Pardot Knowledge Base

Why isn't my automation rule working?

Last Updated: Jul 07, 2016 | Print this Article

Automation rules match prospects solely on the criteria specified in the rule. Troubleshooting why an automation rule did or didn't find a prospect is pretty straightforward — you just need to know what to look for.

Troubleshooting steps

Has the rule completed running once?

All automation rules are constantly running, looking for prospects who are updated and trying to match them as quickly as possible. Automation rules also sweep your account once over when they're first made or updated. If the "first run" isn't complete yet, prospects who will match your rule may not match yet.

Has the rule already matched this prospect?

Automation rules only match prospects once. If this rule already matched this prospect and applied it's actions, and was then edited, the edited rule won't match your prospect a second time — even though the criteria or the actions may be different. To remedy this, just copy the rule and give it a unique name. The new rule will sweep your account afresh.

Did the rule already match a prospect with the same email address?

If your account has multiple prospect records with the same email, all of them will match the rule, but the rule's actions will be applied to only the first prospect the rule finds (not necessarily the one with the most recent last activity). The other records, which didn't have the actions applied, will have "Not Applied: Duplicate Email" in the Applied At column instead of a timestamp.

Is it a form or a landing page?

If your rule is looking for prospects who filled out a form, make sure the automation rule knows where to look.

If your form is on a Pardot Landing Page:

If the form is hosted on a Pardot landing page you will want to base your rule around the landing page.

  • Prospect landing page | Select landing page | was completed successfully
  • Prospect landing page | Select landing page | was viewed
If your form is on an External Page: If the form is hosted on an external page (a page you host) you will want to base your rule around the form.
  • Prospect form | Select form | was completed successfully
  • Prospect form | Select form | was viewed

Within the reporting module, you will need to approach forms and landing pages in the same manner. If a form is on a Pardot landing page, the landing page will receive credit for the unique views and conversions. If the form is on an external page the form will receive credit for the unique views and conversions.

Is the prospect an eligible match?

It may sound simple, but did this prospect actually have all criteria to qualify as a match? Look on the prospect's activities to see if the form or landing page is there. If it is there as an activity, check the logic of the rule — complex rule groups and "any" or "all" match type conflicts could make your prospect ineligible to match the rule's criteria.


  • Assigning actions will not reassign prospects who already have an owner but assigning actions will assign "Reviewed" prospects.
  • Automation rules are retroactive and will affect prospects who meet your selected criteria. For example, if your automation rule looks for prospects who have submitted "Form B", any prospect who has ever submitted "Form B" will match the rule.
  • Deleting an automation rule will stop it from running, but the previous actions will not be undone. It will resume if the rule is ever undeleted from the Recycle Bin.

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