Pardot Lightning Email Builder
It’s with great joy I write this statement. The Pardot Lightning Email Builder is finally here. After a huge amount of time in development and testing, all editions of Pardot can now move to the new builder along with the new email sending workflow. While the update is easy to implement, it doesn’t just work straight away. There are a few prerequisites and configuration tasks that need to be completed to unlock these wonderful new features. In this article, I’ll show you how to get the builder up and running, and then send your first email from the new interface.
**UPDATE – 1 YEAR LATER 20/10/2021**
- The new Pardot Email Content is FINALLY usable in engagement studios, automation rules and completion actions! This is the big news we’ve been waiting for as we can utilise these great builders throughout the system!
- At the moment, there is no way to move templates from one system to the other. Email content has a 10,000 character limit on each HTML lightning component, and there is no way to easily export HTML from Salesforce Lightning.
WHAT IS THE PARDOT LIGHTNING EMAIL BUILDER?
The ‘classic’ email builder had its merits, but for a long time now was in need of a serious refresh. As such, a completely new interface has been built from the ground up with some key principles in mind. A fully responsive email builder, along with drag and drop components, sit a the very core of this new experience. Here’s a rundown of a few more exciting features.
For marketing teams that need their content distributed across channels with minimal load times, the CMS is now a key part of the Salesforce-Pardot offering. Reducing load times with their fantastic CDN and also free for all Salesforce Orgs, start using this now and move away from the shared drives of old. This will take your marketing game to the next level.
For a long time now, there was a resource for doing this in Pardot ‘classic’. I’ve even outlined this in a previous article. However, along with the new responsive drag and drop components, comes a truly robust button generator that makes it a breeze. With a few clicks, you can deploy CTA’s anywhere you need in seconds.
Ability to Add Columns & Rows
If you’ve spent a lot of time in the classic builder, you’ll know that HTML tables drive the layouts. Through the new interface, you can set up to 4 columns and control the padding within. You can even control their stacking behaviour when in your mobile layout. A real breath of much need fresh air.
I like the email render test. It’s great for a deep analysis of what your email will look like across a vast array of clients. However, it used to take a while and there was no quick way to check how your template was shaping up. Now, with a simple toggle, you can instantly see how your new responsive template is coming together and make changes as you go without ever leaving your screen.
Resending List emails.
This used to be quite bothersome. You would spend a decent amount of time preparing your email, the connected campaign, the list. Then after a successful campaign, potentially send to another segment, only to find yourself having to clone your previous send and go through all those steps again. Now, with a couple of clicks, you can resend your email to any list you like with minimal effort. A real time saver.
This list is of course, not exhaustive. There are dozens of new features that you can read about here. These features and the Pardot lightning email builder are automatically included in all Pardot editions that have upgraded to Winter ’21. However, at the time of writing this, there’s no guide on how to get the builder running in your system, as it’s not there by default.
- Pardot Lightning App
This is the fundamental prerequisite for deploying the new builder. None of what has been described here is possible unless your Pardot is being used in Salesforce Lightning. The guide to getting you there is here.
- Handlebar Merge Languages
This recently released feature moves Pardot away from the old percentage sign merge tags, and uses the curly brackets that are also found in Salesforce. This unifies the two for assets across the clouds to be used with no disruption or error in merges.
- Connected Campaigns
If you haven’t done by now, connecting your campaigns is required for the new builder. Here’s a guide to connecting your campaigns. You will need to have these enabled.
- Email Templates Object Permissions
The fundamental architecture that underpins the new builder is that it is used universally throughout Salesforce. This moves the target object out of Pardot and instead, is aimed at Salesforce Email Templates. This means your ability to view, manage and edit these, is driven by your object permissions.
- Email Content App Menu Item
There is also the new menu item, email content. This essentially behaves as your list email used to. It needs to be added into the navigation menu for whichever lightning app your team is using to send Pardot emails in lightning. However, this is only available to you once you complete the first step of the setup outlined below.
So you’ve made sure the 4 prerequisites are complete. You know you’re on Winter ’21. Where’s email content and where’s the builder?
Pardot Winter ’21 Permission Set
For you to be able to use the new email content feature and the new builder, you have to enable this for each profile that requires access. This is in addition to the object permissions outlined earlier. You need to create a new permission set that has the following two items checked under the ‘system permissions’ section.
|Create and manage email templates and content in a drag-and-drop builder.|
|View, create, edit, and delete email content. You can also send, preview, and test your email content with this permission.|
We added these under a ‘Pardot Winter ’21’ permission set and assigned to users accordingly. Only now will you be able to add the crucial email content tab to your lightning app navigation menu.
- Pardot Lightning Upgrade had been completed
- Connected Campaigns had been undertaken successfully
- HML upgrade has been completed
- Email Template Object Permission was validated
- New permission set created and deployed
- Navigation menu edited to add Email Templates & Email Content
Now let’s build and send some emails!
