Pardot Review: B2B Marketing & Sales Automation For Faster Growth

Pardot Review: B2B Marketing & Sales Automation For Faster Growth
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Pardot Review: In-Depth

Pardot is somewhat unique in that it’s a Salesforce company. That means B2B business can offer some of the most advanced marketing and sales tools available. The system also specializes in automation for things like drip campaigns, target management, and form builders. Clients can also take advantage of up-to-the-minute updates and analytics so they can grow with their audience. This review will go in-depth into the system’s primary features and advantages.

Key Features

With Pardot, teams can build their unique landing pages, assign tasks on the dashboard, connect with third-party apps, and more. There’s also plenty of room for customization, as well as lots of analytics and real-time alerts. Below is just a sampling of the software’s benefits.

  • Automated Email Campaigns
  • B2B Analytics
  • CRM Integration
  • Lead Management
  • ROI Reporting
  • Social Media Data

Pardot Review: Background Information

Pardot Service History

Salesforce acquired Pardot back in 2012, allowing it to join one of the largest and most successful digital marketing automation platforms out there. After the acquisition, the enterprise’s revenue grew by 40%.

The analytics software combines CRM tools, email campaign strategies, and real-time reports to help B2B companies excel in their outreach efforts. Forbes regularly places Salesforce at the top of its most innovative companies list.

Today, Pardot has over 1,500 employees, with the majority working out of the Atlanta, Georgia headquarters.

Features & Technical Details

There’s a lot that goes into Pardot’s system, so take a moment to review the key features that make it an automation powerhouse.

Marketing Automation

Pardot Marketing Automation

To make email campaigns easier, the Pardot platform offers automation tools for lead scoring and contact lists. This way, just the right content can go out to specific groups. Teams can personalize their Web forms and landing pages to better suit their target audiences while gathering valuable insights from real-time reports. They can transfer these tools to social media initiatives, too.

  • Audience Segmentation
  • Custom Calls-to-Action
  • Drip Campaigns
  • Dynamic Content
  • Landing Page Builder
  • Lead Scoring
  • Real-Time Reports
  • ROI Tracking
  • Searches
  • Social Media Outreach
  • Split Testing
  • Visitor Tracking
  • WebForms

Account-Based Marketing

Pardot Account-Based Marketing

Teams can solidify their B2B outreach efforts through the software toolkit of trackers and monitoring data. For instance, they can segment target audiences based on interests, age, location, and more. They can filter their email campaigns based on which nurture customer relationships and those that make sales. Finding new buyers is easier, thanks to lead nurturing and various prospecting tools.

  • Audience Segmentation
  • Customized Campaigns
  • Engagement Monitoring
  • Lead Nurturing & Scoring
  • Progress Reports
  • Prospecting
  • Target Account Identification

Campaign Management

No matter the size of the team, everyone can stay on the same page, thanks to the prime organization that this software offers. For instance, employees can keep running lists of subscribers and contacts, even for multiple campaigns. When they set their automated buttons and calls-to-action, they can keep track of click and open rates.

  • Channel Management
  • Contact Lists
  • Event-Triggered Automations
  • Multi-Campaign Projects
  • Newsletters
  • Prospect Management

Landing Page

Without a great landing page, businesses can’t expect to retain many website visitors. This is where Pardot can be a huge help. Employees can use the customization tools to build out their opt-in/opt-out forms, as well as choose from a library of stunning templates. A/B testing allows them to see which strategies bring in the most engagement.

  • Auto-Responses
  • Real-Time Editing
  • Split Testing
  • Reports
  • Templates
  • WebForm Creation

Lead Generation

Pardot Lead Generation

Finding out who’s visiting the website is half the battle. Armed with that knowledge, teams can take bigger steps toward clinching buyers and building up a loyal client base. The system’s lead scoring and audience segmentation tools make it easier to organize sales pipelines, too.

  • Contact Discovery
  • Database Integration
  • Import/Export Contact Lists
  • Lead Capture, Nurturing, Scoring, & Segmentation
  • Pipeline Management
  • Prospecting Strategies
  • Visitor Identification

Features in Detail

Here’s a closer look at what to expect from the software’s automation toolkit. From lead generation to ROI tracking, teams get it all when they sign on to a plan. Plus, they get to take advantage of the systems that make Salesforce one of the greatest CRM and sales tools out there.

Dashboard & Campaign Creator

The user interface features a clean look and organized feel, perfect for categorizing lists and running split campaigns. All of the tabs and icons are easily readable as well as collapsible to make more room for the email editor and templates.

