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Services: SEO, PPC Ads, Social Ads, digital PR, CRO.

How We Increased Skincare DTC Brand’s Sales by 14X in 12 Months and Achieved 7-Figure Revenue

Hanna sillitoe case study
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by Dennis Lazard · Written June 28, 2023 · Updated December 19, 2023

About The Brand

Hanna Sillitoe is a health coach, author and owner of DTC cosmetics brand funded by BBC Dragons' Den, who struggled with psoriasis, eczema and acne since she was a teenager. After years of trying every available treatment to fight these diseases, Hanna decided to change direction and start connecting with her body naturally in order to heal.

With the knowledge she acquired on her own journey battling skin diseases and seeking treatment, Hanna now helps others take charge of their own skincare with her organic products. She also educates her 180K+ online community on the importance of nutrition as a deciding factor in skin health.

The Challenges
We identified the following problem areas through our practice-proven analysis:

  1. Sales and revenue growth had been stagnant for more than a year, in part due to a lack of localization–95% of all sales were solely from the UK.
  2. Both of the company’s Facebook Ad accounts had been banned due to issues around selling health-related products, with no marketing teams able to solve the issue.
  3. The website had mostly branded organic traffic (commercial non-brand keywords drove only 16% of all traffic).
  4. The brand had only 18K followers on Instagram (one of the most valuable platforms in the domain) with poor engagement and slow growth.
  5. The company had no social shopping options on Facebook or Instagram, and the brand had never launched a Google Ads Performance Max ad campaign.
  6. The eCommerce Conversion Rate was very low–only 2.5% (a Shopify benchmark for DTC brands is 3−4%).

Strategic Approach
With the issues identified and the goals clarified, we developed a strategy comprising of the following steps:

  • 1

    Step 1: Increase Predictability of Monthly Revenue

    We started the process by stabilizing the monthly revenue in order to provide a solid basis on which to implement further business improvements. To achieve that, we identified the best-performing three products and focused on them while also launching monthly subscriptions for the main products. This allowed us to increase the monthly recurring revenue and provide a solid foundation for future scaling.
  • 2

    Step 2: Resolve Facebook Ad Issues

    Our next step was to get the ban on the two Facebook Ad accounts lifted. We worked closely with Facebook managers and deleted any banned ads before launching new, clean ads in their place. Once this was done, we passed the moderation for all products which meant the brand could not only use Facebook Ads again, it could also utilize Instagram post product tagging too–and with no need for external assistance.
  • 3

    Step 3: More Organic Traffic Through SEO

    With the goal of attracting more relevant and decision-ready customers, we developed a watertight SEO strategy. Extensive keyword research led us to the most profitable product clusters with the lowest barrier of entry and the highest ROIs.

    We also optimized product pages by populating detailed descriptions and FAQs with commonly searched for user queries while also launching PR campaigns with data-driven reports that brought mass media backlinks from the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Sun, and others. These actions allowed us to increase the domain rate of the website, build customer trust, and improve the brand’s organic position.
  • 4

    Step 4: Speed Up Growth of Instagram Following

    We noticed that before reaching the decision to buy, many users were subscribing to Hanna’s Instagram account, reading her posts, and watching her stories. We started promoting her Instagram posts to the relevant brand audiences and offering exclusive deals to Instagram subscribers on a quarterly basis. These tactics helped the company to significantly grow its Instagram following and boost its social media sales.
  • 5

    Step 5: Creation of New Social Shops on All Accounts

    Another important change we brought to Hanna’s social media accounts was the creation of new social shops on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to increase the conversion rate of social sales. We also successfully launched numerous Google Ads Performance Max ad campaigns, with this avenue quickly becoming one of the main sources of traffic and sales for the brand.
  • 6

    Step 6: eCommerce CRO

    To finish up, we optimized the brand’s e-commerce conversion rates using proven tips provided by the Google eCommerce UX Playbook. This involved adding value propositions, clear descriptions, delivery options, and up-sells, and offering subscription options both onsite and via email to increase Average Order Value (AOV) and Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR).

The Results:

Result 1: 8.8x Increase in monthly revenue in 12 months

One of our biggest successes was the stabilisation and increase in the company’s monthly income. From £20K monthly revenue to £200K+ in total sales, equating to £1.9M in just 12 months.

Aside from organizing a more stable and predictable monthly income, we also developed a solid base for further sales growth in the international market, increasing American sales from 3% to 15%.

Result 2: 14x Increase in Monthly Orders

Through the implementation of Google and social ads, brand promotion on Instagram and Pinterest, and more relevant and increased organic traffic from SEO, we were able to positively affect the number of monthly orders–from less than 250 to more than 3.5K orders per month on average.

Result 3: +47% of total monthly revenue from subscriptions

As part of our strategy to make monthly income more predictable, we chose Hanna’s top three products and launched a subscription model. As a result, subscriptions are now responsible for 47% of the total monthly store income.

Result 4: 2.5x Increase in customer return rate

SEO optimization for non-brand keywords on social media increased brand awareness, while trust in the brand was built up through mass media back-linking as part of an overarching PR strategy. This pushed customer return rates up to 76.84%.

Result: 5: +30% in commercial organic traffic

Thanks to our market analysis and SEO optimization of product pages, the store saw a 30%+ increase in commercial organic traffic that led to an extra 10K+ visits per month on average. The total number of all organic clicks also increased by +757% in 12 months (from 17K to 147K clicks).

Result 6: +180% Increase in e-commerce conversion rate

The e-commerce customer conversion rate (CVR) increased to 4.5% compared to the 2.5% rate that the brand had hovered around for several years previously.

Result 7: Collected 180K+ online Community

We have achieved 100K+ subscribers on Instagram and 80k+ Email subscribers actively buying and engaging with the brand.
“​​I can't speak highly enough about ESA team! They have transformed my website from a store that functioned fairly well, to a fully optimised platform which performs better and generates significantly more income through substantially better sales conversions. We have a plan to continue building on the fantastic 7-figure revenue growth we’ve already achieved this year, and I have no doubt that with ESA Digital on side we will accomplish all this and more.”
Hanna Sillitoe (
Skin Healing Expert, BBC Dragons’ Den Brand
ESA team combine both a creative and data-driven approach in performance marketing, testing around 10 hypotheses per week for acquisition, engagement and retention. Their work on developing and executing a product growth strategy for the UK and US markets has led to a 68% increase in our number of monthly clients and $1.3M raised in Oct 2019 based on our growth metrics with ESA.”
Roman Grigoriev (
CEO at Splento (fundraised $1.3M)
"ESA Agency are SEO and PPC team of our Spain and Portugal eCommerce shops. They created our new websites from the ground up, improving UX usability by 4x times. The result? Double the online visibility of our brand and an increase in our online revenue of 150%. We couldn’t be happier! It’s a perfect partnership."
Ilya Adamsky ( /
CEO at Askona Europe (Brand Sleep.8)
ESA team had outperformed my expectations working with one of our main SEO clients. They delivered X2-times organic traffic growth for 12 client’s websites, working with technical, content and link-building SEO optimisation in Google, website structure, navigation, technical code and conversion rate optimisation.”
Maria Kristalinskaya (
Head of Retail Media at eBay (GE), Techstars Startup Mentor, ex-BBDO
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