Pardot by Salesforce is a smart marketing automation platform. With the automation tools built into Pardot, you can take action on prospects, such as adding them to a list or sending them an autoresponder email.
There are 4 main automation tools available in Pardot.
- Automation Rules – Allows you to perform certain ongoing marketing and sales actions, based on the criteria that you specify.
- Segmentation Rules – Allows you to take action one time, based on the criteria that you specify.
- Dynamic List – Automatically updates itself based on the criteria that you specify.
- Completion Actions – Executes each time a prospect performs a certain action.
Automation rules are continuously running and look for the prospects who have matched the criteria you have specified in the rule. Automation rules match a prospect only one time. It allows you to take actions on those prospects who have matched the criteria.
Actions can include managing list membership and tags, adding to a Salesforce campaign, changing profile criteria, scoring or assigning prospects to a user or group, sending emails, etc.
Automation rules are not retroactive, which means changing the criteria will only be applied to the prospects going forward.
Segmentation rules allow you to pull a one-time list of prospects who matched the criteria that you define. Like automation rules, you can choose whether the prospect must match all or any one of the criteria that you specified.
Segmentation rules do not run continuously; it’s a one-time activity. Segmentation rules allow you to add or remove prospects to and from a list.
Dynamic lists are rule-based and update automatically based on the criteria that you define. Dynamic lists automatically add a prospect to the list that matches the criteria and removes those who no longer meet the criteria you defined. Dynamic lists run continuously to check for the prospect’s data.
Completion actions run every time a prospect performs an action, such as submitting a form, visiting a landing page, downloading a file, etc. With completion actions, you can send an autoresponder email, add them to a list, add them to a Salesforce campaign, add tags to the prospects, assign prospects to a user, notify a user, etc.
Completion actions are not retroactive, which means they will only apply to the prospects going forward.
Deciding Which Tool To Use
Choosing the right automation tool for your needs can simplify your marketing efforts. Before choosing which tool to use to answer these questions to help you decide.
1. Is the rule based on criteria or an action the prospect takes?
Action: Use a completion action
Criteria: Go to step
2. Is it a one-time automation?
Yes: Use a segmentation rule
No: Go to step
3. What is the goal?
Update a list: Use a dynamic list
You want to send an autoresponder email when a prospect submits a form. You need a rule based on the action of submitting a form. Use a completion action.
You want to pull a one-time list of all prospects who have a score of 100. You need a rule based on the criteria of their score that runs one time. Use a segmentation rule.
You want to create a Salesforce task when a prospect submits a form and has a grade greater than C+. You need a rule that performs an action based on the criteria that the prospect’s grade is greater than C+ and a form submission. Use an automation rule.
You want to create a list that you can use for an engagement program. Prospects are added to the list when they have a score of 100. They are removed from the list when their score falls below 100. You need a rule that updates the list based on the criteria of a score greater than 100. Therefore, you need a rule that runs more than once, updates a list, and is based on criteria. Use a dynamic list.