Written By Jason Rowse - Digital Marketing Expert
Pardot in a NutShell
|User Accounts:||Multiple, with individual logins|
|Segmentation and Geo:||Yes|
|Means of Use:||web|
|Industry:||B2B, Technology, Retail, Manufacturing|
What is Pardot ?
As one of the top names in the email marketing software industry, Pardot is usually high on most top lists. Pardot is best for B2B businesses, but it’s perfect for SMBs as well. Pardot has a large following in the technology, manufacturing, and retail industry, so I was eager to see what the software could do. I discovered that Pardot is an email marketing software with amazing lead nurturing campaigns and prospect tracking capabilities. It will also provide you with in-depth views of the activities of your prospects.
Pardot Pros & Cons
- Good CRM integrations: Since Pardot is now part of Salesforce’s suite of tools, it integrates perfectly with Salesforce’s CRM. This powerful integration allows you to obtain valuable customer insights. The platform can also integrate quite well with other popular CRMs.
- Excellent automation capabilities: Pardot allows you to personalize your customers’ journey. There are tons of ready-made workflows you can implement. This platform relies on branching to map leads’ journey effectively.
- Fast & easy segmentation: You can segment your contacts easily with Pardot and create multiple lists. The tool allows you to apply tags to ease your segmentation process. You will be able to filter your contacts based on their interests.
- Lead nurturing tools: One of Pardot’s extra capabilities is the lead management feature. The lead management feature enables you to track your leads, score them based on actions and interests, and nurture your relationship with them through highly personalized automated emails.
- Great customer support: You can benefit from full platform support across different channels, 24h/day with a Pardot subscription. You also get a quick guided onboarding journey.
- Pricier than other tools: Pardot is a complex marketing platform whose capabilities go beyond email marketing. However, due to its various features, this platform’s prices start from $1,250 per month with the basic plan and can go beyond $4,000 per month with the Advanced and Premium plans. Some of its features include lead generation or AI-powered tools.
- Limited integrations: Pardot only has around 30 third-party app integrations. This is far less than what you get with other platforms, but it integrates seamlessly with most popular CRMs. .
- API only available for the upper-tier: If you want to connect other third-party apps with an API, you can do that, but only with the Plus or Advanced plans.
Who is Pardot Good for?
Pardot Recommended if:
- You're already using Salesforce’s suite of tools, and you need to consolidate your marketing strategy by focusing on email marketing.
- You need a robust CRM integration: With Pardot, you can use Salesforce’s CRM and benefit from the in-depth customer analysis it provides to build targeting email campaigns.
- You're looking for lots of customization features: Pardot helps you personalize your customers’ journey through its robust and highly flexible builder.You can easily change the elements of a template and build dynamic campaigns.
- You want to focus on lead generation and management: Pardot features a wide array of automation and segmentation tools that help you reach out to your intended customers and walk them through the sales funnel with ease. The platform's complex workflows do most of the job by sending emails based on different user actions. The re-engagement tools are also useful.
- You want to segment your audience fast: Pardot’s segmentation features allow you to create dynamic or one-time lists that will help you target your audience. Another useful addition is the lead scoring feature, which tracks customer interaction and gathers useful insights.
- You collaborate with sales teams: you can access advanced analytics both for your email campaigns and your sales. The data is displayed at a glance, in the same place, which offers you a holistic view and helps you make data-driven decisions that boost ROI.
Pardot Is Not Good for You If
- You’re looking for an affordable tool: Pardot’s all-in-one platform boasts significant features that can help you generate, nurture, and convert leads. But, with the minimum price starting at $1,250 per month, this software is out of reach for many small businesses.
- You only need email marketing features: if you compare Pardot’s offering to its price, you might understand why a subscription costs around $1,000 per month. However, if you only need basic email marketing tools and campaign metrics, many other platforms cost far less than Pardot.
- You also want to manage your social media accounts: Although Pardot features good integrations, one area where it lags is, social media management. You won’t be able to manage and monitor your social accounts with Pardot.
Pardot Deliverability (Rated: 3/5)
Pardot offers average deliverability rates, offering the ability to send emails using business hours and time zones. Unfortunately, this capability is limited as the business hours only apply to one time zone. Overall, I give Pardot a score of 3.
Pardot does not disclose their deliverability rates, and I found that they were relatively poor in comparison to their competitors. Pardot does have certain features designed to improve your overall deliverability, but these are limited and seem to be lacking in truly ensuring that your email is delivered.
Pardot Pricing (Rated: 4/5)
Pardot is not the most affordable option out there, but it is important to note the additional features you can access beyond email marketing. These extra features, such as ROI and competitor reporting and SEO keyword monitoring, justify the extra cost, ultimately earning Pardot a score of 4.
Pardot pricing plans start from a dazzling amount of $1250 per month, however, keep in mind that there’s plenty more you can achieve with this platform besides automating email campaigns. Even with the basic plan you get extra features such as multivariate landing page testing, lead nurturing and engagement programs, ROI and competitor reporting, SEO keyword monitoring, Salesforce’s Einstein AI, and plenty more.
