Dynamic ListsEngagement ProgramsPardot

Pardot Holiday Special Suppression

Learn how to put your Pardot automations on hold for the holidays…

When you think of the holidays you think of time with family and friends or watching a classic movie (Scut Farkus always shows up in December), but you don’t think about spending time turning off and on your Pardot Engagement Programs. Unfortunately, you may be the person this year having to make sure your emails don’t go out this holiday season. Luckily for you, I can show you how you can automate this process which will give you more time to facetime with your parents chonky cat (don’t be jealous of all his followers on Instagram).

Step 1: We need a formula in Salesforce

There are multiple ways to determine which day is a holiday and which day is a standard business day, but I found building a formula is the quickest (and easiest) method. In my example here, I am creating a field called IsHoliday.  This field is a number formula on the Lead object (you can also repeat this step and build a formula field on the Contact object if you need it). The formula simply looks at today and compares it to a specific holiday date. If the date matches as a holiday, then we display a 1. If the current date is not a holiday, then display zero. If you are not familiar with Salesforce formulas, you may want to review some Salesforce help guides before starting.  In this example, I used the IF statements to check for specific holiday dates. You can modify this formula to fit your needs (add and drop the number of holidays to fit your organization).  To make things easier, I have a screenshot of a sample formula below:

Step 2: We need the field in Pardot

Now I won’t explain here how to add a prospect field to Pardot nor my mother-in-law’s obsession with Mark Harmon in NCIS, but you just need to know that you’ll need the Salesforce field to be in Pardot so we can use it.  To make it easy for you (like hiding then finding the Roku remote after Thanksgiving), I made a quick screenshot below:


Step 3: Just make a dynamic list

You now need to create a dynamic list in Pardot with one criteria based on your new field. Just set the criteria IsHoliday field equal to one.  If today is a holiday, then the list will add all your prospects to the list.  If not a holiday, the list should have no one in it.



Step 4: Add suppression list to your Engagement Programs

You’ve reach this point so far unscathed and I am happy to say you are going to reach the finish line.  Now you have a suppression list that works only on holidays you just need to add it to your engagement programs.  This will stop anyone on the list from receiving emails on a holiday.


Variant: You don’t want any emails to be skipped in your Pardot multiverse program

Yes, there is a way to make the holiday suppression to work where you can make your prospects blink in and out of existence in your engagement programs.  However, there are a rules to make this happen:

  • Your Engagement Program must use a Dynamic List for its Recipient List
  • You do not talk about Pardot with Loki (don’t ask me why he is eating with his hands at your family dinner, that is something you’ll need to figure out)

Next, you just need to update your recipient dynamic list with some additional criteria below:

With this new criteria on your dynamic list, your engagement program will add and drop prospects on holidays.  Remember when you remove and add back a prospect later, the prospect starts where they left off in the engagement program. For your purposes, this means they can skip getting an email on a holiday while you discover if your dog will eat your aunt’s fruitcake. In the multiverse almost anything is possible. You can enjoy the holidays without your laptop and your pets might forgive you offering leftovers to them.