Using Salesforce Custom Object data with Pardot Engagement Studio

The beauty of Pardot is the native integration with Salesforce. Nowhere is that tight integration more apparent than with Pardot’s ability to sync with Salesforce Custom Objects.

Custom Object Integration is available for an additional cost on Pro editions, and is available out of the box with Advanced. It is not available at all for Pardot Growth editions.

Being able to leverage that additional data in Salesforce Custom Objects for segmentation in Pardot is a very powerful thing. However there are limits to Pardot’s ability to use data in Custom Objects.

For example: Custom Object data is available in Pardot as Read-Only, so you can’t push updates to it from Pardot. Pardot also won’t sync picklist values or multi-select field values from Custom Objects, so you have to know what you’re looking for when building the targeting criteria.

You also can’t use Custom Object Data out of the box is in Engagement Studio Programs under the Evaluate function. You can evaluate whether someone is on a list; whether they are owned by a specific person; or whether they have a specific tag associated with them. But if you want to know if they have a specific value in a Custom Object associated with them, you are out of luck.

Where the Custom Object sync shines is in how it can be used to segment and to identify specific subsets of your audience for specific purposes. More on that to come.

Use Custom Object Data With a Complex Rule

The survey data is part of a Custom Salesforce Object that has been mapped to Pardot. Since I can’t see the Custom Object data from the Engagement Studio program, I will need to use something that can see that data. For this, I have chosen a Dynamic List.

In the example above, a Complex Rule is introduced to evaluate whether someone meets the minimum criteria to move forward to the next steps, where they are sent emails based on survey scores. In this case, the Complex Rule is evaluating whether the prospect is a member of either of the lists that is using Custom Object data.

Once this Dynamic List is tested and validated, it is ready to use in your Engagement Studio Program under the Evaluation Step to Evaluate whether the prospect in the flow is a member of that list. Since the list is segmenting from the Custom Object, this will allow you to set actions based on the prospect’s relationship to the Custom Object field you need for the flow.

Note: If being included in the Dynamic List disqualifies someone from being part of the Engagement Studio program at all, it would be best to select that list as a Suppression List at the start when building the Engagement Studio Program.

Using this list as a step in the Engagement Studio Program allows you to use the branching logic within the flow to take specific actions based on whether someone meets the criteria.

If being included in the Dynamic List disqualifies someone from being part of the Engagement Studio program at all, it would be best to select that list as a Suppression List at the start when building the Engagement Studio Program.

In the example above, the Evaluate step will hold prospects for one day before releasing them down the Yes/No path that will trigger an Action step to send an email if they meet the Yes criteria, or send them to the next Evaluate step if they meet the No criteria.

If the action needs to be immediate and not subject to a waiting period, you have another option.

Triggering an Action on Custom Object Data Outside Engagement Studio While Using Engagement Studio

Lets say you need to do more than segment and evaluate from Custom Object data in Engagement Studio. You also need to be able to trigger an action, such as send an email.

That can be achieved by using the Engagement Studio program, and by leveraging functionality from outside of Engagement Studio.

In the example above, the Automation Rule is looking for a prospect that has accessed a specific link, and whether that person has specific values in a Custom Object. The link being evaluated is a Tracking Link in one of the emails in the Engagement Studio program. It is important that the Tracking Link is not in use in any other place besides the email in the Engagement Studio.

By doing this we are connecting the Engagement Studio to the Automation Rule. This will allow us to send the right email template to the right person, and the email template is branded consistently with the other emails in the Engagement Studio program

This is just one way to use Salesforce Custom Objects in Pardot. Leave a comment below with any other ways you’ve used Custom Objects successfully in Pardot.

Ben LaMothe

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