Webinar Photo_Sheff (1)_htfek

The Engagement Studio is one of the most powerful and helpful automation tools that sits within Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot) but it can also be one of the most complicated. There are a whole host of potential errors and slip-ups that can happen when you're just trying to build out a journey for your audience.  

On Wednesday 26th June, our Enablement Consultant & Pardot Specialist, Paul Shefferd ran through the most common "gotchas" that cause headaches and frustration for our clients using the Engagement Studio, and how you can avoid being tripped up! 

In this session, Paul discusses:

  • Engagement Studio: An Overview
  • Pausing Problems: When you pause the Engagement Studio, what happens next?
  • Timing Terrors: 24 hours 
  • Troublesome Triggers
  • Perplexing Prospects
  • Q&A

Watch the recording


There are 3 key components of the Engagement Studio:

1. Actions - The component that actually does something!

2. Triggers - These are split based on engagement 

3. Rules - These are split based on data

Paul explained to our attendees that the Engagement Studio can be compared to the popular board game 'KerPlunk'. Click the image below to watch the recording and hear Paul's explanation...

Here is a summary of the content Paul covered in the webinar:

Pausing Problems

One of the biggest pitfalls people fall into when using the Engagement Studio is pausing the studio. Here are a few things to note if you're planning to do this:

  • Every Prospect is held exactly where they are in the journey. For example, if they're on day 2 of a wait step, they'll resume on day 2 when you resume.
  • Your triggers will not monitor activity while the studio is paused.

Sometimes you need to pause (to make changes), but always try and keep studios paused for as little time as necessary to avoid any confusion or potential issues!

Timing Terrors

Timing is one of the most difficult things to get right when it comes to using the Engagement Studio in Pardot. There are so many things to stay on top of and it can become quite overwhelming! Paul and our Martech specialists see these come up in QA checks all the time:

  • Dynamic Lists can create variable entry times.
  • Business hours can cause prospects to skip emails.
  • Weekends count towards wait steps so you must plan accordingly. 

If you have time-sensitive email sends, consider using Segmentation Rules to give you control over your entry times. Also aim to have email send times land comfortably within your send window and account for weekends with your wait steps. 

Troublesome Triggers

Triggers are brilliant for automating Prospect journeys, but they can be fickle. These are some of the things to be aware of:

  • Triggers are not historic - they only monitor from the studio's first start time
  • Make sure you're listening for Landing Page completions and not using form fills for triggers. 
  • Remember that triggers cannot monitor activity in paused studios, if a Prospect completes the action while the studio is paused, they will be treated the same as a Prospect who doesn't complete the action at all and they are sent down the no path.
  • Leave enough time for tracked engagements to occur . 
  • The 'Elevate Up To' trigger timing will stagger your Prospect's journeys resulting in a lower percentage of the audience advancing down the 'yes' path so make sure you're hyper-aware of this to avoid any misrepresentations. 
Perplexing Prospects

When it comes to the Engagement Studio, unfortunately even your Prospects can cause problems. There are 2 common causes for any 'discrepancies' in your Engagement Studio reports, see below:

  • Opted Out Prospects cannot receive emails, but they can move through the rest of the studio. This can make your Engagement Studio look less successful than it is! 
  • In the Report tab, the number above a node represents how many Prospects have completed that step - it doesn't factor in anyone sat on wait steps. 

Make sure to eliminate Opted Out Prospects from your Recipient Lists, or use rules to push them out of the studio early. 

If you have any questions or would like to chat with Paul and the team, please don't hesitate to get in touch to arrange a conversation. 

Contact Us

Paul and our Training & Enablement team have a variety of Salesforce Account Engagement (Pardot) courses tailored to your needs. Whether you're a beginner, aspiring to earn a certification, or eager to optimise your platform proficiency, our training courses are designed to lead you to success.

If you're interested to find out more, contact us using the link above.