8 Best Ways to Use Facebook Lead Ads to Grow Your Business

Author's avatar Marketing Aug 14, 2023 28 minutes read

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    Peter Caputa

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    With the rise of TikTok and Snapchat, one would imagine that Facebook has lost its charm – especially for advertisers. 

    However, this is far from being true, as Facebook is still the biggest social media platform worldwide. But what does this mean for advertisers? It means that the platform’s global advertising reach is on the rise – 5%, to be exact, in 2023. 

    Advertising on Facebook is a smart move. But capitalizing on Facebook lead ads is even smarter. They are less intrusive, witness higher clicks, and are cost-effective to make. 

    Want to know more about them and how to use them to grow your business? Keep on reading. 

    Here’s a breakdown of what we’ll cover in this article. 

    Facebook Ads Dashboard Template

    What Are Facebook Lead Ads?

    Facebook lead ads allow marketers to generate leads through forms without them having to leave the platform. 

    These ads are shown to users on their Facebook/Instagram feeds and stories, instant articles, in-stream videos, and Facebook Marketplace. They often have the ‘Form on Facebook’ displayed on them, so users know that clicking on these ads will not redirect them to a third-party website. 

    Facebook lead-gen ads are as versatile as you can make them. Use them to collect subscribers for your newsletter, understand the behavioral patterns of your target market, or encourage users to sign-up for limited-time promotions. 

    Related: The 2022 State of Facebook Ads Performance

    How Do Facebook Lead Ads Work?

    Facebook lead ads operate in a similar fashion to paid advertising on any other channel. You choose an ad medium, upload your creatives, select the right audience, and pick the optimal budget. 

    What differentiates Facebook lead ads from others is that it comes with an ‘Instant Form,’ whereby some questions, like name and email address, come pre-filled so users face as less friction as possible. With such mundane questions out of the way, potential customers can focus on questions that require their complete attention. 

    If you’re looking for a step-by-step tutorial on how to run a Facebook lead ad, keep on reading ahead. 

    Benefits of Using Facebook Lead Ads for Your Campaigns 

    Creating lead ads on Facebook is beneficial for the everyday marketer. But we don’t want you to take our word for it. To understand truly how effective this advertising medium is, we surveyed 41 marketers. 

    Our survey respondents belong from: 

    • Marketing/communication/media agency – 37.88%, 
    • Mix of B2B and B2C – 34.85%,
    • B2C – 18.18%, 
    • And B2B – 9.09%.

    68.29% of our respondents believe Facebook lead ads significantly benefit their businesses. 

    Facebook Lead ads

    Here’s how exactly this ad format helps one’s business. 

    Reach a Wider Audience

    When you advertise on Facebook, you reach a substantial number of people. Facebook boasts nearly 3 billion monthly active users. This means that 37.2% of people on planet Earth use Facebook. 

    These figures are just the tip of the iceberg. Considering the quantity and quality of the audience you reach on the platform, advertising to your desired segment is easier than ever.  

    Related: How to Create High-Converting Facebook Custom Audiences

    Optimize Ads for Mobile

    Since Facebook seamlessly operates on mobile devices, ads on the platform are no less. Facebook ads are responsive and adjust to the size of the mobile device. 

    When designing lead ads on Facebook, you are shown a live preview of the ad you’re creating. This helps to tweak any copy or visuals to ensure the final output is mobile-friendly. 

    Reduce Conversion Friction

    Friction is unfavorable, and too much of it can cause potential leads to drop off from completing your desired actions. With Facebook lead ads, this friction is less as; 

    1. One remains inside the app. Since there is no redirection to another site, Facebook users can save extra steps, which can sometimes be the reason why they drop off mid-way. 
    2. Some questions are pre-filled. This saves time and effort and encourages users to answer focused questions only. 
    3. It is necessary to share the privacy policy and how a business intends to use the information collected. This assures potential leads that their data is in safe hands. 

