Relationships Australia Victoria Case Study

10th of Sep 2021

Foresight Team

Case Study

Relationships Australia Victoria is the largest provider of specialist family and relationship services in Australia.

From a marketing perspective, one of their core differentiators is their focus on remaining affordable—which is strongly linked to their vision to relieve the suffering, distress and helplessness of vulnerable and disadvantaged people by enhancing their physical, social and emotional wellbeing.

Throughout their many centres across the state, RAV has impacted the lives of over a half a million people.

RAV x Foresight, A Dream Team

Before the inception of Foresight, Founder Michelle Bourke worked with the RAV team on a technology that would create a safe environment for online dating and beginning relationships. This would mark the beginning of a long term partnership across both strategic consulting, and most recently, the management of Google Ad Grants for the RAV marketing team.


The RAV marketing team’s main goal for the grant was to have it spent to its fullest ($10k USD ad spend per month). Ad Grants from Google are special accounts with complimentary ad spend, made available to Not For Profit organisations who apply and meet Google’s criteria.

Getting The Most Out of Google Ad Grants

Ad Grants provide a unique opportunities for any eligible Not for Profit to compete with other commercial organisations that provide similar services. Often NFPs have budget limitations and this enables them to focus effort especially on the non commercial elements of their service, like educating their target audience about what they do, and how they can help.

While an Ad Grants accounts work in a similar way to a normal Google Ads account, there are a number of conditions that need to be consistently met while managing the account or the account is disqualified. As our team have worked on RAV’s account over time, it has been critical to remain vigilant of how we’re meeting each one of these criteria, as policies have continued to shift over time.

Google Ad Grant Policies

  • No overly generic keywords permitted
  • No keywords with a quality score of 1 or 2 permitted
  • Must maintain a 5% click-through rate (CTR) each month
  • Must have valid conversion tracking, if applicable
  • Must have at least 2 ads per ad group
  • Must have at least 2 ad groups per campaign
  • Must have at least 2 sitelink ad extensions

How Foresight achieved a 48.8% increase in Ad Grant spend

Managing Google Ad Grants is one of those unique scenarios where conversions, conversion rate or cost per conversion are generally not the most important performance metrics. Instead, spending as much of the budget as possible is the objective (which usually means all those other metrics are very healthy)!


In June 2020, RAV’s account was spending $6,279 (62%) of the $10,000 monthly grant. By June 2021, it was spending $9,349—a 48.8% increase to spending 93% of the total Ad Grant available each month. The Year on Year conversion rate also increased from 12.34% to 17.13% (an increase of nearly 39%), and bounce rates improved—trending downward by over 32%.

Step 1

Setting The Right Conversion Goals

Firstly it’s important to understand that Ad Grants works particularly well when focussed on non-financial conversion goals. In RAV’s case, the key goals included the download of resources in the form of PDF downloads such as tip sheets and ebooks. Particularly popular ones included “Starting School” and “Helping Your Child Through Separation”.

Step 2

Taking Advantage of Google Policy Changes

Now very often, marketing teams get most excited about the interesting insights that drive strategic changes. But it’s important to remember that operational changes can be just as impactful on outcomes.

For instance, short term campaigns Foresight ran for Henley were previously detailed, multi- messaged structures with lead objectives. However after shifting to brand awareness building with a goal to reach more audiences, having an agile delivery methodology was critical to efficiently manage increased campaign volume, and multiple difference audience segments.

Building single campaign templates across multiple channels in a centralised Google sheet provided greater visibility on flighting and campaign structure for both our teams— leading to a much easier ability to extend the campaigns that were working well with extra budget.

Step 3

Continuously Optimising Keywords Targeted On A Monthly Basis

With strategy and operations sorted, the day to day campaign management was the next area of focus. And there’s always more to think about than just personas and audiences. Technology limitations and campaign performance between platforms often guides the way Foresight distributes budget on any one campaign.

For instance, in general for the property and home building space, we’ve found that Facebook provides better quality traffic in comparison to other channels. Bounce rates on Google Display can be up to 90%, while Facebook’s range between 50-60% with the right targeting and landing pages. Even in terms of on-site engagement actions (PDF downloads, form submissions or brochure views), Facebook can often outperform other channels.

But that doesn’t mean throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Interestingly some ad types can generate certain types of call to actions in ways you mightn’t expect. For example, we tested Responsive Display Ad types in Google Display. This ad type provides a way to be both flexible and quick to implement changes, and in Henley’s case, the performance of Click To Call lead generation skyrocketed. But ad types like this can also reduce the amount of control a brand has over the creative execution and so performance outcomes always need to be balanced against strategic brand priorities.

One way we like to think about this strategically, is to consider the right channel for the right location in the customer journey. We don’t just dump budget into a channel or ad objective that claims to have the highest potential for lead generation.

Part of this is understanding digital advertising dynamics. For example, if we’re focusing on Google Display and Facebook retargeting but our audiences sizes are small and the budget is comparatively large, this can create an unnecessarily high Cost Per Lead.

It makes sense. If you’ve got 10 people in an audience, it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at it, only 5% of people will convert irrespective of whether you’ve invested $100 or $100,000. Cost Per Lead (or Cost Per Acquisition) isn’t a metric that stays straight. It’s a tick mark. It usually starts out high, goes down, then up again before it flattens.

The solution, therefore, is to build out the top of your funnel. This enables spend to become much more efficient. Ultimately it means that we still get the same number of leads converting, but thrown into the bargain…a bunch of extra audience awareness. You can deep dive further into this concept in this SearchEngine Land article here.

What’s next for RAV digital marketing

Foresight will be setting up new campaigns to support RAV’s exciting new partnership with OpenPlace. OpenPlace is a support and advocacy service that co-ordinates and provides direct assistance to address the needs of people who grew up in Victorian orphanages and homes during the last century. If you haven’t watched the movie Oranges and Sunshine which paints a picture of just how traumatic this period of time really was, it’s well worth a look.

OpenPlace aims to help people who identify as Forgotten Australians to deal with the legacy of their childhood experiences and provide support to improve their health and well- being. Given how this ties with RAV’s vision of supporting the family unit and relationships, it’s the perfect partnership.

Foresight will also be increasing paid search campaign focus on Support for Fathers. While women over-index as those who consume RAV services most often, we’re excited to see how Fathers will interact with important content to support their health and wellbeing. Especially as over the last few years, there has been increased focus from multiple NFP organisations to help educate men around acceptance and help seeking for their mental health and wellbeing.

Marketing has an immense positive power to communicate with people when they most need it, and paid digital is often at the pointy end of their search for help.

Foresight is a digital consultancy supporting established and emerging brands to grow, scale, demonstrate ROI and flourish sustainably. Foresight partners with high quality web development and UX specialist agencies as critical enablers. 

Have a client who is planning a migration, needing growth, or struggling with a post migration traffic drop? Reach out for a chat any time at

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