Pardot health check

What we learned from the Pardot Health Check Audit of over 100 accounts


If you manage one or more Pardot business units, you’re probably well aware of the importance of keeping your accounts in good shape. Since account maintenance isn’t always the most exciting part of your role, you may end up putting it off for a rainy day. However, this can often have consequences such as a poorly optimized campaign or a lack of insight into key metrics.

One of the most important steps to maintaining a successful marketing technology platform is to ensure that your process is set up optimally for the way your organization operates. Setting up a Pardot account takes time, so it’s important to know how and what to watch out for.

At Pardreamin’ 2020, I wanted to give some best practice tips for conducting a Pardot health assessment. However, it was a great opportunity to have a hands-on session and allow attendees to not only see the health of their own organization in isolation, but also compare their organization to their peers in Pardot’s first crowdsourced health check. I often get asked “what is the average for this or that metric?” from clients, but this was a chance to get concrete data for comparison.

Want to participate yourself?

Follow the guide on The DRIP.

Watch the recording of the session:

Average % of Leads Mailed = 78.4% How did we measure it?

This metric was calculated by dividing the total number of leads who are eligible to receive emails, e.g. not marked as Unsubscribed, Abandoned or Do Not Email, by the total number of leads, then averaged across each organization.

What can we learn from this?

This metric tells us that on average, about 1 in 4 Pardot leads are ineligible to receive emails.

That’s a pretty high number and tells us that maybe Pardot admins aren’t regularly spring cleaning their account. It’s worth asking if your marketing team has a good reason to keep data in Pardot health that you can’t email.

Interestingly, the actual number of mailed leads will be even lower than in the real world. A limitation in this measurement is that for clients using email preference pages, leads can opt-out of specific communications without being counted as a globally opt-out lead in your account. Only accounts using the “global unsubscribe” option exclusively will receive an accurate number of “unsubscribed” leads.

What can I do if I get a bad score (low percentage)?

This isn’t necessarily a negative – leads that can’t be mailed don’t count against your database limit. Consider whether the leads are unsubscribed or set to Do Not Email, or both. All are different scenarios and require different approaches:

Opted out and do not send emails:

Clicks on an unsubscribe link in a Pardot email or email preferences page. Report the email as spam.

Do not send emails:

Has a hard bounce or five soft bounces.

Checked out:

imported as logged out. It is signed out in Salesforce. It is manually checked out in Pardot. Next Steps Read Pardot Database Clean-up Guide Consider archiving leads if they don’t want to receive messages from you or you’ve already imported as “Import Leads and Global Opt-Out” Allow Lead Re-subscription Clean up all “junk” emails – make those leads or contacts available representatives in the Salesforce list view using the Pardot Hard Bounced field or by enabling Salesforce Bounce Management.

Leads who were emailed? – 76.1% How did we measure it?

This metric was calculated by taking the number of leads mailed and dividing it by the number of leads ever emailed in your Pardot organization.

What can we learn from this?

The goal of this metric is to understand wasted database capacity.

If around 25% of Pardot mail leads are never emailed, it means that Pardot customers are generally overpaying for their license subscriptions.

If we do some really rough math, our experiment yields an average of 79,169 leads mailed across participating accounts, and the average account emailed 50,114 leads. This equates to an average “surplus” of unnecessary Prospect capacity.

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