How Platypus Digital helped Concern Worldwide to expand their virtual gifts programme

10-second summary

  • Concern Worldwide is committed to addressing the causes of poverty in 25 countries through education, nutrition, emergency responses and more. 
  • Their Alternative Gift programme lets people buy a virtual gift like a bicycle, a goat or even school fees to support Concern’s life-saving work across the world.
  • The gift programme was performing well offline, but the charity wanted to expand it even further through online marketing.
  • We built and executed a paid search strategy which achieved a 40% rise in sales from the previous year and a 41% rise in revenue.
concern worldwide

What was the challenge?

Charity virtual gifts (where people can buy gifts that have a charitable impact) is a crowded marketplace. 

Our clients, Concern Worldwide, had an Alternative Gift programme. They asked us to help them expand its reach through online marketing, and increase revenue.

To do this, they would need a well targeted and optimised campaign that could really drive online sales.

What did we do?

We identified that the main opportunity for virtual gifts was in search marketing, where there is a high volume of monthly searches for charity gifts.

Our search marketing team worked closely with Concern’s individual giving team to build a paid search strategy which particularly targeted key seasonal giving times of year to maximise income and high purchase intent keywords. 

Once we proved the success of this model, we expanded to display and video to promote the Alternative Gifts to in-market cold audiences. We knew this would also help the charity build up its remarketing audience.

We optimised and refined our ads and targeting throughout this process to increase conversion rate, getting Concern Worldwide more results for their investment.

At this point, Google changed the format of the Search Engine Results Page. We took advantage of this change and ran Google Shopping activity alongside search. This helped Concern to stay competitive by pushing their gifts adverts further up the results page, increasing click through rate, and ultimately sales. 

Screengrab from Concern gifts site

What we achieved

The results of our work were excellent, with each year improving on the last. 

In 2021, we achieved a fantastic 40% rise in sales from the previous year and a 41% rise in revenue. This is largely because of a 64% increase in conversion rate as a result of our detailed optimisation and testing programme.

Victoria Ingram, Individual Giving Manager at Concern Worldwide UK said:

 “Platypus’ input has been integral to the expansion of our alternative gifts programme – thanks to them, we’ve been able to dramatically increase the numbers of donors we recruit. They’re an approachable agency, who have really helped grow our digital marketing from something very small to a key part of our Individual Giving programme.”

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