Whilst the title may leave you pondering, there really is a distinct correlation between these three things, which we’ll come to shortly.

The current marketing landscape is now having to adapt once again as it struggles with how to effectively navigate through the complexity of GDPR, and what that means in terms of efforts to Engage, Acquire and, most importantly, Retain customers to their brands.

We thought it would be good to examine the reasons behind these questions and answers related to Engaging, Acquiring and Retaining customers:

“Does GDPR bring an added cost pressure to the marketer in how they Engage and Acquire “net new” customers?”


“Is it now even more important for marketers to focus on retention even harder than before since GDPR?”


“Will print and direct mail play a larger part in both these processes?”


What has all this got to do with Love Island? Just wait and see.

We asked ourselves, why? For the first one involving cost pressures, since GDPR has come into effect, many Marketers are essentially crapping themselves on the validity of their data and that of any “net new” data providers.

Email fatigue also means that opt out rates are rising to the highest level since e-marketing began; a customer of ours recently hit 27%…ouch. However, we could see the unsubscribers were still purchasing, which is interesting. Let’s face it, we are all breathing a sigh of relief as our inbox seems to be less cluttered with the amount of “Space Junk” arriving on a daily basis.

But guess what? Print is having resurgence and is actually returning some amazing results for marketers in the Engagement and Acquisition of new customers to brands. Using print will cost more than digital, but if you focus on ensuring the ROI works, then it’s a good option.

What we’ve seen:

To execute Engagement or Acquisition through a print channel of a “net new” customer campaign undoubtedly increases the spend against previous digital channel strategies. That in itself is not surprising, however on regular mailings we are working on, we are seeing 1% and more conversions.

A format that works very well is mailings in excess of 40,000 based on A5 16pp and 24pp, both envelope enclosed which is getting better conversions. We’ve also seen strong results from naked mailings that are slightly more cost effective, and far better than having polywrap outers due to the increasing sensitivity of plastic within the supply chain.

So, hold onto your hat… this is the Love Island bit, and it’s where Retention comes in.

I had a very intense and long conversation with a senior high street and online marketer the other day, and the conclusion we came to was that GDPR has done an incredible amount of good in allowing us to “sort out” the bloody mess around data. But it has taken away the ability to “spray and pray” your marketing message to the masses, in order to achieve adequate response rates to emails. As I said earlier, you only have to think of yourself and how you react to “junk email” to appreciate and understand that

We debated at length that once this part of your marketing mix is sorted with the appropriate permissions and analytics, you then have a very valuable tool indeed that assists you. However, marketers may have to consider that Acquisition to purchase may not occur (in fact, is unlikely to occur) at the first contact attempt. In fact, initial outreach via whatever channel may be just to get them to “opt in” to your brand against an offer or another compelling reason for them to want to stay in touch.

Acquisition to purchase is then considered as the next step of the consumer journey, and of course is the holy grail of any marketing and sales initiative. Getting the customer to part with their cash is the most important part of the process. We discussed the fact that this will cost slightly more than before, and take longer, which led to us debating the issue of retention.

This is where the Love Island bit comes in, while watching this rather interesting format of a television programme I realised, when looking at how hard some of the guys are working to keep the affection and attention of their favourite bikini clad lady, it’s just one more form of Retention. They, like brands, have to work harder to keep someone engaged and active (I’m being very careful here!) long term, to prevent the girl from getting distracted by something else.

More emphasis has to be placed on Retention strategies in order to secure second, third and beyond purchases in order to balance against costs of acquiring new customers. By having a greater degree of focus on this element of Marketing it will undoubtedly give the modern marketer greater ROI from the campaigns that they run. It will need to be measured across a greater time period to account for the whole customer journey or customer lifetime value.

In summary, net new customer acquisition is perfectly suited to print, so it will cost more but should deliver better results, and you need to focus on customer retention in order to balance that cost.

If that all sounds too heavy, then we could all just apply for next year’s production of Love Island. Perhaps we could call it something different, but I will leave that up to you.


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