By Steven Lowery

In our nonprofit Salesforce World, I’ve been seeing a lot of questions about Marketing Solutions for organizations that are looking for support in managing their message. There are various of great tools out there – Pardot, Marketing Cloud, MailChimp – just to name a few – each with a clear message around how they can help you. With Pardot, I’ve seen a lot of descriptions around it being a “great B2B (Business to Business) solution.” While it is a great tool for that – at first glance, it may not seem to be the best solution for those in the nonprofit sector – BUT IT IS! I’m here to debunk the myth of Pardot simply being best for B2B companies and support that Pardot can indeed be perfect for your nonprofit!

The reason why we hear a lot about about Pardot for B2B companies is because it helps them convert leads strategically between their marketing and sales teams. In the nonprofit community it means Pardot can help us raise more funds and have more effective programs. Ultimately, Pardot facilitates a cycle of success in supporting our efforts on the ground.

So, how can Pardot be perfect for you?

Pardot Hosted Landing Pages

You can ensure you track engagement with your site and materials leveraging Pardot Hosted Landing Pages. You can either create a new page or embed a Pardot tracking code directly within your existing site. When you build a new page, the page can look just like the rest of your brand while hosting Pardot metrics behind the scenes!

As an example, someone can submit a form to apply to be a volunteer. The system will capture this new record in Salesforce and a cookie will be inserted in to your potential volunteer’s browser. With this cookie, Pardot can continuously track the person’s engagement with your marketing materials allowing you to see where their interests lie. Their navigation and activities can be automatically scored and allow you to grade an individual to determine their fit (more on that below).

You can also see this information right on the individual’s Lead record. This allows you to continue working with the Prospect right within Salesforce. You can simply view this data on someone interested in your org and leverage the rest of Salesforce to log calls, activities – anything you need!

Scoring and Grading Leads/Prospects

Pardot can support you in collecting prospects and determining their fit for your organization. Within Pardot, there’s a two pronged approach helping you determine how best to treat a constituent: Scoring and Grading.

Scoring in Pardot happens when a constituent takes an action (or if there’s lack of an action) with your marketing materials. For example, if someone accesses a particular file on your site they can receive a certain amount of points for doing so (a default value in this instance being +3). If they go to a Pardot tracked page, they receive a score of +1. If an Opportunity is lost with the prospect, 100 points are deducted from their score. This score is a running tally informing you how engaged someone is with your organization and can be modified by your team if your program has different weightings outside of the recommended Baseline Scores.

You may be thinking, what about someone who’s engaging heavily with our materials but may not be someone who we should prioritize engagement with just yet? For example, maybe a student is doing research on your organization. She’s downloading many materials from your website, registering for Webinars to learn more, but she may not be best targeted by your development team to begin soliciting for a donation. This is where Grading can help seal the deal!

Grades in Pardot are based on explicit information about a constituent, such as their role/job, the industry they’re in, etc. While Scoring gave us an insight into how interested someone is with your organization, Grading will help us determine how engaged we should be with that constituent. You can arrive at a Grade either manually where someone is vetting a Prospect, or setting up Automation Rules to automatically grade Prospects. On each Graded area (i.e. Industry, Department, Title, Location), you can give a Prospect a thumbs up or thumbs down marking how they fit based on the individual Profile (think a Development Profile vs a Volunteer Profile) of the prospect. Each individual will start with a “D” letter grade and will increase 1/3 of a letter grade. So if someone is a good fit based on Title, you give them a thumbs up, and their grade is now a C-, continuously bumping up their grade with each thumbs up (or down 1/3 with each thumbs down).

You can use the combination of Scoring and Grading, to make informed decisions about who to engage with and what it means to be a hot Prospect!

Building Strong Emails

Reaching out to your constituents is seamless when leveraging Pardot. You can leverage templates to keep your brand strong and allow individuals to utilize them when drafting their own outreach to individuals. WYSIWYG (what you see if what you get) editing allows you to ensure there are no surprises before you send. Variable Tags allow you to provide a personal touch to address an email to the actual individual.

