Thanks to Outlook (😡) and our prospects’ ever-rising customer experience expectations, building engaging emails can be challenging for today’s marketers.
Although Pardot has a decent WYSIWYG builder and some responsive email templates to use, it still can be time consuming to make sure that any copied+pasted content didn’t mess up your <div> and that it is set up properly to be mobile-responsive. If you are your own content creation team as well, it can be tricky to find, create, and/or manipulate graphics to make your emails pretty! It’s a constant challenge to keep on the cutting edge — here are some extra tools for your toolkit to take your Pardot emails to the next level.
1. Emaildrips.com: “EmailDrips is the worlds first gallery with the best email drip campaign examples from the experts in your industry. Get inspired by examples of email sequences like webinars, product launches, free trials, onboarding, live events and more!”
Why it’s awesome: Emaildrips is great for Engagement Studio Program inspiration!
2. Really Good Emails: “Really Good Emails (RGE for short) aims to be the best showcase of email design and resources on the web. We’re providing transparency into product email and customer email cycles that are not available anywhere else.”
Why it’s awesome: RGE houses live copies of the emails they feature — so, if you see a beautiful email and wonder, “How did they do that? Is that an image, gif, or fancy code?” you can peek inside the actual code that makes up the email to find out!
3. HTML to Text: “It’s always a good idea to send a plain-text version of your HTML email. Writing one from scratch can be tedious, so this handy tool automatically creates a text version of your HTML email.”
Why it’s awesome: This saves so much time when creating the text versions of your emails — just be sure to put spaces between the unsubscribe link URL and parenthesis — for example, the generator will spit out (%%unsubscribe%%) and you just need to change it to ( %%unsubscribe %% ) when you paste it into the text version section of your Pardot email.
4. HTML cleaner: “Get rid of your dirty markup with the free online HTML Cleaner. It’s very easy to compose, edit, format and minify the web code with this online tool. Convert Word docs to tidy HTML and any other visual documents like Excel, PDF, Google Docs etc. It’s extremely simple and efficient to work with the two attached visual and source editors which respond instantly to your actions.”
Why it’s awesome: Ever get sent a Word doc with the request of making it into an email, or just want to see if your code is clean? This will help.
5. Bulletproof buttons: “Design gorgeous buttons using progressively enhanced VML and CSS.”
Why it’s awesome: I use this all of the time — very easy-to-use button builder that is Pardot-compatible!
6. Pardot content regions: “If you don’t want to give full editing powers to user, use content regions to lock down areas of your email templates.”
Why it’s awesome: This tool seems to be widely unknown and underutilized, but can be very helpful when sharing templates with sales and for general Pardot email template content management.
7. DiffChecker: “DiffChecker is an online diff tool to compare text differences between two text files.”
Why it’s awesome: Andrea from TheSpotforPardot.com says that it’s great “for when you’re like ‘this section is fine on mobile, this seemingly identical section is suddenly ridiculous.'”
8. Unmasking HTML Emails by Codeschool: “Explore the nuances of email clients and how to build designs for them with inline styles, tables for layout, and conditional comments.”
Why it’s awesome: I took this course to brush up on responsive email coding, and it was really helpful! If you subscribe to their emails, they will notify you when they have absolutely free access weekends (I’ve noticed that this happens a few times a year).
9. ColorZilla: “With ColorZilla you can get a color reading from any point in your browser, quickly adjust this color and paste it into another program.”
Why it’s awesome: I couldn’t live without this tool — it helps me so much with matching buttons to header image colors in my Pardot emails, etc.
10. Eventable add-to-calendar button: “Share unlimited events in any email, website, or social network with your own link and embeddable button. Works with everything from Gmail to Outlook, WordPress to Squarespace, MailChimp to Constant Contact, and more!”
Why it’s awesome: I am forever being asked about how to put add-to-calendar buttons in emails — this can be used on landing pages, too!
11. Canva: “Create beautiful designs with your team. Use Canva’s drag-and-drop feature and layouts to design, share and print business cards, logos, presentations and more.”
Why it’s awesome: This is a great tool for creating images for emails or landing pages. Andrea uses it for TheSpotForPardot.com!
12. Pexels: “Best free stock photos in one place.”
Why it’s awesome: If you’re looking for free stock images to use in your Pardot emails or blog posts, you can find some great ones here.
