When Email Templates in Pardot Aren’t Templates
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When Email Templates in Pardot Aren’t Templates

I have always found the topics of email templates and emails in Pardot really confusing. If you’re new to Pardot you might also be trying to make sense of it. It all comes down to how you plan to send an email.

How You Expect Email Templates to Work

There are multiple ways to send an email in Pardot. You can do so manually or in an automated manner. Sending emails manually, or on a one-off basis in Pardot is called a List Email. To create an email to send manually you can navigate to:

Marketing –> Emails–>Draft

In the Salesforce Lightning Pardot app the navigation is Pardot Email–>Drafts.

From here you can click the New List Email button. Easy enough.

As part of this process you name your List Email and. associate it to a Campaign (this is relevant for reporting opens/clicks and ROI). In the next step you have the option to apply an email template for your email. You might choose not to leverage a template (if this is the case you can just click skip). However, if you want a head start you might choose a template as part of this step. This template might be a standard letter head. Choose the template and click apply.

From here you end up in the WYSIWG email editor. Here you can fill in copy and finish building out your email template into a full fledged email. Depending on the email you might also need to update who the email is being sent from, and the reply to address. Your email template will have these pre-set, but you might need to change them.

When an Email Template is, in fact, a Template

If you wanted to use an email template as a starting point in the section above for a List Email you would need to create an email template. This is a pretty straight-forward process. Navigate to:

Marketing–>Emails–>Templates–>Add Email Template

In the Salesforce Lightning Pardot app the navigation is Pardot Email–>Templates.

At this point you need to name your email template and relate it to a Campaign. Related a template to a Campaign doesn’t make a ton of sense, but stick with me, and we’ll discuss later.

Click save. Now you can choose which Layout you want to use to help build your template. You can search or scroll. The layouts that have “Dynamic” in their name look really nice across devices, including mobile. Click Apply.

Now you end up in the WYSIWYG email template editor. The editor is pretty much the same as the email editor. The main difference is the in the Sending step you won’t have the option to send the email to a List. You can only “publish” the email template. If you’re using the email template as it’s namesake you might might a few tweaks to the it such as adding your company logo in the head, and address and social media icons in the footer. When you’re ready publish your email template.

When an Email Template is a Misnomer

You might have noticed when creating an email template that you had an option to select what types of email sends that the template is available for.

If you want your template to be able to send as a List Email then you need to check the List emails box. Notice that you can also use an email template as an Autoresponder email and an Engagement Program email.

Autoresponders are emails that get sent to folks who fill out your form via a completion action.

Note in the image above it says “Choose a(n) Email Template”. The fact of the matter is you are choosing an “Email Template” and that “template” will be sent to the person who completes this form. By definition it’s not a template, but Pardot says it is–and hence the confusion.

The key here is that you will only be able to choose an Email Template that you have the Autoresponder emails checkbox checked for.

Similar situation for Engagement Programs where you leverage the send email action. You select an email template.

Last, you can use Automation Rules to send emails. However, you’ll note that Automation Rule wasn’t a checkbox in the “Available for”. All “Email Templates” will be available for use here, including actual templates which you’ll want to avoid selecting or sending to any Prospects when using Automation Rules to send emails.

Some Parting Words of Advice

  • Leverage the “Available for” in your email template as much as possible. Only make true email templates available for List Emails.
  • Unless of course you need to send an email that you are using in an Engagement Program or Automation Rule, on a one off basis. In that situation, using naming conventions and folders become really important because you may accidentally delete your List Email or Email Template thinking they are duplicates.
  • For other email (templates) you are sending via Engagement Studio, Autoresponders, and Automation Rules make sure that List emails in unchecked. It will make it easier to find your actual email template when building and sending a List Email.

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