Pardot Knowledge Base

Creating Automation Rules

Last Updated: Sep 14, 2016 | Print this Article

Automation rules allow you to perform certain marketing and sales actions based on criteria that you specify. Similar to segmentation rules, completion actions and prospect table actions, automation rules have unique functionality and are best used in certain scenarios. If you are unsure which action to use, review our Prospect Actions comparison table. This article walks you through creating your own automation rules.

If you're new to automation rules, you might find these rule samples helpful.

To create an automation rule:

  1. Navigate to Marketing > Automation > Automation Rules.
  2. Select +Add Automation Rules.
  3. Choose a Name for the rule for internal use — these must be unique!
  4. Select a Match type. For more on match type, see Part 1 of this video series.
    • Match all: All aspects of the Rule must be satisfied in order to take the action(s)
    • Match any: Only one aspect of the Rule must be satisfied in order to take the action(s)
  5. Choose a Folder.
  6. In the Rules section click + Add new rule to add individual rules, or click + Add new rule group to add a group of rules that can be set to Match any or Match all (see Rule Groups below for more details). Click the + and - buttons to add or remove criteria. See Automation Rule Criteria Reference for a complete list of rule options. You can also add multiple criteria in a single line by separating each value with a semicolon, which uses OR logic ("Match Any") when selecting a positive operator ("contains" or "is"). If a negative operator is selected ("doesn't contain" or "isn't"), then it uses AND logic ("Match All") due to boolean logic. Adding rules
    Notes: The text field is limited to 255 characters, so you may have to split up very large rules into several lines. If you want the rule to match values that include a semicolon, you will need to add quotes around the value (for example: "this has a ; semicolon in it"). When using semicolons, you can put spaces between the values or you can leave spaces out (i.e. "GA; AL; TN" or "GA;AL;TN;"). Either method will work.
  7. In the Actions section, select at least one action to take place when your rule criteria are met. Click the + and - buttons to add or remove actions. See Automation Rule Action Reference for a complete list of action options.
    Actions for Automation Rules
  8. Execute in Real Time - This option is only available in older accounts. We recommend leaving this option disabled unless the action in the rule must happen between when a form or landing page is filled out and the form's completion actions execute. See the note below for more information.
  9. Click Create automation rules to save the rule.

Your rule will be saved in paused mode, allowing you to complete all the components of your campaign before activating the rule. A preview of matching prospects will be generated and you will be notified by email once the process is complete. We recommend that you do not unpause your rule until after you have reviewed and confirmed the preview.

To activate the rule, locate your new rule in the Automation Rules table and click Resume. Rules can be paused and resumed at any time. Note that if you pause and adjust criteria on an existing automation rule, the automation preview will identify only prospects who have not already had the rule's actions applied to them.

Note: Automation rules check every prospect in your account every time their record updates to see if they could match. Real-time automation rules, on the other hand, check for prospect matches in the time between when a form submits and when the form's actions execute. Because of this, real-time rules could cause slower load times for forms and landing pages & use them with caution! Keep in mind that real-time rules are only available in older accounts.

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