Pardot Key Features and Workflows
Creating Emails and Campaigns
- Emails Sent/Opened and Links Clicked – Pardot uses an invisible single pixel image inserted into HTML emails to inform you about emails opened. However, some clients may turn off image loading in their emails which means that this method isn’t always very accurate. A links tracking feature lets you easily determine who opened your email campaigns. Pardot also lets you add a CSS class allowing you to track links to external sources.
- Deliverability Rates and Delivery by Time Zone –Pardot allows you to send your email campaigns using either the SPF or DKIM email authentication standards ensuring the emails get to the recipients’ inbox. You can also send emails using business hours and time zones. Unfortunately, the business hours only apply to a single time zone. You can, however, get around this by segmenting your email list by time zone and sending your campaigns to a specific time zone.
- Creating and Importing Email Lists – Pardot lets you import your email lists by uploading a csv file containing prospect data. Simply go to your dashboard and open the Prospects page. Go to “Admin” and click “Import” and then click “Prospects”. You can also use the Lightning app. Click on “Prospects” and then click “Import Prospects”.
- Split Tests and A/B Testing – Pardot’s Email Flow feature lets you carry out A/B testing. You can Set AB criteria and change email elements to find out which of your email campaigns outperforms the other. After sending your campaigns to a section of your email list, you will receive engagement data to analyze the results of the A/B testing.
- Personalization – The Pardot Marketing Automation feature lets you create more personalized email campaigns by first collecting customer data through landing pages, forms and progressive profiling. This gives you a clear picture of customer demographic and behavior data. You can then use the data to segment your mailing list and deliver more personalized campaigns.
Reporting and Analysis (Rated: 5/5)
The analytics are easy to understand, and the customer tracking helped in gauging what my customers were interested in. The wide range of analytics on offer means that you have all the information you need to investigate your campaign performance, earning them a perfect score.
Pardot’s reporting and analytics allows users to track the success of their marketing campaign, see the impact the campaigns have on their customers and measure user engagement. Pardot offers a variety of analytics, including Social Posts Reports, which tells you how your social media messages are performing and List Email Reports, which tell you the total number of emails sent, unique clicks, total clicks as well unique click rate and total click rate.
- Engagement Reports- Pardot Engagement Program Reporting shows you the metrics on how your campaigns are performing, whether they’re running or paused. You can see the total number of emails sent, opens, CTR, opt-outs and the bounce rate as a percentage of the total emails.
- Heat Map-the Pardot Click-Through Rate Report uses a heat map to show the percentage of customers and subscribers that clicked a link in your emails. It uses both values and color to show the click traffic. Red,for example, shows a 5% CTR. Orange shows a 3-5% CTR, while Gray shows a 0% CTR.
- Campaign Comparison Report- Using the Pardot campaign comparison report allows you to compare the health of your campaigns and compare them with other campaigns using graphs. You can even compare the ROI between different email campaigns.
- Segmentation- You can make use of lists to segment your email list. These are prospect groups to whom you can send emails. You can also use tags to organize, sort and filter your prospects to allow you to send tailored email campaigns.
- Social Media Tracking- Pardot Social Posting enables you to post updates on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You will need to add the respective LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter social positing connectors. Having done this, you can track the clicks, likes, replies, retweets and comments.
- ROI Analysis- You can find out your email campaigns’ ROI easily with the Pardot ROI Calculator by comparing the total annual revenue with the total closed deals.
Design and Ease of Use (Rated: 3/5)
Pardot is not the most intuitive or user-friendly interface that I have experienced, and many of its features may take time to learn and implement. Ultimately, I give a score of 3.
Pardot is user friendly and the interface is intuitive. All the functions are consistent and follow a similar process, making it straightforward, even if you’re a beginner. Learning one function makes it simple to learn and perform a second function. Once you learn how to create an email campaign for example, it becomes easier to learn how to do segmentation.
- Drag-and-Drop Interface – Pardot’s drag-and-drop interface makes designing forms and pages simple. You can create professional looking email campaigns using features such as the Email Editor, landing Page Builder or edit the email templates.
- Landing Page Creator – Pardot Landing Page Builder lets you create professional looking landing pages quick and easy with the drag-and-drop capability without the need for prior HTML or CSS knowledge. The process is intuitive and straightforward.
- Email Templates – Pardot lacks a drag-and-drop email editor feature and editing the available email templates requires knowledge on HTML. There is, however, the “Duplicate” and “Remove” section that you can use to edit your email campaigns.
- Sign-Up Forms Within Newsletters Tool – Pardot Form Wizard lets you easily create Sign-up forms within newsletters with just a few simple steps. Simply open the Forms page, add names, fields, look and feel, then add completion actions and save your form. You can also set a double opt-in or single opt-in for your subscribers.