    Precise Targeting

    With Facebook lead ads, you reach not only a wider audience but a more targeted one as well. 

    The tool allows you to segment users based on location, demographics, interests, behaviors, and connections. This results in highly targeted campaigns with greater chances of conversions. 

    You can also study your successful leads and find similar ones by replicating their characteristics. 

    More Cost-Effective Than Direct Advertising

    Another reason why you must leverage Facebook lead ads is that they are more affordable than direct ads. There are no expensive budgets, a large team of salespeople to hire, or physical samples to give. 

    A single marketer who writes decent copy and can use Canva’s predesigned templates is all you need to get started with Facebook lead ads. You don’t even need to create a landing page for this ad type! 

    Increase Brand Awareness

    One by-product of executing Facebook lead ads is increasing brand awareness. 

    These ads display rather naturally on your leads’ newsfeeds or stories, so as long as they are on a scroll-spree, they will come across your ad and brand. 

    Since Facebook lets you increase ad frequency and retarget users who previously interacted with your ad, you reduce the chances of your ads being missed. 

    Fully Customizable Tool 

    The number of customizations you can make to your Facebook ads is impressive. The intuitive editor lets you customize the ad type (image, video, or carousel ads), copy, and audience you target, among others. 

    This helps in creating native-looking ads that are consistent with your brand style. Here’s what the customizable tool looks like: 

    Facebook ad Tool

    Facebook Lead Ads vs. Conversion Ads: What’s the Difference?

    When creating ads on Facebook, you’ll probably come across conversion ads. What are they, and how are they different from lead ads? The main difference between Facebook lead ads and conversion ads lies in their objective and user experience. 

    While lead ads aim to capture information about your prospects, conversion ads focus on getting potential customers to take action, e.g., buy a product or sign up for a webinar. 

    Additionally, conversion ads always redirect the user to a third-party website, usually the company’s. Contrarily, lead ads don’t take users out of Facebook. But rather, leads provide their information in-app. 

    To better understand their differences, check out the examples below. 

    Wise’s Facebook conversion ad which takes the user to their homepage: 


    Master My Life’s Facebook lead ad which asks for the user’s name, email, phone number, job title, city, and country once it’s clicked on. 

    Master my life

    What Incentives Work Best for Facebook Lead Ads?

    If you’re asking for your prospect’s personal information, it’s natural for them to expect something in return – we’re humans, after all. In fact, offering an incentive is a great way to increase the number of clicks and form fills. But which incentives attract the most responses? 

    We asked the same question to our survey respondents, and the majority of them consider deals and offers as the best working incentive for Facebook lead ads. This is followed by product samples and sweepstakes/contests. 

    What Incentives Work Best for Facebook Lead Ads

    How to Set up Facebook Lead Ads in 3 Steps

    Creating Facebook lead ads can be tricky business, especially if you’re a beginner. We’ve created a step-by-step tutorial to equip you with all the necessary information. 

    Here’s what we’ll be covering:

    Step 1: Design Your Facebook Lead Ad

    The first thing you need to do is to design your Facebook lead ads and choose the right settings to set them up for success. You can create lead ads by visiting your Facebook page, Meta Ads Manager, or Meta Business Suite. In our example, we’ll be using Meta Ads Manager. 

    Once you’re logged into Ads Manager, click on the ‘Create’ button, and the below window will pop up. Since we’re creating lead ads, we’ll select ‘Leads’ from the available options. 

    Facebook Leads

    After clicking on ‘Continue,’ you’ll be redirected to another page to set your campaign name, choose your campaign details, and decide whether you want to A/B test your ad. 

    Facebook Leads Campaign

    Clicking on ‘Next’ will take you to more campaign settings you need to determine before you can design your ad. These include setting conversion location (instant forms in the case of lead ads), budget, schedule, and audience, among others. 

    Clicking on ‘Next’ again will take you to the window where the main action happens. Firstly, you need to choose the ad format, which can be a single image, single video, or carousel. 

