Facebook has maintained its position as perhaps the top-ranking social media ad platform over the past few years, and that is largely thanks to their dedication to continued innovation. In this social network’s history we’ve seen the additions of a new and improved Power Editor, Call-to-Action buttons, and image carousel ads.
One of their more recent developments is Facebook Lead Ads.
Facebook Lead Ads have gotten a ton of attention since this feature was launched a year ago, even overshadowing the long-awaited “dislike” button (which more closely resemble emojis). Lead Ads were created to make forms easier to fill out, and thus increase conversions—not to mention cut the cost per lead and advertisers and marketers quickly hopped on board.
Consider these examples of companies who switched to Facebook Lead Ads and saw great results:
- When Mazda started using Facebook Leads Ads, their cost per lead decreased by 85% and they got 5X the number of leads.
- Secret Escapes started using Lead Ads and saw a 52% more efficient cost per lead compared to other Facebook advertising and got 2X the signups.
- Peloton started using Lead Ads and saw a 15% increase in leads and a 67% lower cost per conversion.
We wrote this “How To” blog post last year to give you all the information you needed to starting running successful, high-converting Lead Ads campaigns as soon as possible. Today, in addition to explaining what they are, why you should use them, how to create them and examples of how to use them, we’ve added new additions to the format, what to do post-signup, and more examples.
Facebook Lead Ads: What Are They?
When Facebook announced Lead Ads (sometimes called “Lead Gen Ads”), they were advertised as ads that made filling out forms as simple as “Tap, Tap, Done.” It is a surprisingly accurate description of how this new type of ad works.
From the user’s point of view, Lead Ads look just like the mobile ads we’re already familiar with, except when a user clicks on a Lead Ad, rather than being taken to a landing page, a form opens up to gather the user’s contact information.
Facebook automatically fills out as many of the fields on the form as possible with information from the user’s profile, such as name, e-mail address and phone number. Users can review the information, change it if they choose, and fill in any blank fields. The form can only be submitted manually so people can be assured of their privacy.
Related Content: The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Advertising
From a brand’s point of view, these forms are fully customizable and while name and contact information from Facebook profiles are always used, businesses can choose to request additional info that is beneficial for acquiring and nurturing new leads. For example, you can ask for the size of people’s business, their relationship status, or their current field of study.
Unique Benefits of Lead Ads
Lead Ads offer several unique benefits that no other ad objective or ad format has yet offered either users or marketers.
Increased mobile conversions is one of the most obvious benefits you can expect. Mobile engagement typically does well, but many marketers have a hard time getting conversions through mobile ad placements, with some case studies showing that only 34% of conversions come from mobile ads. And despite the fact that mobile devices reliably garner more clicks than desktop ads, smartphones are still seeing lower conversion rates than desktops.
This is especially true when any type of forms are involved, because it’s too much of a hassle for the user to leave Facebook, go to an off-site landing page (often with slow loading times), and manually fill out all those fields on a tiny mobile screen.
So it’s no surprise that a lot of mobile users will click, see the form, change their mind, and leave the landing page. The lack of conversions is particularly significant considering how high the click-through rates are, and the fact that an average of 57% of a business’s Facebook Ads budget goes to mobile ads.
With Lead Ads, not only will the user stay on Facebook, but the forms will give them a head start by auto-filling as much information as possible for them. The less effort required, the better—and Lead Ads capitalize on that concept.
Lead Ads don’t just save users time, they save marketers and businesses plenty of time, too. With fully customizable forms available on Facebook, marketers don’t have to create a landing page (or multiple landing pages) for lead generation campaigns anymore. It’s all right there on Facebook.
You can create multiple forms for different campaigns in a matter of seconds, and when you compare that to creating, running and hosting different landing pages, it’s easy to see why this has been such a huge development for businesses.
For example, here’s a Lead Ad from AllState Insurance that offers users a new quote or estimate.
Notice how this ad bakes in several different value propositions in a very concise fashion:
- The ad copy at the top says “Start getting 2 Bonus Checks a year with AllState.”
- The link headline says “Who doesn’t want to save big money?”
- The subheading ends with a CTA that says “Click to quote!”
