Here at TopLine, we are all advocates of a philosophy known as the “slight edge”. The philosophy is outlined in the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, and it purports that success is the result of consistency in our simple daily choices. One of Olson’s key insights is it’s the small, easy-to-skip tasks that are our greatest barriers in realizing the full potential of our possible successes. Each day we are all faced with many tasks and decisions, some of which seem fairly insignificant or unimportant in the moment. All too often, these unimportant tasks are skipped or pushed off because they don’t have the same “wow” factor as larger-scale projects and decisions. Over time, all these “small” decisions start to accumulate and create a barrier to success that we did not realize we were building.
As an implementation and usage consultant, I often see this philosophy play out in the world of managing email marketing software tools, such as Pardot. Devoting our time to creating new email templates and engagement programs is generally more appealing and feels more urgent than checking admin “basics” – such as merge fields, usage limits, and user lists. These are the settings that are easy to “set and forget”, but they merit a quick, occasional review. Think of it as a quick “tune-up”, i.e., easy preventive maintenance to ensure that everything continues to perform well and potential catastrophes are prevented.
Over time, I have developed a working list of tune-up items that I see most often neglected in Pardot. In this post, I highlight the first three items on my list. Stay tuned for the rest of my list in a future post!
These first three items should take no more than 15 minutes to review once or twice a month. If you consistently check and address any issues with these items, you will be able to avoid future headaches that long-term neglect may cause. My advice to all Pardot admin and power users is to schedule a monthly reoccurring appointment on your calendar to perform your tune-up. Doing so will make Pardot easier to manage and save both you and your colleagues unnecessary and potentially costly work and time in the future. You will look like a Pardot rockstar, and you will be able to rest easy, being confident that the gears behind the scenes are calibrated just right!
- Add default mail merge values to fields.
This item is number one on my list because it is the basic item that I see most often forgotten/skipped in Pardot.
Merge fields (aka variable tags) are a great way to add personalization to your email templates and increase engagement, but what happens if a particular prospect doesn’t have a value for the merge field? Depending on how the merge field is used, the missing value could lead to some potentially clumsy-looking wording and formatting. Review your current email templates for merge fields and ensure that any used fields have a default value specified in the prospect field setup menu. Additionally, ensure that any user-related fields (such as important contact information) you may be using in email templates also have correct values.
- Keep user lists updated & reassign records.
Especially if your Pardot instance is not configured with Salesforce User Sync, it can be fairly easy for your Pardot user list to fall out of sync with your Salesforce user list as team members join and leave your company. Generally, users who are deactivated in Salesforce are never deleted or updated in Pardot. The most significant concern here is that prospects end up staying assigned to Pardot users who no longer work at your company. This is particularly true if record ownership of the lead and contact records in Salesforce is not updated. Prospects associated with old users can very easily slip into a black hole and be neglected. In order to see accurate and up-to-date details for a prospect in Salesforce, they must be associated with a matching, active user in Salesforce. Be sure to review your Pardot user list and ensure that each user is linked to an active Salesforce user. Reassign any prospects associated with old users, and then deactivate the old users. Finally, ensure that any new Salesforce users working with your prospects have a matching Pardot user record.
- Check your Salesforce Connector for Sync errors.
If you have been using Pardot for any length of time, when was the last time you checked your Salesforce connector for sync errors? Sync errors prevent prospect records from syncing and updating between Salesforce and Pardot and can cause a lot of confusion (and potential lost revenue!) by displaying incomplete or inaccurate information about your prospects and their activities. Address any sync errors that may be present; you may need to work with your Salesforce admin to uncover and resolve the cause of the error.
As Pardot Certified Consultants, we have the knowledge and experience to give you that “slight edge” and would love to work with you to ensure that your Pardot gears are tuned for success! Whether you have been using Pardot for a while, or you are just getting started with Pardot, contact us today for customized guidance on the routine quick actions you can take to ensure success! If you prefer email: Info@toplineresults.com or phone: 1-800-880-1960, we are there to help. Your success is our success!