Organizational structure, with folders and naming conventions, is the basis for scalability. If you begin your marketing automation journey without either, you will end up with a disorganized instance that is difficult to unwind. On the other hand, a clean, organized Marketing Cloud Account Engagement1 instance creates efficiencies and allows marketers to reach task completion with as little time, energy, and money as possible.
What are Folders in Account Engagement?
Account Engagement folders are a top-down organizational feature that houses campaigns, emails, and other marketing content and assets together. Folders let you segment and score marketing assets in ways that make things easier for your organization. Having folders is so valuable that setting up a folder structure is one of the first things you should look at when setting up a new Account Engagement instance.
Why are Account Engagement Folders important?
There are a multitude of assets that you can create for a campaign; emails, forms, reusable templates, and much more. Having folders allows you to store your content in a well-organized system, leading to campaign efficiency. When something is created in Account Engagement (Pardot), it has to reside within a folder. A solid folder structure is essential because it will save you time searching. It will also allow you to scale and reproduce your marketing campaigns efficiently.
If you do not put marketing content or assets in a specific folder, it will automatically place your content in an “Uncategorized” folder, which is not organized and causes your instance to be pretty messy. There may be a time when you encounter an instance where everything is placed in an uncategorized folder. If that happens, you can create new folders and move the marketing content to the corresponding folder.
Folders will also help with Scoring Categories and user permissions, allowing you to build folders around categories you primarily utilize. Scoring Categories is a feature that will help you better understand your prospects’ interests since you can split the prospects’ score by product or service category. Additionally, prospects will earn category points based on their interactions with assets of a specific scoring category.
How should you set up your folder structure to add value?
You should consider a number of things before building out folders. First, Account Engagement limits an instance to a maximum of 10,000 items in one folder and a limit of 16 subfolders. Second, the platform relies on the ASCII table to put folders in order. Meaning you can use more than just letters and numbers.
Content, Folders, and Files using the following symbols will ALWAYS be listed first:
! ” # $ % & ‘ ( ) * + , – .
Second level of priority (Note: Make sure to use double digits with numbers)
00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 : ; < = > ? @
Third level of priority:
(Note that the platform keeps upper and lower case as one list; A-Z is the same as a-z)
A B C D… etc
a b c d… etc
When it comes time to build out folders, we want to ensure it aligns with your organization’s team structure while still meeting the needs of your team. Check out our guide, Pardot Organization Best Practices, to get a deep dive into our folder and naming convention recommendations.
When should folders be implemented, and who should be involved?
Before diving into campaigns and marketing content, marketing operations professionals should focus on building a solid folder structure. This should be considered when first implementing your marketing automation platform. Any and all team members that are logging in to the Account Engagement instance should understand the folder structure and be able to access it easily.
A sound, consistent folder structure will certainly give you a leg up in creating efficiencies, but if you really want to excel, you need a strong naming convention across all initiatives and their associated components as well. To learn more about our naming convention recommendations, review our guide here.
1In April 2022, Salesforce renamed Pardot to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement.