Jacob Filipp

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Quality Control & Testing in Pardot: The Path to Feeling Zen When Pressing “Send”

On October 27th, 2021, I spoke at the ParDreamin’ conference (archive link) about quality control and testing in Pardot. Here is the video recording:

Below is a copy of the presentation deck:

If any of these tips make a difference in your projects, please let me know by emailing me at “jacob” @ the domain of this website. I’d love to hear your story!

Song Juxtapositions

Tunes with some things in common. Sometimes they’re obvious commonalities. And sometimes it’s just my imagination playing tricks on me 🙂

The Cure – Fascination Street
Danz CM – I Don’t Need a Hero
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If your GTM Blocking Trigger is not effective…

If you set up a Google Tag Manager blocking Trigger / Exception Trigger, and it doesn’t block your tag from firing, then the reason could be Tag Sequencing.

Imagine a scenario where:

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“Why is utm_campaign not tracked?” – filling in a missing utm_source in Google Analytics

In Google Analytics, the utm_source URL parameter is mandatory when you’re trying to capture campaign parameters.

Even if your URL has utm_campaign and utm_medium on it, GA will not capture the Campaign and Medium data if you are missing utm_source.

If your Google Analytics tagged campaigns are not capturing Campaign / utm_campaign data, then it might be because of this missing utm_srouce parameter. Even great resources like the “troubleshooting missing acquisition sources” post from Bounteous leave out this reason.

The diagram below shows how GA handles campaign & traffic source reporting when certain URL parameters are missing. This will clarify how it misclassifies campaign links that are missing utm_source:

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Email – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

Email Explained from First Principles” – a very long reference that touches on anything you ever wanted to know about the email system (97,000 words – an estimated 8 hour read).

Notes section that will grow in the future:

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The hurting

I recently came across Will Patrick’s website. His writing is humorous and has a fast fun cadence to it.

One of his posts, Notes From A Flat Earth Conference (archived copy) talks empathically about Flat Earth believers. I stepped away with a feeling that, of course, something had to go wrong in these people’s lives in order for them to take on this fringe identity.

Thinking further, there have always been quacks and conspiracy theorists. Will himself admits this. At a time of personal turmoil a person is suddenly “open” – cults and terrorists know this. They’ve always looked out for people undergoing transitions. These are the ripest recruits.

This one is probably about group identity and belonging.

The post reminded me of a brilliant piece of writing by Jeff Atwood called They Have To Be Monsters (archive link). And had me going on a tangent:

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Marketing Operations Tools

A reference for myself. And maybe for others.


Sercante Creuz Your Data tool – when you are creating Pardot rules for matching prospects, you can create a string of semicolon-separated conditions up to 250 characters long. This tool splits up multi-condition rules that are longer than that into separate rules up to 250 chars each.

My own tool for embedding Pardot iFrame forms in a way that resizes the iFrame on the fly according to the content of the form. This prevents little scrollbars from appearing next to a form that gets longer during submission.

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New misleading metrics from FB, and the ineffectiveness of online ads

I was recently reminded of a fantastic article about how ineffective digital advertising is:

“The new dot com bubble is here: it’s called online advertising”, by Jesse Frederik and Maurits Martijn. Published in the (now defunct) Correspondent on 6 of November, 2019. [archive link]

Someone linked to it as part of a discussion around the latest nefarious behaviour by Facebook.

It came out that Facebook knowingly mislead advertisers about the size of “potential reach” for campaigns. They overestimated possible campaign reach by including an extra 10% of fake + duplicate accounts.

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Toronto’s most beautiful baby

As part of a local art project, I was looking for old photographs of the Mt. Pleasant and Eglinton neighbourhood in Toronto.

What I found was a “Google Streetview Time Machine” of sorts. A project called OldTO which places over 30,000 photos from the City of Toronto Archives on an interactive map of the city. (Just like Streetwiew, it was created by Google. This one, as part of Sidewalklabs’ aborted attempt to romance our city into an unwholesome who-knows-what.)

I was puzzled by one of the first photos I saw.

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Common SPF Errors

I saw an interesting discussion about SPF and email infrastructure on hackernews.

User citrin_ru shared the following list of common SPF problems they see:

  1. No space between directives: "v=spf1 ip4: include:example.org-all"
  2. Space inside a directive: "v=spf1 ip4:192. 0.2.0/24 -all"
  3. Bad mechanism: "v=spf1 ipv4: -all"
  4. No mechanism: "v=spf1 example.com"
  5. = instead of : "v=spf1 include=example.com"
  6. Unicode in SPF, mostly dashes (but I’ve seen zero-width spaces too): "v=spf1 all"
  7. Two SPF records for the same domain: "v=spf1 mx:example.com -all", "v=spf1 include:example.net ?all"
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