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C+D boost advertising revenue by 29% as a result of improved engagement across their newsletter portfolio

Objective: Increase engagement rates of their three newsletters, to be able to secure future advertising placements

Brand: Chemist and Druggist (C+D) is a multimedia publisher aimed at the pharmaceutical community in the UK. They are at the forefront of providing the latest news to people working in this sector, informing and supporting them since 1859 in both print and digital channels.


The C+D marketing team were concerned about decreasing engagement rates across their newsletter portfolio. In fact, a significant proportion of their database had not opened or clicked for some time. However, they managed to turn this around with engagement-boosting strategies which resulted in:

  • boosted advertising revenues by 29%
  • increased open rates reaching 32%
  • new template average click-to-open rates: 28%

The Challenge

A disengaged database was of serious concern to C+D:

  • An engaged audience is crucial to attracting high quality advertisers and securing repeat bookings. Advertisers select C+D for their targeted audience of UK Pharmacists. C+D Online is the top place to reach this group with 78% of all active community pharmacists registered with them. However, if they are not engaging with C+D content, this seriously undermines the performance and value that advertisers receive.
  • Deliverability threat – repeated mailing of disengaged email addresses can affect the chances of getting through to the inbox.

A strategy was needed urgently to turnaround the decline and deliver healthy and sustainable engagement metrics and protect these revenue streams.

The Solution

The C+D email team rose to the challenge and tackled falling engagement on three fronts:

  1. They optimized the newsletter designs
  2. They optimized the send time
  3. They rolled out an automated re-engagement program

Design Optimization

Using Adestra’s Heatmap Report, the C+D team identified where readers clicked. They surveyed their engaged subscribers on their preferences for frequency and presentation of the newsletters. Based on their findings, new designs were created and split-tested against the old templates.

Time of Day Testing

By carefully planning the editorial, and getting buy-in from colleagues to adjust their schedules, tests were performed over a 6 month period.

Re-engagement Strategy

Subscribers who are inactive for 6 months are automatically entered into a re-engagement program consisting of three campaigns. The campaigns are populated with the latest content using RSS feeds. Subscribers who re-engage are returned to the active list, if not they are unsubscribed.

With the help of Adestra’s Professional Services team, re-engagement programs were set up and coded for each of C+D’s three newsletters. These continue to run in the background with minimal resource to maintain.

C+D The-re-engagement-process

The Result

C+D have seen great results from the combination of these engagement-boosting strategies:

  • Open rates improved across the newsletter portfolio, reaching 32% and higher
  • The active subscriber base increased by 15%
  • The new template design achieved an average CTOR of 28%, an uplift of 3% on the old template
  • Successive tests revealed 3pm to be the optimal send time for the C+D audience

The improved engagement metrics have created an attractive proposition for advertisers and driven value for the business by directly contributing to an overall lift in advertising sales of 29% across a 6 month period.

32% open rate and above

3pm optimal send time

29% lift in advertising revenue

Are you not getting the desired engagement in your emails?

Each company is unique, so we take a proactive approach in understanding your background and needs when we evaluate the possible solutions. Get in touch today to see how we can help you achieve your marketing goals.