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  • Writer's pictureAna Laura Zain

How to use the Lightning Email Builder in Pardot

Recently, Salesforce has announced that the drag and drop functionality is now accessible in the Pardot Lightning Email builder with other sequence components.

This is fantastic news for many Pardot users that have been struggling with the legacy builder. However, the vast number of themes, emails, and messages now accessible may be overwhelming.

Let us guide you through the steps required to build and host your system's email campaigns.

Using the Pardot Lightning Email Builder to create and automate an email is no longer rocket science. Consider using a sketch pen and a board to develop and design your template. The sketch pen is your mouse, and the board is the email builder canvas in Pardot Email Builder.

Depending on the main context, a marketing or operational email may require different features besides the basic ones, like having a main CTA, links, dynamic content, field merges, rows, and columns. These components must be dragged and dropped onto an email canvas that you are editing in the email builder.

1. Create email templates from scratch.

The main advantage of the new Lightning Email builder is the drag-and-drop editor, allowing for the addition of color and creating a user-friendly email with an appealing, easily accessible format. Initial versions of the Pardot email builder software did not support drag and drop.

Another great benefit of the Lightning Email Builder is the mobile-ready, out-of-the-box responsive design feature.

To start, navigate to "setup" and search for "lightning email builder." Search only shows the email template if you haven't enabled email builder permission. So, make sure to set up the Pardot Lightning Email Builder. Because once the Pardot lightning email builder is activated, you can begin creating your brand emails.

Accessing email template from setup
Accessing email template from setup

⚠️ The Salesforce Lab offers email templates you can download, upload, and edit. You can download the free templates here.

Steps to complete the email template creation

  1. Use the email builder to put together an email from scratch or drag-and-drop components from an existing template.

  2. Go to the new email template right away. A new email template surface appears when you click, as seen in the figure below.

  3. Prepare to begin with the necessary information to put together your email, such as the topic name, title, locating folder, and so on.

  4. Complete the template's information and message content sections according to your demands and email strategy, then save it.

Creating a new template
Creating a new template

When you save an email, clicking on it brings up details and information about it. The top right corner of the same page displays “Edit in Builder,” “Edit,” and “Clone.”

2. Customise emails using the drag-and-drop functionality.

The fact that no coding skills are required to create or edit these HTML emails makes the Lightning App a preferred option for many existing Pardot users. Numerous elements, such as the company logo, email headers, links, call-to-action buttons, and images in a specific layout, will be included in an HTML-based email.

The email builder's interface consists of a page with an email canvas in the center and a sidebar menu with components. The email canvas’s left is filled with features to be dropped on it from the sidebar menu.

The email canvas is modified and created with the desired layout in mind.

Components include:


Adding buttons to an email template is no longer a coding challenge – as it still is with the legacy version! Drag and drop the required number of buttons into the email canvas to organize them. As indicated in the side menu bar, add the content and the link, and modify the bottom style.


Similar to the classic Pardot email builder, you can make your edits in HTML depending on your preference or directly incorporate content in the editor.

About merge fields: In an email template, a merge field serves as a placeholder. When you send an email, Salesforce data from the recipients' records replace the placeholder.

When you click the merge field button in the email composer, the merge field selector will appear. Select a specific merge field and press the Insert button. As you might know, many fields, including Account, Lead, Contact, Campaign, User, and custom objects, are associated with the relevant record.

On a separate note, the ability to flip between a phone and a desktop view is one of the best features of the HTML-based email-building tool. These switches between phone and desktop view make it easier for you to make the adjustments required to generate your email template on both.


You can select and upload the appropriate image and adjust the image component. Writing the alt text, inserting hyperlinks, and placing image URLs should be done in a designated area. You can also make image style changes as needed.


The rich text includes the email body, adding content or bullet points, attachments, MS files, etc. It is an editor section to decide on content placement and layout. Everything in a simple format is accessible in rich text, including editing style, structure, and size.

By navigating to the forward and backward arrows on the top left side, you can quickly edit or undo/redo the email templates.

By tapping “style,” you can also add background colors.


You can add, move, and rearrange rows and columns as needed in the email. Depending on the chosen outline email layout, you can alter and add colors and text to the rows and columns.

3. Preview and test before sending.

After creating the email, it is time to preview and test it. As a result, you'll better understand what the recipient view when the email is delivered to them.

After you've finished writing a new email or modifying an old one, send it to the specified email address and preview it.

In the upper right corner, next to clone, there is a dropdown arrow with the options test, preview, and send.

You can test it by choosing to send it to a specific email address or clicking preview as a preview prospect.

4. Send personalized emails with a few more clicks.

Now that you have tested your email, there are a few details left to be completed so the email can be sent. This detail includes choosing whether it is a marketing or operational marketing email type, campaign members (segments), the related campaign and tracker domain, the sender, and completion actions.

When all the details are filled in, you can send the message immediately or schedule it for a later time and date.

Another great addition to the builder vs. the legacy builder is the resend functionality. With the Pardot legacy version, you can’t re-send an email to a different audience. In order to do send the same email to a different audience, once it has been sent, you have to copy the list email and send it again. However, with the Lightning version, you can send and resend emails to different audiences with the click of a button.

You must turn on “Activate for Automation” to enable email automation for user journeys in Engagement Studio.

Salesforce adds new features with each version. As a result, ensure you're up-to-date and have access to new features.


The Pardot Lightning email builder app makes it easier to create visually appealing emails for all Pardot users, regardless of their HTML knowledge. This is critical for many teams that had to previously rely on a developer or email marketer with coding skills to create new emails or even make small edits to existing templates.

If you have any questions about the requirements to migrate to the Lightning App or Pardot Email Marketing, feel free to schedule a free consultation with our team or contact us via email.

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