Be prepared for Pardot’s switch to Salesforce single sign-on

Jun 16, 2020


by | Jun 16, 2020 | Technology


Pardot login will soon require a Salesforce single sign-on. If you are a Pardot customer you may have already heard that a big change is coming for Pardot. In the Spring ’21 release (February 2021) Pardot users will be required to login via a Salesforce single sign-on (SSO).

Why is this Pardot login change happening?

If you’ve been paying attention to Pardot and its evolution, you’ll have noticed that it’s slowly being integrated further into Salesforce. Previous releases attest to this, such as introducing Handlebars Merge Language (HML) and Connected Campaigns, to name a few. There are also features which are only available with a Salesforce login, such as Pardot Business Units, B2B Marketing Analytics and the new Lightning Email Builder.

Along with these features, security plays a big role in this change. By using Salesforce credentials customers will have more control over user access, with features such as login hours, custom password policies and multi-factor authentication. All of this allows businesses to customise their levels of security as well as manage it all from within one platform, simplifying user management for administrators.

What does this mean in terms of Salesforce licenses?

Let’s get your first major concern out of the way – Pardot’s pricing will NOT change. Pardot’s pricing model has always been around mailable prospects, instead of licenses like in Salesforce, and they want to continue this.

So you must be wondering – “How am I expected to SSO into Pardot without having to purchase additional Salesforce licenses?”

Pardot’s solution is Identity Licenses. These license types are very basic and do not grant access to your Salesforce like a standard license. Salesforce are looking to allocate a certain amount of these licenses (at no additional cost) to Salesforce customers to use for this transition. *We do not have information on the exact amount to be allocated per customer but Salesforce are confident that it will likely be more than the majority of Pardot-only users businesses have.

When will Identity Licenses be made available?

At this time, Salesforce are still finalising the exact date of when they will make these licenses available to customers, but it will be sometime later this year. We’ll update this post as soon as there is more information.

What other implications does this change have?

Below are some other questions you may have around this change and how it will impact your setup:

Access to Pardot API

Currently Pardot API requires a Pardot user to access, but in the Summer ’20 release it will also become available to Salesforce users as well. This will support with the authentication transition and you will have to update how your Pardot API authenticates before the Spring ’21 release

Logging into other systems

If you use Pardot credentials to log in to plugins or third-party platforms, such as WordPress or Zapier, then you will need to update those credentials. A note on the WordPress Plugin, this will be specifically updated to allow Salesforce users to login.

Setting up Identity Licenses

These will need to be configured like any other Salesforce license in that they will require a Profile and possibly a Role, if your organisation uses them.

Creating Users in Pardot

To be clear – if you want to access Pardot you still need a Pardot user, which can still be created in Pardot. The difference is that all Pardot users will need to be connected to a CRM User and logging into Pardot will be through those credentials.

Will both Lightning and Classic Pardot environments still be available?

Yes, the environments will stay the same, it’s just the way you log into Pardot that will be changing.


Read Salesforce’s documentation on the Pardot-only Login Retirement change


What do I need to do now?

If you are reading this prior to the Identity Licenses being issued, then nothing…technically.

But, for those of you who like to be organised and prepared, below are a few things you could do now:

  • Assess how many Pardot-only users you have. Now is a good time to see who is actually using Pardot so you can determine whether they’ll even need an Identity License. You can do this by going to Admin > Users in Pardot and filtering the view based on ‘Pardot-only users’. This will give you a clear indication of how many users you will have to switch to SSO.

  • Document any API integrations and plan ahead to ensure time and resources are available to support updating them.
  • Make your internal Salesforce admins aware of this change as you will need support from them during the transition.

Planning for the future

Products like Pardot are always evolving, innovating and improving. As a customer, this is great, but it can also be overlooked by internal stakeholders.

Are you always aware of the Pardot releases and changes? Do you make an effort to review these and see which changes are beneficial for improving the way your business uses Pardot?

Not every business has the resources for this which is why it can be advantageous to work with a Salesforce Partner who can support you.

Need support or consulting on how to get the most from Pardot? 
Get in touch now.

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