How to Use Motiva Smart Suppress to Boost Engagement Metrics

No time for regular data cleaning? No problem. With Dark Pool Smart Suppress, you can remove problematic contacts on-the-fly. Here are some best practices for different types of content.

If you’re a Dark Pool customer, you’re already familiar with the six different categories that define your audience’s engagement: Nurturing, Keep Sending, Investigate, Throttle and Investigate, Stop sending and shift to a different channel, and Remove.

But did you know you can use these categories to filter out specific audience segments to get the best results from your contact database, depending on the type of content you’re sending?

Depending on how reachable or fatigued a particular section of your audience is, you’ll want to adjust how much and what kind of messages you’re sending. 

For instance, if a contact is already feeling fatigued, the last thing you’d want to do is blast them with every message the marketing higher-ups devise. That’s almost certain to push a fatigued contact over the edge, and they’ll stop engaging entirely, unsubscribe, or, worst of all, mark your message as Spam.

So how should you proceed?

By using the Dark Pool Smart Suppress decision service right from your Eloqua canvas, you can ensure that the different categories of your audience get the type of messaging they’re most likely to engage with (even the contacts showing signs of message fatigue). 

Before we dive in, let’s see just how easy it is to use Smart Suppress for on-the-fly data cleaning (no permanent database modifications required!).

On your Eloqua canvas, select your Segment Members, then look for the Motiva AI Smart Suppress step grouped with the other Decision Services. You may need to expand the list of Campaign Steps to find it if it’s your first time using it, then save Smart Suppress for future use.

Double-click on the Smart Suppress step to bring up the configuration, and select those categories you’d like to remove from this campaign. 

In our example below, we’ve suppressed the Remove category and siphoned those contacts off to a Shared List, while the rest of the contacts continue on to the Motiva AI Simple Email step. We have another article covering different configurations of Smart Suppress, which you can view here.

Then continue configuring your campaign as you would any other. Yes, it’s that easy to implement contact data cleaning on-demand.

So which categories should receive what types of your content?

For your top two categories (“Nurturing” and “Keep Sending”), of course, it’s pretty wide open. Since these groups represent the least risk (from an engagement and sender score viewpoint), they can receive the highest messaging volume under your Frequency Management rules. This is your core audience and likely the backbone of your engagement metrics. 

Contacts in the “Investigate” category are showing early signs of fatigue, so tread lightly. If you start to see the number of contacts in “Keep Sending” shrinking and the number in “Investigate” growing, be sure to check on your Frequency Intelligence to make sure those thresholds haven’t changed.

For those contacts in the “Throttle and Investigate” category, you’ll want to be targeted in what you’re sending. These contacts show signs of message fatigue, so you’ll want to send mid-funnel communications that provide immediate value or bottom-funnel messages with a strong incentive to engage. The goal with this group is to try to minimize risk, and maybe even win them back, so use that as your guiding principle. 

For the bottom two categories (“Stop Sending” and “Remove”), it’s best to simply suppress these contacts and remove contacts in the bottom category during your next data cleaning procedure. These are the contacts that are hard bounce backs, otherwise unreachable, or bots.

Here are some specific types of content and our recommended categories to target or suppress.


If you’re sending out newsletters as a one-shot campaign, ensure your top three categories — your core audience — receive it. The bottom three categories should be suppressed.

Webinars and Events:

Target your top three categories, and consider including the “Throttle and Investigate” category. Since you’ll be providing near-immediate value, there’s a good chance you’ll win back a few contacts with the content. Suppress the bottom two categories.

Targeted Nurtures:

For these campaigns, include the “Throttle and Investigate” category because you’re trying to provide value to the audience and not just a hard sell. It’s another good way to get a few contacts to opt back in to your marketing. 

Optimizing your campaigns using Motiva’s Dark Pool Smart Suppress and following these best practices will minimize your exposure to Spam complaints and a reduced sender score, reveal your actual engagement metrics, and maybe even win some fatigued customers back. In addition, it allows you to quickly and strategically connect with your audience at their current levels of interest, providing the type and volume of content they want to see from your company.

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