Those familiar with Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot) know the true impact of its automation. Custom redirects and page actions are no exception to that rule. With both redirects and page actions, you can better understand how your prospects are interacting with your content and when they’re showing signs of committing to your cause. Let’s dive into what custom redirects and page actions can do for your marketing strategy and highlight potential use cases that might benefit your marketing efforts.
What’s a Custom Redirect?
Custom redirects are an impressive tool in the MCAE toolbelt that enables you to track link clicks on your website, on third-party websites, and in other locations. The true power of custom redirects lies in both the ability to capture previously unrecorded link clicks and the ability to assign Completion Actions to those that clicked the link. However, it’s important to note that these completion actions will only fire for identified prospects who are using the same browser/device that they were cookied using. Because completion actions can be tied to custom redirects, you have control over what happens to your prospect following that link click. You can do things like:
- Add/remove tags
- Add to/remove from a list or Salesforce campaign
- Set a prospect’s custom or default field value
- Send an autoresponder email
Use Cases for Custom Redirects
There are several ways you can utilize custom redirects to further your marketing efforts. We’ve listed a few of the most common use cases below
- Social media post clicks: While Account Engagement does have social media connectors (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter), custom redirects fill a few functionality gaps of the out-of-the-box connectors, granting the ability to:
- Track clicks from other social media platforms, like Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok.
- Track clicks for social posts not published via the social posting tool (directly on the social media platform or through a social media management platform).
- Event sign-ups: Any event promotions created by marketing should have an associated custom redirect. This allows your team to demonstrate the impact that marketing makes on event sign-ups and attendance. You can also take it a step further and create separate custom redirects for each channel you use to promote the event, gaining further insight into what marketing tactics are working versus which are not.
- Banner advertisements: If placing banner advertisements on third-party websites is part of your marketing strategy, custom redirects will serve you well. Coupled with the use of UTM parameters, you’ll be able to:
- See total clicks from third-party websites in Pardot.
- Show which cookied prospects clicked on the third-party website banner.
- Use UTM parameters that allow Google Analytics to help you determine inbound traffic sources.
- Tracking files housed outside of Pardot: Your marketing files might not necessarily live in Pardot – you could be using a Content Management System to house most files – but you want to be able to track the number of people that access that file. By setting up a custom redirect that is linked to that file, you’ll know who has been accessing that file and can then act accordingly.
What About Page Actions?
Page actions, on the other hand, perform an automated action when a prospect visits a designated page. These actions can be applied to any page that contains your Account Engagement tracking code, but they’re most often used on website pages that indicate a constituent is ready to “buy,” whether it be through donating, volunteering, signing up for a newsletter, or another form of engagement.
Page actions also contain many of the completion actions you’ll find elsewhere in Account Engagement, turning your page views into action – things like:
- Adding/removing tags
- Adding to/removing from a list or Salesforce campaign
- Changing a prospect’s custom or default field value
- Creating a Salesforce task
The critical thing to remember when using page actions is that completion actions are applied only to prospects; that is, those website visitors who have converted and provided you with an email address. Anonymous visitors browsing your site do not trigger the actions. Additionally, page actions aren’t applied retroactively. This means that, if an anonymous visitor who previously accessed the page later converts to a prospect, that visitor session is tied to the prospect record, however, the completion actions aren’t applied.
Page actions also have a couple of other features that allow you to “bubble up” to your marketing team and colleagues those prospects showing the most engagement or “buying signs.”
- Page score: How many points is a visit to this page worth? If you’re utilizing Lead Scoring in your marketing strategy, page actions can have a different score increase applied to them from regular page views. As your identified prospects hit these pages, their Lead Scores will increase more quickly, allowing those prospects to rise to the top. This allows your team and colleagues to better understand those prospects that might be ready to commit or might benefit from additional nurturing or personal touches.
- Priority pages: If you have a page that you know is integral to the process of garnering additional admission applications, for example, you can mark a page action as a priority. When an identified prospect visits this page, that activity will be singled out and made obvious on the prospect’s activity history, allowing your team to more easily see who has landed on this critical page.
It’s clear that automation is the heart and soul of Account Engagement and can be used in a variety of ways to further your marketing strategy. If you would like to explore using custom redirects and page actions to gain a deeper understanding of what drives engagement, Cloud for Good is here to help!