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Clean Up Your Pardot Account

By Shannan Hearne, Summit Technologies Marketing Specialist

A fully utilized instance of Pardot often gets full of data. If you had to guess, how much clutter would you say is currently in your Account Engagement (formerly known as Pardot) database? Here are Summit Technologies’ best practices for cleaning up your Pardot instance.

Check for unused assets and inactive prospects. If there are a lot of images and landing pages not being used, prospects that are old and outdated, and email templates that were never approved and launched this is a great place to start.

Salesforce Pardot (Account Engagement) doesn’t provide an out of the box database cleansing solution. Instead, it provides users with a list of bounces, opt-outs and email engagement data. As the administrator or power user of the Account Engagement instance, it’s your responsibility to institute a regular database cleansing process.

The common questions marketers have when looking at the volume of prospects in their database include:

What happens if I don’t clean my prospect database?

How do database limits work, and how can I track them?

I’m over my database limit. What do I do?

Should I mark prospects as "Do not email" (DNE) or delete them?

How do I delete prospects and what happens to them?

How does the Pardot recycle bin work?

How do I stay under my prospect database limits long-term?

There are four primary reasons to keep your prospect database clean: cost, skewed email metrics, decreased deliverability, and spam complaints. Pardot billed by database size gets expensive if not cleaned up regularly. Data skewed with old and cold prospects negatively impact open rates, click-through rates, and other KPIs. ISPs that monitor large volumes of unopened emails by recipients can hurt your deliverability and sending reputation. And of course once a recipient loses interest in your offerings they are more likely to mark your emails as spam.

You can easily keep your prospect database clean by creating dynamic lists and actions to remove unengaged, aged prospects. Summit Technologies can assist you with this.

Best practice would be to do a final re-engagement nurturing campaign to folks one last time before you delete them.

Your Pardot account comes with a database limit allowing a certain number of mailable prospects at any given time. You can always purchase additional blocks of 10,000 mailable prospects from Salesforce as needed. To view your data size and limits access Account Settings in Pardot. If you are approaching data limits, Summit can help you clean up your Pardot data.

Note that prospects marked as Do Not Email or in your Pardot Recycle Bin do not count towards your mailable database limit so marking unengaged prospects as Do No Email gives you more space while still allowing you to track any future engagement.

There are numerous data cleaning tools on the market that will “automate” cleaning up your Pardot database. They come in every size and cost imaginable. Most cleansing tools will provide additional data points that can be valuable for segmentation and persona-building. We recommend researching each of them to determine which one produces the most valuable report for your needs. Or whether hiring an outside partner like Summit Technologies LLC to cleanse your data.

Once you select the prospects you would like to remove from Pardot you can mass delete or create automation criteria to remove them on a regular basis. Summit Technologies assists you with this when setting up your Pardot instance or when doing a reconfiguration of your Pardot.

Once you have eliminated old prospect data, look at your landing pages, forms, and form handlers. Retire any assets for old events or out-of-date collateral. Consider merging multiple forms into a single form for use across your website if you still need to free up more space.

Regularly performing a database cleansing and sending unengaged prospects to the recycle bin can maintain a less cluttered and more useful Account Engagement (Pardot) database.

If you created many automation rules in Pardot early on such as completion actions, segmentation rules, static and dynamic prospect lists, or engagement studio programs that are no longer in use these can also be deleted from Pardot.

Now review your content. Delete old logos, white papers, event promotional materials, and other outdated content. Note you cannot delete files, advanced dynamic content, or tags.

If you and your team use Pardot, then you know all about the importance of organization. Pardot is a powerful tool that gives you the ability to build and manage your leads and gives you complete control over the lead nurturing process. However, if you have a large team (or a team with a lot of turnover), things can get a little hectic, and before you know it, your Pardot account is in a state of chaos with random items thrown about.

With a Pardot Quickstart from your Salesforce partner Summit Technologies, we will help you configure Pardot on the front end to limit the amount of data that gets lost in the system and takes up space. Or if you found this article because you now have a mess of data overflowing your Pardot instance, Summit Technologies can help you clean it up.

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