I'm so done with Pardot Drip Programs. Why? Because now I have Engagement Studio, that's why. What is Engagement Studio? It's Drip Programs 2.0. It's a much more complex and dynamic means to design your marketing journeys for your Prospects and Customers. Drip Programs were exceptionally limited. Very basic branching, only a few actions, limited triggers, and rules (16 in total). In Engagement studio you now have a combined arsenal of 34 actions, triggers, and rules. 

Just as a refresher:

  • Triggers listen for prospect actions, and let you to define paths based on those prospect actions, e.g. filled out a form or clicked on a link

  • Actions are things that Pardot can do in Engagement Programs e.g. send an email or add a prospect to a Salesforce campaign.

  • Rules let you to define paths based on prospect criteria, e.g. take a particular path based on their score or their industry.

You can check out the full list of options on Pardot's Knowledgebase.

It goes without saying that with more than double the number of actions, triggers, and rules, Engagement Studio exponentially increases your ability to custom tailor the Journey for your Prospects. Making Engagement Studio more of a hub and Pardot's various assets and functionality more of the spokes. Thus giving users the ability to better visualize their marketing initiatives, which is something I've long felt has been missing from Pardot.

Not only does Engagement Studio provide a clean and easy interface to design and visually comprehend your marketing journeys, it also provides an easy way to test various journeys and paths therein.  Test various scenarios, make changes, test again from a specific point, repeat. Very, very helpful. And you can test without having to create "dummy" prospects to send through the process.

Reporting is also well integrated into each Journey. Click at each each node and get stats on how many prospects entered that point and the resulting actions.

Even more good news, is there are parallels between Engagement Studio and the old Drip Programs so if you're familiar with the latter I wouldn't expect your learning curve to be that great. 

So what happens to all your old Drip Programs? For now, nothing. They stay just as they are. Pardot will allow you to continue to create new Drip Programs and edit existing. No insight yet as to whether or not Drip Programs will eventually fade into oblivion. I have no doubt Drip Programs will be eventually be deprecated, it's more a question of when, then if. But probably not for a while. They need to give Engagement Studio some time to mature, and increase user adoption. I'd love to see some feature to convert existing Drip Programs to Engagement Journeys, but that remains to be seen at this time.

It's new, it's different, and it's definitely a step in the right direction. One feature I think would make Engagement Studio a huge leap better would be the ability to create assets directly from the Journey. Just like when you can create a new form while you're in the process of creating a new landing page. Why not give us the ability to create a new email template, form, or custom redirect. We'll see. All I can say for now is keep up the good work over there at Pardot.

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