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Spring Cleaning your Pardot Account with a Database Health Check

The time-honored tradition of refreshing our homes after a long and stuffy winter is upon us again. And while the practice of spring cleaning hasn’t historically been tied to the digital world, why limit ourselves? Our digital workspaces rack up their own versions of clutter and dust, and Pardot accounts are no exception.

If you suspect your Pardot instance could use a little spring cleaning, start with a Database Health Check.

What is a Database Health Check?

A Database Health Check is a thorough audit of your Pardot account, examining all your assets, data, and tools.

This Health Check should include an inventory of absolutely everything, from email templates to custom field sync behavior. This inventory will serve you well later as you discuss your plan for your existing assets with your team.

Once you’ve inventoried your database, you’ll need to evaluate things as they are. Things have probably changed since the day you opened your Pardot account. As you work through this evaluation, you’ll want to ask yourself—and your team—a series of important questions.

Am I leveraging Pardot to its fullest potential?

Pardot is a far more robust (and expensive) marketing tool than something like Mailchimp or Constant Contact. To prove a solid return on investment, you need to leverage most—if not all—of Pardot’s tools. To answer this question, evaluate your usage over the past year (or longer).

For hints, take a look at your Usage and Limits table. Finding any zeros? While it’s not necessarily a red flag, every zero you find in your Usage and Limits table should be treated as an opportunity. If you discover you have zero Page Actions, for example, you should stop to discuss that with your team. Why aren’t we using this tool? What could this tool do for us? You might decide that you were right to skip it all along, but it’s worth the discussion.

Pardot Usage and Limits table

What has changed in our business?

In business, things change rapidly. While you’ve been busy targeting new verticals or updating your branding, your Pardot account—left unattended—has been accumulating a whole lot of obsolete assets. Sometimes this will be obvious; if you’ve undergone a branding refresh and scored a new set of email templates in the process, simply go back and get rid of the ones you don’t want anyone to use anymore.

Sometimes it requires a more tedious and manual approach. Lists, campaigns, folders, and files are sometimes a pain to clean out. In order to determine whether a dynamic list is relevant or useful anymore, you need to review the rules first. You need to double check that it’s not in use anywhere else (being referenced in a completion action, for example). You won’t want to delete any files if they’re still on a landing page or in an email template, but you’ll certainly come across some content no one will miss.

Pardot content file
Don’t need this one anymore!

Are processes and completion actions uniform across all assets?

In some cases, the answer to this question will be a resounding “no,” but that’s OK—if it’s intentional. This is only a problem if it is not intentional. If your account has five forms, and three of them are associating submissions with Salesforce campaigns and two are not, that’s something to address. The same is true for field updates, prospect assignment, autoresponder logic, or any other combination of actions you likely house in several different places.

Because you can trigger automation across different assets and tools, your inventory will be invaluable here.

How are my prospects behaving?

Many companies only get serious about database hygiene when they get an email from Pardot, warning them that they’re nearly out of space.

There’s no need to wait until this point. You should evaluate your prospects regularly, and come up with a game plan for prospects who have shown no historical interest, and show no signs of activating in the future. These prospects, as long as they remain technically “mailable,” are clogging up your database.

Whether you choose to delete them, mark them as “do not email,” or send them through a last-ditch activation engagement program, it doesn’t matter—you just need a plan for them. 

Make it your own

These are just a few of the high-level questions we ask our clients as we work through Database Health Checks. As you work through this process on your own, you’ll want to include other questions tailored to your specific business goals and marketing objectives. Take your time, involve the whole team, and enjoy the outcome.

Not comfortable running through this process on your own? Contact us for more information.

Jessica Hope

I consider myself a Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) evangelist. I’ve focused almost exclusively on Pardot for the last seven years, and I've had the great honor of working in hundreds of accounts on every imaginable type of project. I spend most of my time working directly with clients to meet their every last Pardot goal, but I also enjoy writing about and/or training on all things Pardot.

Let’s connect to see where I can help. Email me at:

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