This guide covers everything you need to know about Facebook lead ads.

Specifically, the guide will take you through how to set up and optimize your Facebook Lead Ads, provide you with some audience targeting techniques, and give examples of effective paid ads that you can follow.

Facebook lead Ads

Starting with the basics: what leads and lead generation is…

What is lead?

A lead is a potential customer who has expressed interest in your business, product, or service by completing some action. That action might be filling out an opt-in form, reaching out to you at an event, or some other engagement. What designates them as leads are that they explicitly offer their personal information (e.g. name, email, phone number, etc.) to you in exchange for some valuable information.

What is Lead Generation?

Leads are arguably the cornerstone of your business. If no one is interested in the information you put out … if you don’t have anyone on your email list … if you don’t have people lining up to purchase your product or service, do you even have a business? Not really.

It’s the acquiring leads part that takes some strategy.

So, my question is – how should you go about generating leads?

How do you get leads?

The truth is there are many ways to generate leads for your business — opt-in forms, live events, email campaigns, social media, the list goes on. Paid advertising is one way to go about generating leads, and quite an effective one at that (if done right). Facebook Lead Ads offers a way for you to advertise to your audience on two of the most popular social media sites— Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook Lead Ads doesn’t need to be the only platform you use for your paid strategy, but we’ll cover below why it’s not one you should leave out.

Lead Generation: How it works

If leads are people who express interest in your product or service, lead generation is the process of attracting and converting visitors into leads.

For us marketers, that means finding ways to get potential leads interested in our products and services. We know that lead generation isn’t about blasting product messages to the world. Instead, finding leads is about providing your audience with useful and relevant tools and information to help them solve problems — i.e. problems that your product can solve. When you do this, you attract quality leads that will likely end up becoming customers.

Think about it in terms of the flywheel.

Your prospects will go through what’s known as the buyer’s journey, which consists of three phases that eventually result in a new customer.

  1. Phase one, or the awareness stage, is when you attract strangers to your business by providing useful content.
  2. Phase two, or the consideration stage, is when these strangers begin to like and trust you over time and eventually convert into leads.
  3. The final phase, the decision stage, develops as you nurture your relationship with your leads until they become customers.

The buyer’s journey will be useful to keep in mind as you set up your Facebook Lead Ads.

Now that we’ve covered the customer lifecycle, let’s talk about how you get leads.

How to Get Leads through a Facebook lead form

The most traditional way to obtain leads is through a lead form — a form on your website that collects lead information in exchange for something of value. A lead form is simply a way to collect information, like an email address, name, phone number, or contact information, and usually looks something like this:

How to create an instant form for your lead ad

You can create and save drafts of your instant forms for lead ads from your Facebook Page or from Ads Manager. Read on to learn how to set up from either location.

To create and save a draft of your instant form from your Facebook Page:

  1. Go to the Page you use to run lead ads.
  2. At the top of your Page, click Publishing Tools. Keep in mind that if you’re using Business Manager to manage your Page, you’ll need to go to Business Manager to see the Publishing Tools option.
  3. Click Lead Ads Forms, then click + Create.
  4. Begin filling out your form. At a minimum, you’ll need to give your instant form a name in order to save it as a draft.
  5. In the top-right corner of your instant form, click Save.

To create and save a draft of your instant form from ad manager:

  1. Go to ad creation.
  2. Begin setting up your lead ad.
  3. When you get to the Instant Forms section, you’ll have the option to either select an instant form you’ve saved as a draft, or you can create and save a draft of a new instant form by clicking + New Form.
  4. Begin filling out your form. At a minimum, you’ll need to give your instant form a name to save it as a draft.
  5. In the top-right corner of your instant form, click Save.

How to Access your Instant form:

You can access your instant form drafts from your Page’s Publishing Tools. To do so;

  1. Go to your Page and select Publishing Tools
  2. Click Draft Forms Library to see a list of all of your instant forms for that Page that is saved as a draft.