Pardot Integrations (Rated: 4/5)
Pardot has limited integrations, offering only around 30 in total. This offering is far less than most other platforms, but Pardot does integrate well with most CRM systems, which earns it a score of 4.
Pardot can sync with third party applications using connectors. The connectors share data between both applications allowing you to manage marketing channels that were formerly disparate form your Pardot dashboard. There are multiple connectors to choose from, including staples like Google Analytics and Google Ads. You can even connect to your webinar service and use Pardot forms to register prospects for events.
- Google Analytics – The Google Analytics Connector works by pulling UTM parameters to Pardot. The parameters then sync with Salesforce. Pardot takes data from five Google Analytics tags which include source, content, campaign name, medium and term.
- API Integrations – Pardot API lets you access data including your activities, prospects, and visitor’s data. You can use a form handler to capture visitor data but the Pardot API lets you integrate with CRM. You can also use Pardot API to integrate custom integrations and other third-party tools.
- Ecommerce Tools – There are no Ecommerce integrations and connectors with Pardot. However, you can use third party tools such as Zapier to connect Pardot to some of the leading Ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Big commerce, WooCommerce and Magento.
- CRM Integrations – You can connect a CRM with Pardot by using the API. You can import the data manually or write your own connector that links Pardot to the CRM.
- Social Media Integrations – Pardot’s social media connectors allow you to post and track your campaigns through social media. Pardot offers users a Facebook Connector, Twitter Connector and LinkedIn Connector.
- Apps – Pardot has 18 supported app integrations including Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Olark, and Google Ad Words. You can also access third party supported apps such as Cirrus Insight, Salesforce IQ and ON24.
- Plugins – Pardot offers its users plugins and integrations that are simple to connect. Users can also connect their Pardot account with many third-party apps and integrations that Pardot does not natively support using the Pardot API.
Pardot Automation (Rated: 4/5)
Pardot’s automation features help greatly in simplifying the email marketing process, and allows you to customize your customers’ journeys, earning them a score of 4.
Pardot Marketing Automation makes it simple to create landing pages and forms, as well as to Personalize customer experiences and run targeted email campaigns. You can set your most popular sales and marketing tasks on autopilot, allowing you to spend less time on manual tasks and more time on bringing in more customers.
Automation also makes it easy to track campaigns. By customizing your dashboard, you can tell which programs are working better than others. You can then use the information to make the required changes and tweaks to maximize your email campaign potential.
Pardot Marketing Automation also allows you to schedule social media updates that will advertise your content as well as triggering campaign activity using data from the CRM.
There isn’t a lot of information out there on how to cancel your Pardot’s account. To learn more about this process you should contact their support team.
As for a refund request, the company’s Terms & Conditions state that ‘payment obligations are non cancelable and fees paid are non-refundable’.
HubSpot - HubSpot is a leading all-in-one email marketing platform. Its powerful tools can help you attract and walk leads easier through the sales funnel. You can rely on this platform to create automated emails based on existing templates, easily monitor, manage, and segment contacts. Analyze your campaign’s results and benefit from an in-built CRM.
ActiveCampaign - ActiveCampaign is one of the most affordable email marketing platforms. It is suitable for small or medium companies and features an easy-to-use dashboard. It also offers a wide array of automation, list segmentation capabilities, and a CRM.
Emailoctopus - Emailoctopus is a platform that focuses on lead nurturing and list management. It features a wide array of automation templates, a clean and straightforward interface, and plenty of optimization features. Octopus is an affordable tool; the prices start at $20 per month, and there’s also a free plan for 2,500 contacts.
Pardot Customer Service (Rated: 5/5)
Pardot offers exceptional customer support across various channels, and with access to assistance 24/7 with a paid plan. They can take a while to respond, and as I mentioned below/above, I do recommend that they extend their hours to include weekends. Despite this, they still earn a score of 5.
Pardot customer service is available 24 hours a day from Monday through Friday. To send a query, you can contact them through email or using the Live Chat feature. Pardot also has an extensive knowledge base which you can use to learn how to navigate the platform and make the most of your email marketing.
However, I found Pardot could improve their customer service by extending to Saturdays and Sundays. It also takes a while to get feedback owing to the long process of sending your case using the Salesforce Help and Training Portal.
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What I Liked About Pardot
The Pardot Marketing Automation features simplify the whole email marketing process. It is also simple to connect the platform with Salesforce. You can easily integrate with CRMs, enabling you to sync your contacts two ways. With a few clicks, you can segment your email list and send targeted email campaigns. Pardot’s different functions are consistent making it easy to navigate and understands and the customer behavior tracking which made it easy for me to see what my customers are interested in.
What I Didn’t Like About Pardot
Pardot is not a native extension but functions like a third-party service. This makes it prone to all the quirks and frustrations that come with bi-directional synchronization. There are also many other email marketing solutions out there that have a simpler and an easier-to-use interface. Pardot also features many functions which require more time to learn.