Salesforce Certified Pardot Specialist Exam Guide

The exam is structured the similar to the other Salesforce exams. But you have less time to take the exam and need to get a higher passing score.

  • 60 multiple choice questions
  • 90 minutes to take the exam
  • 72% needed to pass (get at least 44 questions correct)
  • $200 to take the exam
  • $100 to retake the exam if you don’t pass the first time

There are no prerequisites to takes this exam, but this Pardot Specialist certification is a prerequisite for the Pardot Consultant certification.


If you haven’t already immersed yourself in Trailhead, you should get some SFMC badges under your belt to get the general basic knowledge of the tool. Use the Exam Guide as a studying outline which I will also cover below. The Salesforce official documentation will also have information to help you, although the material can be dry. And lastly, Salesforce StackExchange is a great resource to ask questions to other people in the community if you get stuck on something.

Exam Outline

The best place to start is by drilling down in each of the bullets in the exam outline. This gives you a good starting point and structure to your studying:

  • Visitors and Prospects: 8%
  • Administration: 11%
  • Pardot Forms, Form Handlers and Landing Pages: 20%
  • Lead Management: 24%
  • Email Marketing: 20%
  • Engagement Studio: 17%

There are less sections compared to other exams which means that fewer sections are weighted higher. For example, Pardot Forms, Form Handlers and Landing Pages, Lead Management, and Email Marketing are all in the 20+%.

Visitors and Prospects: 8%

  • Describe the relationship between visitors and prospects.
  • Given a scenario, apply the appropriate plan of action using Prospect Audits.

This trailhead module: Pardot Lead Generation for Pardot Lightning App is a good place to start for getting the basics on visitors and prospects.

In a nutshell, visitors are anonymous people who visit your website. They become a prospect when they have given you their email address or other identifying information. Visitors are tracked via visitor cookies which contain a visitor_id as the unique identifier and also the pi_opt_in opt-in cookie.

Prospect Audits is an audit table on the prospect record that display details about changes and the prospect’s actions. For example, it may include details on when the prospect was added or removed from a list, when they converted from a visitor to a prospect via a form or landing page, or when a change was made to the campaign they belong to.

Administration: 11%

  • Illustrate how to create, edit, and map fields.
  • Explain the relationship between Pardot and Salesforce.
  • Describe the capabilities of the Pardot Recycle Bin.

Salesforce fields show up next to the custom field in Pardot and it means it is mapped correctly.

Integrating with Salesforce allows you to sync information bidirectionally. Social data and Pardot activities can be added to the lead/contact layouts.

Things you may want to remember for the exam:

  • You can only have one Salesforce connector in Pardot.
  • You will need clickjack protection-compatible Visualforce page in clickjack protection is enabled
  • Person Account records can be synced
  • If you import prospects into Pardot, it syncs with Salesforce. Records are not created if there is no matching email address
  • Sync changes happen every 2 minutes, but can take longer for large volumes

The Salesforce-Pardot connector uses the CRM ID to create the 1:1 relationship between a Pardot prospect and a Salesforce lead. If multiple email addresses exist in Salesforce, the prospect syncs to the record with the most recent activity. The integration user authenticates to Salesforce via the Pardot Integration Connected App.

Existing leads and contacts in Salesforce do not automatically get created as prospects in Pardot. As a safety feature, they need to be imported first.

When an asset is deleted in Pardot, it’s moved to the recycle bin instead of being permanently deleted. You cannot empty the recycle bin, but you can restore most assets (except tags and content files) from it. Items in the bin do not count towards your usage limits.

  • If you delete a campaign, the prospects in that campaign will still be tagged with that deleted campaign.
  • You can undelete a deleted prospect by undeleting the synced Salesforce record.

The four default roles for users are: Administrator, Marketing User, Sales Manager, and Sales User.

Pardot Forms, Form Handlers and Landing Pages: 20%

  • Given a scenario, identify the capabilities, use cases and interpret metrics of Pardot forms.
  • Identify the capabilities, use cases and interpret reporting metrics for landing pages.

Forms are used to collect information about people visiting your website and can help turn your visitors into identified prospects. Progressive profiling can be used to show form fields based on if the prospect already has data in other fields.

Form Handlers can connect your external forms to Pardot and can be helpful if you need to maintain an existing lead generation strategy.

Landing pages are specific web pages that a visitor reaches after clicking a link, advertisement, or search result and are generally specific to that link, advertisement, or search keyword. It has a single focus and pushes visitors to a call-to-action. Driving visitors to just your home page can be an ineffective way of converting visitors which is where you can capitalize by using landing pages. Pardot’s hosted landing pages allow you to build in automation based on whether or not a prospect has viewed or submitting information on that landing page.

Lead Management: 24%

  • Explain the components and use cases of an automation rule.
  • Distinguish between the capabilities of, use cases for, and how to create different types of lists.
  • Define the capabilities of a completion action.
  • Define the capabilities of a segmentation rule.
  • Define the capabilities of page actions.
  • Explain what a Score measures and how scoring is managed.
  • Explain what a Grade measures and how grading is managed.
  • Identify the capabilities and use cases of custom redirects.

Automation Rules: Let you Define Criteria to act on matching prospects. Because automation rules will continually look for matching prospects, they are a good fit for automating sales assignments.
Allow you to create repeatable, criteria-based rules that find matching prospects and apply actions to them.

  • Automation rules begin in the ‘paused’ status so that it allows the user to preview the matches before resuming the rules.
  • Rules can be repeated and the number of matches to the prospect can be defined

Many All: Uses the AND functionality — A prospect must match all rule criteria
Many Any: Uses the OR functionality — A prospect must match one of the rules

Is: Exact Match and is not case sensitive. Specific defined values i.e. drop down fields
Contains: Inclusive. Contains letters or word provided, i.e. text field.