    Secondly, you need to design the appearance of your Facebook lead ad. Upload the image(s) or create a video using Facebook’s in-app editor. You then need to write the ad’s copy – its primary text, headline, and description, to be exact. This is followed by choosing a call to action. Facebook doesn’t let you add custom CTAs, but rather you have to choose from its default options. 

    Note how you can see a preview of your ad on the right-hand side so that you can make any tweaks along the way. 

    Facebook Leads CTA

    Lastly, you need to choose your instant form settings. 

    As you scroll down slightly, you’ll be given the option to create a form. Clicking on the ‘Create form’ button will open another window to edit the form’s name, type (more volume or higher intent), intro, questions (pre-filler and custom), privacy policy, and the completion/thank you screen. 

    Now before we click on the green ‘Publish’ button, we need to set the important tracking settings. 

    Step 2: Configure Your Lead Form Tracking Parameters

    Tracking how your Facebook lead ads perform is essential to understand what’s working and what’s not. Facebook’s Tracking Parameters feature lets you see which ads bring in the most leads and which sources are most effective. 

    You can view this critical information in your integrated CRM. Speaking of CRMs, we asked our respondents about which customer relationship management system they had integrated with their Facebook accounts. For the majority (35%), it is HubSpot CRM. 

    Facebook CRM

    To set the tracking tags for your Facebook lead gen ads, scroll down to the tracking section on the same window where we designed our ad and its instant form. 

    The URL parameter is the UTM tag that will track the ad’s performance. To create a UTM tag, click on ‘Build a URL parameter.’

    Facebook leads tracking

    This will open a window where you need to select the dynamic parameters for the campaign source, medium, name, and content. Facebook shows default options, so you don’t need to stress out on finding relevant codes. 

    Once you’ve selected all the parameters, you can take a look at its preview, and if all looks good, you can click on ‘Apply.’ 

    Facebook Leads URL parameter

    You’re now all set to publish your Facebook lead ad. If your ad gets approved, you’ll start seeing the results roll in. 

    Step 3: Edit Your Lead Ad

    Editing an ad after it has been published is more common than you think. There may be a change in strategy, a typo that was brought to your notice, and whatnot. But does the Facebook ad editor make it easy for you to make changes? That’s what we explore below. 

    For Facebook lead ads, you can either edit the ad itself or its instant form. 

    Log in to Facebook Ads Manager to edit your lead ads headline, audience characteristics, graphics, etc. Hover over the relevant Ad Set, and you’ll see the option to ‘Edit.’ Clicking on it will let you make any tweaks you need to make. Click on ‘Publish’ when you’re done with the changes. 

    Facebook Leads Ad sets

    Source: Ben Heath

    It’s important to note that any changes made to a live ad will put it in review again, and the newly made changes will be reflected once Facebook’s team gives the green signal. 

    The process of editing instant forms is not as straightforward as updating the ad. For making changes to an instant form, Facebook suggests the following process: 

    • Create a new lead ad similar to the one whose form you need to edit 
    • Duplicate the form that needs to be changed 
    • Give it a new name and make other edits as needed 
    • Publish your form to use it in your lead ad 

    Expert Best Practices for Using Facebook Lead Ads

    You may now feel confident about how to run a Facebook lead ad. But we want to set you up for success, so we asked our experienced survey respondents about their best tips for leveraging lead ads on Facebook. 

    Here’s what they have to say: 

    1. Create an Attractive Lead Ad
    2. Choose Your Calls to Action Strategically 
    3. Offer Potential Leads an Incentive 
    4. Get Creative With Your Custom Questions 
    5. Select the Right Ad Audience 
    6. Nurture Your Leads 
    7. Make Testing Your Friend 
    8. Have the Right Expectations 

    1. Create an Attractive Lead Ad

    This is a given – you can’t expect your potential customers to click on your ad if the copy is boring and the visuals are dull. 

