Pardot is one of the better marketing automation/nurturing product aimed at mid-sized businesses. It's greatest strength is its integration with Salesforce (which will be discussed more in "cons"). With relative simplicity, it can be connected to the CRM, so that contacts can easily sync two-ways, and even custom objects can be brought through for segmentation purposes with just a couple of clicks.
Tracking and automation is very well thought out and easy to use. The product has a straightforward method of tracking campaign results and attribution, all of which can then be pushed into Salesforce for comprehensive reporting on prospect-to-purchase management and measurement.
Pardot's greatest strength lies in its ease of use. No marketing automation software is going to be SIMPLE, but Pardot shines in the consistency between its many functions. Nothing feels tacked-on or different from other tools. If you can create a campaign, you can create a complex segmentation rule, and you can manage your social media posts, as it all works identically.
The marketing automation function, Engagement Studio, has gone through substantial recent updates and I consider it best-in-class for ease of use and functionality. If true automation is your #1 concern, this is a great choice.
Lastly, support is excellent. Salesforce Trailblazer is fantastic for self-guided-training, the documentation is up-to-date and accurate, and support tickets are answered promptly and knowledgeably. If you are experienced in systems of these sorts, you will quite likely not need to take advantage of any external training (or SF's accelerator options).
Pardot is a Salesforce product, and its integration is excellent, but it is just that - an integration. Pardot works like a third party service connected with Salesforce, as opposed to a native extension. Lists are synchronized, along with the sort of bugs and frustrations that come with bi-directional synchronization, and some Salesforce functions (notably custom objects) are not as fully fleshed out as one might hope. In some ways, other solutions do a better job synchronizing with Salesforce. That said, Pardot's setup is the simplest I've used, and having unified support for CRM and marketing automation is also a tremendous advantage when I do run into any hang-ups.
Also, while Pardot's feature set is great, some of its tools are in need of substantial upgrades to keep up with the competition. Its WYSIWYG email and landing page tools aren't responsive and are far outclassed in ease of use by Mailchimp and other lower cost options (although if you're comfortable with HTML and developing your own templates, it's not bad at all). It is progressively being updated and modernized, but it obviously takes time, and there can be minor frustrations when you see other tools that are smoother or more approachable. But I have never found this to set a limit on what's possible, only an opportunity for things to be faster and easier for less-expert users.
Pardot has fit our needs especially in working with Salesforce. However, if I had an option I would use a different tool (such as Hubspot).
It feels like a dated product that needs some updates to the user experience.
Keep in mind it is VERY powerful (a ton of features) but finding them is irritating. For example, you have email templates and email drafts. The differentiation is not clear and you have to look through their knowledge base to figure that out.
Pardot has a huge number of features that allow you to control, split and quickly view your customer lists. It is also awesome being able to get this information into Salesforce.
Another feature I love is the customer behavior tracking. It makes it simple to get an understanding of what a prospect is interested in. We can then tailor our message to this prospect. For example, if we identify someone is from a specific State (in the U.S.A) then we can share a link in an email that is information only about that State.
The scoring feature is also great because you can quickly see the interest of a current prospect and then notify the correct sales agent to reach out.
There are 2 things that frustrate me about Pardot. The learning curve and intuitiveness is very poor. It takes a long time to figure out what pieces are where. On top of that, I have used Pardot for almost 2 years and I still figuring stuff out.
It has a ton of features but figuring them all out is mind-boggling.
The other thing that is irritating is the email builder. It just isn't intuitive. You have a tiny screen to make any edits and adding things (like custom information) is hard to find most times.
Then you have to sync this email to the HTML version. Every time I have clicked that button the email syncs but I have to spend 5-10 extra minutes fixing the syntax issues that come about from the sync. I feel that process should work much more seamlessly.
I have used Pardot at three different companies now and I love it. It's been one of my most reliable and useful tools in my Marketing Stack over the years and it's continued to get better thanks to the aggressive roadmap put in place by Salesforce. Great for business ranging from small business up to Enterprise.
