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English Heritage

Combining insight and
creativity to recruit more
members and generate higher
lifetime values for the charity

The Challenge

From medieval castles to Cold War bunkers, English Heritage protects 6,000 years of England’s past at over 400 historic places. The charity’s main income, from annual memberships and admissions, is used to preserve these treasures for future generations.

But how could we drive more members? And how could we ensure members had more meaningful connections with the brand and therefore have a higher lifetime value?


Analysis already ensured that we were targeting the right prospects. But, there was room to create models for better targeting of acquisition, reactivation and renewal marketing, plus a rigorous ‘test and learn’ system to improve results.

This meant we could reduce the cost of membership acquisition and recruit members who would go on to deliver high lifetime values.

And, knowing members have exclusive unlimited access to fascinating places and events, we wanted to bring these to life in a more personal, relevant way that would heighten ‘exclusive inclusivity’.


Honing our insight and analysis...

...we understood the lifetime values of existing members and can now predict the value likely to be delivered by new members

...we created cold acquisition targeting models that take into account both the cost of acquisition and the likely lifetime value that will be delivered

...we analysed the history of lapsed member reactivation and created a model that enables English Heritage to focus on the best prospects for reactivation

...we accounted for factors influencing membership retention that would help 1) predict the likelihood of renewal for different types of members and 2) develop more effective renewal strategies for those most vulnerable.

At the same time, we delivered more impactful creative.

Focusing on the emotion and inspiration behind English Heritage’s sites and events, we could fortify the brand’s relationship with its members to give a more immersive experience and forge attachment.

We invited people to become members and engage with the living history on their doorsteps, using a range of online and offline media, and even a pair of Time Goggles.

The Results

England’s history has a pulse. And, we’ve given it pride and place in members’ lives today.

Our change in targeting and approach meant that, in 2017, we underspent on membership acquisition by 7% while beating the recruitment target by 17%... and for the triple whammy… reduced the cost per acquisition by 21%.


Triple the memberships via door drops

Ongoing improvement

Through data, offer, format and creative testing, we're continuing to improve membership results – further supporting English Heritage’s mission to reach more people and bring history to life

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