Completion Action: automate directly from a marketing asset like a form or email send and is action-based (singular action-based criteria). A good example is a form, for example, did the prospect submit a form? Either the prospect submitted the form or they did not submit the form (Binary-based) . Completion actions are good for single-action based criteria and is not rule based. Completion actions will fire each and every time a Prospect takes the chosen action. If there are multiple completion actions on one marketing asset, the completion action that affect other automations run first.
Allow you to automate directly from a marketing element such as a form, file or email send.

2 main differences between Automation Rules and Completion Action:

  1. The ability to Apply Criteria
  2. The number of times the defined actions will Affect Prospects

Page Action: Are like completion actions but the only criteria is: “Has a prospect viewed this page?”
Using a wildcard URL for a page action allows you to execute the same completion action across any page that meets the wildcard syntax. You must have Pardot tracking code on your website to enable page action.

Segmentation Rules: Segmentation rules deal with building lists and campaigns and run once. For example, you can create a list of prospects and apply a segmentation action based on a criteria. Segmentation rules can be run retroactively and evaluate your entire database against all specified criteria and looks back at all activities prospects have taken. The actions available for Segmentation Rules are all related to segmenting your prospect database for email sends.
Allow you to create a one-time list of prospects and apply a segmentation action based on a specific criteria.

Which Pardot Rule to Use?

Static Lists versus Dynamic Lists:
Static List: Prospects must be added or removed. Do not change. Similar to a campaign in Salesforce.
Dynamic List: Criteria-based. Constantly Refresh. i.e. All prospects with an open opportunity in stage 5. As soon as the opportunity is Closed Won, they would be automatically removed from the list. You can set criteria for prospects to be automatically added or removed. A good scenario is segmenting your audience based on a field value that changes often.
Allow you to create lists that update automatically based on a specific criteria.

Pardot uses two metrics for qualifying leads: Score and Grade.
Score: Prospect activity. How interested they are in us. (Numerical value). Examples: opening an email, submitting a form, or attending a webinar are each assigned point values. A score is implicit interest in your product or service. Scoring categories allow you to score prospects on more than one product or service in addition to your overall prospect score. You must organize your content info folders in order to use scoring categories.
Grade: Demographic data. How interested we are in them. (A, B, C, D, etc). Examples: Job title, company size, location. An initial grade of D is assigned to all prospects. The Pardot default profile measures prospects against 5 criteria:

  1. Company size
  2. Industry
  3. Location
  4. Job title
  5. Department

Custom profiles allow you to grade a specific subset of your prospect database based on unique criteria.

Thresholds can help determine if a prospect is properly qualified. Good starting points for score and grade thresholds are a score of 100 points and a grade of B-.

Email Marketing: 20%

  • Distinguish between an Email and an Email Template.
  • Given a scenario, identify the capabilities and use cases for email.
  • Distinguish between the metrics collected in Pardot email reporting.

Email Templates can be used over and over again to create emails.
List emails can be sent once. They are one-off sending list emails.
For example, you can use an email template over and over again to create a list email, but you can only send a list email once.

Control Content for Editing inside Email Templates
The pardot-reason attribute makes content in your email template editable. For example, using <td pardot-region> makes the td element and elements within that td editable.

When you use pardot-repeatable, this allows other Pardot users copy that content in the repeatable element.

To allow users to remove an element from an email, you can use the pardot-removable attribute in your content. These can be only removed and not added.

List Email Report: Gives you the break down of number of emails sent, unique clicks, unique click rate, total clicks, and total click rate. It has three other tabs for additional reports: Click-Through Rate Report, Interaction, and Email Clients. Navigate to: Pardot Reports | Marketing Assets | Emails | List Emails

Report Tab: Shows basic information and metrics such as opened, bounced, and unopened emails for the list email send.
Click-Through Rate Report Tab: Displays link performance (clicks) visually (blue is coldest, and red is warmest).
Interaction: Requires purchase of Advanced Email Analytics Package. The Interaction tab shows how your recipients engage with your email by aggregating opens and clicks together.

  • Glanced or Unread Percentage: Email open fewer than 2 seconds
  • Skimmed Percentage: Email open between 2 and 10 seconds
  • Read Percentage: Email open for 10 seconds or longer
  • Forward Count: Email forward via forward button
  • Printed: Email Printed

Email Client Tab: Shows reporting on what email client (Gmail, Apple iPhone, Outlook, Apple Mail) and also a breakdown of client such as iOS 9, iOS 8 etc.

Engagement Studio: 17%

  • Distinguish between the components of an engagement program.
  • Explain the process of updating an engagement program including its assets.

Action: Actions take an action on a prospect at a given point in time — like send an email or change a field.
Actions let you take an action.
Trigger: Triggers listen for an event like an email open or form submission to occur within a specified period of days. The trigger answers, “Has the prospect done this?”
Triggers let you define paths based on prospect actions.
Rule: Rules check for specified criteria or values in the system. Rules check for specified criteria or values over the life of the prospect. Rules check current data and don’t wait for something to happen.
Rules let you define criteria.
End: The end step designates the end of the program path.

Rules and Triggers steps set up branching logic of “yes” and “no” branches. The branches let you build out the different paths.

If you want to make changes after you start the program, you need to pause it in order to access the Build tab for edits.

Time and Pauses:
“Wait up to a maximum of” time setting: Engagement studio will listen for the specified activity/event to occur during the specified time frame.
When an engagement program is paused, prospects will remain exactly where they were when the program was paused.

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