How To Win New Subscribers If GDPR Saw You Binning Your Mailing List

Written by Run2.
· 4 minute read

In recent months, countless marketers have found themselves having to purge their databases, destroying the personal details of current, past and prospective customers in a bid to avoid falling foul of the dreaded GDPR.

We’ve heard from businesses that have decided to delete this information as a result of poor record keeping, data loss, or a lack of proof that the data they hold was collected with consent – even though more often than not, it was obtained completely ethically.

We’ve seen CEOs panic after attempts to get their subscribers to opt-in again fell short of expectations and we’ve spoken to businesses choosing to see GDPR as an opportunity for a fresh start before voluntarily deleting everything.

With so many marketers having to start over, we thought we’d share just a few ways to win new subscribers while abiding by GDPR.

Offer discounts

Consumers can be suckers for a discount, so offering a reduction off their next purchase can be a great way to encourage people to give you their email address.

However, it could be argued that this approach has long been part of the problem that has made GDPR necessary. For years it’s been considered acceptable for marketers to offer internet users discounts in exchange for their data, before contacting them on a regular basis with content that strays from the original promise of offers and promotions. Therefore, this leads us onto our next suggestion…

Be clear about your intentions

If you’re going to lure people in with monetary incentives, be sure to make it clear exactly what they’re signing up for from the outset. What else, aside from the occasional voucher code, can they expect from you? Will you be sending them a regular newsletter? How about promotional materials for your brand? Being transparent will help you avoid falling foul of GDPR.

By being honest about the type of content that you’re going to send to your subscribers, not only can you grab their attention in the first place, you can reduce the likelihood of unsubscribes further down the line.

Provide people with more of what they love via email

Identify what it is about your business that people love and offer them more of it by email.

Take our client Wishing Moon, for example. When we started working together, we realised that customers had a real love for the weekly horoscopes that could be found on the blog. To make it easier for customers and loyal readers to keep up-to-date with astrology, we then added banners to the website offering to send the horoscopes directly to people’s inbox via a weekly newsletter.

Give people membership to a private community

Whether you’ve got a Facebook group where customers can talk to like-minded people or you have a private forum for the discussion of a specialist subject, people love being part of a community. Giving people membership to a private community in exchange for their email can be a great way of rebuilding your list while ensuring that every subscriber is engaged and interested in your offering.


If you’ve had to delete hundreds or even thousands of email addresses, you may be feeling overwhelmed at the thought of starting afresh, but try to see this as a positive process. Gone are the days of dropping impersonal emails to tens of thousands of people at once. Focus on quality over quality. This is a perfect opportunity to ensure your email list consists of only the most loyal and engaged consumers.