Lead Ads can also work for newsletter or event signups, or even lead magnets.
Check out how the WoodWorker’s Guild of America uses Facebook Lead Ads to get more people on their e-mail list by offering how-to videos, projects and tips.
It’s particularly valuable for B2B marketers who need to book product demos or sales calls. Check out how Heal drives more leads for their on-demand doctor service through Facebook lead ads:
Through Facebook Lead Ads, you can target potential customers at virtually every stage of their customer journey. For example, you can offer free content to get people to opt-in to your e-mail list at the top of the funnel.
You can offer case studies to people who you know are already interested in your business and what you have to offer.
If you’re trying to convert people right away to a consultation call, you can set up Facebook targeting to show your ads to people at the “evaluation” stage of your funnel.
How To Create Lead Ads
- Ads Manager
- Power Editor
- Facebook Pages
- Ads Manager App
Lead Ads are an ad objective, so you will need to create a Lead Ad campaign specifically. When you go to create a new campaign, select “Lead Generation” as your objective.
After you’ve created your new campaign, go to the ad set level, where you’ll choose the Facebook Page for which you want to advertise. You’ll also see that mobile placement is currently the only placement option.
You can adjust your audience targeting and choose what you want to optimize for (in this case, leads or link clicks). For the mobile placement option, you can choose to only target certain device types.
At the ad level, you’ll create the creative aspects of your campaign as you normally would. Pay attention to the Lead Form and the CTA button, as these are different for Lead Ads.
You’ll see a section of the creative aspects that is devoted to the Lead Form. You can either choose to use a form that you’ve already built or you can create a new one. Either way, it takes just a few minutes, and we’ll talk about Lead Forms in the next section.
CTA buttons are mandatory for Facebook Lead Ads, and come with the options of:
- Sign Up
- Learn More
- Get Quote
- Apply Now
Choosing an appropriate CTA will depend largely on how you’re motivating users to submit their contact information and what you’ve promised in return. Each individual ad run might require a different CTA depending on your offer, and it’s something you should pay close attention to when split testing or changing ads quickly through Power Editor.
For what it’s worth, some statistics show that while “Shop Now” is the most popular CTA choice, “Learn More” has the best performance for click-through rates.
Learn More: How To Create CTAs that Actually Cause Action
Once your ad is ready to go, you can preview it as it will appear on both the mobile newsfeed and certain selected devices. Just be sure to check your Lead Form before submitting it, because it won’t show up in the preview.
How To Create Customized Forms For Lead Ads
Facebook Lead Ads are designed to get you leads with new potential clients, so their Lead Forms are highly customizable and offer a wide range of fields of inquiry for this reason.
When you’re creating a Lead Ad, you’ll be prompted to choose a Lead Ad Form or create a new one.
When you create a new Lead Form, you’ll first be asked to name it. Make sure to name it something specific so that you’ll use the correct form for the right ads in the future (and not simply “lead form 2,” which I’ve done in the example).
On the next screen, you’ll be asked what questions you want to ask the user. E-mail address and full name are highly recommended, but not required—you can uncheck them if you’d like.
When you click on “Show More Options,” you’ll see that you can also ask for other information, including first name and last name (instead of full name), address, phone number, demographic info and work info. Facebook will have most, if not all, of this data already, so a lot of it will be auto-filled for the users and thus easier for you to get.
Once you’ve selected your initial auto-filled user information, you can add up to three questions that you want users to answer. You can choose from Facebook’s options or add a custom question.
Facebook’s questions include options for the following fields:
- Automotive (car make, model, trim)
- Education (interested or current field of study, campus location)
- E-commerce (how often do you want to hear from us?)
- B2B (size of company)
- Professional Services (type of legal service)
- Health Insurance (coverage status)
- Auto Insurance (annual mileage)
- Need Help (what is the problem?)
- Purchase Intent (size of budget, wait-list)
Most of these fields have a variety of question options, as seen in the examples above (but you can only ask three!). You can provide multiple-choice answers or choose to leave them open-ended.
You can also opt to add a custom question. To do this, click on the “Add Custom Question,” which is listed above all the other pre-made options.