Lead form best practices

Best Practice #1:  Create an awesome piece of content to use as an offer that potential leads might want to read.

Example: digital marketers looking to use SEO strategies to drive demand for their business.

Best Practice #2:  Create a landing page that gates the piece of content. “Gating” is just a term for requiring the user to submit information through a form in order to receive the offer.

Once the user submits their name and email address, that data is stored in our customer relationship management (CRM) tool, which allows us to send more relevant information and qualify them for our sales team, if applicable.

Lead forms are standard practice. And you can use them anywhere to generate leads — even on social media sites … which brings us to Facebook Lead Ads.

Why target leads on Facebook?

As marketers, it’s our job to meet people where they’re spending their time, not the other way around. Facebook has 2.32 billion daily active users, which means your potential customers are likely active on the platform.

With so many people using and interacting with Facebook every day, the social site is a great online space for you to generate leads organically or through paid promotions, making marketing on Facebook ideal for getting leads in the door.

What is Facebook lead ads?

Facebook lead ads are essentially promoted forms. These forms allow marketers to capture details from customers while offering opportunities to connect, such as newsletter subscriptions, demo requests, or contest registration.

When someone clicks on a lead ad, they presented with a form that’s pre-populated with information from their Facebook profile. The rest can be completed in a few easy taps.

2 Major advantages of using lead ads to generate leads

  1. A major attribute of lead ads is that they are optimized for mobile. That’s key for Facebook’s 88 percent share of mobile users–especially since it typically takes 40 percent longer to complete forms on desktop.
  2. Another advantage Facebook lead generation ads offer is that generated leads can be synced directly with your company’s customer relationship management system or downloaded as a. CSV file. This allows marketers to follow-up more efficiently, which is vital for closing the deal.

Why Facebook Lead Ads?

Facebook has made the process of generating leads on the platform much easier. With the new Lead Generation objective, you can ask customers and prospects for their information, and they can provide it without ever having to leave Facebook.

How does Facebook Lead Ads Work?

Here’s how lead ads work. Show your ad to users, and if they’re interested, they’ll click the call to action to bring up a form pre-filled with their personal information that they’ve shared with the network. They can then review the information, edit it if needed and click Submit.

Six descriptive reasons why you should use Facebook lead ads

By skipping the need to visit your website, Facebook lead ads make filling out Facebook leads forms shorter and easier for your potential leads. But what does that mean for you? Here are a few reasons why lead ads can help your Facebook marketing strategy:

  • Optimized for mobile:  Pre-populated forms make data submission quick and easy, enabling potential customers to share their details even when they’re on the move. This will only become more convenient over time as people are using mobiles more frequently.
  • Fewer drop-offs lead to more conversions: The simple and easy nature of lead ads means more people are likely to finish and send forms, giving you a higher volume of people to retarget.
  • You can easily reach the people that matter to your business: People that have submitted forms already qualify as a “warm audience.” This audience type is important for future retargeting and can be easily encouraged towards conversion.
  • Forms can be customized:  This means that you can request specific information relative to your business, streamlining your sales process and allowing you to identify high-quality leads easily.
  • Benefits go beyond leads: The customizable nature of Facebook lead ads allows you to use the format for multiple purposes, whether that’s to acquire a newsletter distribution list, book call-backs, manage quote requests, or for event registrations.
  • CRM integration: You can sync your lead form ads to your CRM for immediate follow-up.

What you can use Facebook lead form ads for

Before you create any ad type, you should have an objective in mind. Here are some ways you can use lead form ads:

  • Collect email sign-ups: Get more people to subscribe to your newsletters and email marketing with lead ads. This allows you to keep in touch and increases the size of your customer database for remarketing.
  • Manage inquiry forms:  Collect inquiries from potential customers, asking them questions to learn more about what they’re interested in. This allows you to follow up more easily and to provide them with more relevant information.
  • Offer deals or promotions: Entice people with special deals and promotions to create interest in your business. Get them to fill out your lead form to access the deal.

