Set Up Pardot Campaigns in Pardot Lightning App

Learning Objectives

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

  • Define a Pardot campaign.
  • Describe the differences between Pardot campaigns and Salesforce campaigns.
  • Set up a campaign in Pardot.

Pardot Campaigns Defined

Campaign. It’s one of the trickiest words in the marketing dictionary. Your definition of a campaign might be different from the person down the hall from you. Plus, there are Salesforce campaigns, Pardot campaigns, email campaigns, social campaigns…the list goes on. In this unit, we’ll tackle Pardot campaigns: what they are, how they’re used, and how you can build one. 

A Pardot campaign tracks the first touch a prospect has with your online marketing materials. 

For example, if the Pardot tracking code is present on your website, you can use it to automatically set all of your website visitors to the Website Tracking campaign which is automatically included in your Pardot account. You can also set campaigns when prospects complete forms, visit landing pages, or you can set them manually. Prospects have a one-to-one relationship with Pardot campaigns, meaning that prospects can only belong to one campaign at a time. Additionally, prospects must always be associated with a Pardot campaign. 

Difference Between Pardot Campaigns and Lists

You might be thinking that a Pardot campaign sounds different from a typical marketing campaign, and you’re right. Pardot lists resemble the more traditional (or CRM) definition of a marketing campaign. 

The main distinction is that:

  • Pardot campaigns are prospects grouped together for tracking and reporting purposes.
  • Pardot lists are prospects grouped together to make it easier to email marketing materials to them as a group.

This can be tricky, so to help illustrate the difference between lists and campaigns, let’s look at two scenarios that Leung wants to implement and decide whether she would use a campaign or a list: 

Scenario 1: 

Leung is creating a series of pay-per-click ads and wants to record the initial marketing campaign a first-time visitor interacts with. She’ll use a custom redirect—a configurable url that automatically redirects to a third-party location you choose—to track the clicks in Pardot for each pay-per-click ad. 

Answer: Leung uses a Pardot campaign. She selects a campaign for each custom redirect and either uses a different campaign for each redirect, or uses several campaigns across many redirects. If a new visitor comes to the website by clicking the custom redirect link, they are associated with the campaign selected for the redirect. Later, when the visitor completes a form and converts to a prospect, Pardot creates a record for them and adds their record to the pay-per-click ad Pardot campaign—all because their first tracked activity was associated with that marketing campaign.

Scenario 2: 

Leung wants to send out a monthly webinar email invitation to Cloudy Consulting prospects. She wants the invitation to go to everyone interested in that webinar topic, regardless of which interaction on Cloudy Consulting’s website converted them from a visitor to a prospect. 

Answer: Leung uses a Pardot list. She creates a new list containing the interested prospects. Because she’s not concerned with the prospect’s origin, she doesn’t need to consider the prospect's campaign when creating the list.

Differentiate Pardot Campaigns and Salesforce Campaigns

As we’ve said, Pardot campaigns are functionally different from traditional CRM campaigns. So while Pardot and Salesforce Campaigns may have similar names, they don’t automatically sync or correspond to each other. It’s important to be clear about their differences so you can plan how to effectively combine both to track your overall marketing campaign success.

Check out this video for a quick look at the difference between your campaigns in Salesforce and Pardot. 

You may be wondering how Pardot campaigns differ from your existing Salesforce campaigns. Pardot campaigns are thematic touchpoints that are similar to a source- they track the first touch a prospect has with your online marketing materials. Once established, the Pardot campaign maintains a 1:1 relationship between itself and the prospect. In contrast, Salesforce campaigns allow leads and contacts to be tied to multiple campaigns at the same time, supporting multiple interactions.

Set Up a Campaign in Pardot

One of Leung’s first goals is to maximize the Cloudy Computing website to generate more interest in their consulting packages and to convert more visitors to prospects. As part of her goal, she’s decided to take the Cloudy Computing blog and add a short Contact Us form to each entry. This way interested visitors can submit the form for more information or be connected to a sales rep. Leung’s allotted $500 of her marketing budget to sourcing content for the blog, so she wants to track that spend as part of the campaign’s return on investment (ROI). 

To begin, Leung first needs to create a new campaign to capture any visitors who convert to prospects via the Contact Us form. 

To create a new campaign:

  1. Navigate to Campaigns Tab.
  2. Click New.
  3. Select Parent Campaign record type.
  4. Enter Contact Me in the Name field for the campaign.
  5. Select In Progress for the Status.
  6. Click Active.
  7. Click Save to save the new campaign.

the new campaign screen lets you enter campaign information in order to create a new campaign in Pardot Lightning App

Connected Campaigns

It’s a great idea to connect your Pardot and Salesforce campaigns. As a prospect interacts with the marketing assets on a Pardot campaign, metrics are pushed to its equivalent Salesforce record. From here, marketers can track campaign influence, and sales users can clearly see the prospect’s journey to becoming an opportunity.

When you enable Connected Campaigns in your Pardot Settings, you first need to decide which record types you want to connect from now on. Before you enable the feature or begin connecting campaigns, we recommend that you outline how your campaigns relate to each other. Let's take a look at a few things to ensure you get the best results from your connected campaigns. Make sure that every campaign you want to use has a counterpart. 

  • Identify the Pardot campaigns that you want to keep and make sure they have an existing Salesforce campaign.
  • Identify the Salesforce campaigns that you want to keep and make sure an equivalent Pardot campaign exists.
  • Identify which Pardot campaigns, if any, must stay in Pardot only.
  • Create record types or assignments to organize your campaigns.

Make sure that you create counterpart campaigns in Salesforce for Pardot’s default and required campaigns, including Website Tracking and Salesforce Sync. If you aren’t using the Email Plug-in campaign, delete it before you connect.


A Pardot campaign is updated or created each time the Salesforce campaign is edited by a person or process. To limit the number of campaigns created in Pardot, identify a cut-off date for replication.

OK let's prepare your org for the alignment stage of setup.

  1. In Pardot, open Settings and click Edit. Scroll to Connected Campaigns.
  2. In the Lightning app, click the Pardot Settings tab, and then select Connectors.
  3. Click to edit the Salesforce connector, and select the Campaigns tab.
  4. Select Enable Connected Campaigns and Engagement History.
  5. Select the Salesforce campaign record types that can be connected.
  6. Click Save.

Unconnected campaigns continue to show in both places. Now, your marketing team can connect campaigns individually or in bulk. Once they’re done, you need to complete the Connected Campaigns setup process by giving Salesforce access to manage the campaigns.

  1. In the same connector settings, select Use Salesforce to manage all campaigns.
  2. If you want to reduce the number of campaigns that are replicated over time, enter a date under Limit Campaign Creation by Date.
  3. To let Pardot users continue to see the remaining unconnected campaigns, select Show Unconnected Campaigns.

With the setting enabled, you can manage campaigns only in Salesforce. For details about the changes you can expect to see, read Pardot Connected Campaigns Implementation Guide

Great job! Leung is now ready to use this campaign as part of her ongoing marketing project. Now that you’ve learned what a Pardot campaign is and how to create one, we’ll move on to the next unit and tackle using Pardot forms as part of your lead generation strategy.


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