Does email marketing work? Yes it does

There is plenty of information out there about email marketing, and how it can improve ROI, but there are few straightforward facts on the effectiveness of email in the real world.

To address this, we have put together a case study on how BSA are using email marketing to help one of our clients secure additional, profitable business, and how the effectiveness of email compares with other marketing tools like SEO.

The Client – is an ecommerce site offering high quality meat from local producers. The website is promoted using a range of tools including:

  • Search marketing
  • Off line brand development
  • Email marketing


The project had 2 main objectives

  1. Building the contact list
  2. Generating sales

These objectives were approached by

Encouraging visitors to the site to create an account, and join the emailing list.

Regular email marketing to account holders,  reinforcing the Mettricks brand and encouraging the placing of orders.


Building the mailing list
Through sustained on and off line marketing, we have succeeded in consistently growing the emailing list over time. The graph below illustrates how the customer list has grown over the past 12 months.


Generating Sales
As the site is an ecommerce site, we can measure sales directly, and through Google Analytics we can establish the traffic sources generating orders.

Through these tools we can measure marketing effectiveness through tracking e-commerce conversion rates for various marketing media:

The Traffic sources tracked are:

General searches (for example)

  • online butchers
  • butchers
  • online butcher

Brand specific searches (for example)

  • Mettricks
  • Mettricks butchers
  • Mettricks Glossop

Visits triggered by email

For each of these traffic sources we can measure Conversion Rate (% of visits that become an order) and Average Order Value.

The graphs below illustrate the breakdown of traffic, and the conversion rates for these three traffic sources

They demonstrate that although the number of visits from email is significantly lower than the number of visits generated from generic search keywords, when it comes to revenue generation the email visits are much more valuable.


This is further reinforced when we look at conversion rates on visits generated from email compared with search keyword visits. For site visits from general searches, less than 1% convert to orders. this figure rises to just over 5% for site visits from brand specific searches and up again to almost 6.5% for visits originating from emails – a total improvement of over 600%!


We must however also consider order values. Although, in our study, visits from general searches did deliver the highest order values, the range across the 3 revenue sources is only + or – 4%. The higher conversion rate from email is much more significant


  1. Search engine marketing & offline brand promotion encourage people to sign up to the site
  2. The most valuable website visits come from email & people performing brand searches
  3. Visits from emails have a conversion rate over 7 times higher than general searches

Although SEO and search marketing are important for helping to build a good emailing list, real success comes from developing relationships with contacts through email & brand building.

Successful marketing needs to be an integrated process utilising the appropriate marketing mix.

This is the essence of the BSA Marketing approach

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About Duncan Wright

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Over the past 25 years, working in both the corporate world, and the field of SME marketing consultancy, Duncan Wright has developed extensive knowledge & experience that really adds value to BSA Marketing's clients.

As a member of the CIM, and as a Chartered Marketer, Duncan has the marketing knowledge to come up with relevant and innovative marketing strategies for clients, whilst at the same time possessing the technical knowledge to turn these strategies into relevant and sustainable marketing campaigns in the real world.

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