Annuity Giving Gets a Social Media Upgrade

Posted by Natasha Hilton | Senior Associate | Development Services on

Annuities-web2015FINALb-01[2][1].jpegTHE PROJECT

In an effort to raise the awareness of their Gift Annuity program and to increase traffic to their annuity website, OPB launched a three-pronged digital campaign that targeted audiences outside of OPB members. 


In the past, OPB employed the traditional planned giving campaign strategy of sending letters and emails to qualified members of the constituent database to inform them of the gift annuity options available. 

Parting from that tradition in order to reach a larger audience, OPB crafted a digital campaign that consisted of Facebook ads, digital ads, and email over a period of one month. While OPB requested the help of Gannett, an advertising network, to manage the Facebook portion of the campaign, the same results can be replicated by following Facebook’s advice for Marketing on Facebook.

opb_1.jpg When you create an ad, Facebook will walk you through the following steps:

  • Choose an objective
  • Create a pixel, if applicable. Pixels allow you to track traffic, conversions, and more from Facebook. You will need to add the script to your website’s code base.
  • Set your audience, which can be as generic or as detailed as you like.
  • Set a budget and schedule.
  • Choose your ad creative based on Facebook’s provided restrictions. Restrictions include image size, image ratio, and the amount of text on an image.
  • Review and place your order.

In addition to Facebook ads, OPB’s digital campaign consisted of digital ads and email, with static digital ads running on both and sites hosted by Gannett’s advertising network. A highly-curated list of email addresses received two emails informing them of the gift annuity options.

In order to capture the audience’s attention and compel them to click on the ad, OPB diluted the complicated annuity message to a few key points that the audience could easily understand and redirected all clicks to the OPB Gift Annuity page on 


The campaign proved successful, with Facebook serving as the star of the show.

OPB’s Facebook ads:

  • Supplied 67.8% of the website’s 14,000 visits
  • Provided 15X higher click-through-rates than OPB’s typical banner ads
  • Beat out Facebook’s average click-through-rate of 0.66-1.28% with a 1.35% click-through-rate
  • Garnered 9,670 clicks

Outside of Facebook, mobile ads saw the highest engagement with a click-through-rate averaging 0.20% -- a 2X increase over typical banner ads. Desktop and mobile combined garnered a 0.13% click-through-rate -- nearly double the industry standard of .09%.


The results of OPB’s Gift Annuity digital campaign provided several opportunities for other member stations to replicate. 

OPB recommends adding Facebook to your campaign strategies as a new and fresh way to target your audience.

“We were blown away by the response on Facebook,” said Jennifer McCormick, Marketing Manager of OPB. “People are programmed to ignore email and digital ads, but Facebook is different. Facebook has untapped potential.” 

In the future, OPB plans to experiment with the use of video and will continue to optimize ads for mobile. 

Special thanks to Jennifer McCormick, Marketing Manager of OPB for information and content for this post.

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