In 2019 Pardot released Business Units, enabling segmentation of working areas and data where it was previously a challenge for multiple regions, teams or business areas. Pardot have now taken this Business Unit premise and adapted it for advancing Pardot Sandboxes.
As a part of the Summer 20 release, Pardot have made a major update around sandboxes that every administrator will be happy to see. For years, those of you that have required a Pardot sandbox previously had to request one from Pardot, and you were then able to access an empty instance to use for testing. If you were then trying to replicate the production instance as best as possible it was very difficult and time consuming.
With this most recent update however, you can generate a Pardot sandbox in a very similar way to how you would generate a Salesforce CRM sandbox. This would be a direct copy of your production environment. If you're unsure how to create a sandbox account, here are some steps on how to create a Pardot sandbox.
What's the benefit to you?
Sandboxes are incredibly useful to have, heavily reducing the risk associated to making changes in a live environment, especially if you are testing new features, processes and integrations. However, one thing to note is that you are still unable to send live emails, even to a single record. So, depending upon what you are testing in the sandbox, you may have to create a work-around.
Do not assume Pardot sandboxes work in the exact same way as CRM sandboxes - you are only allowed one Pardot sandbox per Salesforce full sandbox, and change sets are not supported, meaning you cannot move changes between production and sandbox environments. There are also some other restrictions that you need to be aware of around the specific editions of Pardot and Salesforce that support this new feature. Please follow this link for more information.