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How to Rebuild Your Pardot Lead Scoring in HubSpot (or Vice Versa)

Christian Welborn
Ranking prospects by factors like their willingness to buy and their appeal to your organization and building formal processes for nurturing them based on these rankings can make a huge difference when it comes to increasing ROI and growing revenue.

In fact, CSO Insights found that “companies with mature lead generation and lead management practices have a 9.3% higher sales quota achievement rate” than their non-lead scoring peers.

But what if you’ve already built your model in Pardot or HubSpot and want to shift to the other platform? Rebuilding can be tricky -- so we’ve identified (and deployed!) functionality for Lead Scoring, Segmentation, and Nurturing practices within both systems.

But before we jump in, let’s refresh ourselves on the common use cases, differentiators, and benefits of leveraging each platform. Feel free to skip this section if you’d prefer to dive into our step-by-step overview for rebuilding your lead scoring in HubSpot or Pardot.

Platform Overviews

HubSpot. HubSpot makes robust marketing automation software (among other things) that offers all the tools an organization needs to manage content creation, monitor campaigns, do email marketing, blogging, and social media, as well as track website analytics, lead activity data, and more. The platform’s marketing automation capability allows users to create automated workflows, as well as capture, nurture and evaluate leads. In addition, HubSpot lets business marketers integrate their contact database with third-party Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM), which allow sales to get a detailed look a lead’s contact record and make quick follow-ups.


Pardot. Pardot is a business-to-business (B2B) marketing automation platform made to easily integrate with the Salesforce CRM, allowing companies to quickly identify and leverage valuable marketing data via an intuitive, centralized platform. The platform’s marketing automation capability allows users to create automated workflows, as well as to capture, nurture and evaluate prospects based on pre-set criteria categories and customizable automation rules.

Both tools offer scalable solutions and ongoing support. And both organizations certainly emphasize the importance of nurturing leads and automating marketing processes…

“Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than

those who were not nurtured.” - HubSpot

“Marketing automation users have seen an
average increase of sales revenues by 34%.” - Pardot

… so how does functionality differ for both products?

Functionality HubSpot Pardot
Demographic Score Firmographic Score (Calculated field) Prospect Grade
Engagement Score Included in Default Scoring Included in Default Scoring
Decaying Actions Included in Default Scoring No Default Option
Disengagement Included in Default Scoring No Default Option
Automation (based off scoring) Workflows Completion Actions, Automation Rules
Prospect/Visitor Tracking Default Tracking Create custom redirects or scoring categories

Important Takeaways:

  • Pardot’s default lead scoring options are more limited than HubSpot’s, as Pardot only allows you to customize the score weight of it’s default scoring categories/criteria without the ability to set timetables for time-sensitive engagement actions.
  • HubSpot allows you to create scoring criteria based on virtually any of the default or custom Contact, Company, or Deal properties.
  • Pardot’s rule/trigger/action sequence offers a bit more instruction for someone looking to build a marketing automation program, which can make the process easier to build out and revise.

Pardot marketing automation feature is available in each of its plans, while HubSpot users have to sign up for the Professional or Enterprise plan to be able to create automated campaigns.

Key Differences:

SCORING CRITERIA. While HubSpot allows you to create custom scoring criteria based off of virtually any of the default or custom Contact, Company, or Deal properties, Pardot limits you to its out-of-the-box scoring criteria. However, you can mimic much of the HubSpot functionality on Pardot if you use custom automation rules to adjust prospect scores based on “AND / OR” criteria and completion actions on specific assets.

GRANULARITY OF CONTACT DATA. HubSpot specializes in content creation tools. As such, they provide solutions for creating and optimizing blogs, landing pages (LPs), web content, and CTAs. Users can easily set criteria to categorize, profile, and nurture leads based on their characteristics, behaviors, and interactions with hosted content.

HubSpot organizes and associates all these details on the Contact and/or Company records which allows marketers to easily access a chronological overview of each touchpoint between their company and a contact, such as page visits, asset downloads, email opens and website visits. To recreate this tracking and association in Pardot, users need to leverage custom scoring categories or custom redirects for each page, CTA, or email link they want to track or use in their scoring criteria.

Now, what if you want to migrate your marketing automation processes from one platform to another? Time to recreate your lead scoring model in HubSpot or Pardot.

Let’s start with the basics. A ‘lead score’ should consist of 2 main parts: (1) a score of the lead’s actual engagement with your company and marketing efforts and (2) a score based on the lead’s similarity to one of your target markets or demographics.

