It’s almost unbelievable that email marketing can be so effective, the top 20% of performers reported an ROI of over 70x their investment. It sounds far-fetched, but when you consider the low cost of email and the effectiveness of multi-touch email campaigns, it becomes clear that those numbers are possible.
Through Pardot we can send emails through a few different methods, and each of these methods has its use case:
- List Emails: List emails are probably the most common email type you’ll use in Pardot. It’s mostly used for an email blast sent to specific lists. Typical use cases for these would be one-off promotions, a scheduled newsletter, or an update for all your subscribers.
- Autoresponder emails: These emails are sent as a followup to a prospect action. An everyday use case for these would be for sending a prospect an ebook after filling out a form or thanking a user for registering on your site.
- Engagement Studio: The engagement studio is a tool for creating complex logic based email sequences. We’ll dive more into the engagement studio in the final chapter of this guide.
- Drip Programs: this is a legacy feature of Pardot which is just a lesser version of the engagement studio. You really shouldn’t ever need to use a drip program.
- One-to-one emails: These emails are very similar to list emails, except that you’re only emailing one person. Typically as marketers, you’re not going to make much of use of this, it’s more a feature for any salespeople you have working out of Pardot.
Moreover, while we have many different types of emails, certain best practices apply across the board. Let’s take a look at the best practices for Pardot Email Marketing:
Best Practices for B2B Email Marketing in Pardot
- Don’t write lazy clickbait: Email clients with strong spam filters detect words like “click here” and “free” and place those emails in your prospects spam filters especially if you are working with large businesses with robust firewalls, it’s best to keep your copy clear and clean of spam-identified words.
- Personalize emails with variable tags: Variable tags, kind of like an old-fashioned mail merge, allow us to use tags for different Pardot fields. For example, let’s say we want to personally address the prospect in the subject line, if we write “Hey %%first_name%%, get more leads with one simple step.” It will populate the tag with the first name on the prospect’s record.
- Honest and compelling subject lines: When crafting emails, we want to make sure that the subject line is aligned with what the email is offering. A common pitfall for marketers is to have a high open rate and think their campaign successful despite having low click-through. Clearly identifying the reason the recipient should read the email in the subject line and having content that matches with that is much more important than trying to boost your open rate with click-bait.
- Create a text version of the email: By hitting “Sync from HTML” in the email template editor, you’ll be able to pull the text from your HTML email into a text version. This practice allows email clients that don’t support email templates such as government emails, to show only a text version of the email. Note that you may need to adjust the text to remove unnecessary spacing and rendering issues after syncing it from the HTML version.
- Warming up your Pardot IP: All IP addresses start a little cold when sending emails, if you start sending out blasts of emails of over 5,000 recipients, you’ll probably be flagged as spam. According to Pardot, you should try to keep your sends under 5,000 for the first week. From here you can start to ramp up.
- Don’t buy lists: It’s very tempting to buy lists, but there are serious concerns with buying lists that could hurt your email deliverability and goes against Pardot’s permission-based marketing policy, which we discuss in the next chapter.
When getting ready to send, you want to make sure you have can thoroughly check the email template for grammatical and spelling errors.
Testing your Emails with Pardot
There are so many rookie mistakes that we see with email marketing that could have been avoided by a simple grammar pass. Make sure that you’re consistently reviewing your emails to ensure that you are sending out polished and effective emails.
Here are some things to keep in mind when testing your emails:
- Pardot Preview Mode: We can use Pardot’s preview mode to pull in contact information and make sure that variable tags are working correctly. Having an email with broken tags is a great way to lose credibility.
- Email Testing: Another proven way to test your emails is through the native Pardot email testing feature. By sending to either a test group or individual email, you can see exactly how the email will look in your email browser. Note that some links and variable tags will not preview correctly in the test mode, so you should send a list to yourself an email to verify.
- Pardot Litmus Testing: If you have the Pardot Litmus testing integration, you can preview what your email will look like in multiple browsers and screen sizes. With a plethora of email clients and mobile phones, it’s vital to ensure your email is responsive across a variety of platforms. We make great use of this feature and recommend you do too.
- Approvals Process: When creating multiple Pardot email programs with different email copy, it’s essential to establish an approvals process for sending out your emails. We typically create something like this to help our team review a large engagement program and get our emails ready for launch.
As you can see, this is a light-weight way to have visibility to the entire email program and all the elements that need to be changed across the board.
Email marketing is a crucial aspect of Pardot, and we could probably write an entire ultimate guide on email alone. For now, though, let’s move onto the legal aspects of email and how they relate to Pardot’s policy of permission-based marketing.