Marketers are obsessed with finding new ways to generate leads. And Facebook Lead Generation is an amazing “playground” for this obsession.
The classic Facebook lead generation method is to collect email addresses through Facebook advertising + a landing page (with a specific offer such as an ebook, coupon, etc…).
Now there is another way, a new toy to play with😃 🎮. It is called Facebook Lead Ads.
This (fairly) new advertising product allows prospects to submit their personal information directly via a form, on Facebook or Instagram.
The prospects never leave Facebook or Instagram to an outside landing page. They do it all on the app.
It’s basically your lead generation landing page within Facebook.
A Lead Ad looks like this:
You can, of course, customize all the fields in your Lead Ad form (also called Instant Form).
So you can use this type of ad for literally any lead generation idea you might have: finding newsletter subscribers, booking appointments, finding beta testers, event registrations, signing up for a contest, ebook downloads…
In this article, I will show you how to create these ads, how to make them successful, and I will try to answer the most frequent questions along the way.
What are Facebook Lead Generation Ads?
Facebook Lead Generation Ads is an advertising product designed to let advertisers collect leads on Facebook without sending prospects to an outside landing page.
Lead Ads: What are the key benefits?
There are many benefits to using this format instead of the classic: Facebook Ads + outside landing page.
Mobile Friendliness 📱
Lead Ads offer a mobile-friendly conversion path since it is fully integrated into Facebook and optimized for mobile, which will be of particular interest to advertisers whose mobile site is not optimized.
Pre-filled Information ✍️
Probably the most convincing argument, for me.
The form is easier to fill in for the prospect because the information is pre-filled by Facebook. These are some of the data points that can be pre-filled: name, email, telephone, address, date of birth, but also company name and position held…
Quick Conversion ⏰
You can set up a conversion path of only 2 clicks with this Facebook lead generation. This means that the prospect can only click twice between clicking the ad and submitting the form. It’s 2 clicks by default however you can add an intermediate step before filling in the form (which would make it 3 clicks).
The cost can be lower 💸
The acquisition cost is often lower (in theory) than classic lead generation campaigns. However, some Facebook marketers have reported almost the same price per lead and sometimes even a more expensive price per lead. So it’s hard to say here…
Advice on Facebook Lead Ads Before you Start
Advice #1: The Facebook Context
It is important to understand the context of Facebook advertising.
While on Google most users are actively searching for information and looking for solutions to pressing problems for which they are sometimes ready to pay; on Facebook, users are usually not looking for offers or products.
Facebook is more of an entertainment app. Users are looking for new content to consume from sources they like and trust.
Commercial offers on Google make sense most of the time in the context of Google. It makes sense to see an ad from Booking.com when you type “book hotel Paris” in the Google search bar.
There is intent.
However, on Facebook, you have to adapt your message.
Understand the context in which your message is read.
Make your message entertaining if you want it to perform, even if it is a Lead Ad.
There should never be a “boring” ad in your ad sets.
Advice #2: Content is Still King.
Facebook Lead Ads can help you convert more but the most important thing remains an engaging offer.
Make sure your ad has a catchy headline.
And make sure that whatever you are offering is well aligned with the problem you are trying to solve for your customer.
Advice #3: Test The Process and Content with Your Fan Page.
Facebook lead generation can start with your fan page.
Use the fans already subscribed to your page as your first audience for lead generation.
Craft your content keeping in mind your customers’ real problems.
Run tests by posting different types of posts and identifying the posts with the best engagement and conversion rates.
The best performing free publications will also be the best-performing ones when you switch to paid advertising on Facebook.
The publications with the best engagement rates also tend to cost less per click.
And by lowering your cost of acquisition per lead, you can quickly increase your advertising budget.
How to Create a Lead Ads campaign
Go to your Facebook Ad Manager.
1. Create a campaign
2. Choose the “Lead Generation” objective
3. Create a set of ads
Select your page
Select Your Targets: Audiences and Placement
WARNING: the lead ad is restricted to users over 18 years old and is not eligible on the Facebook network audience!
4. Set the dedicated budget, release schedule and desired auction
Choose between the advertising optimization mode: clicks on links or leads. Like the conversion optimization, the second option allows you to optimize the distribution to maximize the number of leads as soon as the volume of leads collected is sufficient for the algorithm.
Tip: if you are already running lead acquisition campaigns via “the conversion on an outside landing page classic way”, the configuration of Lead Ads campaigns will be easier for you. Indeed, it is possible to directly duplicate ad sets (and ads) from previous campaigns and “paste” them into a Lead Ads campaign. The only modifications required: raise the target age to at least 18 years old and add a form to the ads (see below).
