Empowering Bullards to Boost Sales & Improve Email Marketing ROI

Russell Evans, Bullards: “Switching to Smart Messenger's managed service significantly reduced our email marketing costs, while also enhancing the level of support and consultancy we receive."


Bullards is an award-winning gin brand with a rich Norwich heritage dating back to 1837, when it was originally known for supplying beers, wines, and spirits. Today, Bullards offers a range of meticulously handcrafted gins, blending traditional botanicals with unique flavours and locally sourced ingredients. They are passionate about innovation and sustainability and this commitment extends to their marketing strategy, which includes a strong digital presence. Email marketing, in particular, plays a vital role in engaging their target audience.

A Collaborative Approach

When Bullards approached Smart Messenger for email marketing support, they did so on the recommendation of an existing user of the platform. At the time, they were conducting campaigns with another agency using Mailchimp but were seeking a more flexible and cost-effective solution.

From the start, Bullards appreciated Smart Messenger’s collaborative approach. Their first meeting featured a comprehensive discussion about their overall marketing activities. Together, Bullards and the Smart Messenger team developed an email marketing plan that aligned with their broader marketing strategy, with a clear focus on raising brand awareness and driving sales.

Managed Email Campaign Service

Bullards engaged Smart Messenger to provide fully managed email campaigns in the first instance. Compared with the previous Mailchimp-based approach, Smart Messenger’s comprehensive service not only significantly enhanced the level of support and consultancy Bullards received but also delivered substantial cost savings.

Reducing Costs, Enhancing Service

“Switching to Smart Messenger's managed service significantly reduced our email marketing costs, while also enhancing the level of support and consultancy we receive,” explains Russell Evans, Founder at Bullards. “Smart Messenger provided the expert assistance we needed to boost our email marketing activities and drive sales. Results have been impressive, particularly around key events like Black Friday,” he continues.

Plan, Review, Refine

Through monthly face-to-face meetings, Bullards collaborated with the Smart Messenger team to plan, review, and refine their email marketing approach as needed. The firm typically sends around one campaign a month, tailored to the season, special occasions and significant dates. Smart Messenger's expertise in designing bespoke email templates has resulted in eye-catching animations and attractive seasonal images, building a comprehensive library of reusable templates for Bullards' future campaigns.

Seamless Support

To improve list quality and deliverability, Smart Messenger carried out maintenance on Bullards’ contact database and enabled further list growth by creating an email sign-up form and corresponding QR code for use on point-of-sale materials at events and in-store concessions. Smart Messenger also managed the seamless migration from Mailchimp and the integration with the Bullards' website, including their email sign-up mechanism.

Transitioning to Campaign Independence

Following the successful delivery of the managed email campaign service for a year, Smart Messenger helped Bullards transition to handling their campaigns independently. They provided one-to-one training, including how to adapt existing email templates for use in future campaigns. Bullards continues to benefit from Smart Messenger’s unlimited phone support and the services of a dedicated account manager, who is on hand to provide assistance whenever it is needed.

“Thanks to their consultancy and practical training from Smart Messenger, we now have the ability to handle our email marketing in-house, knowing their team is only a phone call away if we need help. Plus, we have a superb library of bespoke email templates ready for future use,” says Russell.

Client Testimonial

“Smart Messenger’s experts are like an extension of our own team and we thoroughly enjoy working with them. Their exceptional work ethic and responsiveness have been invaluable, including when we’ve asked for help outside regular hours. Smart Messenger is a user-friendly and powerful email marketing system backed by responsive support from people who genuinely care about your success.”

Russell Evans, Founder at Bullards

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