Tips to setting up result driven lead ads

Now that I’ve gone over what a Facebook lead ad is and how it’s used, I’ll provide you with tips to make sure you are producing high-quality lead ads to generate high-quality leads.

1. Give people a reason to fill out your lead ad

To get someone to give you their personal information, you need to be offering them something they want – it’s important to consider this before creating your ad. Think of something specific to your business that’s an achievable giveaway at little cost and gets you the information you want from a relevant target audience, enabling you to achieve your objective.

For example, a lot of lead ads offer free content. This is great for people trying to increase their reach and expand their mailing list. However, if you’re a business offering a bespoke service, you may want a lead form ad that offers a free consultation or quote.

Other things you could offer to people in return for form submission include:

  • Competition entry
  • Event registration
  • Test drives
  • Newsletters
  • Early access to new products or services

2. Know what information you require

Lead ads are a useful way to gather information from your target audience, but it’s important not to request too much information. This can be time-consuming and deter potential leads. And, after all, this would contradict the very appeal of an easy, user-friendly lead form ad. For this reason, it is important that you focus on the information you require to meet your objective and nothing else. Facebook offers a lot of fields to request for data, but don’t be tempted to ask for more than you need.

3. Customize your questions

While Facebook provides a large selection of default questions that can be included in your form, make sure you get the information you really want by asking customized questions. The questions you want to ask will depend on your business goals and what your lead Ad is offering.

You can add up to 15 of these to your form, but in most instances, it’s better to include just a few at the most.

4. Target the right people

As with all ad formats, it’s important that you target the right people. To gain conversions, your easiest audience to start with is a lookalike of lead audience. To target this custom audience, upload a customer database of your leads and then create a 1-2% lookalike of this database. If you don’t want to target all of your leads you can target a lookalike of purchasers only. You can also target people who have engaged with your business, and you can use Facebook’s engagement targeting options to reach these people.

5. Verify the details

In order to ensure the information you collect is accurate and prevent the likelihood of typos, add a page that allows people to check their details. This is also useful in case someone’s contact details have changed since they last filled them out on Facebook.

To add this option to your form, select “Higher intent” when choosing your form type.]

6. Customize your thank you page

A customized thank you page is a great way to encourage people to stay engaged with your business after they submit their lead form. Add a headline to promote brand awareness and include a call-to-action button to entice your new leads.

  1. Try Capturing Leads at Night

Many Facebook advertisers would suggest keeping your ads running throughout the day. While there are situations where the dayparting feature is useful, you may be missing out on some sales that occur during the day. When it comes to leads, however, it’s likely more beneficial to try to capture them during the evening. A large majority of the leads from test campaigns occurred at night.

Perhaps people are more comfortable freely giving their information in the later hours? You can certainly test this out for yourself.

  1. Test Your Call to Action

Facebook has only a few calls to action right now: Download, Get Quote, Learn More, Sign Up and Subscribe. Try the one that most accurately reflects what you’re trying to accomplish, and see how it works.

9. Offer an incentive

People are more willing to share their personal information with you if you offer something in return. Whether it’s a promo code or a free download, a good incentive shows customers you value their information.

Popular incentive examples include:

  • Get deals and offers
  • Enter sweepstakes and contests
  • Receive product samples
  • Attend an event
  • Pre-order products
  • Download studies and whitepapers

10. Be clear about your offer

Share your value proposition up front so that people understand what they are signing up for. While optional, Facebook recommends you include this information in your promotional copy and in the introduction at the beginning of your form. Also, add branding throughout the experience so there isn’t any ambiguity as to who people are sharing their info with.

It’s also important to choose imagery that supports your messaging. For instance, point-of-sales systems provider Revel Systems tested different creative for its lead ad campaign and found images with the product as a focal point were much more effective.

