Newsletter tips

Pardot Pro Tip: Add to List from Field Values

Jun 29, 2020 | Pardot | 0 comments

One of my favorite Pardot tricks is super simple, but easy to overlook. It’s possible to use a field’s values to immediately add a prospect to a static list, without using any Automation Rules or form completion actions.

Scenario: Let’s say you want to collect newsletter subscriptions on a Pardot form, but you have more than one newsletter. How do you go about setting up the Pardot form for this?

If you only have one newsletter list, then you could simply set up a form with a Completion Action of “add to list” and then every prospect who completes that form gets added to the list.

This is straightforward, but is an “all or nothing” proposition – everyone who completes the form has the exact same actions applied to them.

Set up a Pardot Subscription Form for multiple lists

What if you have more than one newsletter list, though? You might offer a newsletter for each of your product lines, or maybe you offer a couple of different subscription levels such as a weekly newsletter and a monthly newsletter.

In that case you want prospects to be able to subscribe to all of the lists they are interested in, but you also want them to be able to leave blank any newsletters they do not want.

I start off by creating a custom field asking the prospect “Which newsletters would you like to receive?” and then setting up the field values:

Preview of Pardot field values

A Pardot field for Monthly and Weekly newsletter subscriptions.

Option 1: Make a Dynamic List for Subscription:

Now, you could add this to your Pardot form, and then create a Dynamic List for each of these options. The dynamic List could look for this criteria:

Dynamic list for Newsletter Subscription

Dynamic list for Newsletter Subscription

The criteria is to look for the prospects who have the field value “Monthly Newsletter” in the field.

Which is certainly one way you can do this – and it is not the wrong way to build a list for newsletters.

However, when you put a dynamic list on an email preference center page, the dynamic list does not appear to the visitor unless they are already a member of the list.

That means if a prospect is viewing the email preference center and they are NOT already a member of the monthly newsletter list …they cannot choose to join that list.

This is an ideal set up for a dynamic list of customers – you could want to send emails to customers, and let customers opt OUT of the list, but you wouldn’t want to show the customers list to everyone who visits the email preference center. You wouldn’t want non-customers to join your customers list!

Option 2: Add each prospect to a static list based on their field value

To allow your email preference center to show ALL the lists, even if someone is not already a member of the list, you need to set up Static Lists in Pardot.

With a static list, prospects must be added to the list individually, or via an Automation Rule or something like that.

But when you have multiple lists, you end up needing to use one Automation Rule PER newsletter list, just to get prospects onto the correct lists. That could burn through a bunch of Automation Rules, really quickly!

This is where my favorite trick comes in.

When setting up a Pardot field that has specific field values, you have a n opportunity to automatically add prospects to a static list without using up any of your valuable Automation Rules.

This setting is found inside each Pardot field that has set field values. This means it’s available for Pardot fields like Checkboxes, Radio Buttons, and Dropdowns. It is not available for open text fields, where the prospect can freely type in their own text or number (such as “Job Title” fields or “Phone Number” fields being free text fields).

To set up this fun trick, click Edit on one of your fields and scroll down until you see the field values.

Here I have a field where I am collecting what type of newsletter the visitor would like to receive – the monthly newsletter or the weekly newsletter:

Notice the icons to the right of the field values.

You have an icon with a capital A, which will allow you to change the “pretty” name of the field value.

And then you have the icon that we’re interested in – the one that looks like a Menu icon. Click that icon.

Pardot Add to List steps

Click the icon and select a list


Once you click that icon, you get the pop-up for the list selection.

Choose your list from the pop-up

Choose your list from the pop-up

And that’s it! You now have a field set up to automatically add prospects into a static list, simply based on the field value.

Some follow-up tips

Tip 1: This only works for prospects who gain this field value from when you set up this trick and forward – it does NOT work retroactively.

If, for example, you had this field set up for a month, and in the month it was available you had 30 prospects opt in to the Monthly Newsletter, then you set up this add to list trick – those 30 people will NOT automatically join your list (because their field value existed prior to you setting up this setting). But anyone who gains this field value AFTER you set up this setting will automatically join the list.

The good news is you just need to run a quick Segmentation Rule to add your missing 30 prospects to the static list. And everything moving forward will work just fine.

Tip 2: You should set up these kinds of field values and add to list settings BEFORE doing your initial Pardot import (if you can). If you’re just setting up Pardot, that’s the best time to do this sort of thing – that way when you do the full sync of your Pardot account with Salesforce, all your prospects will automatically flow onto your lists.

Tip 3: If you’ve had your fields set up for a while, the next best time to set up your fields and your lists is now. Don’t feel like you missed out – just jump in, and set them up! Run a quick Segmentation Rule to add them to the static list of your choice, and free up your automation rules for other things.

Tip 4: Think about fun ways you can use this. My favorite was to create lists per Country. As someone came into my database and their Country field said “United States” they automatically joined that list. I also used them for language preferences, when the custom field for “Preferred Language” said “Spanish” they were added to the appropriate list.

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Lara Black

Hi, I’m Lara!

I’m a Pardot power user. Ask me anything about Pardot or Connected Campaigns. I’m a Pardot expert, and Co-Leader of the Austin Pardot User Group.

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