The number one thing that I love about Pardot is how easy it is to use. If you're on a small marketing team, one person can easily handle the system. If you have a larger team, the functionality scales extremely well - and you can bring in as many users as you need into the system without needing to pay for any additional seats.
The software is extremely consistent and reliable. Pages load quickly and properly. The WYSIWYG editor for emails is awesome! The amount of automation you can do in Pardot is fantastic - especially with their more recent addition of repeating automations and drip programs.
Awesome update releases thanks to being a Salesforce product.
The positioning of all of the various functionality can be a little confusing at times. There are a LOT of menu items that lead to the various different features. Some cleanup/re-organization of these might help new users.
The out-of-the-box Marketing templates, while serviceable, could use a reboot. For a startup they're likely sufficient, but if you're running a lot of email campaigns you might want to invest in having a developer custom-build a modular email template for your ongoing use.
The built-in mail testing using Litmus is terrible. Often half of the renderings fail to load, and a number of the renderings included are not super relevant any more. I actually never use this feature any more as I prefer to send test emails to an actual mail client rather than trust the renderings.
Pardot has a lot of base functionality that sets it apart from email platforms like Mailchimp and the like. It also provides better integration with Salesforce than hubspot and other less expensive CRMs to give your organization with a complete picture of the sales funnel.
Pardot provides email templates upon sign-up that are easily customizable for specific needs. You can test this emails to internal lists and with its integration with Litmus you can view how different clients and platforms will render you email before sends.
Landing pages and form are an easy way to collect leads, track conversion points, and keep the source of a lead. Forms enable you to send auto-response emails, notify teams or sales reps, and assign leads to the correct person. The can also send leads to a Salesforce campaign with detailed member statuses to provide for multi-touch attribution. Landing pages are easy to build, add Google analytics or any other tracking code and deploy.
Automation rules allow you to keep your database clean and ensure that all prospects are going to the right place, tagged correctly, and scored appropriately. Dynamic content is an excellent investment as an add on to allow you to use one template but change messaging based on known prospect information. No need to create 5 different emails or landing pages for industry segments, just create on template and use the dynamic content feature to show messaging that applies to them.
Intuitive UI, great functionality for the price, native integration with Salesforce, dynamic content add-on. Automation rules that can help keep the system clean and prospects updated.
Limitations within automation rules for mutli-variable updates. For example - Loading a tradeshow list with campaign member statuses in SFDC. I would like to upload in one automation rule to say if X campaign status, update to this campaign in SFDC for X status, within the same rule I would like to add all of the other statuses with specific completion actions instead of having to run 1 rule for each status.
Dynamic content should be able to trigger via a URL parameter and not just a known prospect field.
Pardot lets us punch above our weight as a small marketing team. It was there when we were a marketing team of 1 and is able to grow with us as we become a marketing team of 14.
Specifically, Pardot's B2B focus and different channel integration makes it very easy for us to synchronize marketing campaigns and orchestrate content and engagement across channels. From email to landing pages to social media to forms that we can inject into our web properties, Pardot makes it extremely easy for us to scale quickly and look incredible!
Finally, the fact that Pardot is natively integrated with Salesforce Sales Cloud means that I don't have to worry about clunky integrations, pages or 10-step reporting. The data is right there and ready to give us insight across sales and marketing. Our sales teams are using Pardot Engage from right inside Sales Cloud to run their own, marketing - enabled, micro campaigns. This fosters alignment between our teams and helps them achieve smarter and faster results.
There is so much more that Pardot could be doing with reports given all the data that passes through the system. I'd really like to see more reports such as client engagement reports that combine account engagement scores with revenue data that Pardot pulls from Sales Cloud.
I'd love to see enhanced social listening and sentiment integrated in Pardot and a more robust social queueing capability. But these are improvements that could be made rather than negatives about the existing product. We use the reports and social queueing extensively and these are ways it could be improved.
Finally, help and support can be challenging to navigate. If you're someone who takes the initiative and can dig in, you'll be fine. If you want hand-holding through the process, you'll likely need external consulting.
My experience was for the most part positive. Pardot is powerful and reliable, I found it to be useful for the most part, they just need to revise the e-mail marketing tools and it will surely become a market standard.
