How to Analyze Pardot Email Data | Hubert Roberts - Digital Marketer

Why is Pardot email data important?

Pardot is one of the largest players in the marketing automation space today. This tool’s seamless integration with Salesforce – the undisputed king of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software– makes it a mainstay in corporate America trailing only Marketo and Adobe Experience Cloud. Based on Adobe’s acquisition of Marketo for $4.75 billion, Pardot will move up to the number two position in market share.

So your company has made the big splash into the Pardot pool. You are in charge of using this robust tool to email current customers and nurture leads. How do you know if your Pardot emails are working well? Certainly, the best way to prove that your emails are effective is to examine your Pardot email data. In addition, you can benchmark your engagement rates against other companies in your line of business.

How do I find my Pardot email data?

First, we will log into Pardot. As an administrator, all Pardot email data for all campaigns is available for your review. You should see a Dashboard like the one below.

Pardot Dashboard - How to Analyze Pardot Email Data | Hubert Roberts - Digital Marketer

Next, we need to get to your email data. Go to the upper left hand corner of your screen. Select Reports (the icon looks like a bar graph) > Marketing Assets > Emails > List Emails.

Pardot Email Report - How to Analyze Pardot Email Data | Hubert Roberts - Digital Marketer

Now, you should see a list of emails that you or other members of your company’s marketing team have sent.

What data points should I focus on?

I have sent and analyzed over 100 million emails during my digital marketing career. Based on that experience, there are 13 data points needed to understand your email marketing’s effectiveness.

  • Email send date & time
  • Sent
  • Soft Bounces
  • Hard Bounces
  • Delivery Rate
  • Total Opens
  • Unique Opens
  • Open Rate
  • Total Clicks
  • CTR – The percentage of unique people who clicked a link in the email divided by all email recipients. CTR stands for Click Through Rate.
  • Click-To-Open Rate
  • Opt Outs
  • Spam Complaints

Thus, you should pick these items from the Columns list. Click the little funnel and the list of available data will appear. Let’s use that data as the basis of our analysis.

Pardot Email Report - Columns - How to Analyze Pardot Email Data | Hubert Roberts - Digital Marketer

Also, we need to set the time frame that we want to examine. To select a time frame for emails, click on the small funnel to the right of “Sent On”. You will see several drop down menus. Set the first drop down to “Is after or equal to”. Then, click on the small calendar icon. Most marketing managers examine this data monthly. So, I will use that assumption in this walk through. Select the first date of the prior month. Go to the final drop down and select “Is before or equal to”. Click on the small calendar and select the last day of the month. Finally, click the big blue Filter button. Now, you are looking at all emails sent for the last month.

Pardot Email Report - Sent On Filter - How to Analyze Pardot Email Data | Hubert Roberts - Digital Marketer

How do I download Pardot email data?

After selecting a time frame, we must download the data. Go to the upper right hand section of your screen and click on the Tools drop down. Then, select “Export all items to CSV”. You should see a message at the top of your screen like the one below.

Pardot Email Report - CSV List - How to Analyze Pardot Email Data | Hubert Roberts - Digital Marketer

Once you receive the email, click the link and download the file. Your Pardot email data is now on your computer. Let’s open the data in Excel.

My first step is to format my data. The larger numbers (Sent, Delivered, Total Opens etc.) get formatted as numbers with no decimals and commas as 1000 separators. Format the percentages (Delivery Rate, Open Rate, CTR) – you guessed it – as percentages with one decimal.

Pardot Email Report - Formatting - How to Analyze Pardot Email Data | Hubert Roberts - Digital Marketer

Where are your standards?

Should a life insurance company expect their emails to be opened as frequently as an airline? Of course not! Everything is relative, even in the world of digital marketing. As a marketer who has worked in several different industries, I have seen this trend first hand. This engagement variance, if you will, has been documented by digital marketing experts like Smart Insights and HubSpot. You should examine the data on these sites, find your industry and set realistic deliverability, open and CTR rates.

Where are the outliers?

After that, we begin the hunt for outliers. In other words, outliers tell the email marketing story. They must be isolated and analyzed in order to tell that story to others. As we examine Pardot’s email data, outliers are easy to single out. First, select the Delivery Rate column. Then, go to the Home tab and click on the Conditional Formatting button. Select Top / Bottom Rules and then Top 10%. You will see a pop up that ask what percentage you would like to highlight. Change the 10% to 20%. Make these outliers green fill with dark green text. Now, you have found your positive outliers. To find your negative outliers, rinse and repeat the same technique for the bottom 20%. Make your negative outliers light red fill with dark red text. Finally, select your Open Rate and CTR columns and implement conditional formatting as described in this paragraph.

Pardot Email Report - Conditional Formatting - How to Analyze Pardot Email Data | Hubert Roberts - Digital Marketer

What do these outliers mean?

With the outliers now identified, the trends become evident. If you see an email with two or more positive (or negative) outliers, that email is home run (or a strikeout). When you see an email like this, go back to Pardot and examine the email. Ask yourself the following questions:

Low Deliverability Rate

  • Did the subject contain a SPAM trigger word?
  • Was the subject line very descriptive?
  • Did your email include an attachment?

(I prefer to offer links to my content in lieu of attachments. In general, email Service Providers will block mass mailings containing an attachment.)

  • How often do you send emails?

(Emails should be sent only once per hour! Thus, too many emails sent from your IP address in a short time period make you appear to be a Spammer.)

Low Open Rate

•     What was the population of the email send list?

(How did these people opt-in to your communication? Was it a “spray and pray” blast?)

  • Where there a large number of soft bounces or hard bounces?
  • Did you buy this email list?

(The purchase of email lists is frowned upon in the digital marketing community and violates CAN-SPAM laws. Do not do it under any circumstances!)

Low CTR

  • What was the call-to-action (CTA)?
  • Did the CTA align itself strongly with the rest of the email’s copy?
  • Was an image included with the email?
  • Does the email’s image match the subject of the email?

In conclusion …

After analyzing your Pardot emails my way, you will have a strong understanding of your Pardot email campaign’s effectiveness. Marketing is all about measuring and repeating. Continue to monitor your progress. Most importantly, implement a feedback system with leaders and other marketers in your organization. If someone is doing something that could impact engagement metrics, alert them and offer ways to improve their emails. With a little help, your organization use Pardot effectively to get inside the inbox and effectively communicate with our target market.

Additional Pardot Resources

For more help with Pardot, check out my blog post – How to pass the Salesforce Certified Pardot Specialist Exam.