11. Use compelling content and formats

Just like any other Facebook ad, lead ads best served when the medium fits the message. For instance, if you want to showcase multiple products or features, perhaps a carousel format is the best choice. A short video, on the other hand, is a good format for storytelling and increasing brand awareness.

Don’t assume that because you’re offering an incentive creative doesn’t matter. Include high-quality images and videos, sharp copy, and a CTA button for best results. You can find lead ad design specs here.

12. Keep your form simple

It’s simple: The easier your form is to fill out, the higher your completion rate will be. According to Facebook, with each question you add, the chance of someone abandoning the form increases.

Only ask for the most relevant information. If your form includes multiple-choice questions, limit the number of choices between three and four.

13. Ask the right questions

If Facebook’s provided questions don’t meet your needs you can create custom questions for your form. Choose between short answer, multiple choice and conditional questions, which change based on how a previous question was answered.

Your form can also include Store Locator and Appointment Scheduling fields which let people search for a nearby location or scheduling visits.

Need help brainstorming questions? Facebook’s rubric of business goals and examples is a good place to start.

14. Target the right audience

Your target audience should align with your lead ad’s objectives. There are three primary audience types you can choose from:

  • Lookalike audiences: If your goal is to expand your customer base, create a Lookalike Audience modeled off of your most valuable customers in order to find similar users. Learn more about how to use lookalike audiences.
  • People near you: If you have one or more locations and your account is managed by a Facebook representative, you can use the business locator feature and target ads to people in a range of your stores. This audience segment is ideal if your aim is to schedule appointments, demos, or simply encourage customers to visit.
  • Custom audiences: Examples of custom audiences can include people who are subscribed to your newsletter, recent site, and app visitors or people in your CRM.

15. Plan to follow-up

A swift follow-up can significantly improve the chances of conversion. And the quicker you do it the better. A landmark study published in Harvard Business Review found that businesses that make contact with customers within an hour are seven times more likely to secure qualified leads.

Keep in mind that messaging apps are now consumers’ preferred way to connect with brands. Two-thirds of customers rank messaging ahead of a phone, live chat, and face-to-face communications. Maybe it’s time for your business to hop onto Facebook Messenger. And of course, if you want to know your customer’s preferred time and means of communication, don’t forget to ask.

16. Test and optimize

The best lead ads are often the result of A/B testing and fine-tuning. Consider running two lead ads with different imagery or copy. Or try running lead ads with different form lengths to measure completion rates.

Step-by-step process to create a lead ad Using Power Editor

Step 1: Once you download your ads account to Power Editor, click the Create Campaign button in the top left. From there, type in a name for your ad and click the Objective drop-down menu. If you have access to the Lead Generation objective, you’ll see menu options.

Step 2: Select Lead Generation as the ad objective. Select the Lead Generation objective and then continue the ad creation process as you normally would. When you get down to the ad level, you’ll see the following Lead Form section.

Step 3: Click Create New Form to create your first lead generation form (and every form for that matter). type a name for your form in the text box.

Step 3: Click Next and enter a name for your lead generation form. Choose the details that you want to collect from customers and prospects. Specify what information you want to ask users for in the form. You can also add custom questions that you want to ask, such as “Are you a customer?” When you’re finished adding your questions.

Step 4: Click Next and Add a custom question for users to answer. Add a link to your privacy policy (yes, you do need one).

Step 5: Enter your website address. Customers will have the option to click through to it after they submit the form. Add a link to your website.

Step 6: Review your form, and if everything looks okay, click Create Form.

Step 7: Upload your ad account via Power Editor.

Facebook Lead Ad Elements

  • Intro: Use this section to clearly explain why people should fill out your form.
  • Custom questions: There are two types of questions you can choose: Standard questions (ie. gender, job title) and custom questions. Ask custom questions that pertain to your business, for example: “When are you looking to buy a new car?” Up to 15 questions can be included. Some governments bar advertisers from requesting certain information,
  • Form type: Under Form Type, you can select: More volume or higher intent. Choose more volume if your campaign goal is to get the form completed by as many people as possible. Selecting higher intent adds a step to your form that allows people to review and confirm their info before they hit submit. This is a good option if your objective is to seal a deal.
  • Privacy policy: Facebook lead ads require a link to your company’s privacy policy. Make sure you have a page on your business website.
  • Thank you screen: This screen will appear after the form is submitted. You can also include a call-to-action or download link here.

