Grading blog 1: How to build a Pardot profile?

Pardot grading sorts and targets prospects based on how well they match your ideal customer profile / ideal persona.

When an organisation is reviewing and developing personas a number of questions can be asked:

  • What are their roles and responsibilities?
  • What are their day-to-day tasks?
  • What are their pain points?
  • What performance metrics are they interested in?
  • What are their buying insights?
  • Who are they? (Important for building a Pardot profile)

The table below shows how a persona can be built. The section highlighted in blue associates to the Pardot grading profile.


As you build your personas the challenge is understanding which elements can be used to create a Pardot profile. To do this, think about the data you have in your CRM to build a profile. Pardot profiles primarily focus on the “who they are” (i.e. job title, location, industry, size of organisation). The “who they are” criteria is usually fields of data captured about the client as you are warming them up and collecting further information.

Below are examples of types of profiles built by different industries:

  • Real estate - vendor, buyer, developer, builder
  • Aged care - family member, qualified professional
  • Government - supplier, stakeholder
  • Financial services - high risk portfolio, medium, low
  • Not for profit - donor, qualified professional, B2B corporate, philanthropist
  • Professional services -  Decision maker, technical buyer, influencer 
  • High tech - investors, entrepreneur, technical

What to think about when building a profile?

Keep it simple. 

If you are new to Pardot profiles and grading start basic by including three datasets from the “who they are” criteria.

This could include some of the following fields:

  • Industry 
  • Country
  • State
  • Job Title, or
  • Custom fields capturing information from forms i.e. required services

Ideally use fields that are not open text i.e. dropdown, checkbox, multi-select as these fields create exact matches and minimise data quality errors.

Understand what information you are capturing regularly through Pardot forms / form handlers and mandatory lead / contact fields in Salesforce. 

How many forms do you have on your website and what information is being captured? Are you collecting enough of the “who you are” data so that you can start to build a profile? Generally as a first option, the “who you are” data is collected via forms. If you need to collect information that you are not comfortable asking via a form, the second option is to use completion actions and automation rules to pre-populate field values.  

How to apply a Pardot grade to your profile?

When a prospect matches a profile in Pardot they will start at the default grade which is a letter D. The number of values they match will determine if they stay at D or move up or down a grade incrementally.

The aim is to capture enough information about your prospects so that they move from a D to an A+ (ideal profile).

The table below provides an example of how many datasets you need to reach an A grade using the different incremental changes available.

 ⅓ increments  ⅔ increments 3/3 increments
 D Starting point

Buyer profile
Below is an example of a basic real estate profile that will increase the grade.


Field name Values Incremental change Grade change
Interested in I am a first time buyer, or
I am looking to invest
Increase by 3/3 D to C
City Melbourne Increase by 3/3 C to B
Pre-approval granted? True Increase by 3/3 B to A

If all 3 datasets match this will take the prospect from a D to an A. 

To reach A+ an additional dataset needs to be added. For example,

Field name Values Incremental change Grade change
Interested in I am a first time buyer, or
I am looking to invest
Increase by 3/3 D to C
City Melbourne Increase by 3/3 C to B
Pre-approval granted? True Increase by 3/3 B to A
Zip 3000 Increase by 1/3 A to A+

Click here to find out how to build this profile in Pardot.

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