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  • Writer's pictureAna Laura Zain

Lead Scoring Part 2: Customizing Pardot's Default Scoring Sets and Advanced Customizations

In our previous guide, we covered the basic concepts you need to know in order to get started with lead scoring, lead grading, performing an audit, and understanding how Pardot’s default setup works.

In this second part, we will dig deeper into advanced customizations, examples, and a step-by-step guide on how to do it. 

As a reminder:

Lead scoring is an essential component of marketing automation and a topic that comes up often when comparing marketing automation tools. Simply put, lead scoring allows busy account execs to focus on their hottest leads 🔥, while giving marketers insight into which leads to market to and which leads to pass on to sales. 

In this part 2 of the guide, we will cover:

  • Customizing Pardot’s Default Lead Scoring System

  • Advanced customizations

    • Page actions

    • Completion actions: Forms and Form Handlers

    • List emails

    • Files 

    • Automation rules

    • Moving MQLs to Nurturing

    • Moving SQL to Sales

    • Sales Alerts

  • Wrapping Up

Customizing Pardot’s Default Lead Scoring System

Customizing the default scoring set is simple. Simply click “Edit Scoring Rules” and select the criteria you wish to change.

Salesforce Pardot Scoring Rules
Salesforce Pardot Scoring Rules

After you click Save changes, your criteria will be updated. If there are existing prospects in your system which already were scored based on the old criteria, Pardot will re-score them to match your new settings! 

Advanced Customizations

While changing Pardot’s default lead scoring set will get you most of the way there, there are some advanced customizations you may want to think about, to really get your scoring to the next level. 

For example, while page views may be set to 1 point per view, what if your pricing page should be set at 10 points? 

This is where automation rules, page actions, and completion actions come in. 

Here are some ideas of how you can customize your scoring further with these workflows: 

Page Actions

Start by modifying the point value you assign to your website VIPs (Very important pages)

Pardot Automation Menu
Pardot Automation Menu

From the Marketing Menu navigate to Automation > Page Actions

Pardot Page Action
Pardot Page Action

Select Add Page Action

Create Page Action
Create Page Action

Type the name of your super important page, the URL of the page, and the revised score you want to assign to it. If you want the page to be called out separately in a prospect’s activity, check “Priority Page”. This will make it really easy to identify prospects who viewed this page. Do this for very important pages!

All done - now all pages will be assigned a point value of 1, except the pricing page, which will be assigned a point value of 10!

Completion Actions

Completion actions work exactly the same way as the page actions outlined above, but apply to form submissions, email opens or clicks, and file downloads. 

Forms and Form handlers

Access your form or form handler in the Marketing > Forms menu then click on the completion actions portion of your form or form handler. Adjust your score by the desired point value.

Forms and Form Handlers
Forms and Form Handlers

List Emails

Access your email in the Marketing > Draft Emails menu then click on the completion actions portion of your email. Adjust your score by the desired point value.

List Email Completion Action
List Email Completion Action


Navigate to the Marketing menu and select Content > Files. Upload and name your file. Adjust your score by the desired point value.

List Email Completion Action
List Email Completion Action

Automation Rules

Further customizations can usually be set using automation rules. These are like completion actions but apply to a broader range of criteria than just forms, emails, files, and pages. 

Automation rules are an advanced topic and the types of rules you set depend on your organization’s needs.

But to get you started, here are 3 examples:

Moving MQLs to Nurturing

When a lead has a score between 0-50, add them to an “MQL” (marketing qualified lead) email list for nurturing.

First, navigate to Marketing > Automation rules and create a new automation rule. 

Moving MQL to Nurturing
Moving MQL to Nurturing

The rule automatically looks for prospects that have a score that it's less than 51 and executes roughly every 10 minutes.

When prospects are found to meet the criteria, they are put into an MQL list which can later be used for marketing email nurturing campaigns.

Note: There is an additional action to remove prospects from an SQL (sales qualified lead) list. This applies to prospects who may have been SQLs but recently had a score drop and became MQLs again. In that scenario, we want to remove them from their SQL list and bring them instead into our MQL list. 

Moving SQLs to Sales

When a lead becomes hot enough that their score is above 50, pass them off from marketing to sales.

Once again, navigate to Marketing>Automation Rules and create a new rule

Automation Rule Moving SQLs to Sales
Automation Rule Moving SQLs to Sales

This time, our rule picks up prospects with a score higher than 50. Our action is to remove them from the MQL list and add them to the SQL list. Additionally, we use the “Assign prospect to user” action to assign them to a sales rep.

Sales Alerts

If an SQL’s score increases to over 100, they are a super hot lead 🔥.

We want to alert sales immediately for follow-up. To do this, we can create a third automation rule.

Again, navigate to Marketing>Automation rules and click to create a new rule.

Pardot Sales Alert
Pardot Sales Alert

This time, our rule captures prospects with a score greater than 100. If the prospect matches our criteria, we notify the assigned sales rep via an email alert. 

Wrapping up

Now that you’re a Pardot lead scoring expert, you have all you need to build a successful program! 

As you begin forming your audit subcommittee and going through your scoring criteria, keep the below three points at top of mind, to ensure your program is set up for success:

#1 Keep your program transparent

Make sure all of your stakeholders have visibility into how leads are scored and have a say in how it works. Your lead scoring system is only as accurate as of the buy-in it has from your key stakeholders. 

#2 Keep it focused

Ensure that your lead scoring model focuses on your sales and marketing teams’ goals at all times. Do not include scoring criteria just because it is a best practice - your scoring model should be focused on your goals and your buyers’ journeys.

#3 Keep it fluid

Once you build your program and start it, give it a few weeks and then start seeing what kind of data you get. See what kind of MQL and SQL volumes you’re dealing with, ask your sales reps for feedback, fix what’s not working, and build on what is.

A good lead scoring system is fluid and constantly evolving. 

Remember to check Part I of this blog post series to learn the basics of Lead Scoring in Pardot.

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