My Pardot Journey
My Pardot journey begins in January of 2018. At the time, I had been working within the Salesforce ecosystem for just over a year as a Service Operations Manager. Essentially boiling down to managing customer requirements, and timelines. Some work came up within the Managed Service team and at that point, we were quite light on Pardot resources. At this point, I wasn’t really sure what Pardot was or how it worked. But at the same time, I was thinking it can’t be that difficult… right?!
My Pardot Journey begins
I remember the first port of call was a colleague of mine who was a Pardot Consultant. They gave me a solid run-through of what Pardot is. This then led me to the Pardot Specialist Exam Guide. Not to take the certification exam, but just to understand the breakdown of the platform. You can find more info on that exam guide here.
At that time, there was lunch and learns about to take place for Pardot over a 5 week period, so naturally, I thought it was best to sign up. The necessity for these courses was amplified by the fact that at the time, there were no Trailhead modules for Pardot.
Let the Training Commence
The first couple of lunch and learns come and go. I made all the notes I could, my brain became completely overloaded and walked away feeling none the wiser. My Pardot journey at this point is moving at a snail’s pace, barely going anywhere. Not through the fault of the Pardot Consultant leading the lunch and learns. This came down to a personal way of how I like to learn and develop. The hands-on approach.
So I scrapped the lunch and learns along with my notes. I found being told how things work and just reading notes was not for me. Just looking at words didn’t really tell me how everything connects together. With access to our Pardot Training Org, the real learning began. An understanding of what Pardot is as a Product. I decided to strip my learning into stages to piece together the platform
Breaking the learning into Sections
With the learning approach now set out for my Pardot journey, my starting point was figuring out the ways a record can be created in Pardot. Excluding manual creation or from Salesforce, via a Form. I created a basic form with a few fields, submitted the form and successfully created a record in Pardot. Great. Now I have a prospect record. The next learning step was to see what else can be done with a form. Fire off Completion Actions. Form updated and re-submitted to see my new changes.
With my record and some data gathered, I was thinking now I need to learn the different types of automation in Pardot. (Automation Rule, Completion Action, Segmentation Rule, Dynamic Lists). Great. So let’s set up an Automation Rule and add someone to a List. Before setting up the rule, I learned about the different lists available to us. I then created a list, got my rules ready, and my data updated.
What have I learned so far?
- How it is possible to create records in Pardot.
- Creating basic forms and what actions can be fired from a form submission.
- How easy it is to segment data with the use of automation rules and lists.
My Next Steps
With some prospect records created, and my Pardot journey taking shape, I decided the next step was to send out some emails. For this to happen, I needed to learn three more key features. Building email templates, how to send an email, and leveraging email interactions.
Fast forward ahead and I have built a basic email template with some links embedded. This gave me the opportunity to then also learn about Custom Redirects. I then moved onto actually sending an email out of Pardot for the first time. At this point, I knew an Automation Rule could send an email. A rule created with a simple criterion. If Prospect is member of List => Send email. Once the email had been sent, I started to explore the options available to me when the prospect interacts with the email. For example, click a link that takes the client to a webpage (Landing Page). After I had explored all the options available here, the next learning step presents itself. How to building Landing Pages.
Making things happen – Core functions
Now I had created some records, forms, lists, automation rules, email sends, and landing pages. I was there thinking about how I could utilise other parts of the platform to make the client engagement more personal. Up steps the Engagement Studio feature. I set up a simple program whereby when I submitted my form, a record was added to a list. The list is placed in the program and the first email is sent. It uses merge TAGS to make it more personal to also give me the chance I needed to understand the merge language better. I also had conditions later, that if the client didn’t open the email, a follow up gets sent a few days later.
At this point in my Pardot journey, for me, it was really coming together on how all the functionalities in Pardot go hand in hand. I then progressed to learning about Data Sync, Fields, Campaigns, setting up users, the Salesforce Connector etc. Maybe looking back it could be better to learn this first, but as we know there is no right or wrong way to learn. Everyone learns differently. This was my journey.
Throughout my Pardot journey, I referenced many different blogs and articles. But the most stand out for me were Jenna Molby and a Pardot Consultant Exam guide by Ines Garcia. I know Jenna’s site is still as useful as always, but not sure about Ines. Worth checking out though.
You can now also find many useful Pardot articles by clicking here. Our very own Journal at Marketing Logic.
Pardot on Trailhead is still quite new and wasn’t available when I first got into Pardot. I have of course gone through the trails and was really impressed with them. Easy to follow and very informative. I would definitely recommend them. See below for further information.
Its a wrap
I hope you found my Pardot journey insightful and helpful. My learning preference was about understanding how all the functionalities in Pardot go hand in hand. It can be easy to learn Pardot if you approach the system in stages as I did. Form Submission => record created. Form fires a Completion Action => add to a list. Automation Rule takes the List => applies an action to send the email.
In 3 easy steps, you have utilised the platform.
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