What if you could generate more leads without ever leaving Facebook?
That’s the promise with Facebook lead ads.
When you create a lead ad, it shows up in your audience’s newsfeed, then they can fill out the form in seconds without ever leaving their newsfeed.
As one might imagine, these ad perform particularly well on smartphones, where most Facebook content is consumed nowadays.
In this post, we’re sharing nine tips to help you convert more prospects with Facebook lead ads.
Let’s dive in.
What Are Facebook Lead Ads?
Facebook lead ads allow you to capture information from your prospects natively. This means fewer bounces from your form and more leads for you.
In fact, according to our recent survey, nearly 75% of marketers said Facebook lead ads were beneficial for their business.
Editor’s Note: Want to brush up on your Facebook ad chops? Read this post to learn how to create a lead ad.
9 Tips for Creating Facebook Lead Ads that Convert
Here are some tips to help you maximize the ROI from your ad campaigns.
- Go broad with your ad targeting
- Start with a compelling offer
- Use freebies
- Do a sweepstakes or giveaway
- Add custom questions to your forms
- Experiment with different ad formats
- Set realistic goals based on your budget
- Follow up with leads
- Split-test your ad campaigns
1. Go broad with your ad targeting
If you’ve been in marketing long enough, you’ve probably heard the adage, “the riches are in the niches.” It turns out this advice works great for most marketing campaigns expect Facebook lead ads.
“Facebook lead ads are easily one of my favorite types of ads to utilize,” says Rachel Satow of Impulse Creative. “They are particularly successful for B2C efforts. I’ve seen great success with Facebook lead ads for offers like monthly newsletter subscriptions, high-value giveaways, and free consultation sign-ups.
The best way to use Facebook lead ads, in my opinion, is to ensure you have a relatively broad target audience for your offer.
Lead ads are inherently optimized to target the subset of individuals that are most likely to fill out a form. This is a much bigger ask than a click-through or engagement with a post, so, naturally, the audience will be smaller from the get-go.
You can still hone in on demographics and interests, but having too precise of an audience, like a prospective customer list upload, will most likely result in a lot of money spent, and very few leads to show for it.”
Sebastian Schaeffer of blogrolling.com adds, “Keep optimizing your target audience in terms of interest, running ads during higher converting hours and days of the week, promoting various cities or zip/postal codes that convert better, and testing many variations of content and copy to see what prompts more conversions. These are things you can do over time to increase leads, but they all need to be backed by constant data collection for them to be worthwhile.”
PRO TIP: What’s the overall engagement of your ad campaigns?
Want to make sure your Facebook ads are performing and trending in the right direction? There are several types of metrics you should track, from costs to campaign engagement to ad-level engagement, and so on.
Here are a few we’d recommend focusing on.
- Cost per click (CPC): How much are you paying for each click from your ad campaign? CPC is one of the most commonly tracked metrics, and for good reason, as if this is high, it’s more likely your overall return on investment will be lower.
- Cost per thousand impressions (CPM): If your ad impressions are low, it’s a good bet everything else (CPC, overall costs, etc.) will be higher. Also, if your impressions are low, your targeting could be too narrow. Either way, it’s important to track and make adjustments when needed.
- Ad frequency: How often are people seeing your ads in their news feed? Again, this could signal larger issues with targeting, competition, ad quality, and more. So keep a close eye on it.
- Impressions: A high number of impressions indicates that your ad is well optimized for the platform and your audience.
- Amount spent: Tracking the estimated amount of money you’ve spent on your campaigns, ad set or individual ad will show you if you staying within your budget and which campaigns are the most cost-effective.
Tracking these metrics in Facebook Ads Manager can be overwhelming since the tool is not easy to navigate and the visualizations are quite limiting. It’s also a bit time-consuming to combine all the metrics you need in one view.
We’ve made this easier by building a plug-and-play Facebook Ads dashboard that takes your data and automatically visualizes the right metrics to give you an in-depth analysis of your ad performance.
