An instant hit for Number 1 Plates

We helped Number 1 Plates achieve revenue growth of 657%, as well as a four-fold ROI – despite the pandemic and a corresponding drop in the market.

Number 1 Plates is a leading UK manufacturer of replacement number plates. The Leeds-based firm manufactures bespoke road-legal number plates to British Standards (BS AU 145e), for a wide range of high-profile clients, including Top Gear, X Factor UK, the BBC and ITV.


What they wanted

Circus first worked with Number 1 Plates in 2019. Initially they were focused on driving down costs, but in due course the emphasis was on driving sales growth by volume and value, and achieving a strong ROI. After short time away in 2020, having tried an alternative solution, the client returned to Circus, seeking our insight into budget wastage, and setting out their revised ambitions.


What We Did

At the outset of our engagement, our MD and one of our expert PPC Analysts held a meeting with Number 1 Plates’ Owner and Head of Marketing. We agreed that our first priority should be to remove budget wastage in the account, before focusing on areas with high growth potential.

From this point onwards, our Account Manager held weekly telephone calls with the Number 1 Plates team, to fully refine the action plan for the account. We made fixes to the website’s shopping feed and improved reporting, which gave us and the Number 1 Plates team better data and insight, from which to make fully-informed decisions.

Initially, the client was focused on driving low-cost-per-sale, rather than revenue. They gave us a cost-per-action (CPA) target, which our team ultimately found was limiting the account’s performance. To improve CPA, we had to reduce cost-per-click (CPC) while improving conversion rates – but the nature of cheaper CPCs means less traffic. After three months, we had driven a considerable amount of improvement in CPA but still had not seen much growth in the account.

By our first quarterly meeting with the Number 1 Plates team, it had become clear to us just how much they could dominate the market if we were to switch our focus to driving as much volume as possible. The Circus team proposed switching to a return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) strategy, and the client accepted this new direction.

We focused on improving average order values (AOV) by more aggressively pushing areas that drove better revenue, making this a larger proportion of spend. We gained some leeway by driving volume of cheaper products for slightly lower ROAS, while still hitting targets. We also pushed some of the client’s higher-priced products, balancing this with core product sales.

Using Google Ads and Microsoft Ads – in which our team are extensively experienced – we were able to identify keywords, locations, and display sites that were performing particularly well. This allowed us to capitalise on these elements even further by increasing the bid, updating ads, expanding keywords, and opening budget caps on campaigns to enable revenue to increase.

Day-to-day, the Account Manager monitors the account to determine short, medium and longer-term strategies. This includes removing wastage by identifying keywords with low conversion rates. Or, as we found early on in the Covid-19 pandemic when we identified that many people were working on their cars during lockdown, using a variety of strategies to open up the account and generate more relevant traffic, such as adding additional keywords and increasing bids.

In April 2021, seeing that growth in the account was starting to plateau, the Account Manager proposed reducing the ROAS target, with the aim of driving more sales and more profit, overall.  We have since seen higher volumes of traffic on the website, with PPC revenue up by 29% year-on-year by August.

The Account Manager keeps the Number 1 Plates team up to date on progress via a weekly report in Google Sheets. Reports are supplemented by weekly telephone calls and attendance at quarterly audit meetings with the client’s team, to discuss changes, propose new strategies and receive feedback/input.


The Results

Number 1 Plates is a forward-thinking, flexible and dynamic client. Their receptiveness, combined with our expertise, ensured that revenue for each of the first six months of the campaign surpassed the last. By the end of the first year, we had achieved a massive 500% revenue increase; by the end of the second year, revenue growth had hit 657%, while sales had grown 433%. We have consistently maintained a four-fold ROI.

As a result of this, to deal with the increase in sales we have generated for them, Number 1 Plates has more than doubled the size of their workforce.

Revenue Growth
Sales Growth
First Year Growth

“With a considered and measured approach to the campaigns, Circus have delivered exceptional performance through PPC. Circus have made a significant contribution to our growth, and we’re delighted to be working with them.”

Alex Humphries
Digital Marketing Manager

The Project Team

Abbie Hampson

Client Services Manager

Abbie’s methodical and organised approach allows her to deal with complex PPC account builds.

Anna Wood

Head of Client Services

A logical thinker and committed to delivering quality results for clients, with experience working on global brands.

Rick Tobin

Managing Director

Over 20 years dedicated PPC experience working with some of the world's biggest brands.

William Cheng

Operations Director

Highly dedicated and experienced director working with large international brands, goal focused and data driven analyst.

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Protected: David Shuttle