If you know your donor demographic is active on social networks, then paid advertising a great way to show up where they are.  However, if you are trying to reach new donors, conversions should not be your starting focus.

More conversions come from targeted ads which are shown to people who have already visited your website.  This makes sense since we can assume that people who have visited your site have done some sort of research about you, know what you do, and know your mission.

1.  How do I turn a new audience into donors?

First off, we cannot think in terms of conversions when targeting people who have not donated before or have not engaged already.  Yes it is possible, but the focus should be on creating awareness, not counting conversions.  You need to tell this new audience who you are and what you do with an ad that leads to a compelling story.  The measurement for this ad should be focused on CTR, engagement, and driving people to your site.

2.  What is my next step?

You can now start thinking in terms of conversions since you have now captured the interest of this new audience.  This audience is now engaged with your mission, but they still might not be ready to give.

You now will put the people who engaged with this story on a Retargeting List.  That means you create a custom list of people who have visited that URL, but did not give (exclude those that have landed on any of your Thank You Pages).  You can find out how to create a custom list here.

3.  Create a new ad that only shows the ad to that custom list

This audience is still fairly new in learning what you are all about.  They might not be ready to get behind you financially.  You want to hit them with another compelling ad that leads to a new story.  That ad and the story need to have a strong Call-to-Action to give/donate.

If they have engaged with both stories they are much more likely to give to your cause, but they might not feel ready yet or did not have the time to give in that moment.

4. No problem, let’s remind them

Put the people who visited the URL of the last story on a Retargeting List and exclude the people who have landed on your Thank You Page (so you don’t show the ad to someone who has already given).   You will now create an ad that reminds them of the last story they read with a strong CTA (call-to-action) on giving/donating to help that cause or a cause that is similar.  This ad should go directly to a donation page. You have now taken an audience that did not know anything about your cause and converted them into donors, believers in your mission, and advocates for your nonprofit.