5 Steps for Measuring Success with Dark Pool Data Hygiene

You know that data hygiene is crucial to your email marketing success. But what should you track to measure improvement? Follow these five steps to improve engagement and return on investment.

As you already know, data hygiene is crucial to your marketing success. Without clean data, you’re wasting your time and resources marketing to outdated contacts, bots, spam filters, and other obstacles. You won’t have a clear idea of what messages work with your actual audience, and it’s unlikely that a bot will add to your bottom line.

Motiva's Dark Pool data cleanup will help. It’s designed to comb through your contacts and their engagement history (or lack thereof) to give you a better sense of how polluted your contact database is and recommend actions to take to improve your metrics.

But what’s the best way to measure the impact of your data hygiene practices? How do you know if your efforts are having any effect on your marketing success?

Here are five steps Dark Pool customers can take to ensure their ongoing data hygiene routines are paying off.

Step 1: Track historical trends

The first step is knowing and recording the extent of the data pollution.

If you’ve taken advantage of our free data spot check, then you already have a good idea of how polluted your contact database is (and from what we’ve seen, it’s not a matter of “if” your database has problematic contacts, but “how many.”)

You can use data from the spot check, or your first analysis after you sign up for a Dark Pool license, and record the following metrics:

  • Unresponsive Contacts
  • Wasted Sends
  • Bounceback percentage (with a goal of 2% or below)
  • Contact Scores
  • Bots

You may want to put them in a spreadsheet with the date recorded to provide a baseline for improvement.

Step 2: Use the Dark Pool Time Machine to identify campaigns that would benefit most from Dark Pool Cleanup.

One of the many handy features of Dark Pool is Time Machine, which lets you see precisely how dirty data is skewing your engagement metrics.

The first screen in Time Machine will show you the top campaigns. Think of it as a Before and After photo for data hygiene. Here’s what it looks like:

DP Time Machine-png

Click over to Select Campaign, and you'll be able to choose a campaign from the dropdown (you can enter the first few characters of the campaign name to find your desired campaign quickly). Here, you'll be able to filter out specific types of contacts and view their impact on your engagement metrics:


Step 3: Use the Smart Suppress decision step on those key campaigns

In November of 2022, we announced our new Smart Suppress decision step, which allows Dark Pool customers to filter out different categories of contacts on demand while the campaign runs. You'll no longer need to go into your database and remove unengaged contacts. Just filter out the desired (or undesired, rather) categories of contacts and monitor the results.


To be even more thorough, you can set up an A/B test on the Eloqua canvas to see the difference Dark Pool makes. Use the Audience Spit step on the canvas with duplicate email assets, then compare engagement rates at the end of the campaign.

Step 4: Determine a suppression strategy and then evaluate using historical baselines.

You may want to try a few combinations of contact categories to suppress during campaigns and evaluate the combinations to determine which has the most significant effect on your engagement metrics.

Step 5: Update the tracker and evaluate performance compared to key metric baselines.

Keep the tracking spreadsheet updated to monitor your campaign performance going forward. Also, consider removing those contacts that are just dragging you down (and likely costing you money since most CRMs charge based on the number of contacts in the database).

By following these steps, you’ll reduce the amount of damage polluted data is causing and see measurable improvements in your metrics and ROI. You may even find yourself and your team resetting benchmarks and expectations based on these improved numbers!

Want a free data spot check? Check out the details here.

Want to see how Motiva can boost your marketing success? Schedule a Demo today!

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