Use your Existing Pardot Email Send to Prepare for GDPR

We are now in the final countdown to 25 May – the day marked in every marketing teams calendar, when GDPR will come into place. Businesses around the world have been preparing their marketing strategy and policy for months and some might have started running an opt-in nurture campaign in Pardot like we did at Nebula. However, if you haven’t got the time to gather your content team and prepare a nurture program ready for GDPR, but you’d like to give your prospects a chance to confirm their opt-in easily, you’re in the right place.

In this blog we’ll explain how you can use all of your upcoming Pardot emails to collect consent from your prospects to continue targeting them after GDPR kicks in.
Be careful to only display this banner until 25 May – set up a reminder in your calendar to remove it 1-2 days before.

For this process we assume you have already prepared an opt-in status field in Pardot and have sorted out the prospects that fit each criteria. If you haven’t done this we suggest you get a start right away with our infographic and blog article.

Once your opt-in statuses have been sorted out, you will need a well-designed banner image, a custom redirect to change the status and dynamic content to only display the banner to your target audience.

Opt-in Banner

This is the image that will be placed in your Pardot emails, which will convince your prospects to confirm their preferences. It is essential that the image is aligned to your brand guidelines and email layout and has a clear message with a CTA button. See our own example below:

If your company is planning to send a large number of emails in the next few weeks around different topics, it might be worth creating separate banners for each type of email with specific content targeting that audience. For example:

  • Events – Make sure you’re not missing out our next event, stay on our mailing list!
  • Newsletters – Do you like our newsletters? Then make sure you keep receiving them.
  • Content – If you’ve been enjoying our reports, confirm your preferences to receive our next one.

Custom Redirect

Next you will need to create a tracked link for your opt-in banner, that will ensure the opt-in status is confirmed once clicked. Navigate to Marketing > Content > Custom Redirects and create a new one. For the Destination URL it is your choice whether to use your Email Preference Centre or a specific landing page with your most recent insights for example.

Once you’ve decided which one to use, set up the following completion actions:

  • Change opt-in status to Opted-in – Choose the value that means the prospects gave you explicit consent in your own system. In our example we’ll use Opted-in.
  • Change opt-in date to Submission Date – In case you need to prove when the prospects confirmed their preferences


Dynamic Content

Once you have the banner and the custom redirect ready, you have to create dynamic content to ensure only your target audience sees this message on your emails. As a default option we recommend to display this content to any prospect in your database who hasn’t confirmed their opt-in yet and hasn’t unsubscribed from your account.

In our campaign we use ‘’Opt-in Status’ field to segment our audience, and we are showing the banner to the prospects with a ‘No Opt-in’ status as Variation A. In the editor of Variation A include the banner and link it to the custom redirect tracked page, which will update their status.

Prospects with another opt-in status value (confirmed or unsubscribed) will not see anything as we’ve left the default content empty.

Where should I place this dynamic content?

Depending on your email design you have to make a decision on where the banner could fit in the best way. You can place it at the top so it would be the first thing your prospects will see, or if you don’t want to detract from the email content it might be best to add it just before the footer section.


Testing the process

Make sure you spend enough time on testing the banner by following the steps below:

  • Go to your own prospect profile page (if you don’t have one, create it now).
  • Edit prospect and set the opt-in status to ‘No Opt-in’.
  • Create a test list with only your prospect profile.
  • Use one of your live designs to create a test list email.
  • Place the dynamic content either at the top or the bottom of your email.
  • Send a proof to your test list.
  • Go to your inbox and see if the banner is displayed. If yes, click on the banner.
  • Look at your prospect profile page in Pardot to check if the Opt-in status has been changed to ‘Opted-in’.

Success? That’s great news! You can start applying the dynamic content to all of your upcoming Pardot email sends, and review the growing number of confirmed prospects in your database.


In case you got stuck at any of the steps above, for some unknown reason the link is not working for you, or you just have any questions get in touch with us and we’d be happy to help you.