Even though it might seem a little bit complex to use, Pardot gets easier as you learn how to use it, it has a very intuitive structure that anyone can learn on the fly, with a clean dashboard and well -labeled banners/icons combined with a sleek graphic interface.
The automation efectiveness is impressive and compelling, and its multi-platforms capabilites are beyond any other competing alternative, specially how it connects with Social Media and Salesforce.
You can instinctively customize how it manages the data feed, giving away a set of rules that Pardot follows beautifully, filtering everything at your command with great results.
It is probably the most complete and fully integrated Marketing Automation software in the market, with the nicest set of tools necessary to supply all your necessities and more.
Pardot is rather expensive and probably not suitable for small enterprises.
The e-mail managing/creation/customization interface needs to be worked out, even though it works great most of the times, it tends to have issues with Gmail servers. Sending e-mail templates gets complicated, specially because it has a tendency to crash when some custom coding is involved; this usually forces you to adapt to something that does not bug the system instead of doing what you are actually adapted to.
Even though mostly everything is user friendly, the e-mail marketing tools are over complicated, it might deliver the results you're looking for but it will cost you a lot of toggling.
I really did enjoy using Pardot overall, and I would recommend it as a top-notch automation tool. The learning curve can be steep. I recommend attending one of their 3 day foundations training courses to help jump start your experience.
Pardot is great for companies whose sales teams also use Salesforce due to the tight integration between the two products. Prospect and campaign tracking data can sync easily between the two systems and keep track of all campaign touch points across sales and marketing teams. Engagement studios are super easy to set up and allow for easy engagement-driven campaigns that help avoid "spammy" campaigns that help you stay off the blacklists of ISPs.
My major complaint with Pardot really has been with the UI/UX. The user experience is not great. It's not intuitive AT ALL. There are many instances where the interface breaks standard functionality conventions, leaving you in the dark trying to figure out how to do even simple tasks. That being said, the Engagement Studio has completely different UI than the rest of the app, and is actually quite a good experience. I guess Salseforce is taking their time redoing the rest of the app, but I'm sure they'll get around to it soon enough.
It's a good software. There are a lot of features and its easy to use. I'm grateful that there are many ways to solve a problem. So even when we run into limitations, there's usually a way to figure out a work around.
The native integration to Salesforce was the main reason we chose Pardot. They did not win the "bake-off" against their competitors, but according to our vendor, the native integration was a feature we couldn't live without. I also appreciate that Salesforce is investing in Pardot and they are regularly releasing new features and fixes. Thirdly, the community is large and friendly and helpful. I'm developing several connections that are helping me in my day to day.
My general sense is that Pardot works well for small businesses that do normal things and have a straight-forward business. We are a medium size business and very complex. We have found a lot of limitations and thus have a lot of workarounds in place that were required to do what we want to do. That results in a very maintenance heavy installation and the risk for missing something is high. Reporting is horrible (although they do have a new B2B Marketing Analytics module for an extra fee).
As our admin and a daily user, I have found that the tool is relatively easy to learn basic and intermediate functionality. However, as you get more advanced, the ability to find "official" Salesforce resources becomes more difficult. Thankfully, the community of users has proven to be really valuable and knowledgeable even with various updates.
I think Pardot has been a really strong tool for us to advance our marketing automation and email marketing practices and really drive growth in our marketing efforts.
The biggest Pro for our organization is the tie-in to Salesforce. Adding Pardot as our bolt-on marketing automation platform allows us to connect seamlessly to our Salesforce CRM and utilize most all of the data that we're already capturing there. Developing detailed email logic, engagement programs and drip campaigns has really improved our growth marketing practice.
At times, the tool can be challenging to find the correct solution for what you're trying to accomplish. I've spent many hours in Salesforce's help section and the Pardot user community (as well as searching other areas of the web) to find answers to specific questions. That said, the questions that I've had, usually have been answered already by other users or I can collaborate with other users outside our org to find a solution.
From its Exact Target roots, the email marketing capabilities are what I like the best about Pardot. I have full HTML control and can easily create my own templates, A/B test, use variable tags, view reports, and more. The use of Litmus email previews is awesome too.
