As you know, the secret to a good magic trick is redirecting the audience’s attention away from whatever manipulation is necessary to make the trick work. The better the performer is with the redirection, the more impressed the audience is with the effects.

Your marketing will benefit from a little redirection magic, too, by taking greater advantage of Pardot’s custom redirects. These customized links can be used anywhere outside of your website to promote your landing pages, events, and content. They’re especially useful for social media posts and banner ads.

Once you’ve shared these links, Pardot can track the number of clicks they get to show how people are engaging with your marketing messages across all of your promotional channels.

Track New Leads, Current Engagement, and ROI

However, tracking clicks is just the beginning. In addition to click reporting, you’ll then be able to see how many of those clicks generated new leads. That’s because each time you create a custom redirect, you associate it with a first-touch campaign, so if someone you’ve never met clicks on the link and then completes a form, Pardot will note that the first touch campaign wasn’t “website tracking” but instead is credited to the third-party platform where the custom redirect was used.

Current prospects’ activity reporting can also benefit because as long as they’ve maintained their Pardot cookie, any custom redirect link they access will be added to their Pardot activity history.  It won’t change their first touch campaign, but it will tell you whether the leads you’re pushing through the funnel and/or your current customers are interacting with you outside of your website. When building the custom redirect link, you can also add completion actions such as increasing a cookied prospect’s score, notifying their assigned user, or adding them to a list.

Another great way to deploy custom redirects is with banner ads or other situations where you’re paying a vendor to help you promote your brand or an event. That way you don’t have to rely solely on the vendor’s engagement reporting to ensure you’re spending your precious marketing dollars in the right places.

Easy to Set Up and Deploy

If you haven’t used custom redirects yet, they are ridiculously simple to set up. Just go to Marketing > Content > Custom Redirects and you’re ready to roll. You’ll want to know the URL of the page you want to “redirect” people to, and you’ll also need to decide which “first touch” campaign to associate with the redirect. That decision depends on how you want to categorize your lead generation efforts. Is it more valuable to you to know a new lead came from Twitter? If so, make “Twitter” the first-touch campaign. Or, is more important to you to know they came from the specific promotion, regardless of which channel? If that’s the case, then choose a campaign related to specific marketing initiative you’re running.

You’ll also want to create a vanity URL that’s unique to the promotion and the channel. For example, if you’re hosting a scrapbooking webinar in October that you want to promote on Facebook, you might create a vanity URL for your custom redirect that looks like this:, where everything after “” is the vanity URL. Then, if you plan to promote that webinar on other channels, then you’d follow the same process (with the same destination URL for the landing page with the registration form) except instead of using “fb” at the end, you’d use “tw” or “blog” or “PR” to designate which link should be used with which channel.

Finally, if you’re currently tracking off-website clicks via Google Analytics UTM parameters, the good news is that you can incorporate those parameters into the process of building the custom redirect so that you’re getting both types of reporting. You’ll need to set up the free Google Analytics connector first, and here’s how. Then, as you build the custom redirect, you’ll see fields where you can also add the specific UTM parameters you want.

For more information about custom redirects, check out Pardot’s knowledge base resource as well as some great blog posts Pardot has published including this one.

Let us know about the creative ways you’ve used custom redirects, and how the reporting you’ve generated has helped you get a clearer picture of how your various lead generation channels are performing. We love hearing great stories!