As a part of its product innovation promise, Salesforce offers 6 releases per year—per year–3 major releases (Summer, Spring, Winter) and 3 off-cycle month releases. Regardless of what Salesforce product or products you may use, keeping up with all of the new updates and new features may be difficult.
For Pardot, I have found that there are three types of feature releases:
- Automatically Enabled: these features apply universally across all Pardot accounts and are automatically enabled and ready for use as the new release is rolled out. These features include previously released features such as the ability to set Engagement Studio programs to repeat or the ability to copy and paste program steps.
- Included, but not Enabled by Default: this may differ in some Pardot instances. For example, when Allow Multiple Prospects with the Same Email Address (AMPSEA) was first introduced in 2016, customers had the option of enabling the feature if they wanted to. Now, all new Pardot instances come with AMPSEA enabled. Other examples of feature releases that a user must consciously enable to use include Pardot’s inclusion of Handlebars Merge Language (HML) for personalization strings (unless you have a brand new Pardot account), Salesforce User Sync for automatic Pardot user creation/deletion, or Operational Emails for sending non-marketing related emails to bypass a user’s opt-out preference.
- Edition/Feature Specific: those that use Pardot Einstein (available for use with Pardot Advanced Edition with Salesforce Enterprise, Performance and Unlimited Editions) can take advantage of Einstein-related Pardot new releases as they are made available. These include Einstein Behavior Scoring and using Einstein Discovery predictions to enhance ABM.
Even with frequent release review, you may find that this year’s releases are a bit different. Due to COVID-19, Salesforce’s Pardot release combines both its May 2020 and Summer ’20 releases—offering a variety of new features and improvements to bolster your marketing team’s efforts when you may need them most.
With a combined release, there are many new features. Here are some of the top ones to consider using:
- The highly anticipated Developer Sandbox for Pardot that is provisioned as a Business Unit from a Salesforce Full Sandbox. Instead of configuring a Pardot Training Environment, you can now use this sandbox to plan and test configuration changes before you implement them in your production Pardot org. However, you must have Pardot Advanced or Premium with the v2 connector.
- A beta version of first-party tracking to make sure that you stay ahead of the curve when it comes to future visitor tracking. Over the next couple of years, web browsers are moving away from supporting third-party cookies, which is the visitor tracking Pardot currently relies on.
- Einstein attribution modeling that uses AI to fill in the gaps where current multi-touch attribution may fall short—creating a data-model that attributes revenue share based on actual customers, engagement level, and success metrics. This is available for Pardot Advanced and Pardot Premium editions with Salesforce Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited editions.
- See Marketing Engagement Data on the Opportunity record. You will now have an Engagement History Dashboard Lightning component to add to the Opportunity layout once Engagement History is enabled in your org. This is available for all Pardot editions with Salesforce Professional (with API access), Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited editions.
- The introduction of the Marketing Campaign Intelligence App template in B2BMA that allows you to view the Campaign Engagement dashboard alongside the Campaign performance dashboard so that you can compare engagement data to campaign data to more effectively evaluate and determine maximum engagement metrics.
Here are some additional release features that also provide a value-add:
- If you’re using Salesforce User Sync, you will now be able to assign Pardot users from within Salesforce setup as well.
- An upgrade to the Salesforce-Pardot connector v2 that has improvements on the integration user, Business Unit switched, and an upgrade to instant metadata sync.
- A clear path to B2B Marketing Analytics (B2BMA) right from within the B2BMA Salesforce setup page—eliminating the need to follow step-by-step setup guides.
- HML will be automatically provisioned with new Pardot accounts; those with existing accounts will still have the option to enable it for use.
- Allow your Pardot assets to be more secure. Any that previously directed to HTTP will now have a forced redirect to HTTPS.
When it comes to releases, being as informed as possible about what they are and when they will be applied to your org can be very beneficial. The improvements may provide immediate benefits for your team to utilize the day of release. I always recommend setting aside time ahead of the release date to review upcoming features and improvements with your team so that you can determine which are most valuable to you now, and which may provide additional improvements down the line when you are ready for them.