What Pardot Got Wrong with the “Allow Multiple Prospects with the Same Email Address” Feature
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What Pardot Got Wrong with the “Allow Multiple Prospects with the Same Email Address” Feature

INTRODUCING AMPSEA

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

Don’t have control of your Salesforce environment? Check out our Pardot deduplication tool which finds and deletes duplicate Prospects on a daily basis!

10 Comments
  • John Wiedenheft
    Posted at 15:24h, 24 April Reply

    Paul, I think you hit the nail on the head here. I was certainly sold on activating AMPSEA based on the marketing by Pardot. So far, I have yet to see any benefit of doing this. In fact, it’s been nothing but a headache with having multiple prospects in Pardot now.

    I would have never activated AMPSEA had I known then what I know now. Hopefully Pardot listens to you and its customers who have similar opinions.

  • James Richard
    Posted at 15:34h, 17 March Reply

    This feature was meant more for investment/insurance industries where their crm model enforces a client record per agent/advisor due to their private sharing model in maintaining a relationship to the client. Although, it still wasn’t implemented correctly due to the fact that it conflicts with the overall platform’s model of email having been the unique identifier (prior to this feature).

  • Nick
    Posted at 21:15h, 23 April Reply

    I have used Pardot as a web API developer for a client site for 6 months now and can assert to the fact that this feature is a real pain in the ass.

  • Alex
    Posted at 10:00h, 24 May Reply

    I really wish we could turn this feature off. Our company joined Pardot after this was implemented, so we never got a choice. Due to the way Zapier and other 3rd-party connectors create new prospects, we’re up to over 12,000 duplicate entries. And there’s no way to mass de-duplicate!

    • Paul Fischer
      Posted at 09:37h, 29 April Reply

      Hi Alex, be sure to vote on the idea to be able to turn it off here – https://success.salesforce.com/ideaView?id=0873A000000E6zpQAC

      • Eashwer
        Posted at 11:25h, 19 January Reply

        Unfortunately, I’m in the minority and I have the OPPOSITE NEED.

        How do I preserve the fidelity of each lead submission created from Pardot/FORM? ( I see that I’m able to preserve the fidelity when I create a duplicate lead entry manually) I would like each LEAD entry via our FORM submission to be kept discrete from the other duplicate entries that may or may not be already present in Pardot and/or Salesforce. 
        We’re on a Pardot pre-Feb 2019 v1 connector with no immediate plans for upgrading.

        The lead is merged by Pardot by default as it uses email to match on the newly created lead….and merges/overwrites the Pardot record with the latest information. (We do have traceability on AUDIT tab – but we’d like to keep both records as-is)
        I would like to be able to see multiple records on the SF side as well..

  • Bridget Buckley
    Posted at 11:18h, 07 December Reply

    We have this feature turned on and it’s not working as expected. Would the fact that we’re testing this in a sandbox make the difference? Does this feature work in Sandboxes?

    • Paul Fischer
      Posted at 09:29h, 29 April Reply

      Hi Bridget, yes AMPSEA should work in Pardot sandboxes/training environments, as well as, the production environment.

  • Mary
    Posted at 22:02h, 13 June Reply

    spot on insights Paul – It creates more complication instead of having a simple view of the prospect/customer and keeping records clean and (less!) . upvoted the idea to have the ability to turn this feature off. hope it gets implemented soon

  • DEAN
    Posted at 03:40h, 06 August Reply

    Hi Paul,
    When I am reading this post the option: “Automatically create prospects in Pardot if they are created as a Lead or Contact in Salesforce” can be unchecked, so this one is solved. However other issues mentioned above stay.

    As this functionality is in fact confusing and not consistent even in Pardot, I am adding another issue:
    Imagine, there are different prospects with the same email address (e.g. husband and wife, it can happen). This could be an intuitive case for multiple prospects with the same email. Imagine husband is already in a pardot database (and SF database as well – Pardot and SF are synced). His wife submits a form and uses her personal data, exept for the email, which is the same as of husbands. Additional information: A form was created for the purpose of a giveaway contest. What happens?

    1) First, Multiple prospects with the same email address functionality obviously does not work here (with forms, so generaly with new lead generation tools, provided in Pardot).
    2) Pardot will match new prospect (wife) with existing one (husband) based on the email address (let’s say browser cookie is different, so Pardot will match based on existing email) … and overwrite the husband data with his wife’s data.
    AT THIS MOMENT, we have a WIFE prospect and LOST a HSUBAND prospect (actually, prospect is the same, only data has changed).

    3) Pardot –> Salesforce sync: if fields are set that SF is a master, when sync happens, SF data will override Pardot data on a prospect record. This means, HUSBAND personal data from SF will override WIFE data in Pardot… and in Pardot we will again have only a husband prospect data as before.

    FINAL RESULT: we only have a HUSBAND prospect and lost WIFE prospect… and basically, cannot know if she applied for the giveaway contest.

    In any other configuration of fields syncing (e.g. Pardot is the master for First Name field and Last name field) we lose someone.

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