General retail

Ordnance Survey boosts email revenue by 107% through re-engagement

  • increase in revenue-per-click

  • increase in email revenue

  • fewer emails sent

Dotdigital | Ordnance Survey Case Study
Emily Bennett, Communications Specialist at Ordnance Survey and winner of ‘Rising star’ at the dotties connected 2020.


Lockdown has been OS’ biggest challenge of 2020. The government’s limit of time spent outdoors meant that OS brand headline – ‘Get Outside’ – became impractical. The brand could have crashed and burned in spectacular fashion – or it could adapt and innovate to cope. Emily Bennett, Communications Specialist at OS, was a key player in ensuring it was the latter. The brand’s unsubscribe rate had hit rock bottom in November 2019; and just before lockdown its subscriber numbers plummeted below 330,000 engaged subscribers and 600,000 non-engaged subscribers. The period working remotely from home was prime time to change this – and Emily made the leap. OS made the decision to halt any promotional activity and instead, to offer incredible free content, activities, and games to keep at least half of its audience entertained during lockdown. This included free coloring book extracts, puzzle book quiz pages, ‘learn how to navigate’ guides, the ‘design and trig pillar’ page, plus lots of other fun challenges. This showed that they were there to support their customers rather than capitalizing from the pandemic.


“Emily has a phenomenal way of dealing with people, whether that is our customers or the internal team. She drives both herself and those around her to put the customer first, producing promotions and emails that are more segmented, more targeted, and delight our customers. Her ‘people person’ ability is seen as a sixth sense among the team and she really knows how to bring the best out in people. When she combines her knowledge of what makes customers tick into her experience in marketing automation and segmentation, it produces some fantastic emails that really offer customers more than they can get elsewhere. Whether she’s hosting a Facebook live quiz with Olympic athlete Iwan Thomas or designing a beautiful email, Emily just knows what our customers want and need.”

Tom Brown, Head of Ecommerce at Ordnance Survey

About Ordnance Survey

Ordnance Survey (OS) is the national mapping agency of Great Britain and creates, maintains, and distributes detailed location information for the entire island. From its military-purpose beginnings during the Jacobite rising in Scotland, today the brand records and keeps 500 million geospatial features in the Ordnance Survey (OS) master map up-to-date.

The number of engaged subscribers skyrocketed from 329,820 to 469,541 in just over 6 months, phenomenally smashing the target of 450,000

Dotdigital | Ordnance Survey Case Study


Shifting the focus from promotional to content-only emails, helping get customers through lockdown, Emily skyrocketed the number of engaged subscribers. This grew from 329,820 (on 9th March) to 469,541 (on 11th September) in just over 6 months, phenomenally smashing the target of 450,000, 3 months before the end of the calendar year. Through these ingenious ways of motivating customers and building the OS brand, customers were becoming more and more engaged and unsubscribes subsequently fell.

Overall email opt-ins have also reached 75,000, of which 99% are opted in to commercial emails, meaning they can engage with them about future campaigns and promotions. The open rate of the ‘It’s time to get creative’ email was 39% – one of the highest rates OS has ever seen on a content email.

What’s more, Emily has increased email revenue from £494,869 to £708,353, achieving 107% of her personal target. Emily grew email revenue by 105% – and in highest achieving months by 152%. And while Emily now sends 19% fewer emails, the revenue per click is up from 52p to £1.29 on average.