Leaving Pardot for HubSpot Marketing Enterprise

We were introduced to Axial by a HubSpot Account Executive. They were looking to move out of Pardot to improve their marketing automation capabilities but needed to retain Salesforce as the sales team was highly entrenched and not willing to move at this time. Their Pardot license was close to expiration, and they had heard great things about HubSpot. 

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  1. List recreation would be critical, as they had deep field-specific segmentation criteria
  2. Their lists were mostly dynamic with many contacts mid-stream in workflows, and they didn't want to re-enroll contacts at the beginning of nurturing sequences
  3. Their contact list was extremely bloated, with years of poor hygiene leading to over 250,000+ contacts to migrate
  4. They had the internal resources to do some heavy lifting, but none of them were familiar with the inner workings of HubSpot
  5. They had a series of email templates that needed to be recreated
  6. They had a large number of forms and landing pages live on their WordPress site and were concerned about downtime
  7. One of their most critical lead generation strategies was their resource library, which had to be migrated without affecting their metadata and SEO

After a series of scoping and consultation calls, we pinned down a plan of attack. Our team would stand alongside the Axial team, in a prioritized list of tactics that would allow their team to rebuild assets after our team set up their HubSpot license and trained them on how to operate in their new Enterprise Marketing license.

Project Overview

Goal: Leave Pardot for HubSpot, Integrate With Salesforce

Services Provided: HubSpot Onboarding, Pardot Migration, Salesforce Integration, Team Training

HubSpot License: Marketing Enterprise

Timeline: 90 days


The project consisted of four elements: HubSpot Onboarding, Pardot Migration, Salesforce Integration, and Marketing HUB training. Here's how we completed each of the project phases within the 90-day timeline:

HubSpot Onboarding

We have a dedicated team for HubSpot Onboarding and offer a host of services to help new customers activate and begin leveraging their new HubSpot licenses quickly. Our HubSpot Success Managers are Master Training Certified by HubSpot themselves, ensuring they have a well-rounded and complete understanding of the entire HubSpot Suite. We introduced the Axial team to our dedicated Sr. HubSpot Success Manager, Isaac Quinn, and set forth to complete the following steps. 

  • Step 1: Global License Configuration: We offer to pick up all the initial settings and global configuration on new portals. We started with a workbook to ensure we had the proper branding elements, then jumped in to set up the Marketing Enterprise features to ensure their instance was ready for customization. 
  • Step 2: HubSpot Software Training:  We held three calls to train Nick, Emil, and Dani to operate inside HubSpot Marketing Enterprise. We focused the training on their top priorities, which in their case consisted of how to rebuild all of their assets from Pardot. Email automation, database segmentation, landing pages, forms, and campaign tracking were all featured to ensure their team could get off and running. This training element fulfilled the requirements by HubSpot to allow for waiving their onboarding consulting fees. 

Here's a short video with more about onboarding


Pardot Migration

This is where we got creative and worked together for the fastest, most cost-effective method of migrating hundreds and hundreds of assets into HubSpot. This solution was designed during the sales cycle as we consulted through options. I like to ask some questions about the current vs ideal state to get people thinking about the ability to improve, not just move. It's usually best to cull outdated and unnecessary assets through migration and this provides the ability to be more efficient and effective. Through that process, we came up with a targeted list of assets that would need to be rebuilt and migrated:

  1. Of the 250,000+ contacts, only 60,000 of them would need to move. They chose to export directly from Pardot. From there, our team formatted the data and loaded the contacts into HubSpot
  2. Email templates were recreated leveraging HubSpot's drag-n-drop email editor. We created a master email template, then created each application-specific template from the master.
  3. Email lists workflows were recreated by the Axial team, with our team doing one of each with them and training for them to be able to reproduce.
  4. They had hundreds of priority files needed for emails, landing pages, and resources. We covered in training and their team did this work themselves.
  5. The resource center required setting up its subdomain in HubSpot, rebuilding its primary resource template via HubSpot landing pages, and styling it to meet its brand, and recreating the associated forms. Once complete, their team cloned and recreated all existing resource pages, including forms and resource access, via the file manager.

HubSpot <> Salesforce Integration

We leveraged the HubSpot <> Salesforce Selective Sync to map exactly which fields needed to sync back and forth between the CRM and marketing system. We enlisted the help of one of our Revenue Technologists for this element of the project. As our HubSpot technical experts, they're well-versed in operating within the Selective Sync and support many clients with a mixed HubSpot & Salesforce software stack.

  • Step 1: HubSpot Field Mapping: We started with an audit of the existing SFDC environment to identify all required fields for migration. Then we configured HubSpot to match, ensuring the ability to migrate successfully.
  • Step 2: Field Configuration: Once we identified the essential fields in SFDC we matched them up in HubSpot, configuring the HubSpot CRM (included free with Marketing HUB) to ensure we could bi-directionally sync data between systems.
  • Step 3: Data Integration: To ensure leads that weren't ready for sales didn't sync into Salesforce we leveraged an Inclusion List. This allows us to only populate the list with sales-ready leads and retain other qualification stages for nurturing.

Team Training

Our training methodology also aligns closely with HubSpot. We've adopted their preferred method of Change Management, ADKAR. We customize training curriculums to build awareness, create desire, develop knowledge, foster ability, and reinforce change and adoption. We'll plan a phase beyond this project that focuses on reinforcement specifically. We landed on an automation-heavy training schedule that would empower Emil on their team to focus on the asset recreation task list above. We accomplished these goals through a 3-step process:

  • Step 1: Marketing HUB Tour: We started with a kickoff meeting to review goals and objectives with their entire team.We kicked things off with a full HUB tour to familiarize them with all elements of the Enterprise 
  • Step 2: Role-Based Training: Our next step was to host two follow-up training sessions with Emil and Nick to train on migration priorities, answer questions, and provide support. Each session included preparation assignments, including content to cover, resources, and desired impact. Aligning team training based on priorities and feedback is key to successful adoption, which is why we customize training sessions for impact.
  • Step 3: Documentation: We were also careful to document the marketing procedures for future access. We created a library of training resources for refreshers, references, and new employee onboarding. All documentation and training videos were labeled and filed inside their HubSpot file manager for fast reference.


Sometimes the first step in growing and scaling your business is to make a foundational move into a platform that sets your team up for success. In this example, our ability to successfully migrate Axial's entire Pardot instance into HubSpot was the ultimate barometer for success. The ability to work hand-in-hand with our client proved to be a great partnership. We were able to share the workload, divide and conquer, move fast, and keep costs low. It was a great first step into what we hope will be a long and mutually beneficial relationship.


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