When it’s time to send, pulling a list is easy. You can choose a Dynamic List (more below) or any type of list of constituents that makes sense for the communication you need to send. Choose who your email is coming from to help ensure delivery. Leverage A/B Testing, which can help you determine which part of your email (subject line for example) is getting better open rates on a sample of constituents. Once you determine the “winner,” you can then send the more popular version to the remaining part of your list. You can even set a notification for certain staff members when someone takes a particular action (i.e. notify your Volunteer Manager when someone clicks the link in an email that they’re interested in volunteering).

Dynamic Lists

Smart and targeted lists are achieved through Dynamic Lists. You can set certain criteria that get folks on this list and the list is managed automatically. For example, say you’re leveraging Grading and Scoring like the champ you are and want a Dynamic List including individuals with a score above 100 and an A Grade. The list will populate with anyone meeting that criteria and those individuals will drop off that list once they no longer meet the criteria (ensuring you’re engaging with folks that are engaged with you). These lists can be based on any criteria, including custom fields. Maybe you have a field tracking Interest in Volunteering and when that field is checked, the person gets pulled right into the list!

Tailored Preference Center

With Pardot, you can ensure someone is able to choose what subscription lists they’d like to be a part of. This allows someone to stay in touch, but determine what types of things they hear about from you. A tailored preference center can ensure that if someone is getting a lot of emails, they don’t have to completely cut the cord, they can ensure that they’re hearing what they’re interested in and let you know what they’re not motivated by.

Drip Nurturing

Pardot comes with an easy to use Drag and Drop editor to create Drip Campaigns. You can use these automated workflows to help you continue to engage your audience base strategically. Based on a particular event, someone can enter the drip campaign and based on particular actions the Prospect takes, you can interact differently with them. Campaigns can also include pauses to ensure someone doesn’t feel overwhelmed with communications. Additionally, you can build out notifications to staff members when someone reaches a particular part of a campaign to allow for customized outreach by someone on your team.

Email Reports
With each Email Send, an Email Report is automatically created. Without any building of your own, you can see things like Delivery Rate, Open Rate and Click to Open Ratios. You can even dig deeper into the report to see exactly who is engaging with your emails and clicking on particular links. For example, you can easily find out who’s clicking on a particular success story and individually follow up with them on their thoughts regarding the story the next time you chat.

Salesforce Engage

Salesforce Engage is how Pardot and Salesforce link up and empower your team to connect more efficiently. Through Engage Campaigns, your team can access approved email templates and allow them to send one-off messages right from within Salesforce. Engage Alerts allows you to see when folks are interacting with your marketing materials. Within Salesforce, someone on the Program team for example, can see that a constituent is watching a particular video on your site and where they’re navigating to. This allows that person to reach out to them based on their activity. Engage Reports help your team see the success of their campaigns and all relevant metrics of their own sends that help them analyze the performance of their emails. Engage for Salesforce1 even ensures your most mobile staff members can leverage the power of Pardot through their mobile devices.

Pardot Outlook Add-In & Engage for Gmail

Whether your team is using Outlook or Gmail, Pardot has integrations with both that allow you to send Pardot track emails right from either platform. In general, these tools allow your team to keep business as usual while still getting to leverage Pardot information like tracking, Pardot links, lead creation and information from prospects like their Scores and Grades at-a-glance.

I acknowledge there’s a lot to digest about Pardot, but the main takeaway is that Pardot can be perfect for your nonprofit. It was designed to help aid small to mid-sized teams in being successful in their marketing efforts and has expanded to support enterprise sized organizations extremely well. Its ease of use can help you get up and running with your Marketing efforts and its integrations can ensure folks can leverage Pardot quickly and painlessly.

If you haven’t yet, I very much recommend checking out Pardot for your nonprofit!

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Steven Lowery

Steven Lowery

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