Pardot Knowledge Base

Visitor Association Change Overview

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2016 | Print this Article

In prospect audits, you may periodically notice entries with Type = Visitor Association Change, followed by a link with the name of another prospect. Usually you will see specific types of data missing from the prospect's record.

A visitor association change happens when one prospect's cookie and activities become associated with a different prospect. A common cause of this is cookied prospect A passing along a tracked link to prospect B, often through a forwarded email. When prospect B clicks the link, the cookie and subsequent prospect information is passed to prospect B, changing the association.

Note: Visitor association changes do not occur in Pardot accounts that allow multiple prospects with the same email address. In these accounts, Pardot will not apply an existing prospect's previous activity to another prospect.

What is affected?

A visitor association change will affect prospects by:

  • All of prospect A's visitor activities will be associated with prospect B's record (with the exception of emails; once an email is sent to one address, it will always have been sent to that address).
  • Any scores associated with activities will be subtracted from prospect A's score, while prospect B will accumulate any score points from prospect A's activities.
  • Prospect A's personal data will remain intact, while prospect B will have a new identity
  • Prospect A will show as never being active

Unfortunately, once a visitor association change has occurred, prospect A will not be able to reacquire their lost data. However, you can remove the association to stop prospect A from being tracked as the wrong person going forward. 


To prevent this from happening, try the following tips:

  • Use the AddThis functionality for emails. This feature allows the "referrer" to share a link with a friend via email. Then, this friend would click on the link in the email and submit a form for him/herself, which would then correctly create a new prospect record.
  • Enable Kiosk/Data Entry Mode to collect form data without applying a prospect cookie to the browser.
  • Enable the “Not you?” link to allow visitors to refresh a form that’s been forwarded to them from another prospect. This you can enable this option when editing or creating your form — it's available on the Advanced tab of the Look and Feel step of the Form Wizard
You may also notice that your prospect may be missing information from required fields even though they completed the form.

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