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The Google Ads strategy that generated over 970 individual donations in the 2019 holiday season.

BC Cancer Foundation

About The Nonprofit

BC Cancer Foundation is the fundraising partner of BC Cancer, an organization that provides cancer care and support in British Columbia. With the knowledge that one in two people in British Columbia will face cancer in their lifetime, the Foundation funds BC Cancer’s mission to drive down the incidence of cancer, reduce mortality rates, and improve quality of life for cancer patients in the province.

What Their Goals Were

BC Cancer Foundation’s main goal was to acquire donations during the 2019 holiday season and outperform the previous year’s holiday giving campaign. Implementing data-driven optimizations to the Foundation’s Paid Google Ads campaign had the potential to spread greater awareness and connect them to a higher number of qualified donors.

Our Custom Google Ad Grant Strategy

The first step was to analyze the data from the previous year’s holiday giving campaign to address flaws and reduce inefficiencies. We identified two key action items: Filling in gaps in the keyword list, and reallocating spend to the keywords that drove the most conversions in 2018.

Keyword Research

We started by using the Google Ads Keyword Planner to identify high-volume keywords that had not been targeted the previous year. Since acquiring more donors was BC Cancer Foundation’s main goal, we focused on cause-based search terms related to cancer, as well as terms related to holiday giving more broadly.

Ad Copy Refresh

After updating the ads with strategic headlines and strong calls-to-action, we took the campaign a step further by creating a specialized set of ads with year-end tax return messaging that we scheduled to rotate in right after Christmas. This refresh ensured that the ads were still relevant during the lull between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Budget Allocation

The final objective was to efficiently allocate the Foundation’s Paid Ad budget so that keywords expected to perform best could have the largest portion of the budget. We decided the best approach was to tier the budget by breaking down the full keyword list into three separate campaigns based on the keywords’ expected performance. The campaign containing the best performing keywords (Priority 1) received 60% of the total budget, the campaign with Priority 2 keywords received 30%, and Priority 3 received 10%. If we noticed Priority 2 or 3 keywords were performing better than expected, we could easily move them into the Priority 1 campaign to access more of the budget. This flexible and creative budget management tactic resulted in a 140% increase in conversion value and a 117% increase in ROI from the previous year.

Our Results

In addition to the 117% increase in ROI, our Paid Ad strategy for the 2019 holiday season led to 36% more ad clicks than in 2018, and generated 975 individual donations. That’s a 20.33% conversion rate—over 10% percentage points higher than the average.
With a specialized Google Ads strategy, BC Cancer Foundation was able to extend the reach of their digital advocacy.

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