I've been using the new SF Lighting UI for a while now and I like it a lot better. There were a few bugs at the beginning, but I thin they are all cleaned up now.
The folder organization is probably a feature that doesn't get talked about much, but it helps a lot. We were told to try to use them and much as possible during the initial Pardot setup, and I'm so glad we did because you'll notice content and files start piling up immediately and having a solid folder structure makes life a lot easier.
I've used a few other Marketing Automation tools before and Pardot is my favorite. It's simple, but robust enough to handle advanced needs.
The automation and "Drip" functionality is pretty simple and doesn't offer any real advanced options. For example, you can't create drip automation based on if a prospect clicks a certain link in an email, but I think there are working on that.
There are a few other little things, but nothing major. One item that Pardot could improve upon is Basic Chat Support. They only offer basic support through their Olark chat, and more than half the time I check, it shows them offline which means they are full. It can get a little annoying at times if you need something urgent. However, their case management is very good and if you have a case get escalated to a higher team, the support is very good. I've had the team spend a lot of time working on some advanced form functionality for me that helped a lot. Their knowledge base is strong too, so that usually a good place to start.
Pardot's just great overall, every tool has a grace period of learning and individualizing the use - you can't always read a KB article and have things humming, you have to hit the dirt face first a few times, show some humility, not break the law and find your fit with how you use it most effectively.
Once you understand the areas of Pardot and how affective they are throughout the areas of your marketing efforts and establish a synergy it's a great tool that's used frequently to solve and offload processes from other, potentially costly systems.
My con is a con that anyone would have, it's a different UI, capabilities are different in some contexts, and it really just takes a matter of time to feel it out and get comfortable with. If time is that bad of a con, than we'd all have a bad wrap. I do with their integrations were a bit long but with most things going to Salesforce and Pardot having a bond with it, we can solve things through that channel.
We've been using Pardot for years to manage emails and landing pages, but once we added Salesforce, we saw a dramatic increase in Pardot's usefulness. Having the ability to score prospects' interactions on the web and easily hand off warmed up leads has made a real impact.
- Once you have solid templates built, creating new emails and landing pages is very fast
- Integration with Salesforce is solid, no issues with data sync in either direction
- Automation rules (especially b/t Salesforce and Pardot) can take care of a lot of mundane tasks without needing to remember to do them
- Getting started with the Program can be tough because there is so much it can do
- Reporting on data can be difficult to figure out. Not on a per-email basis, but rather on Campaign-level performance. There seem to be multiple places to get information and they don't always match up.
- Landing page templates are not responsive. Seriously! You have to have a web designer built and import them to be useful
Overall, I am really happy we went with Pardot it has been a great marketing tool and allowed our company to create content and reach an audience we could not have even come close to without it.
I love the ability to have insight into customer activity and to create marketing campaigns. From a marketing perspective Pardot is an amazing tool. However my role is in more of a sales role so I tend to lean on the features of Salesforce much more. I appreciate the tie into sales force and how I am able to create reports and customer lists very easily in Pardot. It has greatly expanded the communication that I am able to have with customers. I work closely with the marketing team to delivery targeted messages which we were unable to do in the past.
My biggest frustration comes from the Salesforce/Pardot relationship. I wish that the terms in salesforce were the same used in Pardot, it is a bit of a learning curve especially when you are getting up to speed and working within two different departments. For example campaigns in salesforce are completely different than campaigns in Pardot.
We are a small consulting business based in London and we rely heavily on Pardot to generate, manage, and communicate with our leads. We've used just about every feature of Pardot and there are a two that are most valuable to our business:1) The custom landing pages drive a lot of leads from search engines to our site, 2) Campaign tracking so we can see just where our leads have come from, as well as how else they've interacted with us (forms completed, price sheets downloaded, links clicked, emails opened, etc.). We've seen a definite increase in our lead generation and lead conversions since we started using Pardot two years ago.
