How to fix a mistake in Pardot

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As marketers, we all make mistakes. It’s part of the learning process. Like that one time I accidently put a segment of prospects into a Pardot engagement program that they had already been through. Oddly enough, it worked well to re-engage those old prospects and even won a few new projects. But that mistake in Pardot was still heart-stopping after I realized what I had done.

Now I know how I could have fixed my mistake in Pardot, or kept it from happening. And that’s the prize of making a mistake- you learn. However, I want you to also learn from my mistakes. So below I’ve compiled what to do when you’ve made a mistake in Pardot and how to prevent it from happening again.

The confirmation

Before you prescribe a solution, first make sure that there is an actual problem. Often times when something goes wrong with marketing automation, you hear about it in a roundabout way: through a response to an email, or a co-worker saying “Um, was this intentional?” Before you rush to fix the problem, first take a moment identify how widespread the issue was and how many people were affected. Try to be as objective as possible. Don’t assume that the system is wrong but instead get curious about how this could have happened. Only then can you move to the next stage of finding solutions.

The quick fix

Was something deleted? Look in the Recycle Bin, Pardot’s failsafe tool. Anytime you delete a prospect or email template, it winds up in the recycle bin. This allows you to pull anything you’ve deleted back into use or lets a prospect re-engage and be brought back as an active prospect.

The Knowledge Base

Maybe you’ve made a bigger mistake than accidently deleting a prospect and you can’t figure out how to undo it. While Pardot is migrating their help resources to Salesforce’s own Help section, you can still find all help documentation in the Knowledge Base. Browse by topic or enter a custom query to find a specific help topic.

The Community

The Pardot B2B Marketing Automation Success Community is a hub of activity and questions. If you’ve found yourself stuck and exhausted the options above, the helpful members of this group have a pretty quick response time and can walk you through your options. It’s also a great place to learn what common or more complex things to avoid. I make it a habit to browse this group a few times a week.

Another option for using the Pardot community is to talk to a Pardot Advocate. With topical and open office hours, these Pardot experts can help you solve or strategize your campaigns. If you’re trying something new that feels more complex to you, sign up to speak to someone here. Take a look at the calendar on the front page to find times you can speak with them plus more learning opportunities, like webinars and live trainings.

If you do make a mistake, be honest

Honesty and mistakes actually help create what’s known as a “psychologically safe” feeling at work. This feeling and ability to be vulnerable at work helps create a better team environment. This feeling allows others to be free enough to share without fear of recrimination- which, ultimately, is how the best teams flourish.

First, start with yourself. Making a marketing mistake, even a small one, can get your heart racing. Take a few breaths to collect yourself, then determine what happened and how. Next you’ll want to speak with your boss. Don’t hide but get in front of the error and lay out to them what happened factually. Try to bring a few ideas of how you can fix the issue to this conversation.  

Finally, if it’s something that needs to be addressed with prospects (such as an incorrect link or unfinished email), send an apology email. This is one of those rare business cases where it really is perfectly okay to say “sorry”. By acknowledging and correcting the error you are reminding the prospects you’re human. Looking for inspiration on what an apology email should look like? Check out this post.

What to do before you make your next mistake in Pardot

While learning from your mistakes can be the best deterrent from making another mistake, I find that setting some rules around how I make changes helps greatly decrease any errors. Try adding any or all of these steps into your process to keep from making a mistake in Pardot.

  • Set waiting periods. Before you make any changes give yourself some time to think through any potential issues that might arise with the change. There’s no need to rush your marketing.
  • Find a team member to run ideas by before making big changes. Ideally, this would be someone who understands your use of Pardot and your organization’s marketing efforts.
  • TEST, TEST, TEST. Send yourself a test email to see what those variable tags look like or test the logic in an Engagement Program before making it live. Just seeing it for yourself and walking through the logic can be enough to catch a mistake in Pardot before it happens.
  • Double, then triple check. It never hurts to do a little research and make sure all your ducks are in a row. Here’s a great article I’ve read before changing rules in Engagement Programs to remind myself how Pardot works.

Whether you’ve just made the biggest mistake of your career or you inserted the wrong variable tag into an email, remember it’s ok. It happens. We are after all human. Get familiar with Pardot’s offerings so that when you make a mistake, you know where you can go for help. And always have some options built into your change-making process to help you fully think through your plan and avoid any issues.

Looking to advance your Pardot use? Not only do we help you implement marketing automation into your use of Salesforce, we help you think through your strategy. If you’re looking for an expert to help you walk through Pardot and your own use of the platform, let’s set up some time to chat.


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