Pardot Knowledge Base

Database Hygiene FAQ

Last Updated: Apr 26, 2016 | Print this Article
Your Pardot database will grow over time, but having a large database isn't helpful if your data isn't valid. You should focus on quality instead of quantity when it comes to your prospects. SiriusDecisions estimates that your B2B records decay at almost 30% per year, so if you're not practicing good database hygiene there's a chance that many of your prospects aren't up-to-date and engaged.

Why should I care about database hygiene?

Bad database hygiene can affect your scoring and grading, your email deliverability, and could prevent you from reaching your revenue potential. Good database hygiene helps you connect with the most engaged prospects, protects your sending reputation, and may help increase your ROI. When your database is clean, you can focus on nurturing only the most qualified prospects. Check out our ROI calculator for more insight.

Where did all these prospects come from?

Prospects can be added to your database in the following ways:
  • Form completions
  • Prospect imports
  • CRM syncing
  • Manual creation

How do I check my database usage?

You can check your database usage by viewing the Usage table in your Pardot account settings.

To check the number of mailable prospects in your database, follow these steps:
  1. Navigate to Prospects > Prospect List.
  2. Select Mailable Prospects from the View dropdown.
Note: All Pardot editions include 10,000 mailable contacts. If you’d like to expand your Pardot database size, you can fill out a database request here.

How can I clean up my database and re-engage inactive prospects?

If you have a lot of inactive prospects in your database, consider setting up a drip program to re-engage them. You'll need to create a simple dynamic list and set up a drip program with compelling emails that encourage your prospects to interact. See Drip Programs for Re-Engagement for more information.

Deleting Prospects

Deleted prospects go into the recycle bin. Deleted prospects don't count against your database limits, and if they create certain new activities, Pardot will restore the records with all historical data intact. Note: When you delete a prospect, the number under Prospects > Prospect list should update immediately; however, the Database Usage in your account settings could take up to 24 hours to reflect the changes. You can find out more about deleting prospects in this article.

Permission Pass

Another method to clean up your database is a permission pass. Permission passes ask your prospects to opt back in to your emails. If they confirm, then you'll know they're an engaged and worthwhile lead. If not, we recommend removing them from your database.

Although this could result in a  decrease in your total database size, you'll be left with prospects who are actively interested in you (plus room to grow and add new leads). This article has a detailed walkthrough of how to set up a permission pass in Pardot.

Clean Data

Sometimes you need a data normalization service, appending service, or cleaning service. Companies like are providing crowd sourced and augmented data services. Fresh Address, DataValidation and BriteVerify are also great list-cleaning services. The clean feature can enrich the data currently in your CRM. By updating address, job title, phone numbers, you have additional investment in your data accuracy.

Need more? Start a conversation with other Pardot users in our Success Community