The importance of order of operations in Pardot

As a Pardot consultant with Coastal Cloud I am often asked by clients to configure Pardot to meet their unique use cases. Those require unique solutions to meet the needs of the client.

Pardot is a very flexible tool if you know how to use it. Sometimes the process of uncovering the solution comes after your first instinct proves to be wrong.

Sometimes you need to get the solution out of your head and onto a whiteboard to put the pieces together. See below:

Pardot automation solution

The use case

In this instance, my client needed to push form completions into Pardot using a Zapier integration.

Once the prospect is created in Pardot, it needs to be assigned to a Salesforce connected Pardot user. That will allow it to be created in Salesforce. It also needs to be added to the appropriate campaign depending on a value selected in the form. 

My  first thought was to use a series of Automation Rules. The thinking was that it would achieve both the creation of the record in Salesforce and the adding of the campaign member. However this proved to be unsuccessful. 

After some research I determined that the issue was to do with order of operations. 

Finding a solution

I determined that the issue was with the Automation Rule. The Rule would run and then assign the prospect to the Salesforce connected Pardot user. The prospect would enter the Sync Queue and be created in Salesforce. 

That act automatically puts that prospect into the sync queue. That effectively closed off the next completion action, to assign to a campaign. 

Because of the order of operations, the completion action to add the Salesforce record to a campaign would not trigger. There here’s nothing in Salesforce to add, since the prospect is still in the Sync Queue.

The solution

The solution I built followed this process:

  1. Successful form completion on the web form
  2. The Record is picked up by Zapier and evaluated. If it already exists in Pardot, the record is updated. If it is not found, a Prospect is created in Pardot.
  3. The new Pardot record is then subject to an Automation Rule. That Rule assigns the prospect to a Salesforce connected Pardot user. This adds the prospect to the Sync Queue in Pardot. 
  4. When the Prospect syncs with Salesforce and a Contact record is created and synced. Then they are added to a Dynamic List. If they meet the criteria of being a Contact in Salesforce; a custom field of Form Name is not empty; and it has an assigned user.
  5. The Dynamic List above seeds an Engagement Studio Program. The Engagement Studio Program starts with a Rule. That Rule that evaluates the name of the form used in the Custom Field. From there it pushes prospects down different paths based on the value of the field.
  6. One of the forms has a field with different values, that require different campaign assignments in Salesforce. So the next step is another Rule to evaluate the value of the field. If the prospect satisfies the Rule requirement for the field value, they are sent down the Yes path. After that they are added to the appropriate Salesforce campaign.

Keeping the order of operations requirements in mind in Pardot is important. It will help you avoid situations where you try to understand why something didn’t work as you expected it to. 

That is especially important when pushing and pulling data between Pardot and Salesforce.

Ben LaMothe


  1. Hi, great blog. Thanks for this. I was wondering why was zapier required ? The connectors didn’t work out ?
    I am also working on a similar implementation and was curious if connectors have some limitations

Leave a Reply