There is very little I have to complain about here. If I had to say anything it would be that Pardot has a lot of features that we hadn't used before, so it took some time to learn it all and be really effective. It's definitely a commitment, but one that pays off! Once we were up to speed it was quite easy to use.
Besides the functionality of using Pardot on the sales team, I know the marketing team and exec team loved the dashboards. The marketing team was also able to capture many prospect details from the easy to create beautiful, customizeable content where most of our leads came from. It's definitely an added bonus to help create the pipeline and sort it effectively.
I really liked how the leads were sorted into ones that were immediately "hot" and with Salesforce mobile, I could even do it on my long train commute home. It was also a good indicator of which leads to focus on. Since our sales cycle can also be really long, it also was helpful to see how long the prospect has been in the system and how knowledgeable they might be about us. As a newer salesperson it was helpful.
I wish some of the pro features were available at the standard price. If we could see the Google Adwords that led our prospects directly to the site easier, it would be much helpful. It is available, so it's not too bad of a downside, however, it is if that feature is too expensive for your budget at the moment.
I think Pardot gets you 2/3rds of the way their with Marketing automation and you have to augment with other tools to get the rest of the way. If you use SalesForce connected to Pardot then you really have to do all of your reporting in SalesForce or it gets really confusing trying to sync the two together.
I like that they have a landing page builder but their user interface for building landing pages should be more competitive with what's in the market.
I like their email campaign builder interface and the drip marketing tool.
Their reporting is lacking because you can't customize it. It's hard to really know track leads through the pipeline and recycle them when they aren't ready to buy. The tagging and folder structure isn't intuitive and takes a bit to get used to.
Pardot is reliable and easy to use, and has helped our organization objectively measure return on investment in marketing automation. I can say with certainty that last year 50% of the net new revenue opportunities we won were tied to marketing automation via Pardot. I only need support from Pardot's customer service team about once per year, but when I do, they are friendly, helpful, and efficient in their responses.
Easy to Use
Easy to Train On
Pardot makes it easy to measure a return on investing in marketing automation. The tool is reliable and performant, and the Pardot team's customer service is outstanding.
The Client Advocate email domain was terrific -quick and helpful customer support for usage-related questions. I'll be very sad to see this deprecated and replaced with the success community.
Pardots UI is clean and updated, making it easy to use. At first glance, the simplified interface makes it seem like the product is limited, but once you become proficient with automation rules, dynamic lists, and completion actions you'll find that its very configurable and can suit a variety of processes and workflows. It's just a different mindset from a Marketo or Hubspot in terms of approaching some of the workflows, nurtures, drips, etc.
Really lacking in reporting across the board and no visibility into accounts for organizations using account-based marketing and/or sales processes, everything is organized by prospect only.
Lead capture. Lead scoring. Email drip funnels. Email marketing. Connecting with Salesforce.
The software is solid, reliable and the feature set covers all I have needed so far in my marketing and lead generation. I use it primarily for forms, lead capture, email newsletters, drip funnels and lead scoring.
The close integration with Salesforce means the sales team can answer their own questions and see what we are doing with leads.
The companies I work with that use Pardot are mid-size. Their use is as much about future proofing their systems as its features. However, for smaller companies, it would suggest that it is too expensive for their immediate needs.
The interface can be complicated but that is due to the big feature set. If you have used other marketing automation software you can use this easily.
We were able to update designs for emails and landing pages (with limited selection) but deliverability suffered greatly.
There's some good features like email drip campaigns, landing pages and forms but they all have their drawbacks. The drip campaigns we found were never getting delivered and going to spam, no one ever opened the emails. The landing pages only provide 4 or 5 designs and only one of them is even possibly usable. You'll need to code your own. The forms are extremely complicated, I've been using for a few years and I still have no idea how to customize them to improve the designs. Basically just too complicated all around. I don't have any pros really, anything good I can find a con for. Don't get fooled into buying this software.
