Exploring Prospect Possibilities in Pardot

By Theorem SMEs


There are many misconceptions about the capabilities of Pardot’s Engagement Studio. We are here to set the record straight on prospects in campaigns. 

Recently in a workshop session, an attendee asked if Pardot prospects could be added to an Engagement Studio program at laters steps in a campaign.   There was a resounding agreement within the room that it is not possible. However, with our many years of experience working in the trenches as hands-on Pardot users, we knew otherwise.

You absolutely can add prospects to later steps in Pardot's Engagement Studio Program.

Allow us to provide a little background and walk you through the process. 

It’s simple really… you can have a Pardot prospect jump into your journey further down the line. Basically, you have to apply tags to a Pardot prospect record, either manually or via an automation rule. 

Step 1

It is important to know that step one for the program is to look for and implement tags.  In other words, tags that indicate later prospect drop in times are implemented from the get go.

Keep in mind, you’ll have to work backwards through your rule criteria to make the entry points match up.

The example from the workshop that I referenced earlier, included three email steps to the program.

Theorem Logo

As you can see, the very first step in this logic checks the tag. Which dictates that the prospect should skip to step 3; the final email.

If that is not applicable to this Pardot prospect the program checks the next tag.  The second prospect tag indicates that prospects who meet the criteria should skip to step 2. 

Step 2

If none of the tagging criteria is met, the journey begins. Running as planned, to the left of the example, by sending the “Blog Post Highlights” email.

You can see where the “Step 2” tag rejoins the journey. Those who aligned with tag 2’s criteria begin at this point.

In this example, your “Step 2” tagged process will skip the “Blog Post Highlights” logic. Next it will immediately proceed to the “White Paper” email step.

Meanwhile the process continues…

Step 3

Step 3 tagged Pardot prospects with join up with the program. 

As indicated in the top right of the image shown on the right, “Step 3” tagged prospects join the program logic before the final email. Note that the Pardot prospects were still subject to the form complete and grading criteria required to receive the final email. 

You could always map this specifically to your marketing intentions. You can even add an additional tag to allow your Pardot prospects to skip these qualifiers, if you wish. 

Just to Clarify...

In a basic Engagement Studio Program, it really is as easy as the process above. However, it is important to keep a few things in mind:

  1. This strategy requires knowledge of this need to skip steps BEFORE you create your Engagement Studio Program. Planning before hand allows you to add your steps and mergers accordingly. 
  2. You will need to use more specific naming conventions for your Pardot prospect tags. Especialy if you want to use this function across multiple campaigns. “Step 2 XYZ” vs. simply “Step 2.”
  3. With proper planning, you can also skip certain steps or emails mid-journey.
  4. You may want to include steps to remove the tags towards the end of your program. Specifically if prospects might re-start the journey at a later date with new criteria.

In Short,

In short, integrating Pardot prospects later in the customer journey in Pardot’s Engagement Studio Program is doable. Not to mention, time-saving and highly beneficial.

Try to really dig in deeper and get to know Pardot Engagement Studio and its capabilities.

Or, if time and bandwidth are a challenge, join forces with a partner you can lean on. Want to chat more about the solution above or anything else Pardot-related? We are here to help!


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