As a digital marketer, it’s important to understand why a prospect chooses to opt out from emails. This information provides valuable insight into where our email marketing efforts are falling short. There could be a number of reasons why they decide they don’t want our emails in their inbox anymore too–maybe they never opted in and were from a purchased list, or maybe they just aren’t interested in your content anymore. No matter what the reason, we want to provide a mechanism where they can tell us why.
Depending on where you do business, there are a number of legal obligations you need to take into account when sending email marketing. In the United States, the CAN SPAM Act first established national standards for the sending of commercial e-mails. In Europe, new GDPR regulations are arguably the world’s most sweeping privacy laws. In any case, a solid rule of thumb is that the client should be able to opt-out in two clicks. One click to get to the preference or unsubscribe page (from within the email), and then another click to actually opt out.
Helpful Tip: For people reading this in European countries, Salesforce has created a page dedicated to understanding how Pardot customers can comply with GDPR.
As an important aside, in any Pardot email, you’re required to link to a unsubscribe page and/or a preference center page. I recommend linking ONLY to the preference page from your marketing emails. Instead of opting out of all communications at once, prospects can visit the email preferences page, see which lists they’re on, and add or remove themselves only from specific lists.
With all that said, I recently worked on a solution for a client to track ‘opt out reason’ within Pardot. Here’s what you’ll need to recreate:
Additionally, there are some optional configurations, which you would be well-suited to address. I’ll cover these as a second part of this post because I think they should be made in any Pardot account:
First things first, let’s create a custom radio field to store the opt-out reason. Our client’s configuration is below, but you can customize to your specific needs:
* If you want to store this information within Salesforce, you can create corresponding Lead and Contact fields, then sync with Pardot.
Next, we need to create a simple Pardot form. The form will leverage the field we just created and be used in combination with the Unsubscribe (and Preference) pages. As you can see below, I configured both fields to be required and to always display. Not pictured, I set the redirect location to go to the client’s homepage upon completion and created a basic layout template to style the form to fit into the unsubscribe page:
As part of building the form above, you will want to build completion actions that make sense. One important step: a completion action that changes the Opted Out field to ‘Opted Out’ and/or the Do Not Email field to ‘do not email’. This will insure prospects do not receive any emails in the future.
Depending on your account’s setup, you may also want to subtract points for the form completion (since default points will be awarded), notify the prospect’s assigned user so they can potentially follow up, or you may want to add these prospects to a specific Pardot list to report on later. Either way, don’t ignore this section. Here’s what ours looked like:
After you finish the form and before you move onto the next step, make sure you copy the HTML iframe code. You will be using this in the next step:
Finally, let’s start configuring our email unsubscribe page. Navigate to Marketing > Emails > Unsubscribe Page. In the upper right-hand corner of the window, click “Edit”. Here you can configure unsubscribe page settings, like applying a layout template and editing the opening content with a WYSIWYG editor:
After saving, you can view the final product by visiting the unsubscribe page. Here’s what our client’s final page looked like:
You’ll notice that we applied a layout template with basic CSS styling to make the page look a little nicer and match the client’s branding (fonts and colors). I recommend this approach in every Pardot account I work on. Even if the design is super simple, it will go a long way with the user.
At this point, the unsubscribe page survey is completed. Moving forward, any prospect who opts out of receiving your Pardot emails will be presented with a survey asking why.
Although not necessary to capture the opt-out reason, I put together some additional information as it relates to configuring an email preference center in Pardot.
This is a continuation of information, related to Pardot email preferences and unsubscribes, from a previous post “Capture Why Prospects Unsubscribe in Pardot”
Preference centers are important because they allow prospects to choose which email communication they want to receive, rather than completely opting out. I encourage users who are unfamiliar with setting up a preference center to read on…
Let’s start configuring our email preference center. Navigate to Marketing > Emails > Preferences Page. Every account will contain a “Default Email Preference Page”, or you can create a new one. The default version will contain any list marked “public” (more on public lists below) and potentially any public dynamic lists of which the prospect is a member. If you create a new preference page, you can choose specific public lists that you want to include, and public dynamic lists will automatically be included:
Complete the “Create Email Preferences Page” wizard above, making sure you include specific lists that you’re using to communicate with customers. As mentioned earlier, you can also apply a layout template here to style the unsubscribe page, which is recommended. Additionally, if you expand the “Form Content” and “Thank You Content” sections, you will be presented with additional options to customize the page, but I have found the default works just fine. Here is a basic sample preferences page I created:
If the user clicks “Save Preferences”, they will see a message indicating which lists they’ve subscribed to. If they click “Opt out from all email communications”, they will be unsubscribed and shown the opt-out survey we created in the previous post.
A preference center only displays lists marked as “public”. So, let’s make sure we have at least one public list to display in our preference center. Take a look at the “Add List” screen:
Name your list accordingly, using the correct naming structure/syntax that has been established for your account (remember, this is for internal use). Fill out the other fields as desired for the specific list, then check the “Public List” box when you get to it. This action will allow you to configure options for the Preference Page:
You can repeat this process and create as many new lists as you want to display. You can also edit existing lists and check off “Public List”.
That’s it! If you have any questions on setting up your unsubscribe or preference center pages please reach out to us.
Three times each year, Salesforce delivers new, innovative features to its users via their seasonal releases in Spring, Summer and Winter. With every new installment, people like me get excited to test out new functionality and deploy into our org(s). For some Salesforce orgs, the Winter ‘19 Release has already arrived, but for others, it will depend on your instance. The main release dates are on September 8th and October 6th and 13th.
As a result of the new release, I recently watched the live webcast “Get Ready for the Winter ‘19 Release” and was inspired to put together a short post with my favorite features from this release.
