African Parks

Growing Email List Size Through Social Advertising

African Parks is a conservation non-profit that manages 15 national parks in nine African countries. Through their effective anti-poaching measures, community-based conservation, tourism initiatives, and wildlife conservation, African Parks is seeing results. Two parks in Malawi under their management are experiencing a surplus of elephants that are causing habitat degradation and human-wildlife conflict. So, in 2016, African Parks did something quite extraordinary; they began the movement of 500 elephants across a country – moving them from one park to help repopulate another.

To build awareness for the move, African Parks asked Brick Factory to help them build their social following. One of our tactics was to start Facebook follower ads. We ran a one month pilot program to set the groundwork for a long-term campaign.

The result was 7,196 new followers and a final cost per follower of $0.07. This cost per follower is particularly impressive considering Facebook’s benchmark is $0.25-$0.50 for the United States.




new followers


cost per follower

  • Program Strategy & Planning
  • Ad Placement & Strategy
  • Ad Optimization & Maintenance
  • Audience Strategy & Targeting
  • Content Audit, Strategy & Optimization
  • Budget Management


African Parks manages 15 parks in nine African countries and connecting with the people in these countries is a priority for them. We targeted the English-speaking countries where African Parks has a presence, as well as the surrounding countries.

However, like any non-profit, online donations are a key metric for African Parks. Most of African Park’s donors are from the United States. We wanted to expand our reach in the U.S. We targeted users who are interested in similar groups – like the World Wildlife Fund – to ensure that they would find our content engaging.

Types of Animals

African Parks has 15 parks in nine African countries. Each of these parks is the home of hundreds of different species: from gorillas in Odzala in Congo, to the black-crowned crane in Akagera in Rwanda. We tested dozens of species to determine which ones people respond best to in our Facebook ads. We found that birds and reptiles performed the most poorly and elephants and big cats performed the best.

Age of Animals

We suspected that “cuteness” increases the results rate and lowers the cost of our Facebook ads. Based on this, we decided to run a number of tests based on the age of the animals in the photos. We tested photos of adult elephants versus photos of adults with babies. The results were almost exactly the same. We replicated the test with lions and saw, again, the same results.


One of the ultimate goals of the pilot program was to figure out how much African Parks needed to budget for Facebook follower ads for the rest of the year. Their goal was to reach 100,000 followers.

From our pilot program we learned that $0.07 per follower is a good benchmark for African Parks. At the end of the pilot program, African Parks had 20,789 followers. With this information, we could calculate an approximate budget for the rest of the year.

However, when discussing the budget with African Parks, we were sure to include a little extra budget in case of diminishing returns and any future tests.