General formula:
[Weighted level of engagement]
+ [Degree of similarity to target market(s) and/or persona(s)]
= Adjusted value of prospect’s readiness and willingness to make a purchase or convert

By separating a lead score into the 2 variables above, we’re able to better gauge any given lead’s interest in your product/service (engagement actions) and their value as a lead (as it pertains to the demographic/market they best fit within).


A prospect’s engagement score is calculated based on the tracking of implicit buying signals like activity on your website, details from social media accounts, or specific responses to your online marketing efforts. These signals (and the prospect’s corresponding score) are used for segmentation between buyer stages, nurturing strategies, and as definitions or threshold numbers for MQL qualification.

Engagement Score in HubSpot
The HubSpot default lead scoring allows you to create new scoring rules based on any of the tracking and engagement data HubSpot records for any given contact profile. These can be based on a single instance and/or the count of total instances within custom time periods (like 1≤ X <5 in past 2 weeks)

Options include: 

  • Email open(s)
  • Email click(s)
  • Form Submission(s)
  • Page view(s)
  • Post view(s)
  • Time on page(s)
  • Social media engagement
  • File downloads
  • Page visit(s) + specific actions or lack of actions
  • Webinar or event registrations
  • List membership(s), etc.

These can be used as stand alone criteria or in combination with each other to create even more specific and customized scoring criteria.

Example: Visited "Booking", "Contact Sales", "Signup" Page ≥2 times & has not submitted a form in past 60 days

Engagement Score in Pardot
The Pardot default scoring only offers a few of the options that HubSpot provides, including:

  • Email open(s)
  • Form submission(s)
  • Page view(s)
  • Custom redirect view
  • Social message click
  • Site search
  • Form or LP error

Notice that none of these allow you to specify a certain number of occurrences before the scoring criteria applies.
Pardot adjusts the prospect’s score for each instance of the above criteria.

To mimic the HubSpot customization, you need to create additional automation rules to adjust the prospect’s score further

Example: “Prospect has visited blog pages > 3 times” with a weight of 15 points

  1. Create a Custom Prospect Field called “Blog Views”

    1. Should be a ‘number’ field type

  2. Create a Custom Redirect for the blog subdomain

    1. Add a completion action to “Increment Prospect Field Value” (choose the new field you created above) by 1 for each match

    2. You’ll need to add this redirect in place of the blog links in your website’s main nav and footer menu to track each time a visitor “accesses” it

  3. Create an Automation Rule called “Prospect has visited blog pages > 3 times”

    1. Enable “Repeat Rule” (Optional: change the days before prospect is eligible to repeat the rule if you want to filter by a specific time period)

    2. Matching Rule(s) should require value of your newly created custom field to be ≥ 3 (Optional: Add additional matching rules that requires the Blog Views field to be < 5 if you want to give more points depending on subsets of blog views (i.e. 3 - 5, 6 - 8, and 9 or more)

    3. Limit total matches to 1 if you want this to only apply once

    4. Add a completion action to “Increase Prospect Score” by 15 points for each match


A demographic score measures how well a new lead or prospect matches one of your pre-defined personas or target audiences, using profile signals and company demographics, and is best used in conjunction with the prospect’s overall engagement score.

For example, if one of your most engaged leads is simply an entry-level office worker and your target market includes decision makers in a company, you may not want to send that lead to sales as they don’t fit the target market’s criteria.

This is why you want to track data points like “Job Title” and/or “Job Function” to understand which engaged leads should actually be sent to sales

Demographic Score in HubSpot 
Unless you’re currently using a HubSpot Enterprise account, you need to separate these profile signals from the default scoring rules or criteria (or else it’ll be wrapped up as a single value in the “HubSpot Score” property.)

  1. Create a custom property called “Firmographic Score” (or whatever you want to call it)

  2. Create a workflow for each profile signal you want to score

  3. Add the demographic or geographic criteria as enrollment criteria for the workflow (make sure contacts can only enroll once!)

  4. Add an action to increase the newly created “Firmographic Score” property by the desired scoring weight

Once your Firmographic scoring workflows are complete, create a new custom property called “Final or Total Contact Score” as a calculated field, and combine the default HubSpot Score and the new Firmographic score to get a final value

Now, you can use engagement score or firmographic score as separate segmentation rules or workflow logic.

Demographic Score in Pardot 
Pardot does not have a “score” for firmographic properties but does have default functionality to assign a letter grade (A - F) based on firmographic criteria. You can learn more about Grading here, but at a high level, you’ll need to:

  1. Create Custom profile(s) or Edit Default Profile(s), and...

  2. Create Automation Rule(s) to check if prospects match one of the profiles, and then change the prospect grade based on the profile criteria you’ve set up under that profile


Decaying Actions/Disengagement In HubSpot
HubSpot allows you to create default lead scoring rules/criteria that require specific actions or page views AND the last activity on the specific action/page view to be greater or less than a specific number of days.

