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Sarah Raven

665% increase in revenue delivered through Search & Shopping YoY

Client: Sarah Raven
Services: Paid Search

Key stats:
Paid Media % of revenue grew from 6.6% to 27.2%
Search & Shopping Revenue up 665%

665%Search & Shopping Revenue up 665%
15%CPA down 15%
49%ROAS up 49%

About the client

Sarah Raven is a published author and television presenter best known for her Gardening skills. She has presented on BBC Gardeners’ World and in 1999 set up the brand to sell seeds.

Now Sarah Raven offers a comprehensive range of seeds, plants and gardening kits. They pride themselves on the quality of the products and Sarah trials most of what we sell in her garden before they are offered “in store”. They are now seen as one of the UKs leading direct to consumer gardening businesses.

We partnered with Sarah Raven in June 2020 to restructure and manage their Paid Media strategy.


Our aim was to support Sarah Raven in their transition from being reliant on traditional media to using more digital platforms. When we started our relationship the biggest sales drivers were catalogues and email marketing, suggesting there was a new audience available for them to target.

Some of our key objectives for the client were:

  • Increase new customer acquisition
  • Customer reactivation
  • Increase incremental spend


The biggest obstacle we had was the reliance on traditional media formats, we needed to ensure that any changes we made would enhance performance rather than cannibalise the existing results.

Measurement also proved problematic as Sarah Raven were keen to understand the impact on new customer acquisition given they already had a strong strategy in place for advertising to their existing customers.

Throughout the campaign we dealt with a number of unknowns:

  • How multiple lockdowns would affect consumer confidence
  • % of total customers who were first time buyers (new customers)
  • Lack of horticulture knowledge in the agency

Our strategy

Multi-tiered approach for reaching new customers – using existing audience segments to reach high-value multi-buyers. Created additional tiers of communication for instant converters, slow converters and in-market.

  • Produce is live, therefore targeting is seasonal – certain species need to be planted at specific times
  • All products with keywords researched, however volume of terms required meant effective management would prove tough & a number would fall under the “limited search volume” category.
  • Therefore we built specific campaigns:
    • Historical top performing products, scheduled to run at peak purchasing times
    • Overarching generic keywords covering common search terms
    • Dynamic search ads covering niche products, generating impressive results on products that weren’t previously identified

In order to better understand the changing landscape of the market we have built tools to monitor trends within the search volumes allowing us to adjust our approach. This share of voice tool also highlights areas where Organic Search visibility is low compared to competition, which again can assist us in our targeting strategy.

We were keen to be seen as an extension of the Sarah Raven marketing team, working towards a more collaborative approach than is often the case with Agency/Client relationships. Performance can often be qualified by offline activity, and through working off the same roadmap we were able to improve performance as our activity reflect this. Recently Sarah Raven released a Podcast, providing advertising for some of the less known products. As search volume is likely to increase around the Podcasts release we have created campaigns that ensure coverage for a few weeks. This has enabled sales on niche products that would have been covered in our activity normally given search volume.

The results

Paid Search (Jun 19 – May 20 vs Jun 20 – May 21)

  • 26% increase in incremental spend per customer
  • Site revenue grew 85% YoY
  • Paid Media % of revenue grew from 6.6% to 27.2%
  • Search & Shopping Revenue up 665%
  • Spend up 414%, mainly given the lack of Paid Search in the prior period
  • CPA down 15% & ROAS up 49%
  • Increased the search market share from 2% to 25%
Sarah Raven

“The Honchō team was an excellent support throughout Q4, our busiest time of the year. Through strategic search, shopping and social campaigns, Honchō helped us to achieve some fantastic results. We’re excited to continue our partnership with the team throughout 2021.”


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