SEO + Content Case Study

703% increase in purchases via Facebook Ads

Strategic investment in Facebook advertisements at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic boosted website purchases for coffee retailer, offsetting losses from in-store closures.

The Client

Intelligentsia is a Chicago-grown, specialty coffee pioneer that sells direct to consumer and coffee houses nationwide.

The Objective

Many B2C food and beverage businesses closed at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, including Intelligentsia’s coffee shops. Our objective was to optimize their paid media strategy and push their ads even harder, capitalizing on anticipated increased demand for online coffee purchases.


  • 703%

    increase in website purchases via Facebook ads, YoY

  • 627%

    increase in Facebook ad impressions, YoY

  • 98%

    increase in conversions

“Because we are selling a product that can be enjoyed at home, we saw a huge opportunity to broaden our reach and convert new and existing customers.”

Christina Wiedbusch, Channel Strategist, Intelligentsia Coffee Inc.

Paid Media Strategy


    The Problem

  • With in-person retail temporarily shut down, Intelligentsia lost a critical source of sales and revenue. They needed to find a way to meet the demands of their customers and pivot their focus for the foreseeable future.


    The Solution

  • We advised Intelligentsia to invest more into their paid paid social ads to compensate for the revenue losses from in-store purchases.

    At the time, we noted a dramatic decrease in CPM across all industries on Facebook. Many businesses were pulling or reducing their advertising budgets altogether.

    Instead of scaling back, we recommended strategically increasing Intelligentsia’s spend on prospecting, with the goal of increasing net purchases across all channels. This increased our overall reach and as well as our web and Facebook page traffic, which we then utilized in our remarketing campaigns.

    We also introduced a free shipping offer on Facebook to capitalize on the growing ecommerce push and attract new conversions.


    Why it Matters

  • Consumer behavior changed drastically at the onset of the pandemic. Intelligentsia’s customers are coffee connoisseurs, many of whom were used to purchasing high-end grounds at brick-and-mortar stores. With consumers now spending time at-home, we identified online purchases as a pillar of revenue during uncertain times.

“Once we started to see the performance and conversion on these campaigns take off during the pandemic, we decided to increase our investment significantly! We have seen huge growth in this channel this year and it has become a channel that is very responsive when we run promotions.”

Christina Wiedbusch, Channel Strategist, Intelligentsia Coffee Inc.

Year-over-year, Intelligentsia experienced a 703% increase in the number of website sales originating from Facebook advertising clicks. The total value of those transactions was 230% higher than the previous year.


Demand for ecommerce skyrocketed in March as many Americans quarantined due to the coronavirus pandemic. Our free-shipping offer targeted Intelligentsia’s current customers and mirrored audiences, reaching them right when they’d need it. The first month, we saw a 253% increase in purchases month-to-month, and a 593% increase in purchases compared to the previous year.

Our strategy aimed to maintain the level of consumer interest in purchasing their products as coffee shops and offices remained closed during the pandemic.


increase in Facebook ad impressions, YoY

By increasing their Facebook ad spend and serving a larger audience, we were able to dramatically increase their reach. At one point, their ads were viewed by more than 1 million potential customers, averaging 627% increase in Facebook ad impressions YoY.

By the end of the summer, over 18% of their online sales were being driven by their paid ads, a dramatic increase from the previous year.

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