Pardot Knowledge Base

Should I prefill a prospect's email address on forms?

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2017 | Print this Article
When creating a Pardot form, you can set the email field to automatically fill with the prospect's email address (if they are already cookied) when the prospect views the form. What should you take into consideration when deciding on this option?

Prefilling Pros

  • Prefilling creates a better prospect experience if the prospect is filling out multiple forms or downloading multiple content items.
  • Helps prevent cookie-tracking issues because a prospect can click the "not you" link if the email field shows another person's email address.

Prefilling Cons

Even though people know there is tracking on the web, they don't fully understand the implications or how it works. As marketers, our perspective is skewed because we live and die by browser cookies and all the data they provide us. Also prospects easily forget to whom and when they may have given out their email before. Let's look at a few examples of frightening scenarios for a prospect: Example A Your sales rep sends a tracked plug-in email. The prospect clicks on one of the email's links to a blog or even a third-party article. Then the prospect visits your website a few days later and sees their email prefilled on forms...very scary! How do you know who I am? He probably wouldn't put the sales rep's personal email together with this tracking. Example B A prospect registers for a general best practices webinar or networking event via a Pardot form. Then she visits the host's website and sees her email prefilled in their forms. She doesn't associate the previous form submission with this website. Example C A prospect visits your website and fills out lots of forms. The prospect has a bad memory, comes back later and gets upset when they see their email prefilled on a form.

Our Preference

We strongly recommend keeping the email field prefilled where possible. This helps keep your prospect data clean, and helps drive your prospects to use the "not you", an option available in step 3 of the Form Wizard, in the event that they see another prospect's data.

How to enable/disable prefilling

After weighing the options, you can adjust your prefill preference by following these steps:
  1. Navigate to Marketing > Forms > edit your form.
  2. On step 2, Fields, hover to the right of the field you want to modify and click the wrench icon.
  3. In the pop-up window, click the Advanced tab.
  4. Mark or unmark Do not prefill.
  5. Save your form.


  • You can opt to "Do Not Prefill" for any field, including the email field. By default a field is set to disappear from a form once a prospect completes it, so returning prospects don't have to complete it again. But if you enable a field to "Always Display" (like the email field always displays) then you may want to consider prefilling the field or not.
  • Data can only be prefilled in Pardot forms. We can't prefill data in a non-Pardot form, even if it is integrated with a Pardot form handler.

Need more? Start a conversation with other Pardot users in the Trailblazer Community