That said, the reports and visual graphs could be more appealing. They get the information across, but it’s a bit of a snooze. When it comes to interacting with other contacts, the system makes it easy to view communication and transaction history and any pertinent information. Each addition to the contact list gets its unique blurb where team members can jot down useful notes.

The templates are basic and will get the job done. Clients can add text and images as they see fit. They can also add some HTML to the mix if they would like to add more visual pizazz.

  • Contact lists
  • Email editor
  • Organized dashboard
  • Simple templates

Special Upgrades

The Pardot company invites customers to “supercharge” their service suites with upgrade packages. There are two primary options here: B2B Marketing Analytics and Salesforce Engage. The former is included in the Plus and Advanced plans, while the latter costs an additional $50 each month.

B2B Marketing Analytics offers:

  • Combined targeting and sales advice
  • ROI and revenue impacts
  • Shareable insights

Salesforce Engage features:

  • Faster sales leads and efficient pipeline management
  • Improved customer experience
  • Marketing-curated content
  • Tailor-made campaigns

Email Targeting

Whether clients have a tried-and-true subscriber list or they’re just starting, this system has got them covered. They can plug some prospects into their email campaign, either manually or by importing a CSV file.

From there, they can use the templates to customize a build that suits their industry, offerings, and target audience. Next, they send them out and analyze the statistics that come back. This includes things like:

  • Behavior scores (via Salesforce machine learning)
  • Bounces
  • Open & click rates
  • Subscribes/unsubscribes

 
The machine learning aspect of this is a great way to see what prospects are responding to the most. Clients may also try split testing to pit two email designs against each other. There are also “Completed Actions,” which are trigger actions that allow individuals to automatically add recipients to specific lists.

Lead Scoring

Pardot offers smarter lead generation and management via landing pages, WebForms, search tools, and online data. One cool feature is Smart Forms, which progressively profiles each interaction, collecting new information each go-around. With that knowledge, teams can simply drag-and-drop prospects and buyers into the builder tool to complete their email campaigns or landing pages.

To find prime prospects, the system integrates Google AdWords. Businesses can track revenue from search terms and analyze keyword performance to make their outreach efforts more fruitful.

Sales Funnels

The company is all about syncing marketing with sales for the best of both worlds. It does this through Engage Campaigns, real-time alerts, activity tracking, and Salesforce CRM integration.

Since the system is meant for businesses that focus on B2B relations, it offers a toolkit specifically for sales reps. This allows them to customize their CRM goals and progress so they can nurture leads and keep track of client interactions.

The instant updates help them jump in new prospects while they’re hot and ready, potentially clinching more deals and building a larger client base.

Prospecting

Speaking of hot prospects, Pardot streamlines the lead management process so businesses can reach the right people at prime opportunities. Not only that, but teams will know exactly what to present to their leads, thanks to audience segmentation, split testing, and real-time reports.

  • Automation
  • Dynamic Content
  • Lead qualification
  • Nurturing
  • Segmentation

ROI Tracking

Pardot ROI Tracking

Insightful reports focus on things like the life cycle of a sales funnel. This allows team members to find any spots where the pipeline is dragging to coming to a halt. The system offers plenty of marketing strategies to help patch those holes and get the targeting campaigns flowing much more smoothly.

Split Testing

Unsure which emails do the best with customers? Try some A/B testing to put all of those ideas through the wringer. The advantages of this are tremendous:

  • Content that resonates
  • Exceptional delivery times
  • Improved click-through and open rates
  • More sales for the company

Social Media Marketing

Clients can personalize their dashboard to track things like social media posts and engagement. Simple integrations with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter make this easy. Individuals can even send out their online updates and posts via the platform.

Integrations

The integrations don’t end with social media. There are over a dozen supported apps as well as third-party add-ons that customers can explore.

  • BriteVerify
  • Eventbrite
  • Facebook
  • Gmail
  • Google AdWords & Analytics
  • LinkedIn
  • SalesforceIQ
  • Twitter
  • WebEx
  • WordPress
  • Zapier

Pardot Plans & Pricing

There are three primary packages to choose from, as well as a couple of upgrades to add on to an existing plan. Given that this system is designed for B2B companies, the prices reflect that client base.

#1 Growth: Build Up to Full Potential

This is the lowest plan that the company offers. As such, it comes with limited functionality and availability, but still boasts more than many other CRM toolkits. Customers get access to training sessions, webinars, and up to 50 customized landing pages and WebForms. On the downside, there is no split testing, and these clients can’t access artificial intelligence systems.