    Daniel Florido from PixelStorm reinforces this, “Use compelling content and format: When the medium matches the message, lead advertising performs best. For instance, a carousel style might be the ideal option if you want to highlight several products or features. On the other hand, short video is a useful format for delivering stories and raising brand recognition.”

    An attractive lead ad is not just interesting visuals and copy. What you offer to your prospects must be engaging and worth the effort. What you decide to share depends upon your business type (B2B/B2C/DTC), industry, and marketing strategy. 

    For Elyse Flynn Meyer from Prism Global Marketing Solutions, that is their top-performing content. Meyer says, “Facebook Lead ads are great for generating top-of-the-funnel leads and engagement. We use them to promote top-performing content to new audiences in our B2B marketing efforts. For example, we share on-demand webinars, ebooks, and whitepapers as a top-of-the-funnel lead ad.” 

    2. Choose Your Calls to Action Strategically 

    As marketers, you must realize the importance of the right calls to action. More often than not, they can be the reason behind someone clicking on your ad and someone scrolling ahead. 

    To ensure leads engage with your ad and fill in the form details, your call to action must be convincing. While Facebook limits the CTAs you can include in your ad, and you can always use customized ones in your ad visuals or copy. 

    Regarding this, Robert Thorpe from HiStylePicks says, “Customized call-to-action buttons allow you to direct your leads to specific pages or forms that align with their preferences, making it easier for them to take action and convert into customers. Additionally, by customizing your call-to-action buttons, you can optimize your lead generation campaigns and improve your overall ROI.”

    How can you choose the right CTAs? Thorpe describes it for us, “To get started, consider what your ideal customer is looking for and what type of action you want them to take. Then, create a customized call-to-action button that best reflects these goals and interests. By doing so, you can capture the attention of your target audience and grow your business through effective lead generation.”

    Related: How to Write a Call to Action: Increase Your Conversions with 16 Proven Tips for Crafting CTAs

    3. Offer Potential Leads an Incentive 

    If you want to generate higher engagement from your Facebook lead ads, offering an incentive in return for information is the best strategy to adopt. 

    People are often wary about sharing their information – the last thing they want is to be stuck with a 10 email follow-up sequence. But if the incentive is worth not missing, you’ll convince them to answer your questions. 

    However, the catch is that the incentive you offer should be a) attractive and b) relevant to your audience. Offering a SaaS product manager a $10 Uber Eats coupon will not do any wonders, but a report of expert-backed product trends will entice them to engage with your ad. 

    What’s another exciting incentive you can offer? A giveaway/sweepstake. While you may think this is more suited for B2C or D2C, B2B companies can also take advantage of this by giving a free yearly subscription, for instance. 

    This strategy has worked effectively for the people at Mojio. Daivat Dholakia from their team says, “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.” 

    One thing to remember here is that the attractiveness of an ad incentive is short-lived. To engage your prospects consistently, you must share exciting content with them to prolong their interest in your brand. 

    Regarding this, Jonathan Aufray from Growth Hackers shares, “Make sure your ad offers something of value to your potential customers, such as a free ebook, discount code, or exclusive content, in exchange for their contact information. Once you have their information, use it wisely by following up promptly with relevant and engaging content that will further build their interest and trust in your brand.” 

    4. Get Creative With Your Custom Questions 

    The last thing you want is to create an ad that catches your leads’ attention only to have them lose interest and leave halfway because you’re asking the wrong questions.

    Remember, the attention span of your prospects is limited, and you want to extract all the necessary insights from them without taking too much of their time. The solution is getting creative with custom questions that Facebook lets you add. 

    Keep the basic questions, like name, email address, and job title, to a minimum, and ask the juicy questions afterward. Don’t add too many questions, though. Most of the time, your lead ad is your prospect’s first interaction with your brand – you don’t want to scare them away. 

    Becky Moore from Global Grasshopper reinforces the importance of this strategy, “Adding a unique question in the form is one of the finest methods to leverage Facebook lead marketing to expand the business.”

