Salesforce Pardot Winter '22 Release Overview

Salesforce Pardot Winter '22 Release Overview

October 2021 | Marketing Automation

A bumper release is headlined by a new landing page editor and new integrations. More welcome are smaller updates to list and prospect management.

Fresh out of a low-key Dreamforce, it's time for the next Salesforce release. The Winter 22 release takes place over the next couple of weeks, including a bumper crop of new features for Pardot. Neither, Dreamforce nor the release offer any major changes of interest to B2B marketers across the core Salesforce platform.

The major headlines out of Dreamforce related to Slack, which is being integrated into the wider Salesforce ecosystem after last year's blockbuster acquisition. One of those products being integrated is Pardot, which sees a new completion action that can be used across all assets and page rules.


It is now possible to replace email notifications in completion actions with Slack notifications. This new Slack completion action works much like an email alert, allowing you to customise the notification content with free text content or merge tags. Slack users might want to create dedicated channels for form submissions or lead alerts. Their team can then join this channel and use it to be notified about new leads as they are added to the system.

That's not the only integration enhancement in the new release. Pardot now supports custom activities, which is a handy update for customers seeking to build automation rules related to offline or off-platform activity. Third-party apps that integrate with Pardot will be able to create new activity types using the API, all within data structures configured by Pardot admins. This allows webinar providers to create webinar attendance or event registration activity types, with details of the specific event attended. That will simplify any post-event workflows that are run out of Pardot.


Additional customisation is also being added to the lightning email editor. Emails built using this capability can now be used in Engagement Studio. More significant, though, is the arrival of custom components for lightning emails. This closes a major weakness in the new email editor compared to classic Pardot email templates.

These new components allow the creation of custom layouts and custom modules within the Lightning Email Editor. Individual sections of a component can be marked as editable using a variety of content types, including images, rich text and links. This allows custom components to be more powerful and potentially more flexible than a standard email template. However, this power comes with the price of complexity. You need to be a front-end developer to create an email editor component because the editable sections of a custom module need to be marked out using the Salesforce SDK.

Landing Pages

The biggest change, though, is the launch of the lightning landing page editor. This fixes one of the biggest weaknesses in Pardot, namely the poor landing page creation capabilities. The major feature gap between email and landing page editors has long frustrated Pardot users. The new editor finally eliminates this problem. It includes the same modular layouts as the new lightning email editor, as well as the same easy drag and drop user experience. Furthermore, it also integrates with Salesforce CMS for image and file storage. Templating capabilities are available too, but suffer from the same limitations already seen in the email editor.

Any such limitations shouldn't prevent Pardot admins from actively investigating the new editor where available. It does require using the Pardot Lightning App, which isn't possible for all users. Some initial configuration of Salesforce CMS for Pardot is required for anyone not already using the new email editor, which will require the assistance of your Salesforce admin. The benefits of the new editor and the flexibility it unlocks substantially outweigh those setup steps and any associated disadvantages.

Also affecting landing page templates is the ability to customise the unsubscribe and resubscribe page content. This was already indirectly possible through custom templates, but new UI settings to change the default text make this much easier. This applies to all the default text used by the default pages, opening up full localisation and translation for the default unsubscribe page.


Pardot admins also benefit from improved control over prospect mailability in this release. The summer release introduced a new mailability indicator that reaches general availability this time. That opened up the ability to reset the Do Not Email and Opt Out fields within Pardot. Now it is possible to reset hard bounces and soft bounces as well. This means that email addresses marked as invalid in Pardot can now be emailed, once any issues affecting deliverability are fixed. Such powers are welcome but must be used wisely. Email sends to previously bounced email addresses are widely tracked by the blocklist companies, as they are a common way of identifying spam. Resetting the bounce counter for large groups of email addresses could lead to deliverability issues. New user permissions have been introduced to control the usage of these features by standard users. It is recommended that those are reviewed by any Pardot account that uses custom security roles.

Perhaps the most useful change for admins relates to list creation. It's very easy to create too many dynamic lists in Pardot, and difficult to work out the purpose of lists once they've been created. This is a problem given the limit to the number of dynamic lists that can be created. The addition of create and update history to the list screens should help when auditing lists, by specifying who created a list as well as the date of creation. It will then be easier to identify lists that need to be deleted when cleaning up Pardot.

As always, there are a huge number of changes in the release most of which fall outside the scope of this article. For 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.

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