How to Stop GDPR from Impacting Customer Retention

In the wake of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) many marketing teams are working with depleted email lists that have become harder to grow. Now that reaching new customers is more difficult, retaining existing ones is more important than ever.

Added to this, post GDPR consumers expect value for their data, in the form of personalisation. The majority (76 percent) of customers would switch brands if their expectations weren’t met.

The answer to both of these problems? Intelligent personalisation. Next-level personalisation allows you to meet consumer expectations, strengthen relationships, and encourage customers remain loyal to your brand.

This blog post explores how to use smart automations to create a personalised experience for customers and increase customer retention post GDPR.

Adding value from the start

Customer retention makes business sense. Attracting new customers is five to twenty-five times more expensive than retaining existing ones. Meanwhile, increasing customer retention rates by just 5 percent increases profits by 25 to 95 percent.

An effective customer retention strategy starts with adding value from the start. This means using personalisation to enhance customer experience the very first time you land in the customer’s inbox. A welcome campaign is a powerful way to do this.


Welcome campaigns allow you to set the tone for a positive long-term relationship. They are your opportunity to introduce your brand to your customers in bite-sized chunks.

Create a series which sells the benefits of staying in touch with your brand and showcases your product offering. Your welcome campaign is a tool to ease customers along to the first of many purchases with you.

Welcome emails are one of many smart automations that can increase customer retention. We explore some of the others below.

How automations can increase customer retention

Creative more personalised experiences are key for brands that want to increase customer retention.

Behavioural triggered emails are an easy and effective way to implement personalisation. These smart automations get triggered by specific actions the customer takes. This ensures messages both timely and contextually relevant — qualities that make your marketing more engaging.

Behavioural triggered emails make light work of relationship building, as they are sent automatically. This is much more efficient than trying to manage customer relationships through manual email contact.

There are a number of behavioural triggered emails that all brands should be using. As well as welcome emails, these include:

  • order confirmations
  • thank you emails
  • how to guides
  • feedback requests
  • replenishment emails
  • re-engagement emails

These smart automations help to enhance the customer’s experience throughout their lifecycle, reduce buyer’s remorse, and increase retention.

Why an email preference centre is a must after GDPR

Customers have become more data savvy since the arrival of GDPR. They now expect to enjoy more control about how, what, and when you email them.

An email preference centre is an ideal way to give your subscribers the control they need. By offering them the opportunity to change the frequency and nature of what you send them, you can reduce the likelihood they’ll simply unsubscribe.

Email preference centres offer a crucial way to increase customer retention and maintain a healthy email list.

How to wake up lapsed and unengaged customers

Lapsed and unengaged customers are in the danger zone when it comes to customer retention. So how can you pull them back from the brink?

Sending re-engagement emails is a smart way to wake up sleeping subscribers. These automated emails get sent when a customer has failed to engage with your emails for some time or has lapsed as a customer.

Use your re-engagement emails to remind customers why they fell in love with your brand in the first place. Sell them the benefits of receiving your emails and tempt them to get back on board.

Here are seven re-engagement emails that win back customers to give you some inspiration for your own campaigns.


Growing your email list post-GDPR may present a challenge but the new legislation does not have to impact your customer retention.

Smart automations are an effective way to strengthen your relationship with customers, reduce buyer’s remorse, and increase customer retention. They help you to build a highly personalised experience throughout the journey a customer takes with you.

This blog post has focused on how welcome and re-engagement emails are of particular value to customer retention. It has also touched on the other automated emails that help to enhance customer experience.

We have also discussed the importance of having an email preference centre preference in place now GDPR is in force. This form helps you to give customers the control they demand over how, when, and what you send them, reducing unsubscribes and maintaining a healthy list.

If you want to learn more, watch our on-demand webinar: Maximising Customer Retention Post GDPR.

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