Here’s what I’m geeking out about…
In a strong attempt to get the Salesforce Classic user to switch over to Lightning, Salesforce released plenty of new improvements to make a compelling case. Here are some of the highlights:
Sales Cloud – Salesforce Email Integration for Outlook
I’m not an Outlook user, but many of the clients I work with are. For them, these updated email integrations are pretty damn useful. Now you can work with Salesforce, in a way that is helpful to sales reps, directly from Outlook. Here are the major upgrades:
Pardot in Lightning Experience
As a Certified Pardot Specialist, and someone who is in Pardot every day, my work will significantly benefit from this update.. The main goal with this update is to have one single platform experience for all sales and marketing teams to utilize. The major highlights include:
Service Cloud – LiveMessage in Lightning Experience
Most live chat tools already have Salesforce integrations, which can push conversations directly into a Salesforce record. But for those who use the Lightning integrated LiveMessage experience, this feature should prove to be a game changer. Now you can communicate through a seamless and integrated experience, across digital engagement channels right from within the service console. You can even add new message channels like Facebook Messenger and SMS.
Marketing Cloud – Social Studio: Real-Time Reports
I know lots of companies invest big money in brand monitoring tools. In an effort to supplement, or perhaps replace those tools, Salesforce has released new Social Studio functionality. You can receive real-time and scheduled alerts, so you can get notified when specific criteria have been met.
Marketing Cloud – Journey Builder: Journey Testing
This feature is one on which I’ve already relied heavily in Pardot Engagement Studio. Now you can take advantage in Journey Builder too. With this update, you can ensure your drip programs are firing correctly, before activating the journey. If they aren’t, you can make any adjustments you need to when in draft mode.
Einstein Analytics Updates
There are a lot of new features here, including the Einstein Discovery experience in the Analytics UI, enhanced sharing security, drill-down capabilities, mobile push notifications and file-based connectivity for Amazon S3.
Check a Field’s References Before You Edit It (Pilot)
This is one of the updates shared in the release webinar I watched, and is arguably one of the most anticipated new features. Until now, if you wanted to check where a field was being used, admins would attempt to delete the field, and if it was referenced somewhere else, Salesforce would return an error message. Now admins can use the “Where is This Used?” button for custom fields instead, allowing you to see all the references to that field, such as in a report or formula.
Get Ready for an Overall Better Experience
As you can see, there are some new useful settings and configurations with which to mess around. I only covered a small portion of them though. As always, Salesforce does a top notch job documenting release notes, which are super easy to navigate and will give you all the information you need to keep your org running smoothly.
For those looking to understand the release process in a little more detail, take the time to complete the Understand the Release Process Trailhead Module. You can also take the Winter ‘19 Release Trailhead Module for a more in-depth look of all new features, but not have to read through all of the release notes.
Every Pardot administrator with a keyboard will tell you that list segmentation is one of the most powerful features in Pardot. It’s true, too. Sending targeted content to potential customers can be the difference between closing a deal and not. Advanced segmentations of audiences have never been easier to create. Here are my favorite dynamic lists I’ve used in the past…
Active Prospects – Recently-engaged prospects with high scores are more likely to close. Use this dynamic list to send an email with a strong call to action:
Job Title – Prospects with decision-making power will have a certain level of seniority. Start a drip campaign designed to deliver relevant content that addresses executive concerns and goals, but make sure they’re not existing customers (we don’t want to piss them off!):
* These titles will be different depending on what you’re selling and to whom.
Customer Accessed Specific File – Depending on the file, there are a number of possible follow-up activities. Let’s say an existing customer views your ebook on web services. This is a perfect opportunity to serve content tailored to what your customer is interested in, and potentially cross-sell additional services:
Open Opportunity – Sometimes your sales reps need a little help to close the deal. Automate communication to prospects associated with accounts that have a deal in the proposal stage (or whatever makes sense for your sales cycle). You can also use this criteria as a suppression list, to ensure prospects with a pending deal won’t be unnecessarily emailed:
Opportunity Won – Introduce new customers with a proper onboarding process. Create a drip program that runs for two weeks (or however long you want), with links to resources and documentation to ensure they’re successfully using your product or services:
Opportunity Lost – Losing a deal typically isn’t a positive outcome, but you can use Pardot to help learn from your mistakes. Automate follow-up to prospects with a recently lost opportunity and have them fill out a survey of why they didn’t go with your company (just make sure they’re not already customers):
Cold Leads – Adjust the criteria of the list above slightly to re-engage with prospects associated with lost opportunities to your competition. Place them in a drip program that will re-introduce your product just before they begin negotiating their renewal with your competitor:
* If you’re not keeping track of why an opportunity was lost, then you should start!
Recently Emailed and Not Opening – Prevent prospects from opting out or marking your emails as SPAM. Make sure prospects who are being emailed frequently and not opening your emails are given their space by adding this as a suppression list to all of your email communication:
Product Interest – If your company offers multiple products, this is your holy grail of audience segmentation. Use page actions (this example), scoring categories, or manually look at prospect activity history to update the product interest field:
Then, add prospects to corresponding lists using this criteria:
* It’s worth noting that just because someone visited a web page doesn’t guarantee they’re interested in a specific product. You will want to look for other indicators (and they all depend on what you’re selling and to whom) to support associating prospects with products. The best way to do this is with scoring categories!
Competitors – No one likes when they’re being spied on. That’s why you should add this as a suppression list to all email communication. Make sure to select ‘Match any’ and add all of your competitors:
As a side note, and since this is definitely worth sharing here, I used Tom Ryan’s helpful post on Pardot Automation Rule Criteria for Number Fields to determine the exact definition of rule criteria. I have it bookmarked 🙂
What are your go-to list segments in Pardot?