Permission-Based Marketing in Pardot

Nelson Eisenmann

Permission-Based Marketing in Pardot

Nelson Eisenmann

Nelson Eisenmann

Director of Marketing Automation
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Spam emails are intrusive, irrelevant, and at times, offensive. As digital marketers, it’s imperative to understand how current email marketing laws can impact you and ensure legitimate B2B email marketing campaigns.

If you violate the email compliance we outline below, you could find yourself paying some hefty penalties, risk your IP getting blacklisted, or worse: lose a client relationship.

Before you send out your first email, make sure you understand these four email compliance policies and regulations and the implications of each:

  • Pardot’s Permission-based marketing policy
  • Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation(CASL)
  • CAN-SPAM in the United States
  • General Data Protection and Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union

By having a baseline knowledge in the legal environment of email marketing, you will be able to avoid any major upheavals in your future marketing campaigns.

Ultimately, It’s best to keep your sending reputation in good standing. This will prevent your emails from getting unusually high bounce rates, and in turn, keep your prospects happy.

Pardot's Permission-based Marketing Policy

Let’s start with Pardot’s permission-based marketing policy.

Since we are writing this under the assumption that you have Pardot, you should note that this policy applies to all Salesforce and Pardot customers.

Without getting into all the legal matters, Pardot has made it clear that all users are required to adhere to its permission-based email marketing policy.

Their policy states that emails have to be given consent or opt-in by prospects before you send them anything. Pardot also strictly prohibits users from purchasing email lists and sending spam emails through their platform.

By complying with Pardot’s Permission-Based Marketing Policy, you are:

  • Abiding by email marketing best practices
  • Staying compliant with national and international laws
  • Maintaining 90% email deliverability
  • Getting low spam reports on your account

Please note that Pardot will send you an automated reminder if your email deliverability is below 90%.

PBMiP-EmailSampleIf you get this email, don’t overlook it. Make sure to follow the guidelines listed on the email, namely:

  • Read and acknowledge you have read their Permission-based marketing policy. As we described above, Pardot wants to ensure you are familiar with and complying with their permission-based marketing policy.
  • Describe how the prospects opted-in to receiving email. In this section, you need to be careful. Pardot definitely doesn’t want to hear that you are purchasing lists. You should write a very detailed explanation of how those prospects entered your database.

Pardot and CAN-SPAM

The CAN-SPAM Act in the United States sets the governance for commercial emails, establishes requirements for commercial messages, and gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them.

While Pardot’s permission-based marketing policy will not allow you to email recipients without express consent, CAN-SPAM does not require opt-in permission so as long as you follow the requirements below.

Foremost, you can technically send unsolicited emails without a recipient’s opt-in consent and still remain in compliance with CAN-SPAM. When you read the fine print, there’s no part of the law under CAN-SPAM that requires you to ask for permission before sending emails to your prospects.

In contrast, Pardot’s Permission-based marketing policy enforces you to make sure all of your mailings are solely permission based. As a result, this will keep your email deliverability high and your account low on spam complaints. Therefore, Pardot encourages you to have a 90% deliverability on all your email campaigns.

Furthermore, Pardot’s Permission-based marketing policy was designed to be significantly stricter than CAN-SPAM – especially since CASL, Canada’s anti-spam law has been in effect.

Fortunately, Pardot consistently enforces its permission-based marketing policy to prevent all of its customers experiencing any catastrophic changes in their business processes.

Pardot and CAN-SPAM main requirements

Be honest

The subject line must accurately fall in line with your overall content matter. Using deceptive subject lines violates the CAN-SPAM act and can result in a costly non-compliance offense.

Only email those who explicitly give you permission to

You should only email prospects who consented to receive emails from you. There’s a way to ensure you’re in compliance with Pardot by including a check-box at the bottom of your forms to verify they read your permission-based marketing policy and agree to its terms.

Honor opt-outs timely

When a subscriber requests an opt-out of your mailing list, you must deliver their opt-out request within 10 business days.

Ad disclosure

There are ways around in how to do this, but you must consciously communicate in your email content that you are offering products/services. 

Make unsubscribe links easy to identify

All commercial emails are required to have clear and straightforward unsubscribe links that make it easy for recipients to opt-out of future emails from you. By making your unsubscribe links difficult to notice, your emails will likely be reported as spam.

Be credible

Be candid about who you are in your emails and include a valid physical address and contact information.

In short, the benefits of permission-based marketing with Pardot can also optimize your engagement rate with prospects. You will be able to tell their interest in you when they opened and click through the emails they opted in.

Pardot and GDPR

General Data Protection Regulation, (GDPR) is a spring 2018 data privacy regulation which governs how companies collect and store data about European Union residents.

The GDPR affects anyone who is associated with the European Union, so US and Canada companies need to make sure they are following the legal guidelines if they are doing business overseas or interacting with prospects that hail from that region.

There are two core tenets of GDPR as it related to B2B email marketing:

  • Right to be forgotten
  • Prospects own their data

Right to be forgotten

In light of the Right to be forgotten, Pardot now has features available if you need to remove certain customer data to meet the constraints of the GDPR.

Longtime Pardot customers used to recall when a prospect gets deleted, the records would just sit in the recycle bin. Now with the GDPR in effect, you can permanently delete prospects from your database and no trace of it would remain.

Prospects own their data

When it comes down to the heart of the GDPR, its focal point is on the protection and rights of the prospect. Being transparent as an organization in how you manage and preserve prospects’ data privacy is significant to your overall success.

With that in mind, Pardot also provides a mini GDPR checklist to navigate through the GDPR so that you may continue to provide customer-centricity throughout your marketing campaigns.


In sum, abiding by permission-based marketing best practices will ensure that your company is marketing to your prospects legally and keeping your send reputation high.

LearningCurv has done thousands of implementations where we have trained companies on industry best practices and how to follow email marketing compliance. Contact us today to begin training!

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