    Moore continues, “Customized questions enable businesses to learn more about their leads, such as their preferences, interests, or needs. This information can help them in tailoring their messaging and offers to better match the expectations of their customers and improve their overall experience. It can also help them successfully qualify leads, focusing on those who are more likely to convert and generate revenue.”

    5. Select the Right Ad Audience 

    There’s a reason why Facebook lets you segment your audience based on five parameters. 

    Lead ads targeted to the right audience bring in higher-quality prospects, increase your return on investment from the platform, and improve the possibility of converting leads into paying customers. 

    Alex Cascio has been using this strategy to grow his business for more than 5 years. 

    “Define your target audience: Before you create your lead ad, make sure you have a firm grasp of your intended demographic. This will assist you in creating a more successful ad and increasing your chances of obtaining quality leads.”

    Alex Cascio

    Alex Cascio

    Founder at Vibrant Media Productions

    Want to get highlighted in our next report? Become a contributor now

    To select the right audience for your Facebook lead gen ads, look at your best customers and identify common characteristics between them. This should give you a good starting point for targeting the right segments. You can always test your audience later on to increase the quantity and quality of leads you get. 

    Related: How to Create High-Converting Facebook Custom Audiences

    6. Nurture Your Leads 

    Getting leads is just the first step in your journey toward increasing your customer base. Many would debate that generating leads is far easier than converting them into paying accounts. For the latter to realize, you need to nurture them strategically. 

    Share meaningful content, encourage them to book a demo, or offer them free credits to your product – basically, anything that’ll help them experience the value your company offers. 

    To give you some inspiration, Kimberly Harness from Wiki Pro Solutions shares the process she follows, “To get the most out of Facebook lead ads, connect them to an email marketing software like Klavyo via Zaphire. This allows for automated email flows that can nurture leads and increase conversions. It’s a proven approach that delivers results for our clients.”

    7. Make Testing Your Friend 

    Do you even work in marketing if you don’t hear the word ‘testing’ daily?

    As repetitive as it may sound, testing your Facebook lead ads can help you timely spot inefficiencies and tweak your strategies to encourage maximum engagement. 

    What exactly can you test? Well, everything is a possibility. Michelle Diaz of OddsJam shares the same opinion. Diaz says: 

    “Track everything. 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, and 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 based on insights from your paid ads dashboard, and ignore the rest. You should constantly be updating and testing your Facebook ads, sticking with what’s working best.” 

    Related: Facebook A/B Testing Tips: 12 Tips for Improving Your Tests

    8. Have the Right Expectations 

    While experimenting with different ways to leverage Facebook lead ads, it’s important to remember what they’re not. 

    The main purpose of such ads is to generate leads you can later nurture to eventually become paying customers. Any sale conversions here are an added plus but should not be an expectation. For the latter, Facebook conversion ads are a better fit. 

    Cody Candee from Bounce shares a similar opinion, “People often make the mistake of assuming the primary function of a Facebook Lead ad is to be the mechanism to drive conversion, but it should be looked at as a pathway to follow-up to grow your business. Though there are times when Facebook Lead ads will quickly convert, more often than not, they spark a temporary interest that, if not capitalized upon, will end up waning fast.” 

    Candee continues, “Acquiring data, assessing follow-up plans that can include live messaging, emails, or even face-to-face communications, is the best way to continue to boost engagement from an initial impression and help guide a customer into your sales funnel.”

    It’s also important to factor in the industry you work for and whether it allows you to use lead ads. If you’re a cybersecurity firm and ask questions related to one’s internet usage or safety protocols, many would be hesitant to answer them. 

    Regarding this, Anthony Chen from Adborg says, “Facebook leads work well for a marketing agency like ours because we can ask many qualifying questions right off the bat, whereas a real estate brokerage would have to declare “Special Categories” which limits the audience target, age, and does not allow for custom questions thus hindering the quality of a lead.”

