Pardot Customers Need to Prepare for Changes to Pardot Only Logins

This blog explains some changes to Pardot that will become live from February the 15th 2021. 

In June 2020 a message was sent to all Pardot Users to notify them that as of February 15th 2021, the ability to use Pardot only logins to access Pardot will be retired. This is a big change so please take note and read on if you are hearing about this for the first time. 

As a Pardot users you have probably noticed this announcement banner on your home screen when logged into Pardot:

This banner will link you to the knowledge article written by Salesforce to help you to prepare for the change. 

To date Pardot customers have been able to create Pardot only users) directly within the Pardot application itself, and there has been no requirement for a Pardot User to have a Salesforce User account. Come February 15th 2021 (Spring release ‘21), this will all change. 

Any Pardot user who does not have a Salesforce licence, will not be able to access Pardot. Don’t panic though! You are not going to have to rush out and buy a Salesforce licence for all Pardot only users.

Those accessing  Pardot via the Classic interface would be able to access the impact of this by accessing your users in as follows:  

Admin > User Management > Users    [Add User]

This will help you to understand the impact of this change has, as it allows you to identify any Pardot users that do not have a Salesforce user mapped.  

The easiest way to view your Pardot Only users is using the filter to the top right of the list. 

How Does Salesforce Single Sign On Operate with Pardot Previously and Now Going Forward?


Historically, Pardot was a stand alone marketing automation platform that could be connected with Salesforce or other CRM's. Pardot users have in the most part gone to the URL in order to access their Pardot account - and have therefore utilised their Pardot username and password in order login to Pardot. This is independent of whether they have had a Salesforce licence or not. 

In comparison to the new approach (post - Spring release ‘21) - any internal users wishing to embrace the power of Pardot will need to do so via a Salesforce login leveraging Salesforce’s Single Sign On. 

What occurs with a Pardot-Only User without a Salesforce Licence?

Salesforce are going to provide complimentary Salesforce Identity Licenses to all Pardot accounts to accommodate those users do not have a full Salesforce license. These users will have a user record in Salesforce with the only purpose being to enable single sign on to Pardot through Salesforce credentials. 

In summary, Salesforce will give courtesy “freebie” licenses that allow you to use Salesforce but only access Pardot. 

What are the next steps?

As indicated, the major impact of these changes will only come into fruition only in February 2021 so you still have time, however, it is important to plan ahead. 

In the first instance Destined  would recommend that you do the following:

  1. Undertake an audit of your current active Pardot users. How many of those are exclusively Pardot only? Are there any users that can be deleted? Enable single sign on for any Pardot users that can be mapped to their Salesforce licence.
  2. Enable Salesforce User Sync. This will ensure that any new users created in Salesforce are transferred into Pardot without double handling (and having to create the user in Pardot as well and having to map the users together). 
  3. Analyse any integrations you have directly with Pardot. E.g. any direct connectivity with the Pardot API including through middleware platforms. Any clients using the direct WordPress Pardot Plugin will also need to update the credentials when this change comes into effect. 

Ultimately, this is an exciting and well designed evolution of Pardot being further integrated and part of the core platform. We embrace this change, but need to be prepared nonetheless.  The other key reason Salesforce are making this change is for security. Leveraging Salesforce logins allows admins to leverage a much more robust set of security features to control user access. 

Please contact us directly if you need any assistance facilitating this transition. 

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