B2B Marketing Marketing Best Practices Pardot Personalization

Scoring Categories: Taking Your Pardot Scoring to the Next Level

Pardot scoring is no secret to its users. Scoring is a great tool for measuring how engaged your prospects are with your company and marketing efforts. Each time a prospect interacts with your website, emails, whitepapers, or any marketing asset, you can add to or subtract from their overall score.  However, Pardot offers a way to take this one step further with scoring categories.

At To The Point Marketing, we work with countless Pardot instances across many industries.  As a result, one of the most underutilized features we see is Pardot scoring categories.  Scoring categories are available in the Pardot Pro and Ultimate editions.  If your company is using the Standard edition, but still wants to track specific product or business unit interests, Pardot scoring categories alone makes the upgrade to Pardot Pro Edition worth the extra spend.

So, what are you missing out on?

Imagine you work for a B2B company that sells desks to other businesses. Maybe you really do work for a desk company and don’t have to imagine, perfect. Each time a prospect, who we’ved named Leigh, interacts with your product newsletter or visits your website, her score goes up.  You now know that Leigh is at least somewhat interested in your desks, but how do we know what kind?  Your company sells desks made from wood, glass, metal, and other, less common, desk materials (I admit I didn’t research all available desk-material options).  Leigh wants a desk, but she has successfully kept which kind a secret.

Pardot scoring categories to the rescue!

By having scoring categories assigned to your marketing assets, you can track the prospect’s overall interest in your company as well as their level of interest in each specific product.  On Leigh’s prospect record, we will be able to see her overall score as well as her points based on each scoring category. With the scoring categories, you can run automation rules, set up dynamic lists, or add prospects to product-specific drip campaigns. Leigh’s prospect record score now looks like this:

Pardot Scoring CategoriesOverall score: 500
Wood desks: 350 points
Glass desks: 75 points
Metal desks: 65 points
other fun materials: 10 points

Leigh’s secret is no more. You can now easily see that Leigh is in the market for buying desks and most of her shopping time has been allocated to wooden desks.  Being the savvy Pardot user that you are, you have an automation rule running that assigns Leigh to your wooden desk engagement studio campaign. Or perhaps your company now has Leigh assigned to your wood desk specialist in sales. They exist, trust me.

I know what your thinking, scoring categories are awesome! So how do you get this ball rolling?

Getting started with Pardot scoring categories

The first step is to organize your marketing assets into folders.  However, there is one IMPORTANT thing to know.  Pardot has a folder structure that is already set up, under the main folder ‘Uncategorized’.  These folders WILL NOT work because you cannot apply a scoring category to the uncategorized folder, or any of its subfolders.  So what does this mean?  This means you get the very fun task of creating a new main folder and setting up a subfolder structure based on your categories. Maybe assign it to the intern.  Your folder structure might look like:

  • Desks
    • Wood
      • PDFs
      • Landing pages
      • White papers
    • Metal
      • PDFs
      • Landing pages
      • White papers
    • Glass
      • PDFs
      • Landing pages
      • White papers
    • Fun Materials
      • PDFs
      • Landing pages
      • White papers

The scoring category will apply to the assets within the assigned folder, as well as its subfolders and subfolder content.

Now your folder structure is set up and your marketing assets have been correctly categorized.  Next, you will want to create your first scoring category by navigating to Admin > Automation Settings > Scoring, clicking “+ Add Scoring Category”, filling out the fields, and assigning your newly created scoring category to the appropriate folder.  You can have up to 50 scoring categories per Pardot account.  It’s also important to note that you can assign one scoring category to multiple folders, but each folder may only have one scoring category assigned to it. In other words, assign your scoring category to as many folders as you would like, but be aware that you will not be able to assign any other scoring categories to those same folders.

A few other important notes before you embark on your scoring category journey:

  • When creating a scoring category you can select a specific start date, or have it apply to all activity a prospect has had with assets in that folder even before you your scoring category was created
  • When you move marketing assets between folders, all applicable prospects will have their scoring categories updated to reflect the change
  • Drip emails are based off of the folder that the email template is in. List emails are based off the folder that specific email is in
  • If a form is added to a Pardot landing page in the editing steps, the landing pages folder will determine the category
  • You can add scoring category scores to Salesforce lead and contact pages to run further reporting

Now imagine all the fun you are going to have setting up scoring categories for your own organization!