The 4 Elements to Growing Your Email List Using Facebook Ads

Posted by National Catholic Development Conference on 4/11/17 2:56 PM

The 4 Elements to Growing Your Email List Using Facebook Ads.jpg

It’s the annual board meeting, and you announce that it’s time to take social media seriously. You look around to see everyone nodding in agreement. After a few months of discussion, the whole board is finally convinced that social media is an important part of the fundraising and communications strategy. As the discussion continues, someone suggests that you all should start using Facebook Ads and “boosting” to help reach new audiences.  

You share everyone’s excitement but you notice something — everyone is staring at you. The next thing you know, you are now in charge of “social media” for your organization and they want you to start using “Facebook Ads” to generate new contacts and start capturing more email addresses.

Shortly after the meeting, you decide to jump in and start creating your first Facebook Ad. You link it to an old landing page, choose a nice photo, select some general demographics, write some nice copy, and budget around $50. You expect the email names to start flooding in.

Five days later you excitedly check your results and find that the Facebook Ad didn’t really generate much of anything. Not only did you not capture any new email addresses, you only got a few clicks to your website. You just spent $50 but don’t have much to show for it. So, you make another attempt to use Facebook Ads, but once again your efforts are barely showing any real results.

Frustrated — you wonder if Facebook Ads just don’t work for your organization. Should you go back to relying on email lists?

The answer is: NO.

Creating Facebook Ads for the first time without any past knowledge about the process can be difficult and confusing. Unfortunately, most nonprofits’ marketing campaigns on Facebook ultimately end up failing. Usually you will find that they simply go from a Facebook advertisement to an instant donation page or an old landing page that is not optimized and doesn’t give any value to the reader but asks for something in return, such as a donation.

Without any experience in digital or social media strategy, it is very easy to fall into bad practices with Facebook Ads and become frustrated with the results.

Note: If you want to turn your Facebook audience into lifelong donors, learn  more by downloading our new guide: Turning Facebook Likes Into Donors  and Dollars.

Before you start creating Facebook Ads to generate new contacts, learn these four key elements and apply them to your digital strategy:


The Offer:

The Offer is an asset for which your prospects would be willing to trade their email address. For example, a free eBook given in exchange for an email address, a petition to sign with a required email address, or an online course given in exchange for an email address. This offer will be displayed on the email acquisition page.

Here are 3 Ways You Can Make A Winning Offer:

  • Engage with your organization’s most likely prospects.
  • Your offer must deliver more value than it costs. Even if it’s a free offer, you still must sell why they should give their email address.
  • Your offer must be relevant to your mission.

The Advertisement:

This section is where the actual Facebook Ad comes in. This Facebook ad will reach new audiences that you target. Once clicked on, it will take your users to the Email Acquisition Page where The Offer lies. When creating a Facebook ad, you need to be strategic on what copy you use in certain sections. Every piece of text should have a purpose.

There are four key components of an effective Facebook Ad:

  • Top Copy
      • This is the first piece of copy the prospect sees.
      • It doesn’t need to close the deal but should set up the Call to Action (CTA).
  • Ad Image
      • This is your attention grabbing asset.
      • You cannot use more than 20 percent text on the image, or Facebook will not approve it.
      • Make it attractive and relevant to your offer/mission.
  • Call to Action
      • This is your activation opportunity.
      • It should indicate your desired action such as “Learn More” or “Download.”
  • Additional Copy
    • This should provide more value proposition language or more information for those who need more convincing before clicking.

Email Acquisition Page (Landing Page):

The Email Acquisition Page is critical in keeping prospective donors in the funnel and converting them into reliable donors. Every piece of the page has a job. This is the page that your Facebook advertisement will direct people towards.

7 Elements of an Effective Email Acquisition/Landing Page

  1. The Headline - Make it count. This will help them decide if they're interested.
  2. The First Two Inches - The first two inches of copy are most important and must grab attention.
  3. Bulleted Copy - Make the pages scannable and give them the essence of the material in The Offer.
  4. Call to Action - What do you want them to do? Spell it out for them.
  5. Third-Party Credibility - Who advocates for you? Who do your likely donors trust?
  6. Email Acquisition Form - What fields are absolutely necessary? Name, position, company?
  7. Button copy - Avoid the dreaded "submit,” this ideally should mirror the CTA (Download or Learn More).

Instant Donation Page

After someone fills out the form on the email acquisition page, they should be taken to an instant donation page with an effective value proposition. It is important to keep in mind that people are not required to give. They need to be convinced why they should give to you RIGHT NOW, instead of any other organization.

Four Factors of An Effective Value Proposition:

  1. Appeal: Will they want to support this?
  2. Exclusivity: Can anyone else do this effectively? What is your organization best at?
  3. Clarity: Will the user understand what this will do? Or how or why you do it differently?
  4. Credibility: Will they believe your organization will do it?


Want to learn more about Facebook Ads and getting more email addresses? We developed an eBook — Turning Facebook Likes Into Donors and Dollars — to teach you how to turn your Facebook Audience and fans into lifelong donors and advocates.


Topics: Social Media, Facebook Ads

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In this weekly blog we share tips, tactics and case studies for professionals in the Catholic fundraising community. Learn how to advance your mission with articles on technology, donor engagement, nonprofit leadership, social media, and emerging trends.

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