5 Ways to Use Lead-Generation Ads to Attract Potential Donors
Emails and digital ads have a symbiotic relationship that your organization should be leveraging. Lead-generation ads are an ideal way to engage your audience, reinforce your messaging, and, of course, capture leads to add to your email, SMS, and telemarketing lists. When you find the most efficient strategies to acquire high-quality leads, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fundraising revenue goals.
According to the 2023 M+R Benchmarks, email accounted for 14% of all online revenue, and 13% to 23% of digital ad spend was used for lead-generation ads. With so much budget dedicated to lead-generation ads and so much revenue generated via email, it’s essential to create a strong lead-generation program for your organization. Let’s explore five lead-generation ad tactics.
1. Petitions and Advocacy Actions
If advocacy is important to your organization, consider pairing petitions and other advocacy actions with your lead-generation ads. Your ads may direct folks to a petition form, a letter to a politician or a pledge to act on behalf of an issue.
These ads are a perfect fit for social platforms or petition platforms, like Care2. You can also launch a petition on Rally Starter, an easy-to-use platform that makes advocacy accessible for activists of all levels.
Make it easy for users to opt-in to their preferred communication channels as they complete their advocacy action. These ads will attract people interested in acting on behalf of your mission and show potential donors that your nonprofit is making an impact on the issues they care about.
Quizzes can educate your audience and engage them with an interactive activity. Consider the most engaging topics related to your mission. For example:
- How do U.S. abortion policies compare to other countries?
- Which plastic products are the worst for the environment?
- Test your diabetes IQ.
Create a short quiz with imagery and educational content using a user-friendly platform, like Typeform. At the end of the quiz, invite your audience to share their contact information and opt-in to your communications.
When matching funds are available, consider offering an “unlock $1” hook to entice folks to join your email list while unlocking a small donation for your organization. I’ve found that quiz ads with an “unlock $1” offer often drive the most efficient cost-per-lead results.
3. Instant Forms on Social Platforms
Use instant forms on social media platforms to capture leads seamlessly. For example, Meta’s in-platform lead forms provide a straightforward way to capture leads without asking your audience to leave Facebook or Instagram.
I often find that leads captured through these forms drive a more efficient cost-per-lead than lead forms that live on an organization’s website because the user journey is quick and easy. If you set up instant forms, create a plan to bring these leads from the social platform to your customer relationship management (CRM) tool. You can manually upload leads to your CRM on a regular cadence, use an automation tool such as Zapier or connect the social platform directly to your CRM.
4. Commit to Sharing Relevant News
Your organization is likely deeply ingrained in the issue area that you work in, and you may have team members on the ground doing important work with the communities you serve. Don’t underestimate the value of unique information and news you can share with your audience.
Post content that showcases your work and brings an interesting perspective to current events. If you have team members, volunteers or beneficiaries who are comfortable in front of a camera, consider having them film casual, influencer-style content to capture attention while sharing news about the issues your organization cares about and the solutions you are putting in place.
Pair these ads with lead forms (such as instant forms on social platforms or a link to a form on your website) and a commitment to continue sharing relevant news with the folks who opt-in to your communications. This tactic will help build your email file with people eager to stay connected to the issue and solutions you provide.
5. Daisy Chains
Use daisy chains to maximize your user journey. Daisy-chain fundraising is an indirect or passive method of soliciting a donation following tactics such as lead forms. Daisy chains allow you to raise funds from your most engaged audience immediately after they’ve taken an action by redirecting them to a donation form.
Driving users to a donation form after they’ve already completed an action— signed a petition, taken a quiz, submitted a lead form—allows your organization to fundraise without directly seeking out funds. This passive approach can yield strong results. Daisy chains are important because they offer your new leads an easy way to complete their first donation when they’re already inspired to take action.
Daisy chains are key to creating a strong ecosystem of potential donors — in part because they can seamlessly turn a potential donor into a first-time donor. Even if a new lead does not choose to donate right away, you can introduce that person to the opportunity, clearly share your mission statement and state why a donation to your organization is important. Doing so will warm the new lead up to the idea of becoming a donor.
Now, you have an email list of engaged, educated leads who were acquired efficiently. You’ve used your daisy-chain donation form to acquaint your new leads with the idea of donating and perhaps even acquired some immediate new donors.
It’s time to let that symbiotic relationship between email and digital ads do its thing. Nurture your email list using a strong welcome series, cultivation emails and direct fundraising requests to maximize your lead-generation efforts. Frequently monitor the lifetime value of donors acquired by paid ads, and determine return on investment (ROI) for each lead-generation channel and tactic. Lean into your top-performing strategies to keep creating a strong ecosystem of supporters.
The preceding blog was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.
Megan Landau is a media director at Media Cause, a nonprofit marketing and fundraising agency. She worked in the for-profit world prior to joining Media Cause, managing media budgets and campaigns for clients, including Ford, InnovAge, Denver International Airport, and Hack Reactor.
Megan loves being able to bring her media experience to the nonprofit world through her work at Media Cause. She thrives when she’s able to use her creative, big-picture-oriented ENFP brain alongside nitty gritty performance data.