Pardot Pricing Growth
Features: custom fields/URLs, email marketing, integrations, landing pages, lead nurturing, prospect tracking, ROI reporting, success specialist team

Functionality: Cloud, Web

Number of Users: 50

Number of Social Accounts: N/A

Scheduling: Yes

Price: $1,250/mo

PROS:

  • Access to success specialist team
  • Engagement programs
  • Lead scoring
  • Personalization
  • Real-time reporting & updates
CONS:

  • Lacks AI and machine learning
  • No integrated calendar

#2 Plus: More In-Depth Analytics

The Plus package comes with all of the standard features and adds some great tools to the mix. For instance, clients can utilize A/B newsletter campaigns and advanced dynamic content to solidify their marketing strategy. They also get more in-depth reporting and the addition of Google AdWords integration. Another cool perk is the integrated marketing calendar, which keeps everyone on the same page and adds to brand voice consistency.

Pardot Pricing Plus
Features: Everything in Growth, B2B marketing analytics, file hosting, full lead management, integrated calendar, SEO keyword monitoring, split tests

Functionality: Cloud, Web

Number of Users: 50

Number of Social Accounts: 50

Scheduling: Yes

Price: $2,500/mo

PROS:

  • A/B email testing
  • B2B marketing analytics
  • Complete sales funnel toolkit
  • Easier file and data sharing
  • Social profiles
CONS:

  • Custom user permissions cost extra
  • No access to artificial intelligence tools

#3 Advanced: Machine Learning for Faster Growth

The Advanced package includes full access to the team’s social profiles and integrated calendar, as well as multiple scoring categories. Clients can do a spam analysis of their online mail campaigns, do split tests, and use artificial intelligence and machine learning to gain greater insights. The plan is pricey and still requires an extra payment to add Salesforce Engage.

Pardot Pricing Advanced
Features: Everything in Plus, AI and machine learning, competitor monitoring, free custom object integration, roles and permissions, two business units included

Functionality: Cloud, Web

Number of Users: 50

Number of Social Accounts: 50

Scheduling: Yes

Price: $4,000/mo

PROS:

  • API access (up 10 100,000 calls/day)
  • Comes with AI technology
  • Dedicated IP address
  • Full customization
  • Unlimited integrations
CONS:

  • Salesforce Engage costs extra
  • Very expensive

Pricing & Key Features Comparison Table

This chart reviews the three packages side-by-side. While the Growth plan is more limited, it still includes the basic marketing and automated integrations that businesses need to implement for greater success.

Growth Plus Advanced
Price $1,250/mo $2,500/mo $4,000/mo
Number of Users 50 50 50
AI Tools No No Yes
Analytics Yes Yes Yes
B2B Marketing No Yes Yes
Integrated Calendar No Yes Yes
Integrations Yes Yes Yes
Lead Management Limited Yes Yes
Permissions No Extra cost Yes
Social Profiles No Yes Yes
Split Testing No Yes Yes
Success Specialists Yes Yes Yes

Terms & Conditions

The Pardot company reserves the right to restrict access to certain areas of its website, typically based on which package clients have. The bulletin boards and chat room options are open to customers, but they must abide by the website’s code of conduct. This includes no illegal, fraudulent, or harmful activity. Moreover, clients must agree that they will only use the brand’s services to send emails to prospects that have expressly consented to receive them. Pardot LLC is located at 950 East Paces Ferry Rd, Suite 3300, Atlanta, Georgia, 30326.

Privacy Policy

Pardot Privacy Policy

Pardot’s Data Processing Agreement (DPA) agrees with GDPR compliance. Customers must abide by the company’s DPA. Otherwise, they may not have full access to Salesforce services. The brand’s website provides a wide array of articles and resources to help clients protect their data and information. This includes security education and awareness of the risks involved in having employee and customer information online. They can also use session-based permission sets to limit access to data within the organization.

Refund Policy

If customers decide to cancel their package, the enterprise will refund the buyer for any pre-paid fees that pertain to the remainder of the subscription period. However, if the Pardot company terminates the client’s plan, they are responsible for paying for any outstanding fees. Ideally, individuals should notify the business of their intent to cancel their service 30 days prior.

Customer Support

Pardot Customer Support

There are a few different ways that customers can review answers to their questions and learn more about Pardot. Here’s how they can call or email the support team and get their issues handled.

