to change behaviors.

So, IFTTT recipe is no more! Tweetdeck is now “on deck” with a tab devoted to #emailgeeks.

Tweetdeck #emailgeeks tab
A snippet of what my #emailgeeks tab in Tweetdeck looks like.

What did I learn from this?

  1. Automation is not always your friend.

I’ve been on Twitter since 2004, so I have a pretty extensive list of people I follow.As anyone on Twitter knows, it’s hard to cut through the noise of the real-time updates from your entire network. I used the IFTTT recipe to be more efficient in my Twitter time and “curate” my Twitter Feed so I could get the pulse of the email marketing industry.

This method backfired like a boss.

  1. There’s probably another way.

In the Twitter conversation, I mentioned my reason for the IFTTT recipe and the list automation. One participant quickly pointed out Tweetdeck and it’s ability to save hashtag searches as “tabs.” This allows me to have a feed, per se, devoted completely to #emailgeeks.

As suggested, I will now manually add future #emailgeeks users to my list based on what I see in my Tweetdeck tab.

  1. Trust your community.

Whether it’s my time in the Pardot Success Community on Salesforce, or #emailgeeks on Twitter, I take tremendous pride in being a member of those communities. There are hundreds of people using those tools on a daily basis in ways different from myself, bringing hundreds of different perspectives and experiences. Trust those differences. Trust the community.

  1. Discuss. Don’t Freak Out.

I think the reason why I was humbled by this conversation, and not upset, was the way the community handled the conversation. When I mentioned that I could be one of those “bots” added people to Twitter lists, the conversation turned from address those “crazy, unknown robots” to “here’s a better way to do what you’re trying to do.”

That pivot means everything as Twitter can be an extremely hostile environment. The #emailgeeks community is anything but hostile, and that proved to be true in this instance as well.

 

Weekly Blog Roundup – August 26, 2016

There are many articles I read on a daily basis for both work and pleasure. Below are some of the most recent ones I’ve read in the last week, along with some commentary about each article.

Email Marketing

5 Things That Have Changed Since the FixOutlook Project” – Litmus

With the awesome news out of #LitmusLive a couple weeks ago, some email marketers are reticient to celebrate. Those marketers point to previous efforts to repair the horrible rendering in Outlook, such as the FixOutlook.org Project. Chad White from Litmus goes through a few of those concerns and how the environment (and Microsoft) has changed since 2009.

Lessons learned from Airbnb’s Email Specialist” – Really Good Emails

A look at Airbnb and their email marketing. In the vein of Ways We Work (one of my fave sites) and a great read.

Why Email Marketing Beats Social Media in Lead Generation, and What You Can Do About It” – StrongSocial

I had a conversation with a co-worker earlier this week about her Google AdWords test campaign to get more blog subscribers. In a two week trial, she’s quadrupled her blog audience and tripled her email subscribers! Email is incredible for reaching your audience, provided you do it right.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Email CTA Buttons” – Really Good Emails

I passed this article around work this week for the insight provided. It’s amazing how many CTA buttons still say “click here” or “learn more.” Try something new!

Marketing

How to Measure Brand Awareness” – Hubspot and Distilled

Researching “brand awareness” for work, and came across this wonderful video from Adria Saracino from Distilled. Adria walks you through the steps to figure out your brand awareness goals and how to measure those goals. I’ve already set up an Excel Spreadsheet based on the information from this video and measuring some of those important metrics!

Weekly Blog Roundup – August 19, 2016

There are many articles I read on a daily basis for both work and pleasure. Below are some of the most recent ones I’ve read in the last week, along with some commentary about each article.

Email Marketing

Litmus and Microsoft Partner to Make Email Better” – Litmus

“…And on the 8th day, God created this partnership.” Amazing news out of The Email Design Conference hosted by email testing company Litmus. Litmus and Microsoft are partnering to make Outlook better for email marketers. You can get a lot more info on the link above, but the gist of the partnership is that we (the email marketers, #emailgeeks) will be able to submit rendering issues to Litmus. Litmus will compile these issues and work with the Outlook team at Microsoft. Amazing.

Four ways the Microsoft-Litmus partnership may shake up B2B email marketing” – The Marketing Practice

Good future-thought on how the aforementioned partnership could change email marketing.

Email deliverability is on the decline: report” – ClickZ

I’ve been on a deliverability kick lately and this article brings more of that info to the forefront.

Campaign Monitor Introduces Marketing Automation for Everyone” – Campaign Monitor

Pretty cool introduction from Campaign Monitor. While probably not as big as the Litmus – Microsoft partnership, this is a huge announcement for SMB who can’t afford enterprise-level marketing automation.

If you’re looking for marketing automation for your small business, you might want to see what Campaign Monitor is up to these days.

