Pardot Summer '22 Release Overview

Pardot Summer '22 Release Overview

Conditional completion actions and better deliverability reporting are the highlights of a useful release for the app formally known as Pardot.

Pardot is no more. At least that's what the Salesforce marketing team decided back in April, when the marketing automation platform was rebranded as part of a nomenclature update across the broader Salesforce Marketing Cloud. So far, the rebrand hasn't caught on. Even the Salesforce release notes refer to the platform as Pardot rather than the overly long official name of Salesforce Marketing Account Engagement. That will likely continue until the next rebrand, and the emergence of a much shorter name for the app formally known as Pardot.

Completion Actions

To compensate for the confusion, Salesforce are releasing one of the most highly requested features from Pardot admins. Conditional completion actions are finally making their way to Pardot! Completion actions are a vital component of the Pardot platform because they are used in so many different places for different purposes. They can handle follow-up actions after form submissions, automate responses to email clicks, or engage web visit triggers created using page rules. However, they've always been an all-or-nothing utility. All the completion actions configured on a specific asset run for all prospects that engage with that asset. The only exception is email click completion actions, which can be filtered to specific links in the email.

No more. As of this release, the prospect criteria selectable when defining automation rule conditions can now be used on completion actions. The available filters cover both prospect field conditions and activity based conditions, such as email clicks or form submits. For example, field updates can be restricted to only those prospects in CRM. Alternatively, prospects can now be given a different CRM campaign member status depending on previous activity in the same campaign. Multiple completion actions can be grouped together under the same condition, although only one condition can be configured for each completion action. More importantly, it's possible to create multiple completion action groups on the same asset. As such, you can configure one set of actions for prospects in the US, and a different set of actions for prospects in the UK. Conditional completion actions can also be mixed with unconditional completion actions that run for every prospect that engages with the form or email in question.

This is a very welcome change which will be very useful to all users of the Pardot platform. In particular, it will reduce the need for automation rules and engagement studios triggered after prospect activity. It's common for separate automations to be created for lead routing or campaign association, where a lead quality threshold must be met before prospects can be routed to Salesforce. Now that routing can be configured directly on the form completion action itself, with the routing conditions defined using a Prospect List condition. That will reduce the complexity of many Pardot instances.

However, conditions are not the only enhancement coming to completion actions. The brand new Slack notification completion action is now being made available for all Pardot users. That will allow Pardot admins to replace any email or task notification actions with Slack notifications. How valuable this is depends on your organisation's usage of Slack. Many sales teams find it easier to track prospect form submissions in a dedicated Slack channel rather than over email. As with tasks, the content of the Slack message can be customised per asset. Field merges can be added to include any relevant prospect information stored in custom fields. Rich text formatting can even be added to the generated Slack message using markdown, which is a significant benefit over the standard task notifications. To take advantage of this new capability, Pardot first needs to be connected to your team's Slack instance. This just requires a Slack admin to install the Marketing Cloud Account Engagement App from the Slack App Directory. After that, any Pardot admin can connect any Pardot asset to any Slack channel.

Lightning Editor Updates

Elsewhere, further enhancements are being made to the Lightning Email and Landing Page builders. It's the landing page editor that is getting the biggest changes, with a set of new capabilities and some user experience updates. From a developer perspective, Lightning is getting support for iframes, noscript tags and HTML comments in code blocks. All minor changes, but still widely used across the web. Marketers creating pages using the editor are getting additional styling capabilities. It's now possible to style checkboxes and radio buttons on forms within the editor, as well as apply background images and column spacing to table rows.

From a UX perspective, landing page names can now be longer than 255 characters. The page URL displayed in the editor is now clickable, which sounds minor but is actually incredibly important when testing pages as they're being created. Users new to the lightning editor will appreciate the improved help text explaining what all the styling options do. Elsewhere, the property panel in the email editors is now adjustable or collapsable, which allows more space for content editors to see the asset they're creating.


Finally, Pardot users will see much improved email bounce reporting after this release. A new email bounce report shows the list of bounced email addresses in one place, alongside the bounce date and reason. This will help significantly when troubleshooting deliverability issues in Pardot. Admins no longer need to drill down into individual email reports to get this data.

Those individual email reports are also getting much improved deliverability reporting. 4 new metrics are being added to list email reports, highlighting exactly which prospects are and aren't receiving emails. The new metrics are called "total prospects on recipient lists", "total suppressed prospects", "total unmailable prospects", and "total duplicate prospects". This will provide better visibility into the difference between prospects who meet the list criteria for a particular email and those who actually get sent the email. That will help answer a common question when there are a large number of suppressed or unmailable records in the prospect database. It will also guide data management decisions, and may help Pardot admins sell the idea of better database governance to the wider business.

As always, there are a huge number of changes in the release most of which fall outside the scope of this article. Full details, including smaller changes to Pardot not mentioned in this article, can be found in the official release notes. Contents of the release are subject to change.

Banner Photo by Daniel Páscoa / Unsplash

Written by
Marketing Operations Consultant and Solutions Architect at CRMT Digital specialising in marketing technology architecture. Advisor on marketing effectiveness and martech optimisation.