Preloader Image

Marketing Automation Showdown: Pardot vs. Campaign Monitor

By: Kirsten Kippen

One of our favorite topics of conversation is to examine marketing automation tools and figure out what works and doesn’t work for Salesforce users. Usually, when we do this we have a medium-sized company in mind - someone with at least a handful of people interested in using marketing tools (whether in marketing, sales, or development).

A great email marketing tool for a non-Salesforce user is a drastically different assessment than a great tool for a Salesforce user for this simple reason: Salesforce users want to see marketing efforts connected to revenue data. And the most popular email tools for small/medium businesses - MailChimp and Constant Contact - fall way short on this measure.

So, let’s look up market a bit, at an email tool that is slightly pricier than MailChimp but plays nicer with Salesforce.


Campaign Monitor: for small organizations who just need email marketing and survey tools

As far as email marketing apps that connect with Salesforce go, Campaign Monitor is not too shabby. Campaign Monitor is one of the best-reviewed email marketing apps on the AppExchange. The platform offers a wide range of features and a nicely conceived user interface and template library. Campaign Monitor’s strengths are its email tools such as templates and timezone-specific sending ability.

Here’s what one of our consultants had to say:

“Campaign Monitor’s Salesforce integration works well (much better than MailChimp!) and I’m personally recommending it for the “in between” category of organizations that are stepping up from MailChimp and the other products that either don't integrate well or don’t have drip functionality. Deduplication isn’t perfect so I like to pair it with DemandTools deduplication builder and some workflows that automate shifting preferred email around to other emails (if they populated) based on hard bounces or recent history of non-opening if they previously were a regular opener.”

And another:

“I have pretty limited exposure to Campaign Monitor. But I remember being very frustrated at how it has you create lists in Salesforce to sync with lists in Campaign Monitor. It would only allow me to utilize a list view and you couldn't use a report to pull a list and add to a campaign. It could have been a training thing, but it was very confusing and frustrating.”

Here are a few other potential downsides of using CampaignMonitor:

  • Email statistics are stored in Salesforce for every send, which could present a data storage issue (and thus additional Salesforce costs) if you are a high volume sender.

  • Larger customers may need the most expensive version for behavioral data, which costs almost as much as marketing automation at this point.

  • Website tracking, grading, and scoring are limited


Campaign Monitor does not have features to help with building forms and landing pages, or allow for grading and scoring to help you tell who you should focus your efforts on based on how well they fit in your ideal client profile and how much they are engaged with your content.

So what are some of the benefits of using Campaign Monitor? Campaign Monitor has a turnkey Salesforce integration. As an interesting side note, the majority of Campaign Monitor’s board of directors came from Salesforce. It tested well with features including rules for automatically subscribing contacts and a clean interface for creating email blasts. You can view email statistics within Salesforce, link to Salesforce Campaigns, and map custom fields between both systems. Due to its 2014 acquisition of GetFeedback, Campaign Monitor has positioned itself as a top email marketing tool when it comes to survey functionality. If you regularly include surveys in your email outreach efforts, this could play heavily into your decision.

If you’re looking for a marketing tool to let marketers create emails and tell a story of how engaged on email your prospects are, go for CampaignMonitor. It could be great for use for a welcome or re-engagement campaign.


Pardot: for midsize organizations using Salesforce who want marketing automation

CampaignMonitor does a great job with email marketing but calling it “marketing automation” is a slight to true marketing automation tools like Pardot.

To Campaign Monitor, marketing automation means “drip campaigns with segmented follow-up”. But for Pardot, marketing automation means a fully connected lead nurturing funnel that incorporates your digital assets (like your website) to your communication (like email) to your Salesforce instance.

Besides advanced email marketing, top Pardot features include:

  • Advanced Dynamic Content
  • Automation Rules
  • Engagement Programs (advanced “drip campaigns for lead nurturing”)
  • In-depth Prospect Tracking
  • Lead Deduplication
  • Lead Scoring & Grading allowing for multiple scoring categories
  • Social Profiling & Lookups
  • ROI Reporting
  • Competitor Monitoring
  • SEO Keyword Monitoring
  • API Access
  • Custom Fields
  • Custom Object Integration
  • File Hosting
  • 3rd party Integrations
  • Additional analytics packages to optimize your sales cycle


If you’re looking for a marketing tool to create conversations between marketing and sales (or other departments) and reduce your need to depend on 3rd party apps for forms and landing pages, choose Pardot.


To choose a marketing automation tool, consider what data points your organization needs

At the end of the day, Pardot and Campaign Monitor are both simply tools that can be wielded in different ways to achieve your marketing goals. If your goals are clean, attractive emails that can be tracked in Salesforce, Campaign Monitor may serve you just fine.

On the other hand, if your goals are closer alignment between departments or improving reporting of how multiple customer engagements (social, downloads, email and web browsing) can influence deals, then Pardot is your best bet. Either way, a marketing tool is only as good as the human brains behind it!


Want to work with us to support your marketing automation adoption?


Let’s Talk


Newsletter Earth

Subscribe to our newsletter

Where progressive organizations get inspired

Join thousands just like you to receive a monthly dose of user adoption tips, innovation, and industry trends.