Decaying Actions/Disengagement In Pardot
Pardot does not allow you to track timestamps on specific actions like page views, email opens, email clicks, etc., and instead provides a more general timestamp field that tracks last activity date across all activities.

In order to mimic HubSpot’s decaying actions tracking, there are two techniques we can use: apply a Decaying Score on Specific Actions - or - apply a Decaying Overall Score Based on Inactivity.

Decaying Score on Specific Actions
This will decay the prospect’s score for each specific action individually, X amount of days after the last match AND the last activity date

  1. Create an automation rule for each specific action you’ve designated as a ‘decaying action’

    1. Enable rule repeating

    2. Set “days before eligible to repeat rule” to the number of days you’ve specified (i.e. 30)

    3. Do not limit matches

  2. Add an additional matching rule (after the initial matching rule(s) require to track the activity/action) that requires the “prospect time” field to be “prospect last activity date is less than X days” (i.e. the number of days you’ve specified)

    1. Match Type should be “Match All”

    2. If you set Match Type to “Match Any”, you’ll need to add the the above decaying rule to each set of ‘and’ rules for the matching criteria

  3. Add a completion action to add X amount of points to the prospects score for each match

Decaying Overall Score Based on Inactivity
This will decay the prospect’s total score once their latest activity date falls outside of the time parameters you set

  1. Create an automation rule that checks the prospect’s last activity date

    1. Matching criteria should require the “prospect time” field to be “prospect last activity date is less than X days” (i.e. the number of days you’ve specified)

    2. Enable rule repeating

    3. Set “days before eligible to repeat rule” to the number of days you’ve specified (i.e. 30)

    4. Do not limit matches

  2. Add a completing action to decrease the prospects overall score by a specified amount (should be the sum weight of all the activities you’ve specified as ‘decaying’)


In HubSpot
HubSpot’s default list and workflow enrollment criteria options are much more customizable than Pardot’s, so you can simply add your specific criteria/set of criteria to a dynamic list and/or workflow, and then create triggers to automate a large set of actions for each of the contacts that matches the enrollment criteria.

For example:

  • (Re)Assign Contact Owner

  • Adjust or Change a contact property value

  • Send a marketing email to contact

  • Send an internal notification to contact owner(s)

  • Add or remove contact from certain workflows or static lists

  • Create a task within HubSpot and Assign it

  • Create a deal or update a deal stage, etc.

 In Pardot
You can use ‘completion actions’ to trigger specific events or notifications based on certain rule matches, form submissions, custom redirect views, etc.  

A few options:

  • Increment Score (Up or Down)

    • The combination of certain activities may be even more valuable and indicative of buying intent, wherein the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

  • Create a Task in Salesforce

    • Sales will find great value in real-time alerts through Salesforce Engage

    • Up the ante by automating task creation for sales users when their Leads or Contacts are especially engaged and ready to buy

  • Alert someone on the Marketing Team (I.e. a Pardot User on your account)

    • This is a way to proactively alert marketing to let them know if a certain action has been taken that may require review, a manual response, or just to keep them in the loop on high-quality conversion actions - like a demo form submission

  • Stagger Automation Rules so they fire off in a pre-set sequence

    • If you need certain automation rules to be evaluated first, add tags as a completion action on all rules that you want to stagger

    • Add a matching criteria that require “prospect tag is X’ to each rule so it requires certain tags (i.e. rules) to have been matched/applied before they can then be evaluated

  • Take Action(s) on Prospects who have Performed a Specific Set of Activities or who Meet a Set of Criteria

    • For example, if you want to adjust a prospects score if they’ve visited 2 forms in the past month but have not successfully submitted any of them, you can add completion actions to the forms to add a specific tag on completion

    • Create an automation rule that requires a LP/form to be viewed AND “prospect tag IS NOT X” to indicate they visited but did not submit



While lead scoring is a fundamental part of being a data-driven digital marketer, the specific lead scoring functionality can vary greatly between different platforms - creating the need to rebuild your company’s scoring model to fit a given platform’s needs - and migrating between them can be an even more arduous process.

With this guide, you’ll be able to leverage workarounds to recreate your lead scoring model with minimal changes if/when you migrate from Pardot to HubSpot (or vice versa). We’ve discovered these workarounds after hundreds hours of practice, so if you get stuck, feel free to drop us a line, we’re here to help!

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