Telephone

The worldwide headquarters is located in San Francisco, California. The office telephone number is 1-800-667-6389. Clients in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa should get in touch with the London office at +44-020-3147-7600. The support team is available 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday, ending Friday at 8 p.m. EST.

Email

For more serious issues, individuals can direct their inquiries to [email protected] Otherwise, they should submit a case ticket on the website. Here, clients can enter their name, job title, email address, topic, subject, and a written message. The support team should respond within a day or two.

Online Chat

There is no live chat available on the website. That said, individuals will find plenty of helpful resources that should assist them in finding answers to their inquiries. There is the Knowledge Base, a training center for current clients, and a sales hotline.

Support Center

The Knowledge Base is where teams can find countless resources, including webinars, an ROI calculator, articles, and blog posts. For existing clients, the Customer Hub has an on-boarding portal, a training academy, consultations, and user certifications. The Trailblazer Community is a spot for all customers to share ideas, strategies, frustrations, and tips. This requires a Salesforce login, so it’s only for paying customers. Newcomers to the site can take a guided tour of all that the system has to offer, without committing to a purchase.

Quality of Service

According to Trustpilot, Pardot (and Salesforce in general) earn just 1.5 out of five stars. However, this is based on just 111 reviews, so it’s not the best indicator of the company’s quality of service. The majority of the complaints center around the complicated user interface. Various tech reviews support that claim but also state that the software provides the basic building blocks to a successful marketing and sales stream. It’s just a matter of getting over the learning curve.

Customer Types

Given the pricing model and all of the capabilities available to customers, some people may be wondering who the ideal buyer is. Here’s a look at how four different client types would fare with this system.

Small Businesses

A smaller company may have a fine time with this software, as long as they have the resources to support the expense. Ideally, they would be a B2B enterprise and provide specific marketing services to its clients.

Mid-Sized Companies

Medium-sized businesses would do well with this system, particularly those that specialize in email marketing and CRM. The tools are made for team collaboration and do well with third-party integrations. So, if a company is already working with Google AdWords or WebEx, they’ll feel welcome with Salesforce.

Large Enterprises

Bigger companies may also appreciate Pardot’s offerings. Rather than focusing on size, it’s better to think about what industry the business in question works in. This system is tailored to enterprises that center on B2B services, so it’s less about how big or small they are.

Freelancers

Those who work per-contract or on an as-needed basis will want to steer clear of this software. The learning curve eats up a lot of time that could be better spent making an income. Speaking of which, the pricing is exorbitant for most freelancers.

Pardot Pros & Cons

Again, this system is best for companies that do online marketing for lead generation and have a background in B2B services. Many customers appreciate the myriad of integrated apps that allow them to send crucial information at the most opportune times. Moreover, instant updates and reports will serve studious team members well. On the downside, there is a steep learning curve that can make the price not worth it.

  • Automated workflows take the pressure off of employees
  • Deep integration with Salesforce and CRM options
  • Prospect management and organization
  • Real-time updates and ROI tracking
  • Success specialists and training modules
  • Overcomplicated user interface
  • The pricing isn't worth it for many small companies

Top 6 Best Service Alternatives

For those who are looking for something similar to Pardot, perhaps at a more affordable price point, check out these service alternatives.

1. ActiveCampaign: In-Depth Email Assistance

ActiveCampaign

This software specializes in email marketing. As such, its $9/mo Lite plan comes with unlimited sending, newsletters, subscription forms, and tons of automated tools. It’s a much more affordable option for those who work with lots of correspondence on the day-to-day.

2. AutoPilot: Automate Tedious Tasks

Autopilot Alternatives

As the name suggests, this business invites clients to sit back and let the automation do the work. It can provide that kind of peace of mind through the use of templates, editors, segmentation, and auto-responders. It’s moderately priced at $49 per month.

3. SendinBlue: Specializing in Digital Marketing

Sendinblue Alternatives

This platform’s least expensive plan comes out at $25 per month with unlimited sending and a mobile-friend email designer. A great perk is SMS marketing. However, it lacks Facebook Ads integration and doesn’t allow for split testing at this level.

4. Keap (Infusionsoft): The All-in-One CRM System

Keap Alternatives

Focusing on customer relations and sales, Keap offers a one-month trial and a base plan for $79 per month. This comes with a CRM toolkit, automated email marketing, help with tracking appointments and invoices, and contact segmentation and tags. It lacks landing page creation, though.