5. Choose your ad format and creative
The lead ad is available for the following ad formats:
The ad is presented as a classic advertisement and you have to fill in the usual elements (text, call-to-action…).
All that remains is to create a form! 🔥
How to create an instant form
Last but not least, create the form that your prospects will go through.
You can create this form by clicking on the “New Form” button.
You will then be asked to choose a Form Type: More Volume or Higher Intent.
There are a few differences between “More Volume” and “Higher Intent” as explained here:
“The higher intent form has three features: Inline context under contact fields, slide-to-submit button in the review screen and the review screen, which gives people a chance to confirm their info, resulting in more intentional leads”. Source
I don’t have any formed opinion on which option is best. I would definitely recommend A/B testing both anyway for your campaign.
It is recommended to add an intermediate step between clicking on the ad and filling in the form. It is called the welcome screen (context card).
1. Choose a headline
2. You can import an image or use the image of your ad, but the image must already be at the right size (which is not the case with a carousel for example).
Recommended image size: 1200 x 628 pixels
3. Enter a description or an informative message
4. Choose the call-to-action text that will be used on the welcome screen
Depending on the information you wish to collect, you will be able to use the different pre-filled fields that Facebook lead generation offers (email and full name will be selected by default). It is also possible to add up to 3 custom questions with the following options: short answer, multiple-choice or conditional answer.
You choose what information you want to collect from your prospects.
Most of the time, email and first names are enough. I recommend not to ask more than 2-3 questions, it discourages people from answering.
Finally, you can customize the thank you screen. If you have something to be downloaded, don’t forget to put the link to the download page.
Thank you screen
Take advantage of the thank you screen section to redirect the prospect to a dedicated page on your site after completing the form.
Now all you have to do is publish your ad.
Don’t forget to choose the desired language for your form (i.e. that of your target audience) as well as the form sharing options.
If you are running your Facebook Lead Generation campaign with an outside landing page. Here is a great guide (we wrote :)) about the topic:
Getting the Leads Information
Once your campaign is launched, you will probably be wondering how to find the lead information!
There are two ways to get that data.
From Ads Manager
Go to your Ad Manager directly.
Then, on the top right, click on “Links” and then on “Download prospect data”.
From Your Page
You can go to your page directly, in “Publishing Tools” (top menu), then “Form Library” in the left menu.
This is where your forms data is stored. Just click on the “Download” link and you will see the different options to export your data.
Automatically Collecting Leads Info
You should be automatically collecting, storing and using your leads information through automation and integrations.
This is the best way to proceed for your Facebook lead generation.
When a prospect fills out your form, it is possible to have him automatically added to your CRM (MailChimp, Hubspot…).
There are many native integrations between Facebook and CRMs.
Click on “Integrate your CRM tool” and follow the steps on the screen.
You can also go through the menu on the left in “Publishing Tools” and click on “Configure leads”.
You can also go through Zapier if you want to send the information to another tool. [Note that this is a Premium Zapier integration, so you will have to get the paid Zapier plan for it. Read more here.]
Of course, I highly recommend sending an automatic email sequence after the lead has filled up the form. And to do that, you need to send the prospect information outside of Facebook with an integration.
Respond Quickly to Your Prospect 📞
The sales conversion rate will be much higher if you are responsive to your prospects’ requests. This is why automating the first contact with the prospect is very important.
Limit the distribution of your campaigns according to the day of the week and the time of the day 🌙
Favor office hours so that you can quickly follow up with the lead on the phone for example. Do not even wait for 24h to respond. They might have forgotten about you in 24h. Be faster than your competition.
Less is more 🤔
Conversion rates tend to decrease with the length of the form. Ask for the most important information. Do not ask too many questions. 3 should be your maximum.
Avoid open-ended questions 👻
It scares the prospect. So they are less likely to answer. Use multiple-choice questions instead and keep the number of possible answers to a minimum.
Again, your content is everything…🔥
Your content is key. This is what your competitors ultimately cannot copy. When I talk about content here, I am talking about the copywriting of your ads, your visuals, your promise. Engage your audience with great content.
Create trust 😇
One of the cool things about Leads Ads is the possibility to add a “Welcome Screen” to your ad. Between the first click on the ad and the validation of the form, you can add an additional step to give detailed information to the user. Use it if you think you can reassure your prospect. Show them some social proof. Show them that they can trust you on that welcome screen.
Use Lookalike audiences 👀
Try targeting with your Lead Ads similar profiles to the visitors who already converted on your website. This can be very powerful.