BONUS SETUP STEP
This isn’t really a prerequisite but will go a long way to helping you work faster from the new ‘email content’ object. Once you’ve created some content, go to the gear icon in the top right. Select ‘edit object’. I highly recommend cleaning up the page layouts to include the following lightning actions in any order you please:
Once complete, I also then recommend navigating to the same gear icon, from the same record, and selecting ‘edit page’. This will take you to the lighting page editor. I recommend increasing the number of visible actions in the header bar (up to 10). This allows you to see everything on the face of a record without any additional clicks as below.
BUILDING & SENDING
Unfortunately, your old Pardot emails will not be available in the Salesforce Email Templates section. This means, from this point forward, you have to recreate your templates using the new interface to have them available. Though this may seem like a chore, you can have this done very quickly with some forethought on what needs to be rebuilt and what doesn’t.
We’re going to build one together from scratch.
STEP 1 – Create New Email Campaign
First off, like most assets created in Pardot, we need the campaign to log our metrics against. This is naturally created in Salesforce and is mapped automatically to Pardot using connected campaigns. You have the opportunity on your campaign to enhance the metrics and create a swathe of custom report types to give you an array of engagement data. You can find the guide to getting this setup here so you can get the most out of your campaigns.
STEP 2 – Create New Email Template
If you’ve followed our instructions, you should now have two new menu items in your Pardot Lightning App. ‘Email Templates’ and ‘Email Content’. We’re going to create our template first. Navigate to ‘Email Templates’ and select ‘New Email Template’. You’ll notice that this list view is managed just like any other record in Salesforce. Organise yourself. Get your folder structure sorted now along with the list views. This will save you massive amounts of time long term.
Bear in mind you are now sharing this object with the rest of your CRM users. However, only those with the previous permission set mentioned can use the new builder. The folder accessibility also restricts which users have access to which templates, and works exactly the same as reporting folders do. We set a name for the template, give it a description and assign the applicable folder. You can also set a subject at this stage. We’ll ignore the letterhead template. and press save.
Now here comes the magic. Navigate to the top right corner and select ‘Edit in Builder’ (this button is only available via the permission set earlier). This launches the new Pardot Lightning Email Builder.
What are we looking at?
- The new preheader box allows you to designate the email preview text that appears in email clients.
- Merge fields can be used anywhere in the template. Subject, preheader and body.
- Here’s where you get to drag any component in you like. Have fun and try as much out as possible
- The new undo/redo buttons are here along with the back button to take you back to your template record page.
- You can also style the background of the email here. From solid colours to background images.
- Instant mobile preview at the press of a button. Need I say more.
STEP 3 – Design Your Email
Drag in any component you like and start to create that dream email of yours. We’re really excited by the possibilities. Not only is every template responsive, but the versatility provided with columns and their backgrounds can let you create almost anything. Let’s also say you have a complex component that needs placing into your mail.
You can still use HTML sections which will allow you to build almost anything. Rather than walk you through design, this is the fun bit where you get to click around and see what you can create. Once you’re happy with your design, press save and then press the back button in the left corner to return you to your record. Be sure at this stage to also include the usual unsubscribe or preferences page link in your email.
STEP 4 – Create New Email Content
With your template all ready to go, we have to create the email content record that is responsible for the sending of your template. Navigate to ‘Email Content’ and select ‘New’ from the list view. Name your email content, provide a description and assign it a template. Pressing ‘Save’ will take you to the email content record overview.
STEP 5 – Prepare Email Content for Sending
From the record page, you have the ability to complete everything you need along with the usual testing, iteration and sending options.
- Sync or create your own text version of your email here
- Collaborate with your team with Chatter. You can discuss everything you need right from the email content record
- This button allows you to preview your email as a particular prospect so you can validate all your merge tags
- The standard Pardot testing options are here where you can send to a test list or to an individual email address
- ‘Send’ takes you to the standard sending options dialogue where you assign completion actions, recipients, etc.
- Just like in a list email, you can edit your email right from the content record, which takes you straight back to the Pardot lightning email builder for any final tweaks
STEP 6 – SEND
Once you’ve tested everything, and you have your final HTML And text email ready, you can press ‘Send’. This initiates a check from Pardot to make sure you haven’t missed the essentials. The subject line, text version, unsubscribe/preferences link etc. If you get to the next dialogue, you should now be in very familiar territory.
Go through the usual sending options. Designate the campaign that we created in Step 1. Next, choose your recipient and suppression lists accordingly. Go through your sender details, reply-to information and completion actions.
Afterwards, as ever, choose whether to send your email now or schedule it for later. Then, press the magic button and away your brand new email goes! This functions as a list email send. As such, all reports from the list emails also work the same way as before. Now just wait for those clicks!
All in all, this should get you to the place where you are comfortable sending out your emails through the new Pardot Lightning email builder. Combining this builder with connected campaigns, you can now work efficiently from a single platform.
You can also leverage this new deeper connection in reporting to give you the most granular metrics yet. The key takeaway is to take great comfort in the attitude displayed by Pardot here. Throughout the build, there’s a responsive first design approach backed by huge increases in efficiency and visibility. Lighter. Faster. More manoeuvrable. Just like the enemy MIG’s.