How to download your lead ad

Accessing your leads is a manual process for now. Facebook does not yet provide an option to import your leads automatically to a tool like MailChimp or AWeber. (Hopefully, this functionality will come soon.)

To get your leads, go to the Facebook page that’s connected to your ads and click the Publishing Tools tab at the top.

From there, click Forms Library on the left side of the screen. Keep in mind that you need to have admin access to view forms.

Select Forms Library to access your forms.

On the right, you’ll see all of the forms that you’ve created. Click the Download link next to your form to download your leads in CSV format.

In the Forms Library, click Download to download leads from your form.

The column fields are pretty self-explanatory. Columns A through F gives you details about the ad, campaign, when the lead was captured and which form it was. After that, you’ll see the information that you requested from users.

You can upload this data to your client management tool or pass it along to your sales team to contact the leads.

6 successful Facebook lead ad examples from brands

Here are some Facebook lead ad examples to inspire your next campaign.

LA Auto Show: Fueling ticket sales

The LA Auto Show ran multiple Facebook ad campaigns to promote its marquee event, but lead ads were critical for revving up interests. To find auto enthusiasts and increase ticket sales, LA Auto Show created a lead ad campaign targeted to a lookalike audience similar to those who had already purchased tickets online.

The lead ads offered a ticket discount incentive for those who submitted the form. And critically, LA Auto Show representatives followed up to complete the sales, contributing to a 37 percent increase in online ticket sales compared with the previous year.

Hubble Contacts: Clear market insights

To assess market interest in affordable disposable contact lenses, Hubble Contacts leveraged lead ads to create a simple sign up form. All the company asked for was for people to submit their pre-populated email address if they were interested in learning more.

While the company hadn’t launched yet, these insights played a critical role in raising funding. “The data from this campaign was key to raising a USD 3.7 million seed bridge before launch, which gave us the capital to lean heavily into marketing from day one,” said Co-CEO Jesse Horowitz.

When Hubble launched was able to use its email list to create ads optimized for conversions.

Revel Systems: Optimizing pays off

With the goal of generating more customer leads for its point-of-sales system, Revel Systems tested lead ads against link ads that directed people to a campaign landing page.

Early results showed that the in-app lead ad format led to 619 times the amount of leads and a 74 percent lower cost per lead. The company also tested different images, finding that images that focused on the product performed better.

Generali Thailand: Ensuring better responses

To improve its response time to new customer queries, personal insurance company Generali Thailand ran a lead ad campaign that integrated leads with its CRM management system.

The pre-populated forms and automated collection of customer information helped take the burden off of sales team agents, helping them identify and respond to new queries faster. By acting on Facebook leads within 24 hours, Generali Thailand saw a 2.5x increase in sales conversions.

Myra: Slimming down sampling costs

The UL Skin Sciences brand Myra is a big brad in the Philippines and was able to grow its national customer base through offering samples offline. To grow its business online and reduce costs, Myra turned to Facebook lead ads.

Using lookalike and custom audiences, the beauty brand targeted an existing customer base and a new qualified customer segment. The campaign was able to secure 110,000 sign-ups at a 71 percent lower cost per sign-up rate.

Lead Ad Mistakes to Avoid

Five common mistakes you may be making and might not be aware of:

  1. When you don’t Include the Right Instant Form Fields for Lead Capture
  2. If you fail to Automate Follow-up Processes after Signup
  3. When you narrowed down the use of Instant Forms for only one purpose
  4. When you don’t give priority to User Experience across multiple devices
  5. When you fail to add an Intro Section