With this Facebook Ads dashboard, you can quickly discover your most popular ads and see which campaigns have the highest ROI, including details such as:
- What are your highest performance Facebook Ad campaigns? (impressions by campaign)
- How many clicks do your ads receive? (click-through rate)
- Are your ad campaigns under or over budget? (cost per thousand impressions)
- What are your most cost-efficient ad campaigns? (amount spent by campaign)
- How often are people seeing your ads in their news feed? (ad frequency)
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your Facebook Ads account with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
2. Start with a compelling offer
It doesn’t matter how much you optimize your ad creative, copy and targeting. If your offer is crappy, your ad won’t convert.
“Create a reason for consumers to give you their contact information,” says Jonathan Cohen of Cohen & Winters. “Whether that be a discount or promotion, they will be more likely to give their details if there is an incentive.”
Jon M Buchan of Charm Offensive says, “Be clear about your value proposition. Your audience needs to know what they’re signing up for. So, it makes sense to be clear about your value proposition upfront to capture their attention from the start. Include this information at the beginning of the form to educate the audience about what’s in store for them. Plus, align it with imagery that resonates with your messaging for better impact.”
Amber Morland of WinCope adds, “Facebook suggests that you include this information in your promotional material as well as in the introduction at the beginning of your form, even though it is entirely optional. Additionally, use branding throughout the experience to ensure that there is no question about with whom consumers are providing their information. It is also critical to select imagery that is complementary to your messaging.
For example, Revel Systems, a manufacturer of point-of-sale systems, evaluated different creative for its lead ad campaign and discovered that images that featured the product as the focal point were significantly more effective.”
3. Use freebies
For many businesses, their offer will also include some sort of free item, bribe, or incentive.
“The best way to use Facebook lead ads to grow your business is to offer people something valuable for them: a discount, a promo code etc,” says Diana-Alina Aldea of Creatopy. “Not sure what incentive works best for your audience? Try A/B testing with different offerings and see which performs best. Also, you can try A/B testing with the same incentive, by changing the imagery or the copy of the lead ad. Even if you found the successful option for you, don’t just set it and forget it. You should update your lead ad form once in a while so it doesn’t get stale. What was successful last month, won’t necessarily be successful next month, too.”
Natasha Rei of Explainerd says, “Offering benefits to our target audience is still the best way to use Facebook lead ads. When you ask people to fill out the form, the next thing they expect is to get something in return. It’s logically accepted as you ask them to spare their time. The best thing you could do is to give them a benefit after completing the form. You can offer incentives, like getting vouchers or receive a product sample. Make sure that while you’re asking them to answer the question, you ask the right question. Including engaging questions and use a compelling format can quickly catch attention from the get-go.”
Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers Services adds, “To leverage Facebook lead ads and get a low CPL (Cost per Lead), you want to offer something for free to your subscribers. For instance, you can create an insightful ebook answering one of the main pain points of your target audience. By doing so, your audience will be pleased to share their email address with you and if your ebook solves their problem, you will build trust and confidence with them.”
Ebooks are just one freebie that can produce results. Depending on your business, you might want to experiment with product samples, deals, preorders, event registrations, or sweepstakes,
For example, Jack Altmen of Think Orion says, “Well, we have tried and tested a lot of ways to promote a lead form without an incentive but haven’t been successful as such. So we narrowed down our audience topped up with an incentive for them.
So for one of the clients who was trying to promote an event, what really worked out for us was to target a lookalike audience similar to someone who has had purchased a ticket online to a similar event in the past. We offered a ticket discount as an incentive to those who filled and submitted the form.
This really helped us getting a spike of 27% in ticket sales, compared to the previous year. Therefore lookalike audience is one of the best ways to use Facebook lead ads and offering event discounts is the best when it comes to events.”
Madhav Goenka of FrazileMedia agrees, “Offering a trial or a limited-time discount on your products is one of the best ways to encourage your target audience to take action and engage with your Facebook lead ads.
Apart from helping you generate more leads, this makes sure that most of the people signing up are interested in purchasing your product.
On the other hand, if you offer a free lead magnet, there is a good chance that the quality of leads is not very high and people are just signing up to get the free gift.”
4. Do a sweepstakes or giveaway
Another approach is to run a giveaway or contest.