13. FeedOtter: “FeedOtter is the easiest and most powerful way to send blog digest and rss emails from Pardot Salesforce.”
Why it’s awesome: I have had clients use FeedOtter with great success. Make sure you have someone help you set up the technical aspects and scheduling settings — the owner of FeedOtter is really responsive and great as a support resource if you have any questions.
14. Email on Acid: “Use Email on Acid to test your emails across the most popular clients, apps and devices, then go further to measure performance and pivot.”
Why it’s awesome: While Litmus within Pardot is great, the developers at an agency I used to work for used Email on Acid for its quick rendering and easily sharable render results.
15. How to add an Outlook event to an email: “Add an Outlook Calendar Event to an Email Template”
Why it’s awesome: These are the instructions for ClickDimensions, but the process is essentially the same for Pardot users; import the .ics file as a file in Pardot and then link to it in your email.
16. Pardot-friendly emojis: “The easiest way to get an emoji into Pardot is with a little Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V action. Here are some that have worked for me.”
Why it’s awesome: I think Andrea did a great job putting this together and I use it all of the time, rather than spending the time testing emoji after emoji to see which ones play friendly with the ESPs and Pardot email builder.
UPDATE: Pardot now supports all emojis! Check it out here.
17. Catch forwarded email contacts: “What if you could collect the prospects who aren’t quite ready to buy [when an email is forwarded to them from a friend]? What if you could nurture them in a Pardot Engagement Studio program?”
Why it’s awesome: I am the 🐐. Kidding, but I’ve found success using this.
List cleanliness and email sending reputation:
18. Blacklist check: “The blacklist check will test a mail server IP address against over 100 DNS based email blacklists. (Commonly called Realtime blacklist, DNSBL or RBL). If your mail server has been blacklisted, some email you send may not be delivered.”
Why it’s awesome: It’s good practice to check your sending IP address on a monthly basis to make sure you haven’t ended up on any blacklists (especially if you have a shared IP address that others could tarnish) — if you are having trouble identifying your Pardot sending IP address, here are some instructions. As mentioned above, you could have major email deliverability issues if you let your sending IP address get blacklisted and don’t resolve it — in fact resolving these issues can cost big money and a lot of time, so make sure you are following Pardot’s permission-based marketing policy — more on that next.
19. Pardot’s permission-based marketing policy: “Pardot supports only permission-based email marketing. Spam is unsolicited commercial email, junk mail or bulk mail that has not been requested by the recipient. In addition to being perceived as intrusive, irrelevant and often offensive, it is also typical that spam emails do not contain an option to unsubscribe from the mailing list. Simply put, spam is the opposite of permission-based emails — those that are requested, anticipated, personal and relevant.”
Why it’s awesome: Pardot will notice if you upload a bought or dirty list and start emailing it, especially if your delivery rate drops below 90%. It’s better to stay clean and follow best practices, especially with GDPR coming up — make sure your prospects have opted in and that you’ve made it easy for them to unsubscribe if they no longer wish to receive your emails.
20. Sender score: “Like a credit score, a Sender Score is a measure of your reputation. Scores are calculated from 0 to 100. The higher your score, the better your reputation and the higher your email deliverability rate. Numbers are calculated on a rolling 30-day average and illustrate where your IP address ranks against other IP addresses.”
Why it’s awesome: This is a great tool by ReturnPath that will help you with email sender reputation management.
21. Briteverify: “We operate the most secure, performant, compliant and accurate verification network on the planet. Our enterprise applications give your team granular control over how your customer’s data is verified and who has access. We are compliant with the highest security and privacy standards around the world, including TRUSTe, Privacy Shield, and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).”
Why it’s awesome: Briteverify is a widely recommended email verification tool if you are looking to clean an old database when migrating to a new marketing automation platform, etc!
View and like the original LinkedIn post here.
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Sara McNamara is a Marketing Operations Manager and former top-tier Salesforce Pardot Partner senior consultant. She has a special place in her heart for marketing operations, Kanye West, huskies, and people who don’t call her about something that could have been a text/don’t request a meeting about something that could have been an email. She is honored to be the very first B2B marketing Trailblazer to be recognized and featured by Salesforce Trailhead, as well as featured in the first Trailblazers in B2B Marketing | Powered by Pardot magazine. She is also a Marketo Certified Expert and cosigned by Jill Rowley, the greatest sales professional of all time.