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Extend Pardot Automations with External Activity

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe what external activities are.
  • Use external prospect activity data to extend your automations.

Capture Valuable Engagement Data

In the Get to Know Marketing App Extensions unit, you read about the marketer’s dilemma. If you’re using a variety of service providers to conduct webinars, send out surveys, produce videos, or do other marketing tasks, then you’re already familiar with this problem! Let’s talk about how to get that disjointed data into Account Engagement by setting up external activities.

External Activity is a flexible feature that extends your automations. You decide which third-party data is most important for your marketing needs, and customize your marketing app extensions to collect it. Say goodbye to data silos and hello to more powerful, more accurate automations. 

What Are External Activities?

An external activity is an individual prospect interaction that happens in a third-party application and is then passed back to Account Engagement. Think of these activities like the email clicks or form submissions already tracked on the marketing assets you build in Account Engagement, except the asset is built and tracked in another system. 

Paulo and Warren at Northern Trail Outfitters previously created an external activity for its ecommerce platform called Ecomm Coupon Used. When NTO customer Rachel used the coupon from Paulo’s print campaign, that interaction was tracked and sent back to Account Engagement as an external activity.

For each activity type, we generate a sample API endpoint that outlines the values needed to pass specific activity data back to prospect records. Work with your developer to customize the endpoint to integrate with the third-party app or use a connector service such as MuleSoft. After the integration work is done, activate the activity type to start collecting data.

Example Activities

Extension Activity Types

Webinar Platform

Attended Webinar, Completed Survey

SMS Platform

SMS Requested, SMS Replied, SMS Stop

Ecommerce Platform

Ecomm Coupon Used, First Purchase, Repeat Purchase

Put External Activity Data to Use

You can use external activity data just like any other prospect data. View activity data on individual prospect records, or use it in automations and Engagement Studio programs. 

Sales and marketing users can quickly find details about a prospect’s engagement on external platforms right on the prospect record. When an external activity is active for automations, the resulting data appears in the External Activities section. 

A prospect record highlighting the External Activities section heading.

Broaden automation or segmentation rules with external activity data. When you create an automation rule, select Prospect external activity from the criteria dropdown, and add the activity type you want to use. 

The Rules criteria form highlighting the first dropdown, which displays Prospect external activity.

Create trigger steps in Engagement Studio based on external activity data. Add a trigger step, select External Activity, and enter the name of the activity type you want to listen for. The trigger requires an exact match for the activity type name, so we recommend that you copy and paste the value if possible. 

An Engagement Studio trigger card highlighting the header label External Activity.

The biggest benefit of external activities is the flexibility to store and use all your prospect data in Account Engagement, no matter where it happens. You know what information is most valuable to your business and marketing goals. External activities help provide a 360 view of your customers, so you can guide them to becoming qualified leads.

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