Mini-Course: Increase Members with Facebook Ads 

About The Author:

Shiv N

Shiv Narayanan is the Head of Marketing and Sales at WildApricot. An expert in designing sales funnels, customer value optimization and copywriting, he has executed ad campaigns worth hundreds of thousands of dollars on Google AdWords and Facebook focused on converting visitors into paid subscribers.

Message from the Author:

Advertising is about how you can splice the world. People who have advertising “real estate” sell space to advertisers looking to get in front of a particular audience.

For example, radio ads between 4pm and 6pm give you access to people driving home from work. TV ads at 2pm during Young and the Restless episodes may give you access to stay-at-home moms.

Google Adwords takes the concept further — showing ads to people who are already searching for a solution. Google “iPhone 6 case” and you’ll see thousands of people fighting for your business. You see, Google splices the world differently than TV and radio.

Facebook is the new frontier. You can splice the world in an entirely new way with the targeting options available because you can find people based on who they are and what they like.

As an organization, you may have goals you want to achieve like:
  • Getting more members to join
  • Getting more of your members to attend an event
This mini-course will teach you how to do that with advertising on Facebook. By the end, my hope is that you have the fundamentals to consider investing in new forms of advertising as an organization.

I have one request: don’t skip a module. Go through it all in sequential order. It will all connect together in the end for you. Once you’ve gone through the mini-course in its entirety, come back and review specific modules and things will clear up even more.

All the best,


Module One: Understanding Return on Investment

I know what you’re thinking: “We don’t have money to advertise”

Well, hold that thought.

I have no doubt that your organization, like many other small associations and nonprofits, is cash-strapped.

But believe it or not, you’re already investing money into advertising. For example, How many events have you held where non-members could have attended? How much did they cost?

An even deeper question: have you ever bothered to measure your return-on-investment from the dollars you invest into getting 1 new member? Did you at least break even? Did you lose money? Do you not know this number? (It’s okay — not many people do)

Our goal with this mini-course is this: To give you a model for advertising that brings in more money than you spend.

CAC — Customer Acquisition Cost 

How much does it cost you to acquire a member?

This is the holy grail of all marketing & sales. In any business, in any industry, in any association, if you know this number, you’re ahead of most of the market.

Grade 2 math question: If Joe finds a customer who he can sell a candy bar to for $2, what is the maximum amount he can spend to buy said candy bar so that he can turn a profit?

Answer: $1.99

This is the math question you should be doing with your organization’s marketing and sales activities. If a member will pay $100 in membership dues a year, you can spend UP TO $99 on this member over the course of the year.

If your members usually stay for more than 1 year, then you can spend even more. For example, if your average member stays for 5 years, you technically make 5 years * $100/year = $500 ← this number is called Lifetime Value — the total amount of money you make over the entire lifetime of a member. However, small associations are often strapped for cash so it is okay to use your 1-year numbers. Just keep Lifetime Value in mind. If your Lifetime Value is sky high, then you can spend a lot more than $99 to acquire the same member.

Remember this math — understanding this concept will help you as we progress.

How to measure CAC with online advertising

In the advertising world, there are 2 key ways you are “billed” as an advertiser:
  1. Cost Per Impression (CPM) — Remember the radio and TV ads we talked about? Under those formats, eyeballs or “impressions” (the number of people who see or hear your ad) are the units of value. The more people that come across your ad, the more expensive the ad is. This is why Super Bowl commercials cost into the millions. 
  2. Cost Per Click (CPC) — This is the number you need to keep your eye on. This is how it works: If 100 people see your ad, but 10 people click the link on the ad, you only get charged for the 10 people who clicked! Each person costs a certain amount — that amount is what we call CPC.
With Google Adwords and Facebook, CPC is the big advantage. Who cares if 1 million people see a Super Bowl ad about your organization in Little Rock, Arkansas, if only 10 people out of the 1 million actually live in Little Rock and can feasibly join your organization?

Instead, think about this: What if you could show ads only to people in Little Rock?

Let’s take it a step further. Let’s say your organization was a professional association for nurses in Little Rock. What if you could show ads only to Nurses in Little Rock?

And a step even further: What if you had to pay only if a Nurse clicked your ad and landed on your website?

That’s the magic of targeted ads.

Wondering how to calculate your cost of acquiring a member using Cost-Per-Click? Here’s a simple math problem:

If 100 nurses click your ad at a cost of $2/click and 50 of them end up being members, what is your cost of acquisition of 1 member?

100 clicks * $2 per click = $200

50 new members acquired for $200 total = $200/50 members = $4 spent per new member.


Now what if each new member pays $100/year for an annual membership? You just made $96 that you can use to hold better events and provide more benefits for members!

How cool is that?!

Share this Mini-Course with someone trying to grow their membership

MODULE 2: How to Target Your Existing Members on Facebook 

The Problem

Let’s say you have a paid event coming up for your members. Paid events are important to your organization. Not only are they a source of non-dues revenue, but they also provide your members with the “value” they expected you to deliver when they joined your organization. Sometimes, the paid events also bring in new members.

We will use the St. Louis chapter of the Association for Talent Development as our example:

You want to get members to the event! Common ways in which organizations promote their events to members are below:
Let’s say ATD St. Louis has this problem: They’ve tried many of their traditional marketing channels but registrations for the event are low. 

How can they use Facebook to increase registrations?

Targeting only existing members with Facebook Ads

Did you know you could create a Facebook Ad campaign that only existing members will see?

Here’s how you do it:

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