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How to stop prospects from joining a Pardot Engagement Studio

You have an Engagement Studio that has run its course. There are prospects in process who have not completed the drip campaign. You’d like them to complete the drip; but you also want to stop anyone new from being added.

What options do you have? And what should you avoid doing? A lot depends on whether the Engagement Studio is being seeded by a Dynamic List or a Static List.

Dynamic List – Option 1:

Do not alter the criteria of the dynamic list. If you alter the criteria, those currently in process will be removed from the email drip campaign. Engagement Studios do not retain the prospect cadence within each step. Everything is driven by their membership in the list that is seeding the Engagement Studio.

Instead what you could do is create a new dynamic list with different criteria from the criteria currently in use in this Engagement Studio. A common use case is when you are nurturing prospects through different funnel stages.

So if a prospect meets the criteria of the first list, and that criteria looks for a prospect whose funnel stage is “Prospect,” they would not meet the criteria of the new list that looks for a funnel stage of “Engaged.” If you need to end the Engagement Studio, you can wait until all prospects have been processed and pause or delete it.

Dynamic List – Option 2:

As with the first option, it is important not to alter the criteria of the current dynamic list. If your use case does not involve nurturing to another funnel stage, and you just need the studio to stop being seeded, you have another option.

To ensure that the prospects currently in process successfully complete the email drip, you can “cap off” the Engagement Studio at a step right before the first email send. One way to cap the engagement studio is to add an action step with a long wait period. For example, you could set a action step to add a tag, which a wait of 365 days.

Once the existing prospects have completed the engagement studio, you can pause the Engagement Studio. If you need the prospects who have been held in the wait step to be added to a new engagement studio, you could add an action step after the tag to add to a list. After the action step to add to the list, you click the “+” icon and end the engagement studio for them.

Static List – Option 1:

Since prospects are being added to this list via an automation, the first option is to remove the list from the automations that use it as a completion action.

When the completion actions adding prospects are removed, no more prospects can be added, so no more prospects can be processed into the Engagement Studio.

Once the remaining prospects have completed the drip, you can pause or delete the Engagement Studio.

Static List – Option 2:

But what if you need the static list to continue to be used in completion actions, because it serves other purposes? Here’s what you can do:

  1. Add another completion action to the automation(s) that are adding prospects to the list. Select Add Tag and call the tag “Suppress from Engagement Studio – *enter name of Studio*”
  2. Go to the Engagement Studio that is seeded by the static list. Before the first email send, add an evaluation step. Select “Tag” as the evaluator.
  3. Select the tag name “Suppress from Engagement Studio – *enter name of studio*”
  4. On the Yes path, click the + icon and select END. Leave the No path as is.
  5. With the automations updated to tag everyone moving forward who meets the criteria and is added to the list, the engagement studio can now filter out those who have been tagged, so they don’t enter the studio.
  6. Once the remaining prospects have completed the studio, you can pause or delete it.

Those are just a few ways to handle a situation like this. Do you have more ideas? Add them in the comments below.

Ben LaMothe

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