Pardot Engagement Studio is an intuitive marketing automation tool that is a more complete version of an email drip program. Engagement Studio allows you to send follow up emails, create a logic-based nurturing campaign, and test out scenarios to see how a prospect could navigate through the path.
It sounds complex, but it’s actually quite intuitive. Engagement Studio is a way to send emails to a list of prospects, see how they interact with them, then react to them differently based on how the recipient interacted with each email in the drip.
This is an automated string of messages that can change based on logic you create. This allows marketers to build automated programs that engage the prospect at every step of the customer journey.
To get started with Engagement Studio and get the most out of the program, follow these steps:
Before you go too far, you will want to establish goals for the campaign. Different engagement programs may have different goals, so, make sure to define what success is for the campaign.
What is the objective of your campaign?
When defining success for the campaign, try to come up with metric goals. This will allow you to easily recognize successful drips in the campaign from a reporting aspect.
Metric goals that you may track:
Example: Let’s say we send out a large-scale engagement program offering a long-form piece of content to a cold database.
Now that you’ve defined the objective of your engagement program, you need to decide what prospects to target. If your goal is to reconnect with past customers then your recipient lists would be static or dynamic lists of prospects who have purchased your products/services in the past.
As we learned before, Dynamic lists constantly run in the background of Pardot. These constantly changing lists add prospects that fit the criteria you set and removes the ones that don’t. Dynamic lists are perfect for a completely automated engagement campaign such as a welcome-series. But, If you use a dynamic list in your engagement program, make sure to use language in the email that can apply at anytime.
As prospects are added to the dynamic list they will also be added to the drip campaign.
Let’s say you have a dynamic list called “past customers” that adds a prospect two weeks after they convert to a closed deal. If this dynamic list is added to the recipient list of your engagement program, newly added prospects will also be sent the email from the engagement campaign two weeks after their purchase.
As we already learned, static lists must add or remove prospects manually. So, if you add a static list to an engagement program it will only email the people on the list at that time, and anyone you manually add later.
Suppression lists are used to remove prospects from the email recipient lists. They take precedence over your recipient lists and can be static or dynamic.
Example: You already sent a group of prospects an email last week and don’t want anyone from that campaign to receive another email from you.
This is helpful when there are prospects on your recipient lists that you don’t want receiving your email and don’t want to create an entire new list.
In this step, you will write the content of your emails if you have not done so already. In some cases, your email templates may already exist and all you have to do is clone or repurpose them for a new campaign. Some people even create the drip logic before writing your emails.
However, it is best practice to come up with your objective, goals and target audience before writing a marketing message. To learn more about email marketing tips and best practices visit the previous section on B2B Email Marketing.
Now that you have created your content, next you will want to develop your workflow. Pardot’s Engagement Studio has an intuitive logic builder to build out your email campaign. In this drag and drop builder, you can create a visual workflow of how your drip campaign will play out. Keep your goals/objectives in mind when planning your drip logic and remember to put yourself in the shoes of the prospects receiving the email.
Questions to consider:
Make sure to plan out every step of the drip campaign from start to finish. Plan out scenarios for when the campaign works to accomplish your goal and for when the campaign does not. Weigh all possibilities so you can come up with the most efficient way to nurture your prospects through the customer journey.
By now you should have a good idea of how you want the engagement campaign to work and have all assets prepared to go live (email templates, prospect lists, and any actions you want to trigger). Now you will build out your first engagement studio campaign.
There are three Pardot elements you can add to an engagement program: an action, a trigger, and/or a rule. You can add as many of them as you like along the drip campaign.
An action tells Engagement Studio to do something to the prospect like send an email today, add them to a list, or change their Pardot score. Other examples include:
A trigger is used to tell Engagement Studio to listen for something. Did the prospect interact with your content or email in the way you hoped they would?
A rule is used to check the prospect database to see if they match certain criteria.
Both Triggers and Rules will provide you with a yes or no pathway that alters the structure of your engagement program.
For example: Did they open the email?
Pardot has a testing feature in engagement studio that allows you to walk through how a prospect may navigate your drip campaign. It also will tell you how long the engagement program will last. Go through each pathway to get an idea of how it will work and see if there is room to make the customer journey more efficient.
The report tab in engagement studio provides in-depth insight into how successful your engagement program has been thus far. It’s a good way to check your metric goals against the real data to see what percentage of prospects have navigated down your paths, open rate for specific emails, click-throughs to your links, etc.
In the screenshot above you can see that we sent an email to 128 people:
Analyzing the path distribution can help you to optimize your program. But, you can also select a specific email if you want to see an in-depth look at more email marketing metrics:
Reporting is an important step in development of a high-converting engagement program and allows you to gain insight on how to improve future campaigns.
The final step in creating a successful engagement program in Engagement Studio is optimization. There is always room to improve so keep a close eye on reporting and test out different scenarios. You never know how much something simple like a different subject line in your emails can help.
If your campaigns are not reaching your goals then you may want to reevaluate. Don’t be married to the same email templates and keep an eye out for when prospects lose interest in a nurturing campaign. See if you can pinpoint a specific email or spot in the workflow that can be improved.
Engagement Studio is the most powerful tool in Pardot and can only be mastered through trial, error, and experience. Feel free to test different emails, actions, and drip logics to find out what works best for your business.
In the following section we will cover email marketing metrics that can help you improve your engagement programs as well as some basic analytics and reporting best practices.
Download our expert-created guide to begin your journey with Pardot