5 steps to planning a Pardot integrated campaign

Jan 13, 2020


by | Jan 13, 2020 | Technology


Running an integrated campaign in Pardot isn’t as difficult as you may think, but there are often elements and considerations that are overlooked. It’s these little things that help make an integrated campaign successful, easier to report on or simply more seamless.

Defining an Integrated Campaign

Before we get started let’s backtrack a little to ensure we’re allon the same page with what an integrated campaign is. In my own lovely words, it’s the joining up of various marketing activity, all of which is part of a similar campaign and has a common end-goal. Or to put it another way:

“An integrated marketing campaign combines multiple channels such as content, email, display advertising and social media in order to promote a consistent message to a specific audience.”  – Campaign Monitor

Integrated marketing campaign diagram

Now that we’re all in agreement on what an integrated
campaign is, let’s start planning one!

Planning your integrated campaign in 5 steps

While every campaign is slightly different in terms of its purpose and goals, for the purpose of this article, we’re going to imagine that we have a webinar which we need to drive registrations for, but also nurture those leads further so they become SQLs (sales qualified leads). Ready to get started?

Step 1: Identify who you want to target

In this example, the key audiences will be existing leads and customers, and of course net-new leads (those that are not currently within Pardot or the CRM).  We’d recommend a whiteboard session to start to capture who, but also where, those audiences are.  For example, start with typical demographics and/or firmographics, and then go deeper into how you’re going to target them if they’re not already in your database.

Step 2: Decide what activity to run to reach your target audience

We know who we want to attract to our webinar, now how are we going to do that? This list could be endless, again depending on your business and which channels work for you. Using emails, paid and organic social (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook), display ads and media partners are all great options.

Map these out in the whiteboard session too, so you’ve got them documented and can start thinking about how they impact the workflows – particularly for activation emails, reminder emails for webinars and nurture emails after the event.

Remember, you’re going to have several groups of people to communicate to, so know your audience groups and what you’re going to say to each of them:

  • People you know (already in the CRM/Pardot)
  • People you don’t know (net new)
  • People who don’t respond (those that don’t open emails)
  • People that see the landing page but don’t register
  • People that register but don’t attend
  • People that attend

Step 3: Choose the appropriate form actions to trigger a registration

Now we’re getting into Pardot itself! Undoubtedly our marketing activity chosen above is driving people to a Pardot landing page, or Pardot form on an external landing page. Once the form is submitted, there will be certain Completion Actions to trigger such as:

  • Send autoresponder email
  • Add to Salesforce Campaign
  • Add to list
  • Notify user
  • Add tag

The above list is just an example, the Completion Actions you choose should help automate tasks that that marketing team would otherwise have to do manually, and also help with things like segmenting and any other post-registration process you may have. 

Again, use the whiteboard session to start to think about which Completion Actions need to happen at each stage.  By capturing them now, it will be much easier to ‘see’ the campaign unfolding and check that you’ve got everything you need included.   

Step 4: Keep registrants engaged up to the webinar date

With our example of a webinar, you’ll be promoting the event and gathering registrations weeks in advance. Which means you’ll need to do something to keep people who registered early engaged, ensuring that they’ll still join. You can achieve this in Pardot by adding registrants to an Engagement Studio programme and share relevant content in the weeks leading up to the webinar.

We’d always recommend mapping out the workflow on paper first (or a whiteboard).  The decision workflow needs thought and so knowing what you want to happen at each interaction is critical to building out the workflow seamlessly. 

Side note: Don’t forget, think about how to entice the prospect if they don’t sign up, for example, what other content could you send them and what the workflow will be if they don’t attend the webinar. 

Step 5: Convert those leads to qualified status

Fast-forward: the webinar is over. But our job as marketers isn’t! Remember that we have a second goal to achieve with our webinar attendees – get them to a qualified status (this will depend on your own qualification status and scoring model).

Engagement Studio programmes are a great way to push the qualified status along.

In this example of a webinar campaign, you should share the presentation slides, more relevant content and above all – strong sales-driven calls to action (CTAs).

Keep in mind that not everyone who registered will have attended your webinar, in which case you’ll want to create “attendee” and “non-attendee” lists in Pardot (see target audiences above) and nurture each group slightly differently.

Master your Campaign Ecosystem

Below are a few parting words of wisdom for helping you master what we like to call the Campaign Ecosystem – this is everything that relates to your campaign.

First, there is a best practice way for what order to create Pardot items in, that ensures a smooth set up:

  • Create a Salesforce/Pardot campaign – because everything in Pardot requires a campaign!
  • Create all lists needed – you’ll need these for your form Completion Actions and to organise
    your different audiences
  • Create the autoresponder email – you can’t complete your forms without having this first
  • Create the form and/or landing page – once created, you now have a landing page URL for your UTMs
  • Create UTMs – get these sorted so they can be added to the emails easily
  • Create all emails needed – once these are done you can build your Engagement Studio programme

Second, you’ll want to use a strong naming convention for all your campaign elements so they are easy to locate. Equally, you’ll want to store all your Pardot campaign elements in the appropriate folder. If you haven’t given much thought to folder structure then I highly recommend you take a look at our blog post on that very topic, as it is critical to Pardot success.

Think you need more support or consulting on how to get the most from Pardot? 
Need help thinking through a campaign? Get in touch today.

Further reading

The impact of the strategic skills gap in marketing technology

When conversion tracking goes wrong, everything gets shaky

Leading change: Unpacking the Forrester B2B Summit, North America