Email design at its best at TEDC16” – Nicki Graham

A wonderful follow-up and write-up from Nicki, who attended The Email Design Conference this past week. Nicki goes through some of the presentations/talks at TEDC16 and shares her thoughts on the conference overall.

Weekly Blog Roundup – August 12, 2016

There are many articles I read on a daily basis for both work and pleasure. Below are some of the most recent ones I’ve read in the last week, along with some commentary about each article.

Email Marketing

Lessons Learned After The First 12 Months as an Email Marketer” – Only Influencers

An interesting post from a new email marketer. While I agree with most, I do heartedly disagree with Joy’s idea that there’s nothing new in email marketing. Especially when there’s so much new information and happenings on the same site hosting her own post, Only Influencers. However, I will say that early in my email marketing career, I had a similar perspective. It would be interesting for me to put down my thoughts and experiences in email marketing in a new post.

What the Clinton and Trump Campaigns teach us about deliverability” – Only Influencers

A post about marketing and the presidential campaign that isn’t actually clickbait! Bravo!

While every marketer needs to be concerned and focused on their deliverability, this post dives deep into the nuances of deliverability and its place in the current presidential race. Definitely gets in the weeds a bit, but if deliverability is your scene, this is a post for you!

Email for President” – Return Path

The basis of the aforementioned Only Influencers post, Return Path looked at major deliverability statistics of the email campaigns of both presidential candidates.

Blogging

A 2-Week Publishing Hiatus to Make Our Blog Better (We Need Your Help!)” – Unbounce

We all need breaks every now and then to refresh the creative juices. Unbounce is doing just that — but not just to sit around and slack, but with the goal to make their blog better. Good read.

Lessons Learned After The First 5 Years as an Email Marketer

This post is a tongue-in-cheek response to a post by Joy Ugi over at Only Influencers about her first 12 months as an email marketer. 

It’s your fifth year as an email marketer.

Then you blink and a whole decade has flown by. It happened to me, and I bet it already happened to you. After five years of email marketing, you haven’t learned everything there is to know, but you damn well feel like you know everything.

But then you still get those rude awakenings when you feel a disturbance in the email marketing Force.

Learn. Do Something With What You Learn.

It’s easy to read what other email marketers are doing. I do it every day. I have a weekly blog roundup listing those same articles and posts I read. We go to conferences and attend webinars where we learn to be a better email marketer.

But all of that is for naught if we don’t do something with that knowledge. This is the biggest thing I’ve learned over the last five years in marketing, specifically as an email marketer.

It’s easy to see the new Engagement Studio from Pardot, get some best practices, some example drip campaigns, and go to your team saying, “Look at this great new addition to Pardot!” But what separates you as a “veteran” of email marketing is your ability to do something with that knowledge, something to make your marketing efforts and campaigns better.

Be Humble. Educate.

It seems as though the egos of those in Marketing are only second in size to the egos of those in Sales. It’s easy for us in email marketing to feel that we “know better” than most, because outside of marketing, most people still think of email marketing as spam. It’s easy for us to look down upon those who “don’t know better.”

Why educate someone who wants to buy a list and blast out the latest sales promotion?

You- the email marketer – educate them because it makes the entire organization better. You are only as strong as your weakest point, and if the stakeholders in your organization continue to believe email marketing stands alone and is meant for blast emails, well, you’re not doing your job. Period.

So you need to be humble and educate those around you. Teach them the same values you hold dear about clean email design, responsive and mobile-first principles, connecting email with marketing automation and your CRM. All of these take you, your colleagues, and your organization to the next level.

Be More.

Many organizations, mine included, don’t have the luxury of having one staff or employee focusing solely on email marketing, let alone having multiple staff focusing on email marketing. Here where I live and work in Cedar Rapids, I know a few email marketers from GoDaddy. They’ve presented to local marketers a few times about email marketing best practices. Now, they have the luxury many of us don’t: dedicated designers and dedicated writers. Awesome!

Most of us don’t have that.

And so we need to do more. Show value and bring value in other ways. For you, is that marketing automation? Analytics? Digital Campaigns? Social? Take the strengths you’ve developed working in email marketing and transfer them to another interest, find ways to bring value to your organization with your strengths.

It’s A Journey.

When I took my current job almost five years ago, I would be hard pressed to imagine where I am now. I code in my sleep. I know Pardot menus in my dreams. I know what Custom Fields are linked from Salesforce, and what Custom Objects we can only report on in Salesforce.

It’s been an incredible journey. And it’s not over, yet. Just keep swimming.

Pardot Pro Tip: Creating a Custom Landing Page Template

Pardot includes the built-in ability to create landing pages, pages where you direct prospects to download or signup for a product your company offers.

Here’s an example from Salesforce:

Salesforce Landing Page Example

We were looking to create a similar landing page, except it needed to match our company branding.