“The best thing about Facebook lead ads is that it presents a non-intrusive, simple way to gain contact information for potential customers,” says Daivat Dholakia of Force by Mojio. “You can easily download results and add them to Salesforce to build up your leads listing. People like completing surveys, and we get pretty decent engagement when we offer a benefit or sweepstake entry to people who fill out the form. We also get helpful consumer data that helps us target marketing campaigns more effectively. It’s basically a win-win.”
5. Add custom questions to your forms
When you are running your ads, make sure to customize your form.
Dan Young of Loud Digital says, “Don’t rely on the default generic fields of Name, Email & Phone number. I always recommend adding a custom question just to filter out a lot of irrelevant lead submissions, which provides you with more accurate metrics in Facebook Ads manager, as you massively cut down on time-wasting form submissions.”
Harriet Chan of CocoFinder adds, “Asking the right questions is the best way to use Facebook Lead ads to grow your business. It is essential to create custom questions in your form, especially if Facebook’s queries aren’t meeting your needs. Find what works well for you between short answers, conditional questions, and multiple choices that change based on how the previous question got answered. In addition, you can include Appointment Scheduling Fields and a Store Locator to let people schedule visits or search for a nearby location.”
6. Experiment with different ad formats
Should you stick with a single image, a carousel, or a video? The answer is it depends. That’s why experimentation is key.
“Lead advertisements, like any other Facebook ad, are most effective when the medium is appropriate for the message,” says Adam Fard. “For example, if you want to display numerous products or features at the same time, a carousel-style may be the ideal option. A short video, on the other hand, is a wonderful format for presenting stories and creating brand awareness because it is short in length. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because you’re offering an incentive, creativity isn’t important. For the best results, include high-quality images and videos, clear copy, and a call-to-action button. Lead ad design specifications can be found here.”
Related: Facebook Ad Formats: Which Are Best for Driving Awareness, Traffic, & Conversions?
7. Set realistic goals based on your budget
Facebook lead ads can work with any budget. However, it is a good idea to manage your expectations relative to your ad spend.
“If you select the global option, you might feel a rush of enthusiasm (the prospect of reaching thousands of prospects is exciting! ), but you and your sales team should be prepared to manage the incoming queries,” says Jeroen Van Gils of Lifi. “Keep an eye on your budget and make decisions based on the optimization section of your Ads Manager.”
8. Follow up with leads
One of the most popular use cases for lead ads is to get more email subscribers. This means that to maximize your ROI it is all about how you follow up.
Trisha Duchyns of Soundstripe says, “We use lead gen ads to find customers cheaper and capture their emails to put into our email and remarketing flow,” says With iOS & Facebook targeting options dwindling it’s way more cost-effective to run a lead gen campaign than a conversion campaign.”
David Kauzlaric of Agency Elevation adds, “Due to the nature of lead ads where the potential lead is asked questions directly on Facebook, lead ads usually produce a lower relative cost per lead than conversion campaigns (which use a landing page) given the process involves fewer clicks and steps.
Given the nature of these types of leads being higher in the funnel, they require additional follow-up to help in improving the conversion rate of the leads turning into actual buying customers. Typically you would use this as a higher-level strategy and then follow-up with these leads using automation emails, texts, and other forms of follow-up that are usually linked to a CRM with such capabilities built-in.”
9. Split-test your ad campaigns
One of the best ways to improve your conversion rate is to always be testing.
“Track everything,” says Michelle Diaz of OddsJam. “You ultimately don’t know what text is most persuasive, what ads work best, etc. until you have data. Track cost per conversion, track cost per link click, track churn by ad group (or free trial conversions). You need to have a data-driven approach to be successful in advertising on Facebook. Once you figure out what works best, double down on what works and ignore the rest. You should constantly be updating and testing your Facebook ads, sticking with what’s working best.”
For example, Sai Blackbyrn of CoachFoundation adds, “Avoid using ‘submit’ or ‘call’ CTAs as these have been shown to reduce lead conversions. Instead, use variations of ‘Sign Me Up’, or ‘Get Coupon’ as CTAs. These are more lively, exciting, and action-packed. They are also result-oriented, so the customer knows exactly what they are receiving by clicking on the CTA. Make sure to test each CTA to see which works best for your target audience.”
Related: Facebook A/B Testing Tips: 12 Tips for Improving Your Tests
In sum, these nine tips can help you convert more Facebook browsers into leads.