Getting Started in Pardot: General Best Practices


Written by BeHai Ligas

December 20, 2018

Pardot is a powerful marketing automation platform that’s making a big splash in the MarTech world. No doubt you know that from all the research you’ve done before you made the leap and purchased the platform for your company. Now you’re faced with a problem.

You have a beautiful new piece of technology that is going to give you the ability to engage, track and manage your customers and provide leads to Sales in near real time. How do you put it to use? We can help with that.

If you’re transitioning from another platform, you need to learn how what you’re doing in your current platform will translate to Pardot. Not everything is going to be the same. We’ll go over some best practices that will help you set up your system for long term success.

General Best Practices


Let’s talk about governance first. This is an important term you should know in marketing ops in regards to platform organization and data management. Consider how you maintain control and accuracy of your data. You should have a naming convention that is adopted and strictly followed. How will this naming convention be managed? It would be best to have a single point person that manages the overall governance. Also, is there a standard operating procedure (SOP) in place?

Organization of your instance

Something unique and special about Pardot is its folder and permission structure. You can tie permissions down to the folder level. This is one of the reasons why governance is so critical.

In Pardot, certain aspects of scoring and permissions are tied to folders. Therefore, the architecture of the folders is essential to the success of using Pardot. In fact, Pardot is one of very few marketing automation platforms that allows permissions based on folders. This can be a very good thing, but it means that you need to be very thorough in the initial stages of organizing your instance.

Naming convention

The naming convention you use in Pardot as well as all your systems is of great significance. It must be consistent and reflective of the timeframe of the marketing initiative. It must also incorporate the channel you use. Your naming convention is important because it is crucial to governance and reporting.

In order for a naming convention to work successfully, it must be adopted by everyone who uses Pardot and Sales Cloud, if the two are integrated, so that there is consistency throughout the system.

User management

You need to make sure the right people have the right access and no more access than what they actually need. Like the old saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. We suggest creating a matrix of various permissions and then using it to see what roles need which permissions. We strongly suggest that not everyone be given admin-level permissions.

Along with controlling what the Pardot users can see and do, you can also restrict any accidental sends and/or unnecessary exports of your data through the security limit settings.

Strategizing properly on how users are set up in Pardot is beneficial for everyone and will save many headaches in the future.

Meeting Long Term Goals

There should be a purpose to every action. Ask yourself, what is your goal?

Before you jump into the system – strategize. Build your system for the long term. And remember, it’s hard to undo mistakes. If you set up the platform as best you can up front, you’ll set yourself up for success. It will take more work in the short term, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Think about how business units will leverage Pardot – you have one primary tracker domain, but you can have multiple business units. It’s important to set it up correctly on the back end.



Considering these high-level overview points will give you a leg up as you get started in your Pardot instance. The most important thing to consider is the long term. Determine your goals first and strategize around them. Then you will be able to build an instance that is both highly useful and successful.



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