    4 Facebook Lead Ad Examples to Get Started

    Looking for some inspiration for creating successful Facebook lead ads? We’ve hand-picked the below ads that tick all the right boxes. 

    1. GARP

    The Global Association of Risk Professionals, or GARP, chose to promote their FRM certification candidate guide via Facebook leads ads. Anyone pursuing this certification will instantly engage with the ad considering the fluff-free copy and image. 

    Let’s look at this Facebook lead gen ad example in detail. 


    Clicking on the ad opens a pop-up message with a textual call to action to encourage the prospect to continue clicking forward. 

    FRM candidate guide

    Since this is a top-of-the-funnel lead generation strategy, GARP only asks for the prospect’s email and full name. They didn’t purposely add custom questions because they aim to generate leads that they can always nurture later with email follow-ups. 

    GARP contact information

    Per Facebook’s policy, GARP shares its privacy policy so that leads can know how their data will be processed and managed. Clicking on ‘Submit’ will shoot an email to the prospect with access to the guide.

    GARP privacy policy

    2. Girls Love Goals 

    Similar to GARP, Girls Love Goals promotes its “7 steps to have a millionaire’s mind” guide with Facebook lead ads. They use vibrant visuals and promising copy to stand out from the crowd. They have also added a customized call to action button on the ad’s image to encourage engagement. 

    Girls Love Goals

    Clicking on the ad prompts a message to download the guide. It features an attractive headline that creates FOMO, enticing the lead to download the guide. 

    Girls Love Goals ad prompts

    Girls Love Goals also asks for one’s basic information, email, and full name, to avoid any friction or drop-offs.  

    Girls Love Goals contact info

    The final step shares the privacy policy of how one’s personal information will be stored. The guide is then accessible via email. 

    Girls love Goals privacy policy

    3. Telenor 

    Telenor, a telecommunications company, promotes its business-focused feature through a Facebook lead ad. Instead of writing a long copy that most people won’t read, they shared the feature’s details through a well-balanced image. 

    Telenor Business

    Clicking on the ad takes the prospect directly to the form, which asks for one’s detailed information. Providing these details and agreeing to their privacy policy will get a prospect started with Telenor Business. 

    Telenor business details collection

    4. UpTicker

    The recently launched productivity tracker, UpTicker, creates buzz around its app by encouraging leads to sign up. 

    Their copy is filled with words like “early access” and “be among the first” to create FOMO and encourage potential users to benefit from their app. 


    Clicking on the ad prompts a detailed pop-up message describing its features. Doing so is smart because a) leads know what to expect, and b) it adds to the credibility when a product is new in the market. 

    UpTicker popup

    UpTicker asks for basic contact information to get users started. They can always ask for detailed information in-app to personalize their users’ experiences. 

    UpTicker contact Information

    The final step, like other ads, is to view the privacy policy, after which the form can be submitted to the company. 

    UpTicker Privacy policy
    Facebook Ads Dashboard Template

    Track the Performance of Your Facebook Lead Ads With Databox

    Creating Facebook lead ads is not a one-and-done thing. To truly succeed at generating quality leads, you need to track the performance of ads and tweak your strategy if needed. 

    This is where Databox comes in. 

    Databox lets you monitor your Facebook ad campaigns and that too effortlessly. The Facebook ads integration enables you to visualize almost 100 metrics, including CPC, CPM, leads by campaign, impressions, etc., in various ways. 

    Visualize your campaign performance on predesigned dashboard templates or create one from scratch for greater control. If you want expert help, our Facebook ad reporting experts can set up your dashboard within 24 hours. 

    The best part? Databox is free to start. This means you can track various KPIs, visualize performance and trends on attractive dashboards, receive meaningful insights on your mobile or Slack channel, and much more without spending a penny. 

    Create a free Databox account today to optimize the performance of your Facebook ads.

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    Article by
    Saffa Faisal

    Saffa is a freelance content writer for SaaS and B2B businesses. Besides writing, she enjoys indulging in the occasional Netflix binge, hanging out with friends, and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

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