Emma Bridgewater search strategy

Customer acquisition target smashed

Established in 1985, Emma Bridgewater is a British, family-run company producing beautiful hand-decorated pottery and homeware.

Emma Bridgewater has a devout following of loyal customers who are passionate about the brand and the products. Consequently, much of their online revenue is generated by brand term searches.

The digital team at Emma Bridgewater approached Leapfrogg to help identity new audiences and non-brand search opportunities with the primary objective to increase customer acquisition. Our overriding objective was to deliver 7,000+ new customers for their last financial year via natural and paid search.

Summary of strategy
To meet Emma Bridgewater’s objectives, the natural search strategy focused predominantly on non-brand search terms e.g. ‘personalised pottery’, employing a blend of website optimisation, online PR and blogger outreach to raise awareness, drive traffic and generate revenue.

In paid search, we optimised the brand campaign to maximise return on investment, whilst also targeting non-brand terms aligned to promotions, new product launches and key events.

Analysis of transactional data and RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) models allowed us to measure the impact of our work in meeting the primary objective – attracting new customers.

What we did

We began by analysing their business plan, commercial objectives, customer data and insight, products, positioning and competition.

Using this insight, we identified three key product areas to put front and centre of the strategy and tactical plan. In short, we focused on products that new customers typically bought first. We then put in place a programme of website optimisation initiatives, aligned to the key product areas, which included:

  • Site re-architecture
  • Technical consultancy
  • Layout and usability recommendations
  • Content optimisation

Alongside work to the website, we put in place a number of online and blogger outreach initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the Emma Bridgewater brand and products to new audiences, whilst also building links from relevant and high quality websites. Campaigns included:

  • Hosting a tour and workshop at the Emma Bridgewater factory in Stoke where bloggers were given the opportunity to personalise mugs and teapots
  • Working with our network of ‘mummy bloggers’ we sent each of them a set of Emma Bridgewater melamine picnic wear and challenged them to hold an indoor picnic with their children. The bloggers were asked to produce a Pinterest pin board or Facebook collage, which was then judged by Emma Bridgewater

The online PR and blogger outreach programmes resulted in significant coverage for Emma Bridgewater across a number of high-profile lifestyle blogs, generating content, traffic and sales, whilst building links that had a positive impact on search engine rankings for the terms being targeted.

We also worked with the team at Emma Bridgewater to ensure that their in-house PR activity was having the maximum benefit on the search strategy by reviewing the editorial plan and processes around content creation and optimisation.

The key challenge in paid search is the fact that Emma Bridgewater ‘competes’ in search with their stockists and resellers. As such, the cost per click for ‘pure’ brand terms, as well as ‘brand + product’ terms is often inflated (compared to clients who face little competition for their brand terms in search). Our main objective was therefore to ensure the brand campaigns worked as efficiently as possible – driving as much traffic at the lowest possible cost. Within three months, we significantly improved brand campaign ROI, which allowed budget to be allocated to non-brand testing and campaign expansion.

For non-brand activity, the strategy focused predominantly on seasonality and in particular key events, such as The Diamond Jubilee and Olympics to raise awareness in new audiences. Supporting Adwords and Bing, we also rolled out a remarketing strategy and a PLA (Product Listing Ads) campaign.


We were tasked with delivering 7000 new customers during the course of their last financial year. We are delighted to report that this target was exceeded by 8%.

Campaign highlights included increasing natural search revenue by 15% and ROI via paid search up 78% year-on-year.

Image courtesy of http://www.florencefinds.com/