RAAK_Blog-Header_3 steps to re-grow your database after GDPR

3 steps to re-grow your database after GDPR

Did you send out a re-opt-in campaign? We can debate about the use, purpose and legal ground, but one thing is utterly clear: 4 out of 5 of brands will lose 40 to 90% of their database. And although the size of your database tells you absolutely nothing about the impact of your email marketing or marketing automation, most marketing managers are not happy to see those database size number shrink.

On the other hand, email marketing & marketing automation have the highest ROI when it comes to digital channels. So, rebuilding a solid database should be a key priority for all marketeers. But how do you (re-)grow your database? Well, you need a solid acquisition strategy.

An acquisition strategy is nothing more than a plan that you have put together to maximize the growth of your database. It defines the different tactics that you will use on each touchpoint that your customer or prospect engages with your brand. But how do you get started? Just follow these 4 steps.

Step 1:
Define all relevant touchpoints where customers or prospects engage with your brand. Roughly said, there are 4 main engagement touchpoints:

Physical always-on:
This is engagement that takes place when in direct, personal and/or physical contact with your potential prospects or clients. F.i.: your account manager talks to a prospect, you meet a new contact a trade fair, a customer enters your shop, … It is not driven by a specific campaign and is part of the daily business (thus: always-on).

Physical campaign:
This engagement takes place when interacting with marketing campaigns that are not digital. Think ads on the radio, a print ad, TV ads,… These campaigns are marketing driven, so if these campaign don’t take place, there is no engagement.

Digital always on:
This is digital engagement when someone interacts with content on one of your digital channels. An article on Facebook, download of a whitepaper, reading a blog article.

Digital campaigns:
This engagement takes place as a part of an online campaign. F.i. you are running an online contest and drive traffic to the campaign page by targeting a select audience via online ads.

The goal of this step is to create a longlist of all possible touchpoints that you have, when engaging with your target audience.

Step 2:
Following step 1, you need to define a solid tactic to turn engagement into data for each touchpoint. Sounds a bit challenging, but if you think it through, you will notice that every touchpoint will be an opportunity to build data. Here are a few examples:

Always on physical:
Do you offer free wifi? Place a non-obligatory form when connecting to ask for an opt-in.
Do you have a waiting area? Place a discount code that they can use with their upcoming purchase, and they need to register it online first.
Got a loyalty card? Train your staff to ask for an opt-in when they notice that it is not present.

Campaign Physical:
Running a campaign on TV, radio, whatever? Make sure to add a CTA to your website in that campaign and turn that extra site traffic in opt-ins by displaying a pop-up opt-in form.
Running a print-DM campaign? Add a voucher or something else of value that they can collect by registering.

Digital always-on:
Got interesting whitepapers? Place a download form before you access the whitepaper with an opt-in.
Using Facebook? Run lead cards that build your database.
A lot of website traffic? Embed ‘navigate away forms’ that ask for user data.

Digital campaign:
Boost your subscribe pages by launching a targeted campaign via Facebook ads.
Set up a WIN campaign, that drives engagement.

You’ll see, there are tons of ideas and possibilities to turn engagement into data. And of course, opt-in needs to be freely given, but we see that good working touchpoints generate 40% to 60% opt-in.

Step 3
Continuous improvement & conversion growth.
Lastly you need a solid method to evaluate all your different touchpoints. A good way to do this, is to set up a dashboard where you can monitor all the different data sources. In this dashboard we would focus on 3 key metrics:

How much traffic is coming in via each touchpoint. Once you have this overview you will see the main traffic drivers, and which sources drive fewer traffic.

Opt-in rate:
Traffic is one thing; opt-in rates is another. A page that has low traffic but high opt-in rates, could be really interesting. On the other hand when a page has high traffic rates but low opt-in rates, it could be a sign that you need to work on conversion rates.

How much budget does it take to run each touchpoint. We are all looking for high traffic, high opt-in rates and low budget. But this exercise is a good way to show your management that you need extra budget. If you see high opt-in rates, but generate low traffic, you maybe need to invest in ads that drive more traffic to a specific page.


An acquisition program is a key corner stone in your email, automation or inbound strategy. If you follow the above steps you will have the best possible setup. And let’s be honest, what’s more beautiful than watching your database rapidly grow day-by day.

Posted on
May 28, 2018