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Increasing engaged sessions x5 in a month

How we helped Ethiopiaid get more engaged users to their site over Christmas

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Ethiopiaid are a charity funding local Ethiopian charities. They help them break the cycle of poverty by enabling the poorest & most vulnerable to live with dignity, build resilience, & achieve real & sustainable solutions to the challenges they face.

We started working together in late 2023, with the goal of increasing engagement with the site, eventually leading to an uplift in donations.

Project Execution

Creative testing

We tested individual stories vs generic Christmas appeal messaging in our ads, through the creative & ad copy.

The individual story ads had a stronger CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) & CTR (click-through-rate), meaning it was cheaper for us to show those ads, & people were more likely to click on them.

Combined, this led to the individual story ads having a 63% cheaper CPC (cost per click):

Using an individual’s story allowed the user to better understand the issues & sympathise with the individual. Stories better capture a user’s imagination than statistics, & we shared only part of the story in the copy to encourage them to click through to learn more.

Landing page testing

As with the creatives, we tested the core Christmas appeal landing page vs a landing page focused on an individual’s story.

The individual story landing page had a 15% stronger engagement rate, meaning users were 15% more likely to engage with the individual story landing page than the Christmas appeal landing page.

This was likely due to the individual story page providing value to the user before asking for something in return. As with the creatives, the story was better able to capture the user’s imagination & keep them engaged.

Along with the stronger landing page rates, this led to the cost per engaged session being 67% cheaper for individual story ads.

Audience testing

Broader audiences had stronger costs per engaged session, with lookalikes (LAL) outperforming remarketing audiences:

Broad audiences were better within the lookalike audiences too, with the 10% LAL (10% of people in the UK most similar to past Christmas donors) having a cost per engaged session twice as strong as the narrower 5% LAL:

Stronger performance from broader audiences is a trend we have seen over the past couple of years. This is due to Meta’s AI machine learning algorithms improving, & being better able to determine who in a broad audience will respond well to the ads & landing page. As a result, giving these algorithms more users to choose from leads to better results.


Our optimisations led to continuous improvement of the cost per engaged session, leading to a x5 increase in the number of engaged sessions when comparing the last 5 days to the first 5 days of the campaign, without any change in daily budget:

“Working with Gwenno and Joe  has been incredibly insightful. We were able to use learnings they provided on the most successful copy and images, in our other areas of work which was really valuable across the organisation. They are always prompt, organised and professional.”

Francesca Rutherford, Fundraising Senior Manager

Do good, better

If you’re a charity looking for a digital marketing agency who can improve your efficiency quickly - we would love to work with you. 

Get in touch below to see if we’d be a good fit.