Set Up Pardot Campaigns

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 comes ready-made in your 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.

Set Up a Campaign in Pardot

One of Leung’s first goals is to maximize the Cloudy Consulting 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 Consulting 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 Marketing | Campaigns.
  2. Click + Add Campaign.
  3. Enter Contact Me in the Name field for the campaign.
  4. Enter 500 in the Cost field for the campaign.
  5. Click Create Campaign to save the new campaign.

The Create Campaign screen

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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