We purchased Pardot on a three year contract expecting much more than we were given. We are a news publication that sends out daily alerts that our customers pay for and were told by their sales team this was the best email delivery software out there - obviously we know they all say that but this software isn't even close. Pardot purchased Exact Target and sends out of their email. Exact Target is one of the most filtered spam filters no so it's almost impossible to get emails sent through to any customers if they have even a shred of spam filtering set up. We have had to work with hundreds of subscribers to mark our emails as a safe sender through IP and Domain whitelisting and sometimes that doesn't even work. That and they fact that the reporting and features in many ways have no flexibility make this software very frustrating for us. In the beginning we were provided a chat function to contact support and found that there wasn't really much they could do for us other than redirect us to links that did not fix our problems - this would end up turning into a ticket that would rarely be resolved. After about a year they did away with the chat function altogether and told us if we want it back we need to pay an extra per month. This is already an EXTREMELY expensive software so for them to turn their back on us for another money grab was a spit in the face. We're done with them and looking forward to the contract expiring early next year.
Easy to setup and basic integration with Salesforce. It is good for it's price point.
Pardot is very easy to use for the most basic purposes such as sending out emails and generating lists using metadata from both your Pardot and Salesforce database. Tracking peoples journeys along your website is also a plus.
The software is limited vs Hubspot and other competitors. Reporting is not as robust and integration with Salesforce (the confusing 'Pardot Campaign' vs 'Salesforce Campaign' for example) can be frustrating. Do not expect to be able to get the level of website analytics you do in Google Analytics or the tracking ability available in Hubspot.
The integration with Salesforce takes sending e-blasts to a whole new level of user-friendliness. Gone are the days of exporting a list from Salesforce, uploading the list to a separate email client, etc... The syncing with Salesforce allows me to create dynamic lists based on Salesforce field values with ease! When building the emails the HTML editor is great and the WYSIWYG editor is simple to use, plus there are plenty pre-built templates to choose from. The automation options like drip campaigns and dynamic lists help me be more efficient than ever. The analytics are very helpful in determining the effectiveness of our email campaigns and A/B testing helps us know what works best with our audience. The customer service if I have a problem is wonderful--they follow up quickly and helpfully explain how to resolve issues.
While the Salesforce integration is great, I wish there was a way to "filter" which records in Salesforce get synced to Pardot. When you have multiple records in Salesforce using the same email address the process can get tricky.
If you are ready to take your email marketing to the next level, Pardot is the way to do it. Be prepared to learn and be a tad frustrated at first, but once you get it going it is totally worth it.
The amount of things you can do with this platform is virtually limitless. Yes, it takes a good deal of practice to figure out what you have to do but once it clicks, it makes perfect sense. Mailchimp and Constant Contact will never be the same!
It has a pretty steep learning curve at the beginning. Some common terms (ex. campaign) have completely different meanings inside Pardot. It's not the prettiest tool in terms of UI/UX but it gets the job done.
The product is functionally rich, and geared for teams that want to create a mass marketing process based on a solid platform.
But functionally rich also means there are some things that are not THAT intuitive, some options are hard to find, and some UI/UX should be re-thought.
But overall, the product does the job and it does it well.
Strong platform for all marketing related stuff
Easy to create landing pages and mail templates
The analytics available for launched campaigns, etc.
The connection and synchronisation with Salesforce
The integration with Salesforce is not 100% complete (and will never be?)
The UI is perfectible, and can be frustrating at some points (for example, when you edit a landing page, if you try to save and for some reason you are disconnected from internet at this moment, every you did is lost when you try to go back in your browser history)
As it is Pardot sending mails for you, you are entitled to respect bounces quota etc, which can be tedious with mass marketing processes.
It costs a lot of money (yeah).
We started working with Pardot about two years ago when we first implemented Sales Force. it was a great solution for the types of B-to-B marketing emails we were hoping to start producing more of. We have still not fully unlocked the full potential of the platform, but the more we learn about the automation capabilities and integration with Sales Force the more excited and eager to learn we get. Our biggest struggle is that in our business we have some accounts that will use the same email address, which Pardot does not allow. We will be setting up a training soon to help us better understand engagement studio so that we can start executing on some smarter campaigns.
automation, reporting, metrics, custom URL redirects, Sales Force integration
duplicate email issue, also there is so much it can do but sometimes it is a challenge to identify the best way to use all of the features.