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How to Create a Closed Loop Automation with Account Engagement (Pardot) and Calendly

I've written previously on how to pass variables to Calendly using Handlebar Merge Language (HML) so that your prospects can have their contact details pre-populated on the booking form. Now, how about closing the loop by telling Account Engagement (f/k/a Pardot) when someone actually books a meeting? With a paid Calendly plan, this is actually quite easy using Calendly's redirect on confirmation feature.

Calendy Confirmation Page Redirect to Pardot

We create a Form Handler in Kiosk mode (because we don't want to cookie Calendly's servers), and use just that URL in the redirect. You will need to set specific redirect locations for both the success and failure (make them both the same), such as a thank you or offer page on your website. This is a great place to offer a piece of free content, since you've just recorded an action, so reward it.

Note here that we must check the box for pass event details to your redirected page. This is how we send the information about the booking to the form handler.

Now the key thing is how we set up our variables in the form handler, because we must adhere to Calendly's naming conventions with our external field names. This image shows a common setup: The email (the only thing that's actually required), the first and last name, according to Account Engagement's convention (make sure that your Calendly form is set up to ask for them separately, that's not the default.)

Calendly Field Mappings for Form Handler

I'm assuming here that you've got a custom question of some kind, often this is a comments field, so I'm mapping this to the comments field. Like any form handler you can choose to map details anywhere you like, or you might consider some custom fields for information like the booking date or the booking type. All of the various standard Calendly variable field names are outlined here. Custom questions come in as answer_1, answer_2, etc. and make sure you mind the capitalization on these variables, it matters. You only need to use the variables you want from that set, Account Engagement will just ignore the rest of the data in the redirect. This mapping only goes in your form field setup for your form handler, the only URL you place in the redirect URL field is the form handler URL with no modifications.

Since it's a form handler, you have access to the complete suite of conditional completion actions such as updating CRM campaign status, notifying or setting a task for someone, tagging, adding to a list, etc. For example if you are using a Calendly link in a series of emails in an engagement studio and if you would like to stop additional emails from sending if a meeting is booked, your completion action could be to add them to a suppression list. Or, you could watch for the form handler to be completed at various points in your engagement program and if a meeting was booked, change the pathway from trying to get a meeting to a different set of booked prospect content.

Another concept is that you have might have low-intent prospects not deemed "ready" for sales yet, and so they are not synced to Salesforce until they book a meeting. Use the conditional completion action to create a lead in Salesforce upon a meeting being booked, since this demonstrates intent.

Let your imagination run wild and let me know what other ideas you come up with in the comments!



*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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