5. Marketo: Dedicated to Higher Sales Engagement

Marketo Alternatives

Marketo wants to make customers more successful in their sales funnels. To do that, it offers an engagement platform complete with account insights and profiling, digital ads, analytics, predictive content, and more. Pricing is hard to find, but reviews estimate it to be about $895 per month.

6. SharpSpring: Flexibility & Affordability

SharpSpring Alternatives

SharpSpring gets high marks for its user-friendly interface and wealth of content. It offers the bulk of what businesses would expect: channel management, lead scoring, landing pages, WebForms, online marketing, and audience segmentation. The base plan costs $550 per month for unlimited users.

Pardot & Alternatives Comparison Chart

Here is a compare-and-contrast table pitting Pardot against its service rivals. Keep in mind that the features here reflect what’s available on the most basic plans.

Pardot Service Active Campaign Auto Pilot Sendin Blue Keap Service Marketo Service Sharp Spring
Price $1,250/mo $9/mo $49/mo $25/mo $79/mo ~$895/mo $550/mo
Automated Marketing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
CRM Tools Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
Custom Domains No Yes No No No No No
Email Builder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Group Calendar No No No No No No No
Integrations Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Prospect Management Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Marketing No No No No No Yes No
Training Yes No Yes No No No Yes

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Pardot Used For?

This system is meant to assist teams in creating smart campaigns driven by true data and proven tools. With this platform, businesses can visualize their goals, progress, and strategies while building out impressive emails. They can also organize and categorize their leads, clients, and prospects to better serve them in their sales funnels. It’s all about getting the right content to the correct customer at the proper time.

Do You Need Salesforce to Use Pardot?

It is a Salesforce company, so many of the latter’s tools and features transfer over to the system. This includes things like email campaigns, account management, prospects and contacts, and custom fields. Current Salesforce clients can sync their data over to Pardot, while new customers can simply start from scratch on the platform.

What is the Difference Between Salesforce and Pardot?

The primary difference lies in the campaigns that individuals create. Both services provide in-depth analytics and ROI tracking.

  • With Pardot, the system tracks first-touch prospects. Customers will have to keep track of the lead on their own.
  • Salesforce can track customers or targets anywhere in their journey from prospect to buyer. Moreover, Salesforce automatically integrates contacts with the existing sales funnels.

Why is it Called Pardot?

The story goes that the founders of the company wanted to name the business after some kind of marketing word. So, they simply entered “to market” into Google translate and looked at all of the different language versions of the verb. They settled on Pardot (“par-dot”), the Latvian translation. While this may or may not be true, the brand’s website claims that customers see increased sales revenue of 34%, so it seems to be working!

What is the Difference Between Pardot & Marketing Cloud?

Both entities provide custom dashboards, analytics, and automated engagements.

  • The Salesforce Marketing Cloud is nearly identical to Pardot; only it provides pricing based on company size while the latter has subscription-based rates.
  • The Marketing Cloud offers more insight into the client’s sales journey, too, complete with one-on-one training sessions and a smoother messaging flow.
  • It also focuses on more B2B tools, such as marketing automation and more CRM-type integrations.

How Does Pardot Sync With Salesforce?

The platform tracks certain things so that it knows when to sync specific data.

  • For instance, it follows prospects and determines when to add them to the Salesforce hub.
  • If a prospective buyer is continuously visiting the client’s website or clicks on a tracked link in an email, then Pardot sends it over to Salesforce.
  • Moreover, if the lead unsubscribes, then the service will nudge Salesforce to categorize it appropriately.

Where Does Pardot Store Its Data?

The platform uses Oracle Storage Systems, as well as tracking codes and cookies. Depending on the actions of the prospects and contacts, the tracking period could last a few months to years. By going to the “Settings” menu on the user dashboard, clients can see their account details, which shows them the max cookie tracking duration.

Award-Winning Service - For the Right Clients

Pardot can be a win-win situation, but only for the proper clientele. It’s clear that this isn’t a profitable solution for freelancers or start-ups, but well-established companies in the B2B market may prosper with this platform. It has the essential tools and features to assist teams in email creation, sales funnels, and automated prospect management. Sure, there are more suitable alternatives, but for the right client, this software is a huge help.

Published: August 17, 2020 | Updated: August 27, 2020
Megan Green

Megan Green

Megan is a writer who works at the junctures of science and stories. Previously, she has been the editor of a fashion magazine, an educator, mom, and a baker. She is keen on working with brands and lifestyle products, and outdoor tasks. Megan is outgoing, optimistic and has a great personality. She delivers top-notch content with a unique view on usual things.

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