Enter your question, which is limited to 50 characters, and then either select multiple-choice answers that users choose from or leave it blank if you’re asking a more open-ended question.
On the next screen, you can add a link to your website that users can follow after submitting the form.
Once your form is complete, you’ll be asked to review it. When you’re happy with it, hit “Create Form,” and it’s ready to run!
What to Do Post-Signup
Getting users to sign up to your e-mail list or book a strategy call is only the first step. You need to make sure that the rest of your funnel is in place so that you can convert as many people as possible into paying customers.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you keep your conversion rates high:
- Welcome new subscribers immediately. When someone signs up to your list or books a call, the last thing you want to do is keep them waiting. It’s important to send out an e-mail (whether automated or manual) to welcome your new sign-ups. In fact, according to research, 35-50% of new sales go to the businesses that respond first.
- Create a high-converting drip campaign. Not all of your subscribers will be convert right away. Sometimes subscribers will opt in to book a consultation call, but never respond to actually book a time. Sometimes they’ll opt in to receive a free newsletter, but not actively engage in opening and reading your e-mails.
That’s why it’s important to craft a successful drip campaign. Drip campaigns are a series of e-mails that are designed to keep new subscribers engaged so that you can “warm them up” to the idea of booking a consultation.
Here’s an example of an e-mail sequence you can use when writing a drip campaign:
Email 1: Welcoming e-mail and introduction
Email 2: First practical advice
Email 3: Theory behind the problem you’re trying to help them solve
Email 4: Actionable tips to help them get quick results
Email 5: Case study of how you helped someone else (ideally similar to specific customer segments) plus a call to action
Email 6: Follow up
You can also engage your subscribers in a more personal way by including audio or video in your e-mails or encouraging them to reply to you. The more personal you can make your drip campaign e-mails feel, the more likely it is that your customers will take the next step in the customer journey.
Learn More: The Ultimate Guide to Drip Campaigns
You’ll want to make sure that your post-signup pieces are in place before focusing on deploying Lead Ads in order to ensure that you’re not spending money to get leads you can’t close.
Updates to Lead Ads
When Facebook Lead Ads first launched, they promised new features to enhance Lead Ads further, and now, over a year later, they are here. The following upcoming additions make Lead Ads easier to use and potentially more effective, which is great news for marketers.
- Desktop Placement. While Lead Ads are perhaps most important for mobile placement where click-through rates tend to be high but conversions are low, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be effective on computers. Now that they are launched and fully functional, Facebook Lead Ads are available on desktops.
- Video & Carousel Ads Formats. Both video ads and carousel image ads perform extremely well on Facebook and they are now available for Lead Ads as well. Being able to feature multiple images that either tell a story or promote multiple products or a dynamic video will only increase conversions even further. Carousel ads alone have, in some cases, driven costs down by 30-50% per conversion, and 20-30% per click, while simultaneously increasing click-through rates up to 75%.
- Context Cards. To make it even easier for users to subscribe via Lead Ads, Facebook now offers context cards, which is just what it sounds like: a card that pops up as soon as someone clicks on your ad (but before they give you their their contact info) to show them what they’re getting. TheSkimm, an e-mail newsletter, saw a 22% increase in leads when they added a context card that described what kind of content subscribers could expect to see. You can customize the headline, benefit and button text. When you’re creating your lead form, click on the “Show Advanced Options” link and then “Add a Context Card.”
- CRM Integration. Until recently you couldn’t integrate your CRM in Lead Ads, which was not only time-consuming but annoying. So you either had to do it manually or by syncing your Lead Ads with one of Facebook’s marketing partners (including DriftRock, Salesforce, Eloqua, Marpost, Sailthru and Marketo). Facebook has now “partnered with Zapier and MailChimp to develop a solution that can automatically add Facebook leads to advertisers’ MailChimp lists.”
Lead Ads have been a great addition to the advertising tools that Facebook already provides marketers. Designed to increase the success of lead generation campaigns, this updated tool will help you gain new customers and increase conversions for mobile users.
When you combine this with the fact that Lead Ads take away the necessity of creating different landing pages for different campaigns (and the inconvenience for users to leave Facebook), it’s easy to see why many marketers have so eagerly jumped on them.