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Case Study

Budget Cuts


Despite a nearly 75% reduction in budget, IFMA’s Membership department maintained a campaign cost cost-per-conversion of less than half the desired $50 goal, 3000%+ return on ad spend with an overall return on ad spend of 662%.


As the premier professional organization for Facility Managers, IFMA recognized the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to continue to prove the importance of an IFMA membership by providing information about their industry-leading resources. IFMA’s Membership department approached Red Thread seeking suggestions for maintaining their goal of 5% growth over 2 years while keeping the cost-per-acquisition for new members to under $50, all with the understanding that there would also be a 75% cut in the budget.

Client: International Facility Management Association (IFMA)

Industries: Business, Industry Organization

Services: digital media strategy, paid social advertising, email marketing


Shift Focus

We needed to narrow the overall account focus to just the essentials. For messaging, we focused on two specific areas: IFMA’s resources that provide FMs the information they need to be at the forefront during the pandemic, and the fact that FMs are essential workers.

Audit Campaigns

With a hefty reduction in budget, we had to cut back on campaigns that weren’t contributing to our new focus. We started with an in-depth audit of the existing ad accounts, determining the highest-performing and most essential prospecting campaigns. After pausing all campaigns that didn’t directly relate to the most essential messaging and goals, we looked to the free resources IFMA already had, including several email lists for existing membership and webinar attendees.

Utilize Data

Utilizing existing 1st-party data, we were able to generate multi-channel campaigns with a higher likelihood of success. Finally, with a limited social media ad budget, we reigned in focus to only target current members with upcoming membership expirations (in order to stave off attrition), and a campaign focusing on IFMA membership as an investment in the future.

paid social

overall return on ad spend for year was 662%

With the shift in messaging to underline what FMs found most critical, we were able to help IFMA narrow campaign focus. Despite the reduction in budget, the account saw an increase in direct conversions and click-through rates. The cost-per-conversion maintained under $25, less than half the desired $50 goal.

The carefully curated social media audiences contributed to exceeding the overall cost-per-conversion goal with a $7.75 channel acquisition cost.

The overall return on ad spend for the year was 662%.

The gap between what’s expected and what you deliver is where the magic happens, in business and in life.
- Jay Baer, Founder of Convince & Convert