For the past month, longtime Acquisio employee, Gerald Routledge, has been helping Montreal charity “Share the Warmth,” a bilingual organization that works to fight hunger and poverty in the community by fostering an environment of education for youths, and by providing goods and clothing to those in need.
After partnering with Gerry from Acquisio to run online search ads, Share the Warmth saw overwhelming results – receiving donations and volunteer applications far beyond what they expected or hoped!
A few months back, Acquisio started a unique volunteer program open to all employees of the company to help charities and non-profits reach their full potential by connecting them with free PPC advertising. The program, Acquisio Cares, was meant to both help employees learn more about the industry and to help make a difference in the community using employees’ growing skills and knowledge around search marketing.
Gerry was one of the Acquisio Cares participants, along with dozens of other employees across all departments. He connected with Share the Warmth to help the charity gain exposure, donations and volunteers through the use of Google Ad Grants (which entitles non-profits to up to $10,000 per month in AdWords advertising to publish paid search ads on Google).
Getting Set Up
Share the Warmth was invited by Google, before Acquisio Cares began, to learn about their Google AdWords Grants program.
“We were all very pleased to learn of this program, but had a lot of problems setting up an account and creating AdWords campaigns,” explains Michele Chappaz, Communications and Development Coordinator at Share the Warmth.
When Acquisio found out the charity needed help, Gerry stepped in.
A whiz at AdWords, Gerry set up all the campaigns and ad groups in English in just a day, and within a few more days, the French campaigns were up and running as well. Everything was meticulously organized according to the charity’s needs, like recruiting more volunteers, collecting food and clothing donations and growing attendance at community events.
Share the Warmth Success
One of the main campaigns set up was to help boost participation at the Table of Hope gala held May 4th, in Montreal. Share the Warmth ran several radio ads at the same time, which sent ad click-through rates through the roof – at an average 18% CTR for branded Table of Hope keywords.
That translated to around $125,000 raised at the event with hundreds of attendees!
After the event ended, radio ads stopped and the only source of advertising for Share the Warmth came from the Google Grant ads. With general ads asking people to volunteer and “make a difference” or to donate their “gently used” clothing and household items, Share the Warmth saw an unprecedented amount of donations and volunteer applications.
“With Gerry’s amazing help, campaigns have been set up that drive much more traffic to our site, and in just one month, our clothing donations have gone through the roof and my colleagues are getting more and more calls to volunteer as well,” said Michelle from Share the Warmth.
When she said “through the roof,” Michelle wasn’t really kidding. According to the team, there were so many clothing donations, the rooms at Share the Warmth have been completely filled and there’s no more space for more collections! Thankfully, the increase in volunteers will help sort the pleasant issue out, but in the meantime campaigns had to be paused since the charity couldn’t fit anymore clothes and donations in storage!
The Winning Campaign Strategy
According to Gerry, keyword selection, pausing under-performing ads, splitting ad groups and applying negative keywords are all in part to thank for the success of the campaigns.
“We had dozens of keyword combinations for donate clothes, combined with the fact that it’s spring cleaning and people have spare clothes to donate, this was a huge success,” said Gerry.
After running the ads for a while, Gerry saw that two out of the eight ads created got the most views by a significant amount, so he paused the under-performing ads and saw that this simple action improved click-through rates.
Then, he split up ad groups into more specific and targeted sections. Donations, which was at first one ad group, was divided by the type of donations being collected – clothes, appliances, money etc. Then, negative keywords were applied so the different ad groups would not compete for the same keywords. For example, if ad group A has a certain set of keywords (donate clothes, clothing donations etc.) then ad group B has those keywords as negatives. Ad group A would then set the keywords from ad group B (donate appliances, appliance donations etc.) as negative keywords.
Click-through rates went up after breaking down ad groups and adding negative keywords and impressions increased by 20%!
“We are very pleased with these quick results and cannot thank Acquisio Cares enough for their great help and technical support,” said Michelle Chappaz of Share the Warmth.
Only one month into their campaigns, the team is confident that things will only get better from here.