Do not forget tracking ⚙️
Before launching your campaign, set up your Facebook tracking pixel. Even if the user is not sent directly to your website, you can still measure the impact of the Lead Ads if the prospect visits your website afterward.
Adjusting the campaign budget 💵
What daily budget can you afford? Use that figure as your daily budget limit. See how many leads you can generate under that budget. More budget will not necessarily mean more leads. You can instead focus on improving targeting or ad copy before starting to increase your budget. Also, this may be terrible to hear for some marketers, but too many leads are not necessarily a good option. You want to make sure you have time to follow-up with everyone and exploit the potential of every lead.
Adjust the bids ⚡️
There are two bidding strategies on Facebook. You can do both: let Facebook automatically manage the auctions, or manually set a cost per target prospect. If you let Facebook manage the auctions, your prospect may cost you more. I would suggest you start using the automatic option first and once you know better how much it is costing you and how much you would prefer it to cost, adjust manually.
Bonus Tips 🌈
Duplicate: Duplicate ad groups from your existing lead generation campaigns for a faster implementation.
Qualify: To be used with caution, but you could add filtering questions (age, gender, desired product…) to better qualify the lead and facilitate its further processing. However, be careful, more questions, more chances or prospect dropping.
A/B testing: A/B test all the elements of your ad (call-to-action, messages, targeting, creatives) as for a classic ad but don’t forget to test several variants for your form as well.
The Thank You Page: Take advantage of the thank you page: you can use it to cross-sell or give an incentive to share…
Reporting: When analyzing the performance of your lead ads campaigns, don’t forget to include the prospects who didn’t convert on the Instant Form but converted later on the website.
Are Facebook Lead Ads worth the cost?
It is not easy to find conclusive reports on whether Facebook Lead Ads are worth the cost. When I say worth the cost I mean, of course, compared to a “classic” conversion campaign on an external landing page.
Some marketers have reported paying double for a lead from Lead Ads: $2.03 vs $0.89 for a classic campaign.
Other marketers have reported paying more like $0.62 per lead from Lead Ads VS $0.58 for a classic conversion campaign.
From my own experience and the experience of other marketers I could collect online, I can tell that unfortunately, Lead Ads are not always worth the cost.
At least, we cannot say that it always outperforms classic conversion ads.
HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try them.
Other marketers have had great results with Lead Ads (see below). So maybe it’s going to work for you (?)
In any case, it is important to test it and see what works best for your business.
There are limitations to the Lead Ads you should consider before jumping in.
1- It has been reported that the sales conversion (from lead to a client) is on average lower than for classic lead campaigns. This may be due to the fact that when a prospect leaves Facebook to visit your landing page, he/she might be more invested in hearing what you have to say. They make an additional effort and might be more inclined to buy. But I am just speculating here…
2- There is a loss of traffic on landing pages and therefore a loss of traffic on your website. Not to be neglected if you have traffic objectives. Plus, one could argue that sending a prospect to your website has a better branding impact on your prospect as he/she can see your branding and visit a few other pages.
3- The Lead Ads are restricted to people over 18. So just keep that in mind if you are selling to teenagers as well.
I Got Bad Results, What Should I Do?
No, just kidding…
Facebook improved this format considerably since it came out. If you tried it when it came out and gave up, consider trying it again.
My only advice here is the same advice I would give for any unsuccessful campaign: have a look again at your audience maybe there are other targetings you can try.
Rewrite your message, maybe you need to be more impactful and reassuring. Test other visuals. Check your bidding strategy and so on…
Examples of Great Facebook Lead Ads
Philosophy is a beauty brand who managed to generate over 9000 leads and a 3X return on ad spend from Facebook Lead Ads.
They needed a new way to offer their free samples.
Read more about it here.
Ford managed to register an 80% decrease in cost per test-drive lead. They also managed to register in only 90 days of the campaign the same number of test-drives they did for the whole year 2018.
They used the Facebook API to send the leads to their CRM. Once the lead was in their CRM they could send the lead to the local dealership. They could also follow up by email with their lead and handle automatically all the process.
Read more about it here.
The challenge of Facebook lead generation and Leads Ads is to find a balance between the lowest possible acquisition costs (simplified form, no welcome screen, etc.) and more qualified and therefore more expensive leads (filtering questions, limited targeting, etc.).
It is known to be a great product for contests, newsletter subscriptions, content downloads, etc…
However, if you are looking for leads that are more qualified than that, it might be challenging.
Leads Ads can help you but it clearly won’t be enough.
You will need to handle most of the qualification process yourself.