Here’s our homepage:

GreatAmerica Homepage Screenshot

And the page I based our template off:

Terms and Conditions Screenshot

With some research (I’ll link some resources at the bottom of the post) and some testing, I was able to create this landing page template:

GreatAmerica Landing Page Template

Here are the steps I took to create our landing page.

Step 1. Find your prototype page.

Find a page on your website that you would like the landing page to look like. I like to think of this as when you’re buying a house – look for a page that has good bones, one that has the header and/or footer you want, one that has the body that you want, etc. I chose our website’s “Terms and Conditions” page because it had the cleanest body to build from.

Action: Copy the URL of your prototype page.

Step 2. Create your layout.

Since we didn’t have an existing landing page template that I liked. I started with the page that had “good bones” and opened that code within Adobe Dreamweaver. In Dreamweaver, I got rid of the Navigation Bar present throughout our main website. I also cleaned up the body of the page so I could place more than text. Next I created two basic columns, one column for the featured or hero image, and the other column for the title, description, and form.

Here’s the code I used to create the two columns:

Step 3. Create the editable sections of your landing page.

This is probably one of the most important steps of the entire process. Without correctly following these steps, your template will not be editable to any person trying to use the template. Not good!

What I’m looking for in my template are four main sections: the featured image or hero image, the title, the description, and the form.

Editable Sections - Outline

Here’s the code to make the image editable:

Title:

Description:

 

Now, you may be wondering to yourself, “Why didn’t he use the built-in Pardot form instead of an iframe?” There’s a good answer! And, it took me a bit of trial and error to figure it out.

As you may or may not know, Pardot uses “Layout Templates” for both Forms and Landing Pages. So, if you’re in your “Layout Templates,” you’ll notice templates for your forms and landing pages alike.

The problem in the case of our landing page is that we’re trying to incorporate two different Layout Templates within the same page; the template for the form, and the template for the landing page. Pardot only recognizes the template for the “outer-most” asset, in this case the Landing Page.

The solution to this problem, i.e. using a different Layout Template for each the Landing Page and the Form. To create a template so that anyone can change the form, you need to create an editable section where you can paste the iFrame code. For that, you’ll need code similar to this:

Form:

Step 4. Create a new layout template in Pardot.

Pretty simple. Navigate to: Marketing > Landing Pages > Layout Template > Add Layout Template

Action: Create a new layout template in Pardot

Step 5. Import your Prototype Page

Pretty simple step here. Copy all of the HTML code from Dreamweaver, and paste into the HTML section of the Landing Page Layout Template.

Pardot Landing Page - Import HTML

 

Action: Paste HTML code into Pardot template.

Congratulations!

You’ve now created your template! Now, you probably want to create a new landing page from your template.

Step 6. Create a new Landing Page.

Navigate to: Marketing > Landing Pages > New Landing Page. Name your Landing Page, choose a folder, and then choose the relevant Campaign.

Pardot - New Landing Page

On the next step, you can click “No form.”

Pardot - Landing Page, No Form

Step 7. Choose your template.

On the “Content Layout” step, choose the template you just made.

Step 8. Edit your content.

Now you can change and insert the content you want on your final page! Change the image, title, and description to what you want.

We’ll do the form in the next step.

Step 9. Get the iFrame code for your Form.

In a separate tab or window, navigate to: Marketing > Forms > Forms. Click on the form you want.

Now, copy the iFrame code:

View HTML Code - Pardot Forms

Pardot Form iFrame Code

Step 10. Paste in your iFrame Form code.

Go back to your tab/window with your landing page. Click on the editable section for your form. At first, you won’t see anything. Click on the “Source” button in the top-right to reveal the HTML code for that particular section.

Paste in your iFrame code here. And now you’ll have a complete landing page!

GreatAmerica Landing Page Template

Resources

As I promised at the beginning, this post wouldn’t have been possible without the help and assistance of many people.

The first and most helpful resource overall was “How to Turn any Landing Page into a Pardot Layout Template” from Jenna Molby. Jenna’s post walks you through step-by-step in changing an existing landing page into one that works in Pardot. So, a very similar concept to my situation, but we didn’t have any existing templates.

Using Content Regions” from the Pardot Knowledge Base. This was helpful to figure out how to make the sections I wanted in my template to be editable. Without this, you’re just left with a page you can’t edit!

Pardot B2B Marketing Automation – Salesforce Success Community. A great, great resource for anyone looking to up their Pardot game. I did a search for some of the issues I was having, like the “form vs. landing page template” problem, and found the solution on here. If you’re not a member of this community, you need to join today!

Weekly Blog Roundup – July 1, 2016

Happy Fourth of July Weekend! I know I haven’t written a blog post in a while aside from these “roundups,” but I’ve got something in the works! In the meantime, here’s some of the articles I’ve been reading the past week.

