Welcome to Pardot! We know you're excited to start emailing your prospects, but there are a few things you need to take care of before you start sending.
Segment out the most active prospects from your last database
You'll want to bring your most active prospects into Pardot first. If you send to your most engaged prospects, your sending reputation and deliverability with Pardot will be good from the get-go.
Take care of technical setup
Proper technical setup is critical to having good deliverability. First, you'll need to have your IT team add your SPF and DomainKeys to your domain's DNS records. This will help keep your emails out of spam folders. Click here for instructions.
Second, you'll need to have your IT team add your assigned Pardot IP address to your company spam filter whitelist. If you don't whitelist your Pardot IP, your test emails will likely end up in the spam folder or not arrive at all. Click here for more information.
Clean your lists
Are your lists old? Stale? From before a merger or acquisition? No one remembers just how the prospects were acquired?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you really shouldn't start emailing this list before you give it a good cleaning. You've got a few options for clean up: you can run a one-time permission pass or use a service like Freshaddress or Briteverify. It's not a good idea to use Pardot for list cleaning, because high bounces can really hurt your deliverability. Check out this article for more on keeping your lists clean.
Read the Permission-Based Marketing Policy
Make sure you've read and understand our Permission-Based Marketing Policy. Seriously, read it. We don't like spammers, and neither do your prospects. You should also read this article if you have any questions about your lists and compliance.
Review best practices for avoiding spam filters
We've compiled a list of steps and tips you should follow to avoid having your emails winding up in the spam folder. The sooner you take these to heart, the better your chances of ending up in the inbox. Click here for these game-changing tips.
Import unsubscribed/bounced prospects from your last database
Before you start emailing, you'll need to import your unsubscribed/bounced prospects from your previous system. Don't worry, these unmailable prospects don't count toward your database limit in Pardot. This will help keep you from accidentally emailing invalid and opted-out prospects, which could really hurt your deliverability rates. See this article for help importing prospects.
Warm up your IP
If you are sending emails from a new or “cold” IP address, abrupt spikes in email sending volumes can harm your IP’s reputation. To prevent this, you need to warm your IP address up gradually over time to establish your IP address as a legitimate email sender among Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Properly warming up your IP address is a crucial step in building your email sending reputation and improving delivery performance. This article walks through how to warm your IP.
Note: If you have fewer than 10,000 prospects in your database, you don't need to worry about IP warming.