Case Study

Immediate Media Co gives BBC Gardeners’ World magazine readers a completely tailored digital experience

Immediate Media needed to curate email content based on individuals' online behavior. See why they implemented Upland Adestra

Immediate Media is one of the world’s most established publishers of titles spanning craft, gardening, food, and many other areas.

Titles such as BBC Gardeners’ World magazine, BBC Good Food, Radio Times, and HistoryExtra have become household names, and the company continues to grow its portfolio by acquiring other titles. offers beginners and seasoned gardeners advice, tips, and inspiration for getting the best from their garden. The site also features product guides, competitions, promotions, and Secret Garden, an exclusive online area for print subscribers.

For creating personal, relevant emails at scale was key to increasing audience engagement. While online behavioral data was successfully captured for website visitors, the challenge was implementing this data into email, so readers receive emails full of content they loved. The need was simple, increase the relevancy of newsletters based on online behavior, improve email engagement, reduced unsubscribe rates and build a scalable solution that can be rolled out to other titles.

Immediate’s tech-stack is heavily integrated with Upland Adestra so a feed could be created between Immediate’s Data Warehouse and Adestra. For everyone logged into, the emails they receive could be tailored to the type of gardening advice they need. In an attempt to test a hypothesis, gardeners who had recently logged in were targeted and a split test was created:

A control group received the editorially curated version on the BBC Gardeners’ World magazine weekly newsletter and a test group received emails tailored with content viewed online and a subject line tailored with the main article according to one of 6 categories they fell into.


The test showed an uplift of 20% in click-to-open rate vs. control and a reduction in unsubscribes for campaign sends. In terms of how the email drove website visits, Google Analytics data showed that the tailored group had a lower bounce rate, more pages per session, and a longer average session duration. This means tailored emails drive higher engagement online.

Lessons Learned

BBC Gardeners’ World will apply the learnings from this test for future magazine newsletters and extend this approach to other brands.

Immediate and Upland continue to work closely on developing product enhancements and driving a better customer experience for Immediate Media brands. This extends to exploring where Upland Rant & Rave’s customer sentiment product can help brands act on customer feedback and contact these customers via Adestra.

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