And let’s be honest, I’ve been reading a lot this week, so a thousand apologies for the thousand links. On the other hand, it’s some good reading material for you for a long weekend! 🙂 

Pardot

Introducing Enhanced Social Posting” – Pardot

Pardot definitely is not meant to be your daily social media management tool. But their recent update to the tool makes Pardot one step closer to a one-stop shop.

Email Marketing

8 B2B email marketing examples that deserve a trophy” – Emma

Some pretty amazing email marketing examples in here. The Caterpillar example is one that you don’t see every day from the construction industry.

What is Emmet?” – Litmus

Emmet is an amazing tool for those who need to craft marketing emails on a regular basis. This isn’t Taxi for Email or anything like that. Emmet is meant to help you with the coding of your emails. Personally, I haven’t dug into it yet, but will definitely need to see how this could help my team.

The Top 3 Items to Consider when Logging Pardot Emails in Salesforce” – Paul B. Fischer

Paul hits on something here that I come across daily with my company, how do you choose what’s important or not important for your reps to see in Salesforce. I think the best point made is regarding the visibility of the information in Salesforce. I may have to write a follow-up post to that end. Thanks, Paul!

Marketing Automation Needs The Human Touch, Too” – GetResponse

The first of two posts from Kath Pay. This GetResponse post does a great job of reminding us that our marketing needs to be person-to-person, and not business-to-consumer or business-to-business.

Email Marketing Should Become Customer Service” – Mediapost

A second post from Kath Pay. This one is near and dear to my heart, even if it’s short. Great customer service is great marketing. And the reverse is also true, great marketing should be about great customer service. To that end, Kath Pay stresses that we marketers need to respect the expectations of our customers and “must deliver the promises they make when a consumer signs up for the email program.”

3 Ways the Job of Email Marketer Will Change by 2020—and How to Prepare” – Litmus

Some scary stuff in here if you or your company isn’t ready to change. If you are ready for change, some really fun stuff! I’ve been reading a bit about machine learning and email marketing, and this post from Chad White at Litmus brings up machine learning as one of the biggest changes coming to email marketing in the next 4 years.

The Importance of Email List Building” – Social Fusion

Short and sweet article with some basic steps on how to build your email list, and how to properly nurture your list.

Marketing

What You Need to Know About the Voice Search Revolution From Microsoft’s Purna Virji #MNSummit” – TopRank Blog

Fascinating! While I don’t focus much on search in my current role, as a consumer and techie it’s always fun to see where tech is heading.

People

I’m not necessarily going to write about each of these, but I love reading articles on how other people work. My favorite spot for that is “Ways We Work.” Be sure to hit that up!

How the creative team at Favor works” – InvisionApp

Ways We Work – Becky Simpson” – Ways We Work

See Girl Work, Podcast Episode 12: In Conversation with Amandah Wood, Founder & Editor, Ways We Work” – See Girl Work

Politics

Could Trump Be Nurturing the Next Hitler?” – History News Network

There’s a lot of hyperbole in politics, so it’s hard to sometimes decipher the crackpots from the conspiracists from the actual historians. I don’t know much about the history of the US prior to World War I, nor the history of Adolph Hitler, but to me, the theory presented here seems more plausible than Trump actually being the next Hitler.

What the 1880s tell us about why the rich are moving to cities today” – Washington Post

“We have 80 years of essentially zero production of neighborhoods with these qualities,” Grant says. “We’ve spent the last 80 years building car-oriented suburbs. Then when the elites decide they want to go back into the city, there’s not enough city to go around.”

I’m a huge Jane Jacobs and Richard Florida fan. Huge. One of my favorite memories of my first job out of college was getting to tape Richard Florida speak at Iowa State University. Awesome. So, whenever I read a great story about cities, how they’re built, how they’re designed (or not designed), and how people move, well, I eat it up like my dog eats peanut butter.

What a real ‘Brexit Britain’ would look like” – Washington Post

A lot of noise these past few weeks about Brexit. While my personal stock portfolio has already jumped above pre-Brexit, there are several articles going around about the future. This is a fun little piece, not too based in reality, but fun nonetheless.

The Blogger Who Saved the Economy” – The Atlantic

GREAT short documentary. On par with the writing of Michael Lewis. Wonderful.

The Money Illusion

The blog of the aforementioned blogger. Good stuff.

For Fun

Yes, The Infield Shift Works. Probably.” – Fivethirtyeight.com

I love 538. Been reading since pre-Obama. They do great write-ups on sports as well (given they’re owned by ESPN these days, not the NY Times.) The Infield Shift is a weird aspect of baseball. Does it work? Is it baloney? Check it out.