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4 Steps to Prevent COVID-19 Email Fatigue with Pardot Segmentation

In a year when prospect and customer inboxes are bursting with emails about “these uncertain times”, marketers must strike a delicate balance to avoid contributing to email fatigue during COVID-19. Marketers need their message cadence and content to instantly convey relevance now more than ever. Prospects will disengage and lose trust if they receive too many irrelevant emails.

Prospect segmentation is foundational to ensure your emails hit the mark with recipients. Pardot helps users target emails to specific prospects, building trust and loyalty by ensuring they only get emails that matter to them.

The COVID-19 impact on B2B marketing

Pardot users are largely business-to-business (B2B), so they’re typically marketing to other other businesses about their products, service offerings, and thought leadership.

During the pandemic, many B2B prospects have dialed back on ordering office supplies, contracting with janitorial services, and other business-to-business use cases. Instead, they’re pivoting to address the new ways we do business, including optimizing processes, updating websites, embracing teleconferencing, and driving digital and cultural transformation.

Pardot customers who were happy with their automated marketing before COVID-19 may be looking to temporarily adjust their marketing during the pandemic. They don’t want to inundate their prospects’ inboxes with pre-pandemic content, or come across as tone deaf to the times by being too sales-focused.

Let’s explore how one Pardot customer is thoughtfully segmenting its prospect database and shifting its email strategy to adjust to the times.

LenoxSoft promotes its digital transformation

SaaS company and Pardot customer LenoxSoft has used the last two months to redesign its website, showcasing how its services can help other businesses during COVID-19. The company launched two short Engagement Studio programs to help get the word out about the new site and services. One of the programs targets existing LenoxSoft customers; the other targets prospects who have opted-in to marketing communications, but haven’t yet purchased any services.

This two-program approach helps LenoxSoft avoid “blasting” its full prospect database with a one-size-fits-none email series.

LenoxSoft uses a combination of Pardot assets to create these two segments, helping ensure prospects are impressed by relevant content.

  • Custom field mapping to sync the Opportunity Status field in Salesforce to Pardot. A closed-won opportunity indicates an existing customer

  • Default field for number of employees

  • A dynamic list labeled “Existing Customers”, in which the rules specify opportunity status and number of employees

  • Suppression list functionality to exclude the dynamic list “Existing Customers” when building the program for other prospects

With its prospect segments defined, LenoxSoft was ready to launch its programs with messaging tailored to each group. Existing customers received messaging thanking them for doing business with LenoxSoft and highlighting where on the new website customers will find more information just for them. Prospective customers received messaging asking how their business is adjusting to COVID-19, and offering a free trial of one of LenoxSoft’s best-selling services.

4 steps to segment your prospects into Pardot lists

Pardot customers have access to many segmentation tools, including dynamic lists, tags, automation rules, and completion actions.

Here’s how to segment prospects in Pardot to make sure your emails resonate with recipients during COVID-19.

Step 1: Clearly define the ideal prospect criteria for your marketing initiative — e.g., existing customers with at least one closed-won opportunity and more than 10 employees.
Step 2: Determine if the prospect segments you create will be used again and kept current, or if you only need the resulting list once — e.g., a list of customers that automatically updates itself; a list of prospects in Orange County pulled for a one-time virtual happy hour invitation.
Step 3: Use the simple flow chart in this Pardot-focused Trailhead unit to help you decide which automation tool is best suited for your segmentation. (Aspiring Salesforce pros can learn about the products and get hands-on experience with Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform.)
Step 4: Create your new lists and use intuitive, standardized naming conventions so you can easily find or reuse these segments in the future.

Dive deeper into list segmentation

Excited about the possibilities of list segmentation? Our experts are, too! We have great resources to help you learn more. Our always-on Help & Training provides a handy overview of Pardot Segmentation options. If you need help deciding how to segment your Pardot database, check out this Trailhead module onPardot Process Automation for Pardot Lightning App, or join an Ask a Pardot Expert office hour call.

Check out additional Pardot blog posts to learn 6 Ways to Segment Like a Pro and 4 Ways SMBs Can Master Empathetic Digital Marketing.

Tell us how you’re preventing email fatigue during COVID-19

Your customers are experiencing an overload of email. Make sure your emails matter to each recipient so that anything coming from your company is relevant and sympathetic to current events.

Already hyper-segmenting your recipients? We want to hear about your experiences and tips for sending highly targeted emails during these dynamic days. Here’s how to share your story:

  1. Post with the hashtag #hypersegmentation in the Customer Success Community Group, where Salesforce experts and Trailblazers like you share ideas, find answers, and drive success together.

  2. Connect with us on Twitter @askSalesforce and post about your success using the hashtag #hypersegmentation.