The Salesforce Winter ’20 preview release notes have been dropped, and oh my – this release brings one highly anticipated feature to Pardot, among other nice updates to improve the overall performance of Pardot with its connected platforms.
The full release notes are 535 pages long – but don’t worry, I have pulled out the most important things for Pardot Admins and users to know. You will notice that this release round up is email experience heavy, after all, email is still (undeniably) core to every Pardot org. I’m getting excited. Let’s dive in…
1. Lightning Email Builder for Pardot (Drag-and-drop Experience)
This has been the most highly anticipated release over the past few years (along with Pardot Sandboxes).
Introducing “Email in Lightning”, part of the new Content Builder in Salesforce Lightning. Here’s an overview of how email content is being transformed:
- New email builder (drag-and-drop interface),
- Preview and test capabilities,
- New send experience: send and resend it from the email content record to different segments (more info later),
- Report on individual email sends, multiple email sends from the same email, and email templates (more info later).
The amazing part to this story is that Salesforce have tied together the release for Pardot marketers with the new builder for the whole Lightning platform, therefore unifying any email template building experience in Salesforce!
New Lightning Email Builder Features
- Drag-and-drop interface to resize and move blocks (up, down, left, right).
- Reusable components, eg. buttons, images, HTML.
- Store and fetch images from Salesforce CMS (‘Select from CMS’) – an end to Pardot or external file hosting (available in all Pardot editions).
How to find the Lightning Email Content Builder
Once your org is Winter ’21 enabled, you will be able to access ‘Email Content’ from the Salesforce App Launcher.
Each email will exist as a Salesforce record (Email Content record). The ‘Edit in Builder’ action (button) will take you to the builder.
- Verified Salesforce-Pardot Connector
- Have Connected Campaigns enabled
- Have Handlebars Merge Language (HML) enabled.
2. New Pardot Email Test and Send Experience
New ‘Preview as’ and ‘Test’ actions will (hopefully) be an improvement from email render test, especially in terms of speed:
The send experience does have a similar layout to Pardot’s classic email builder, with the addition of the ‘Campaign’ search bar (where you define which campaign this email send should relate to).
When using the Lightning Email Content Builder, you will be able to send and resend the email content faster, and in a less messy way. This is a great to test sends to different prospect segments.
3. Pardot Email Reporting Revamp
As I mentioned, each email will exist as a Salesforce record (Email Content record). You will find popular email reporting KPIs in the ‘Engagement Metrics’, such as click through rate, opt out rate etc.
These fields will aggregate (add up or average depending on the metric) the results of all email sends for an email template (available with all Pardot editions).
4. Resync Prospects: Mass Update After Sync Errors
As a long-term Pardot consultant who has been tasked with resolving prospect sync error queues, having only two option to resync prospects once errors were cleared (either one-by-one or via import) was a big headache.
‘Resync Prospects’ will be available as an action when you mass select prospects in the sync error list:
5. Pardot Object Sync Improvements (B2B Marketing Analytics) – Beta
This new way of syncing prospect data to B2BMA promises to speed up sync times, especially data in custom prospect fields.
“Pardot Object Sync works by copying your custom prospect data into a new dataset. It improves performance in the Analytics platform because the prospect data can be updated separately from other large datasets.”
6. Success Milestones for Pardot Einstein Attribution
Pardot Einstein Attribution aims to solve the gaps left in campaign attribution as a result of contacts not being associated with Salesforce opportunities and campaigns properly. It’s a recent addition to the platform (Summer ’20), and it’s great to see more being added to this flagship feature.
Now, you can choose an opportunity stage as a ‘success milestone’, which means that you can set a stage that your business considers a major checkpoint in the opportunity lifecycle (as opposed to the default milestone – when an opportunity is created). Good if you don’t consider opportunity creation an important event in terms of marketing attribution.
7. WordPress Pardot Plugin Updates
The Pardot WordPress Plugin has a couple of notable updates if you are using it:
- Compatible with the WordPress Block Editor, so you can apply Pardot forms and dynamic content blocks to WordPress pages.
- Authenticate your WordPress Plugin with Salesforce SSO (ahead of the access changes happening in Spring ’21).
You have been able to select which tracker domain you would like to use
- Use any tracker domain on Pardot form handlers, dynamic content, social posts, multivariate landing page tests – you have been able to select which tracker domain to use as a vanity URL for email links, forms, landing pages and custom redirects since last summer, which has now been extended to other asset types. Read this guide for a full explanation.
- Add to Prospect Lists from Contact Related List on Accounts, building on the buttons delivered in Summer ’20,
- Get Cleaner Data in Standard Campaign Influence Reports – fixed an issue with unique contact counts in these reports,
- The ObjectChangeLog is Being Retired – if you have Marketing Data Sharing enabled, this old connector object becomes redundant.
- Automatically enable SSL certificates for new tracker domains, which an Admin had to do manually previously.