Growing a Nonprofit Email List with Google Ad Grants & Facebook Ads

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Case Study: diaTribe

diaTribe is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with diabetes. They empower people living with prediabetes, type 1 and 2 diabetes by offering free cutting-edge diabetes insights and actionable tips on their website.

Since 2014, we’ve partnered with diaTribe to grow its readership. In addition to using Google Ad Grants and diaTribe’s Facebook page to drive relevant traffic to its site, our primary strategy to grow diaTribe’s readership is by growing its email list.

At Media Cause, our approach starts with reaching the target audience (people who are likely diagnosed with diabetes), getting them to join the community (subscribe to diaTribe), and then cultivating and activating them to achieve the organization’s goals. In diaTribe’s case, that means providing them with empowering diabetes content and resources, so they can lead healthier and happier lives.

In 2018, we grew diaTribe’s email list by over 45,000 new subscribers through Google Ad Grants and Facebook Ads.

Ongoing Google Ad Grants and Facebook Ads management yielded a record number of new subscribers.

12,530

New Subscribers from Google Ad Grants

33,893

New Subscribers from Facebook Ads

35%

Conversion Rate with Facebook Ads

Our work with Media Cause has been absolutely invaluable in helping us expand our organization’s reach and positively impact the lives of more people with diabetes.

Alex Wolf, Program Manager, diaTribe

Implementation

  • Lead Generation Strategy

    Our strategy to grow diaTribe’s email list was simple: identify what people with diabetes were searching for online and send them to email gated landing pages. This means a user would search for a diabetes related topic on Google, see an ad from diaTribe (thanks to Google Ad Grants), and be directed to a landing page where they’re encouraged to subscribe to diaTribe in order to access a downloadable PDF.

    This strategy involved conducting keyword research to understand what diabetes topics had high search volume and little competition, recommending landing pages and PDFs for diaTribe to produce, and then running Google Ad Grants ads to drive traffic to the most relevant landing page.

    In addition to Google Ad Grants, we knew Facebook’s advanced targeting features would make it easy for diaTribe to reach people with diabetes. As part of our lead generation strategy, we also run Facebook ads to drive people with diabetes to email gated landing pages.

  • Google Ad Grants Management

    In addition to making sure diaTribe’s account always meets Google Ad Grants compliance rules, our management of their Ad Grants account involves constantly optimizing the campaigns and ad groups to drive as many subscribers as possible.

    Our management means we are always testing new ad copy, adding new keywords and turning off poor performers, and recommending new landing pages and on-page email capture tactics.

  • Facebook Ads Management

    Because it’s easy to reach people living with diabetes on Facebook, one key strategy we recommended to diaTribe was to run Facebook ads. Since 2014, we have tested a lot of landing pages, images, and ad copy to understand what drives the lowest cost per subscriber.

    We eventually found that diaTribe’s book called Bright Spots and Landmines (which is available for free as a PDF) acquired subscribers at a lower cost than any other email gated landing page. With that insight, we shifted all of diaTribe’s Facebook ad budget to Bright Spots and Landmines landing pages, where users are encouraged to subscribe to diaTribe when they download the book.

Results

Targeted ads and ongoing optimization are key to growing a nonprofit’s email list.

Acquiring 45,000 new subscribers in one year is no simple task. It was made possible because diaTribe invested time and resources into producing the content and landing pages we needed to be successful.

Today, these new subscribers – in addition to diaTribe’s existing subscribers – receive emails with tips, advice, and news on how they can live healthier and happier lives with diabetes.

Ready to drive growth and impact through digital strategies?

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