22 Mar What Pardot Got Wrong with the “Allow Multiple Prospects with the Same Email Address” Feature
Around November of 2016 Pardot implemented a feature called “Allow Multiple Prospects with the Same Email Address” (AMPSEA for short). Some care was taken when naming the feature, but the outcome of this feature is that it allows the creation of duplicate Prospect records in Pardot. New Pardot accounts from June 14, 2016 onward will have this feature auto-enabled, and you disable it. If you’re long-time Pardot customer contemplating if you should activate the feature, or a new customer wondering what this feature is about, read on!
First, let’s talk about who is feature is meant for. Accordingly to the Pardot blog post,
“AMPSEA is great for customers who sell multiple products/services and want to maintain separate records depending on which product/service the individual is interested in. Having separate Pardot prospect records tied to that individual allows more accurate tracking and better targeted marketing interactions, like providing an email promotional offer only on a specific product the individual has shown interest in.”
Having two records of the same customer in your CRM is not a best practice for a number of reasons. This can lead to sales reps stepping on each others toes, and an inconsistent and frustrating purchasing experience for the buyer. The same concept holds true for marketing. Even if you are marketing multiple products or services the prospect should experience the marketing communications you send to them in a holistic manner. How embarrassing would it be to send a customer a marketing email for a product they already have purchased because your two Prospect records do not communicate with one another? I fear that the problem that this feature is trying to solve is actually making it more likely to occur.
It is a bit confusing why Pardot indicates that it is necessary to have a duplicate Prospect record in the system when selling multiple production lines or lines of business. Custom Scoring Categories were created exactly for this purpose—so that you could have multiple scores on a Prospect record based on product or line of business. Only by having a single customer record in Salesforce and Pardot gives a true 365 degree view of the customer.
HOW DUPLICATE PROSPECTS MAY BE CREATED IN PARDOT
1. CSV File Import into Pardot
IMPORT WITH EMAIL ADDRESS
Prospect imports work differently with AMPSEA enabled. You have the option to complete an import based on email address or CRM ID. If you choose to import Prospects with email address as the unique identifier, and a Prospect with that same email address exists in Pardot (and it has a CRM ID) then a duplicate Prospect record will be created. Think of a scenario where you attend a trade show and come back with a list of names. You import that list into Pardot, but some of those people already existed in Salesforce and Pardot. In that situation a list import using email address would create duplicates.
If there is an existing Prospect with a matching email address, but no CRM ID a duplicate does not get created. Instead, the Prospect could get updated depending upon if you have selected ‘overwrite existing value’ in the field mapping step of the import. If multiple Prospect exists with the same email address (with no CRM ID) then Pardot will update the one with the most recently activity.
IMPORT WITH CRM ID
If you import using CRM ID and a Prospect exists with that CRM ID, then the Prospect is simply updated (if you selected overwrite values in the field mapping step during import). However, if you have a Prospect in your CSV that has the same email address as an existing Prospect in Pardot which doesn’t have a CRM ID then a duplicate Prospect record is created.
2. Salesforce-Pardot Connector
LINKING PARDOT PROSPECT RECORDS WITH LEADS/CONTACTS IN CRM
If you have two Prospects with no CRM ID and the same email address, and there is a Lead/Contact with the same email address in Salesforce, the records will link. But which of the two Prospects will link with Salesforce? As it turns out it is completely random. One should hope that it is the record with the most recent Pardot activity. You would hope for this because if this person hits a form or landing page Pardot will update the Prospect that had the most recently activity. However, if the Prospect with the most recent activity isn’t linked to the CRM record, a form submission comes in, and the Prospect is assigned, then a duplicate is created in Salesforce (or you may get a a prospect sync error if your Salesforce duplication rules don’t allow it).
If the wrong Prospect attached to the Salesforce record it appears there is no way to change the CRM ID in Pardot so that you can associate the proper Prospect record to the Salesforce record.
LIMITING DUPLICATES COMING INTO PARDOT FROM SALESFORCE
With this feature enabled you do not have the option to prevent Prospects being created every time a new Contact or Lead in Salesforce is created. Previously the salesforce connector had a setting called ‘Automatically create prospects in Pardot if they are created as a Lead or Contact in Salesforce’ which you could disable. It was common to use this feature if your Salesforce database was much larger than your Prospect storage limit in Pardot. This feature worked in combination with the “Send to Pardot” button in Salesforce. When this button is clicked a new Prospect is created in Pardot.
With the release of AMPSEA you no longer have this option and are forced have all Leads and Contacts created as Prospects in Pardot. This means you may have way more people in Pardot than you need, as a result of all records syncing in from Salesforce. In addition, Having more Prospects in Pardot means Salesforce can charge for more for Prospect storage., and some customers are not happy with AMPSEA. There have been some rumblings of Pardot allowing a selective syncing option more broadly in the future (see Marketing Data Sharing Rules).
ACTION ITEMS TO TAKE TO LIMIT DUPLICATES
- Thoroughly scrub your Salesforce data before importing it into Pardot for the first time to ensure no records have the same email address
- Setup duplication rules in Salesforce for Leads, Contacts, Lead to Contact, Contact to Lead. Ensure these rules apply globally for the entire Salesforce org.
- Employ a selective syncing strategy to selectively sync only certain records. This requires custom development in Salesforce, but may be well worth the cost compared to paying for additional Prospect storage and a more cluttered marketing database.
- Try to limit your sales users access to Pardot so that they cannot create new Prospects. All standard roles of Admin, Marketing, Sales Manager, and Sales can manually create Prospects in Pardot. Create a custom role that does not allow this if you are using an edition that allows custom roles.
CHECK OUT THE PARDOT DEDUPING TOOL
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