Pardot Setup & Admin

Nelson Eisenmann

Pardot Setup & Admin

Nelson Eisenmann

Nelson Eisenmann

Director of Marketing Automation
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Before you send your first email, you will need to go through each of these steps to ensure deliverability.

If you already have completed all these items during your initial setup, feel free to skip to the next chapter. If not, you will need to go ahead and install all these items before you can begin your Pardot campaigns.

Please note that it’s best if you have someone with coding savvy on hand to install these important Pardot setup items. Consider looping your webmaster and Salesforce admin into the conversations to ensure that you successfully complete all the necessary steps.

In order of sequence, you will need to:

  • Add the Pardot Tracker Code
  • Configure Your DNS and SPF records
  • Install the tracker domain(CNAME alias)
  • Create new users in Pardot
  • Create custom and default fields

Set up the Pardot Tracker Code

The tracker code is a simple piece of code that you paste and insert into each page of your website.

This allows you to allow you to track when visitors and prospects are landing on your website and bouncing between your different pages. Essentially, this tracker cookies your prospects IP address and tracks their website visits.

To install this, copy and paste the code from the campaign view in Pardot and place it into your website’s htmlor. If your website has a universal footer or header, you can add the code into that and it will propagate throughout the website. Otherwise, you will have to add the tracking code to every page individually.

Configure Your DNS Records for Pardot

The DNS records are an essential part of setting up email in Pardot. It’s critical that you set up the DNS and SPF records before you send out any Pardot emails.

Sending out emails through an unverified domain is going to hurt your delivery rates, and most of your email will end in the recipient’s spam folder. If we send out enough emails with unverified records, we run the risk of getting our IP address blacklisted.

If you have additional domains that you want to send emails from, Click Add New Domain in the domain management page, and then repeat the above steps for each domain.

Install the Tracker Domain (CNAME) in Pardot

All your Pardot files and landing pages will be hosted under unless you create a CNAME record. is the out-of-the-box setting that all Pardo instances will have. In order to customize your Pardot domain with your current website, you will need to create a CNAME alias in Pardot and your DNS records.

For example:

Remember, once you set up the CNAME alias, it’s recommended that you don’t change it. Since all your assets and content will be hosted under that CNAME, if you change the CNAME, all the links will break.

We recommend that you stick with a CNAME unless you go through a major rebrand and have to change the web URL.

Create Users in Pardot

Next, we will need to create users for each of our Pardot administrators and Sales team. Pardot is broken into Sales and Marketing functions, with the marketing team owning the lionshare of the tool’s functionality.

There are 4 roles that we can choose:

Marketing Roles

  • Administrator: Administrators have access to all settings, prospect data, and modules. We typically give this role to our Pardot Power User: Marketing Managers and above, depending on the governance of your team.
  • Marketing: Marketing users have control over prospect data and marketing modules, including creating lists, forms, landing pages, and sending list emails. Typically your entry-level marketing roles will have this user role.

Sales Roles

  • Sales Manager: Sales Managers have access to all prospect data and visitors but no marketing functionality. Sales Managers can send one-to-one emails to prospects, but can’t send list emails. We typically would give this role to our Sales Managers or Sales Team leads to give them greater visibility.
  • Sales: Sales users only have access to prospect management functionality. Sales users can send one-to-one emails to prospects, but can’t send list emails. They can view, edit, and export the prospects assigned to them. Typically, an SDR and most of your Salesforce users will fit into this category.

Salesforce tip: Your Salesforce users will likely have either the Sales Manager or Sales role in Pardot. They may not even need to login to Pardot, but it’s best practice to make sure that all your Salesforce users have a login in Pardot as we outlined above.

Each of your users will require the following on initial setup:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email
  • Role
  • Time Zone

There are other fields that can be filled out on initial creation that allow you to customize your users even more. The reason it is important to fill out the job title, URL, text, HTML signature is because Pardot has the ability to pull in those pieces of information. We call those variable tags and they can be accessed in the email feature of Pardot.

We will discuss variable tag at length in the email marketing section of the guide.

Examples of variable tags:

  • Job title
  • Phone
  • URL
  • Email Signature – text/html

User Settings

Expiring the user after 90 days

Every 3 months Pardot will ask you to change your password. This is best practice to keep your password fresh.

Send out Activation Email

This is how you will notify your users of a new account. If you don’t get sent the activation email, it will be impossible to ever log in to Pardot. However, it is possible to create a user without the activation email, then send the activation email at at later date. Many of your Salesforce users won’t need access to Pardot and thus won’t need to activate their account.

Time Zone

You can set specific time zones for specific users in Pardot. We recommend you set the time zone to where that individual user is located. This is ideal for sales and marketing teams in different regions of the country.

CRM Username

This field allows you to connect with Salesforce CRM and appears after Salesforce CRM has been connected. This field gives us access to every license tied to our instance. Once you create your user, it will automatically link it up to your user. You should do this for all your Pardot users, if they have a user in salesforce.


You can apply tags to your users to differentiate them. This is something that we don’t see that often at the user level but is more effectively use in content and prospect records.

Security Limits

Here we are able to enforce security limits on our Pardot users.
  • Limit the prospect import
  • Limit prospect export
  • Limit email sending

If we check the box it can drop down a field where we can enter that limitation

Note: The way Pardot was built, if you put 0, it reads it as infinity. Make sure that you chose 1 as your lowest record type.

Email Preferences

In this last step of creating users, we can set our email notification preferences. Please note that even though you can get notifications on quite a few pardot functions, its best practice to only use the notifications that are necessary to you.

Pardot allows notifications for:

  • Send daily prospect activity emails (exclude tags)
  • Send email when assigned
  • Send daily prospect assignment emails
  • Send daily visitor activity emails
  • Send starred prospect activity alerts
  • Send weekly search marketing email
  • Send monthly inactive automation report email
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