How to Activate Email for Automation in the New Lightning Email Builder


One of the nicest new features in the Salesforce Winter '22 release for Pardot is the eagerly awaited option to add emails built in the "Lightning Content Builder Experience", aka drag and drop lightning email builder, for use in Pardot Engagement Studio. As this article from the release notes explains, simply clicking the "Activate for Automation" option in an email allows you to make that email available to use in an Engagement Studio automation. But what happens if you don't see that option in your email content menu?


The key aspect of that release note is the "Who", where it says: "Users with the Activate Email for Automation system permission". How you have or get that permission depends on when you activated the Lightning Email Builder.


Like more and more things Pardot, full capability requires intervention from a Salesforce admin, or you need to know your way around Salesforce administration to fully deploy new Pardot capabilities. Take a look at this article for a great overview of the (newish) Marketing Setup aspect of Salesforce. In this case, we are dealing with a Salesforce Permission Set. Always be on good terms with your Salesforce Admin because you'll never know when you'll need their help!


As I mentioned, feature activation is dependent on when you activated the new Lightning Content Builder Experience. If you were really enthusiastic and deployed the builder in advance of the Winter '22 release, you will have to check and see if you have a Salesforce permission set that incorporates all the system permissions needed to use the builder AND activate for automations. As you can see in this example from the content setup, once the permission set is created, you can no longer press that option. So if it was created in advance of the release, that permission set may not have all the necessary permissions.




If you waited until after the Winter '22 release to activate the builder, a permission set was automatically created on setup called "Use Pardot Content Experience", and that permission set will contain the three permissions necessary to use the drag and drop email builder and Activate for Automations.


These three Salesforce System permissions are:

  1. Access drag-and-drop content builder (Create and manage email templates and content in a drag-and-drop builder.)

  2. Manage Email Content (View, create, edit, and delete email content. You can also send, preview, and test your email content with this permission.)

  3. Activate Email for Automation (Activate email content records for use in Engagement Studio.)

If you or your Salesforce admin had followed prior setup instructions or the setup wizard and created a permission set, it may have only permissions 1 and 2, but not all 3.


Now, in any case, if the permission set was created by you, your admin, or created on installation, you must assign this permission set to any users that you want to be able to use the builder. Use the "Manage Assignments" option on the setup page or if you've pulled up the permission set itself, there's a button at the top of the on the permission set to assign the permission set to whomever needs to build emails.


Note: Pardot permissions are also required for leveraging email content and landing page functionality. Users with these permissions who would like to create list emails, engagement studio emails and landing pages must have a Pardot Marketing, Pardot Admin, or custom user role with proper permissions.

The Case for Separating the Email for Automations Permission (Advanced)


Under certain conditions, you might wish to decouple the ability to add emails to automations from the ability to use the email builder in general. For example, you might have some users you want to allow to build and send list emails but not build or deploy engagement studio emails. In this case you would build two permission sets: Permission set "A" with the permissions 1 and 2 as described above, and Permission Set "B" with permission 3, activate email for automation. This would allow you to separate the ability to use the builder only for list emails (User has permission set A) and the ability to deploy emails to Engagement studio (User has permission sets A and B).


If you want to manage permissions in this way, I recommend that you start by cloning the original permission set to make the other two. Be sure to well document the difference in the permission set names and/or descriptions. It’s also recommended that you retain a copy of the original complete permission set for the full permissions. This ensures that the link in the set-up wizard properly links to the full permissions if someone were to click that button in setup.





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*As of April 2022, Pardot has been renamed Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, as part of Salesforce's effort to organize all the marketing products under the same platform umbrella. "MCAE" is simply the same Pardot we know and love under a new name. The product is temporarily being referred to as "Marketing Cloud Account Engagement powered by Pardot."   

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