Creating Your First Pardot Automation Rule

Creating Your First Pardot Automation Rule

Last Updated on February 19, 2022 by Rakesh Gupta

Can automation rules be used in Pardot too? Yes!

Automation rule is something that allows you to perform actions based on the settings and conditions you specify. Just as you can create Process Builder or Workflow Rule in Salesforce to automate your business processes; similarly, in Pardot, you can create Automation Rule to better manage your prospects or email lists. There are, however, few differences between Automation Rule in Pardot and in Salesforce. 

In this post, I am going to cover few use cases of the Automation Rule in Pardot. There is obviously a lot more complexity you could add to your automation rules and set up; but, we will start with pretty basic concepts and then build up from there. How does that sound?

Automation tools in Pardot

Pardot mainly has four automation tools – Automation Rule; Segmentation Rule; Completion Action; and, Dynamic List. People, however, have hard time understanding when to use which automation tool in Pardot. In this article, I will share with you the basics of these tools and their purpose. 

  1. Automation Rule: – It allows you to create a rule that evaluates your prospects database against defined criteria. Automation Rule will only fire once for a prospect record in the lifetime. Automation Rules are retroactive and will apply to all prospects created in the past. 
  2. Segmentation Rule: – It allows you to create a one-time static list of prospects using chosen criteria. For example, you have 13k prospects in your database. And, you are planning to send a marketing email to all prospects that reside in Milwaukee area. To create such a static list for one-time use, you can use the Segmentation Rule. 
  3. Completion action: – It allows you to add actions to marketing assets (Form, Form Handlers, Files, Custom Redirects and Page Actions, etc.) that fire after a prospect takes action. Completion actions are not retroactive and will only apply to prospects moving forward once you add them. Completion actions execute every time the action is completed except for adjusting the score. For example, you may want to send an autoresponder email when a prospect submits a form to download a white paper.
  4. Dynamic List: – It allows you to define criteria for list membership and, Pardot will do the rest. For example, you have created a list called Current Prospect. Currently, Raj Malhotra is part of this list. You are sending marketing content to members of this list. However, just yesterday, Raj became your customer after purchasing your services. As a result, Raj is no longer a prospect but is now a customer! Since Raj is now a customer, you do not want to send Raj a marketing email that is targeted towards a prospect. To auto-remove Raj from the Current Prospect list, you have to first define this list as a dynamic list and then set criteria for membership.

We will discuss Segmentation Rule, Completion Action, and Dynamic List in the upcoming articles. 

Automation Rule

Automation rules allow you to perform certain actions on prospects based on the criteria you specify. Automation Rule will only fire once for a prospect record in the lifetime. Automation Rules are retroactive and will apply to all prospects created in the past.  

Automation Rule – points to remember 

  • Automation rule fires on every ten minutes for prospects who match the rule criteria.
  • It touches a matched prospect only once.
  • Automation rules are retroactive and touch the prospects that were created in the past if they meet rule criteria.
  • It starts with paused state and provides the preview to show how many prospects will match this rule.
  • Deleting an automation rule will not undo the actions of matched prospects.
  • It is possible to add multiple actions to an automation rule.

The following screenshot display list of actions available under Automation Rule. These may vary based on connector setup. For example, if you do not setup Salesforce CRM connector then you will not see actions related to Salesforce CRM.  

Business Use Case

Let us start with a business use case. David Haditsch is working as Content Marketing Manager at GurukulOnCloudAt GurukulOnCloud, they are running their first campaign to promote their products and track activities of visitors and prospects on the corporate website.

Please go through these articles first to learn about Pardot form and progressive profiling:

  1. Getting Started with Pardot – Part 7 (How to create a Form that prospects actually want to fill out)
  2. Getting Started with Pardot – Part 8 (How progressive profiling is not as bad as you think)
  3. Getting Started with Pardot – Part 9 (How to Use-Dependent Form Fields)

By following guidance in the aforementioned blogs, David already created a Form to capture prospect data. Marketing teams want to implement the two items listed below:

  • If prospects belong to United States, then assign it to user Rakesh Gupta
  • Adjust prospect score by +30

Solution for the above business requirement

To create a new automation rule, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate on Marketing | Automation | Automation Rules
  2. Then click on the + Add Automation Rules button, as shown in the following screenshot: 
  3. The next step is to enter few details, as mentioned below:
    1.  Name for new automation rule – for this scenario, enter MyFirstRule as name
    2. Select a Folder where you want to save the automation rule – for this scenario, select Brand Awareness (If folder does not exist, create one)
    3. Add Tags to organize your automation rule. In this scenario, enter Brand Awareness as a tag. If you want to learn more about folders and tags then, refer to this article Overview of Folders and Tags
  4. The next step is to define the rule criteria. To add or modify rule criteria, perform the following actions
    1. First, select a Match Type. Below are the match types Pardot offer 
      1. Match All: – It will return results that match ALL of the criteria.
      2. Match Any: – It will return results that match any of the criteria. 
    2. In our scenario, select Match All as we have only one rule criteria i.e. country equals United States. 
    3. To add the individual rule click on + Add new rule button, and use fields to define the criteria as shown in the following screenshot:
    4. To remove rule criteria, click on the trash icon. Additionally, you can also add the criteria, and execute this automation rule only when if prospects fill a specific form, etc. 
  5. The next step is to define the action. In the Actions section, select at least one action to take place when your rule criteria are met. To add or modify actions, perform the following actions
    1. To add an action, click on + Add new action button. To remove an action, click on the trash icon.
    2. Using the drop-down define the actions as per our business scenario, as shown in the following screenshot:
  6. Once you are done with all the changes, the final step is to click on the Create automation rule button to save the rule. Your rule will be saved in paused mode. This will allow you to complete all the components of your campaign before activating the rule.
  7. To activate the rule you have just created, navigate to Marketing | Automation | Automation Rules and locate your new rule; then click on thResume button, as shown in the following screenshot:

–> You can pause and resume the rules at any time.

–> Standard Edition accounts can have up to 50 automation rules at any given time. Pro Edition accounts can have up to 100 automation rules and Ultimate Edition accounts can have up to 150 automation rules. Automation rules that have been deleted, and are in the recycling bin, do not count towards this number. 

In my next blog, I will take a deeper dive by showing you how to create gated content using completion action. 

Proofreader: - Munira Majmundar
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