The Difference Between Visitors and Prospects in Pardot

The Difference Between Visitors and Prospects in Pardot

Last Updated on February 10, 2022 by Rakesh Gupta

Pardot is a marketing automation tool, owned by Inc. Marketers use this tool, primarily B2B marketers, to automate the lead generation and lead nurturing processes. In this article, I am going to discuss the basic terminology of marketing automation tool i.e. visitors and prospects. 

Before going ahead, let us discuss the cookies. Cookies are a small piece of data sent from your website and stored on a visitor’s web browser while they browsing your website. Every time the visitor open the website, the browser sends the cookies back to the server to notify the website of the visitor’s previous activity. These cookies are used to remember preferences when a visitor returns to your site. For example, this may be useful to simplify the process of storing your personal information, such as contact details, shipping addresses, etc. When you visit the same website again, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the website features that you previously chose. The different types of cookies are

  • First Party: – First Party Cookies are used to personalize your experience with a website. If the domain name in the domain field matches the issuing site’s domain name, it is known as first party cookies.
  • Third Party: – Whereas as any cookie used by a website other than,  the one you are currently visiting is referred to as a third party cookie. For example, If you were on Jaipur Dev Fest website (i.e. and they served a cookie from that would be considered third-party cookies.

Pardot uses first-party cookies for tracking purposes and sets third-party cookies for redundancy. Pardot cookies store only a unique identifier not personal identifying information. Pardot set the cookie on the tracker subdomain and Pardot domains. Pardot relies on cookies being set on visitor’s or prospect’s browsers. If cookies are disabled, or if a browser extension (for example, 1Blocker) is enabled, Pardot cookies may not be set correctly and visitor’s or prospect’s activity may not be tracked. The different types of cookies sets by Pardot are

  • Visitor Cookie: – Name of the visitor cookie includes visitor_id append the unique identifier for your account, which is derived from the tracking code placed on your website.
Visitor Cookie
Visitor Cookie

  • Opt-In Cookie: – Do Not Track is a web browser setting that requests a web application disable its tracking of an individual user. When you turn on the DNT setting in your browser, it means you don’t want to allow websites to track your activity. Pardot uses pi_opt_in cookie for this purpose. Remember Form submission, Landing page submission, Email sends, click or open will still be tracked. 
  • Pardot App Session Cookie: – The session cookie named pardot is only used when someone logged into Pardot app as a user. 

By default, Pardot cookie expires after 10 years. It is also possible to set maximum tracking cookie duration in between 180 days to 3650 days.

visitor is someone who visits your website but has not provided any information about who they are. A visitor is tracked by the cookies placed in their browser by the Pardot tracking code installed (configured) on your website. The website uses cookies to recognize visitors and record their behavior in the Pardot database. Pardot categories visitors in three different groups,  those are mentioned as follows: 

  • Identified Visitors: – It will list all visitors who have had their organizations identified by WHOIS look up.
Identified Visitors
Identified Visitors

The above table display website visitors, the number of visits, the number of page views, Source, Hostname or Referrer, and the dates of their first and last page views.

  • Active Visitors: – It will list all visitors who visited two or more pages on your website, irrespective of whether their organizations are identified or not.
Active Visitors
Active Visitors
  • All Visitors: – It will display all visitor sessions.

Pardot offers three visitor graph, those are mentioned as follows: 

  • Page Views Graph: – It shows the number of page views in last 7 days and the last 7 day percent change over the previous 7 days (based on the filter we have selected i.e. Last 7 days). For the current scenarios Last 7-day (Page View – 75, % Change Over Previous Period – 7500%), as shown in the following screenshot.
  • New Visitors Graph: – It displays the number of new visitors in last 7 days and the last 7-day percent change over the previous 7 days (based on the filter we have selected i.e. Last 7 days). For the current scenarios Last 7 days (New Visitors – 34, % Change Over Previous Period – 3400%), as shown in the following screenshot.
Visitor Graphs
Visitor Graphs
  • Top Companies: – It displays the top 20 companies based on page views over the last 7-day (based on the filter we have selected i.e. Last 7 days). For the current scenarios Last 7 days (Top Companies – XFINITY WIFI, Public Service Data, both are my internet service providers), as shown in the preceding screenshot.

Pardot offers different ways, for example, Form, Form Handlers or Landing Pages, etc. to convert anonymous visitors to prospects i.e., known people. A prospect is a known people who has provided their email address by submitting one of the Forms or Landing Pages on your website. The prospect’s email address is a unique identifier, which allows Pardot to track prospect’s activity moving forward.

Applicable to a Pardot org where Allowing Multiple Prospects with the Same Email Address is enabled

–> What happens when someone submits their details through Form and allowing multiple prospects with the same email address is activated in a Pardot org? 

Now incoming form submissions will try to use the submitter’s cookie to match the submission to an existing Prospect. If the cookie does not match a prospect, Pardot will use the form’s email address value to find a matching Prospect. If more than one is found, the one with the most recent activity will be updated.

Prospects List
Prospects List

While viewing Prospect List in Pardot, you can select filters, for example, All Prospects View or Mailable Prospects View, select custom date range, tags, etc. to narrow down your prospect list further. There are various ways to create a prospect in Pardot, those are mentioned below

  1. Manually
  2. CSV file import
  3. Through a Form or Form Handler submission  
  4. Through a connector, for example, CRM (Salesforce) to Pardot, GoToWebinar to Pardot

Business Use case: – Donald Barnes is working as Marketing Automation Specialist at Universal Containers. They are planning to migrate to Pardot from other marketing automation tool. At Universal Containers they are using Salesforce CRM to better manage their customers. Donald Barnes doesn’t have experience with Pardot, for the testing purpose he wants to track visitors activities on a product page on their website. 

Solution of above business requirement

By implementing tracking code on any page, you can monitor visitors activity and any actions taken by your visitors.  

  1. Navigate to Marketing | Campaigns
  2. Open the campaign, whose tracking you would like to include on your website
  3. On the campaign detail page, click on the View Tracking Code link, as shown in the following screenshot 

  4. Paste the JavaScript code right before the close body tag on your HTML pages.

Note: – The above data or records are created by me for training purposes. 

The End: “What am I missing here? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it in!”

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5 thoughts on “The Difference Between Visitors and Prospects in Pardot

  1. Hi Rakesh,

    Thanks for your informative blogs about Pardot. It helps me a lot on the way to learn of Pardot.
    May I ask how to access the screen as your “Visitor Cookie” screenshot above (below the Bullet of Visitor Cookie) on Pardot?

    Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the post! We are wanting to use the Pardot Prospect Id instead of the email address so that it will be more accurate when assigning activity to a prospect. Is there a URL parameter that can be used for Id instead of email?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

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