With so many uses for automation rules in Pardot, it’s not uncommon for clients to be unsure of the types of rules to put in place to meet specific business needs & processes. In fact, automation rules are one of the most common topics clients ask about during implementation! What are their purpose? How do they work? 

To help clarify some of the confusion surrounding this topic, we’ve put together a list of 5 popular use cases for using Automation Rules to help get you started.

Using Automation Rules for Lead Assignment

Lead Assignment is the perfect use case for an automation rule as it only ever needs to fire for a prospect a single time. First, set your criteria for your assignment (this could be based off of prospect activity, score, grade, or other criteria) and then set your action to assign qualifying prospects to either a queue, user, user in a group, or a Salesforce active assignment rule, as in the example below.lead_assignment

Using Automation Rules for Lead Score Decay

If you’re using a lead scoring threshold to assign leads, you may want to set up an automation rule for lead score decay. After all, just because a prospect has a high score doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to be pushed to sales, especially if a prospect was active three months ago, but hasn’t been active recently. To adjust for this behavior, consider setting up an automation rule to decrease a prospect’s score the more inactive they become. In the following example, 50 points will be deducted from a prospect’s lead score when they haven’t been active for 30 days. You can set up a similar rule for 60, 90, and 120 days to decrease lead score the longer a prospect is inactive.leadscoredecay

Using Automation Rules for First Action Scoring

While Pardot’s baseline scoring model is built to increase the lead score of a prospect equally every time he or she performs an associated action, sometimes you might want to score your prospects higher for on first action only. For example, with Pardot’s default scoring rules, whenever a prospect fills out any form, he or she will earn 50 points whether it’s their first, second, or fiftieth submission. So what if instead you wanted to boost your prospect’s lead score by an additional 20 points whenever your free trial form is filled out for the first time? This can be done with this automation rule configuration:firstactionscoringSince automation rules will only trigger on a prospect a single time, this rule is the perfect solution to ensure your prospects only receive the additional 20 points on their first submission to the free trial form and not for any subsequent submissions.Note: If you wanted prospects to earn the additional 20 points every time they fill out your free trial form, you would adjust score as a form completion action, not an automation rule, to ensure the adjusted score is earned every time.

Using Automation Rules to Send Birthday Emails

Personalize engagements with your customers by setting up an automation rule to fire off a birthday email! This fun use case uses the ‘Next Birthday’ formula field in Salesforce, a Pardot Engagement Program, and an automation rule to run. It works like this:–  Create a Next Birthday formula field in Salesforce to populate the prospect’s next birthday. Be sure to create a custom field in Pardot as well.–  Create a Pardot static list to use for your a birthday engagement program.-  Create an Pardot Engagement Program that sends a generic birthday email every 365 days. Make sure to disable “send during business hours only”, to accommodate prospects with Saturday or Sunday birthdays, and start your Engagement Program with a one day pause.-  Finally, create an automation rule that looks for Next Birthday less than 1 day in the future and adds the prospect to your birthday list.You now have a birthday nurture set up and an automation rule that adds the prospect to the static list feeding your nurture! See below:birthdayautomationrule

Using Automation Rules to Assign Salesforce Campaigns

If you use Salesforce campaigns to track which marketing initiatives your prospects are a part of, you can add your prospects to these campaigns using automation rules. For instance, let’s say you created a Salesforce campaign for a webinar you’re running next month and want to add prospects who register to this campaign and assign a status of “Registered”. Since this action only needs to be run for a prospect a single time, this can be set up as an automation rule and would like something like this:sfcampaignautomationrule

These are just a few ways you can use automation rules in Pardot. Do you have other ways to use Pardot automation rules that you’d like to share? Add them in the comments – we’d love to hear from you!