One of Facebook’s newest ad units introduced in the past year is the nifty “Lead Generation” ad unit. Facebook’s lead gen ad unit is best used when your client wants to optimize around direct conversions, or leads, generated from interacting with this type of ad.

Lead ads are able to directly collect customer information through the ad itself, without a user ever having to leave Facebook’s webpage or app. When a user clicks on what at first glance appears to be a regular link click ad in their News Feed, a form will pop up within the website or app UI with various fill-in fields such as email, first & last name, phone number, etc., that can be used to collect customer data directly.

facebook lead gen ads

Facebook will then provide this data to marketers on the back end via an Excel export, which can be directly uploaded to a CRM like Salesforce to automatically follow-up and respond to these leads with the request they made from the lead gen ad.

Tip #1: Make sure your lead gen ad contains a clear call-to-action

While lead gen ads were originally meant to be a mobile-optimized experience, we’ve also seen them perform quite well on desktop placements. Below, we’ll take a look at five useful tips and tricks to make the most out of this ad unit – which is known to produce insanely high CTRs and gather potential customer information hassle-free.

One of the most effective ways to use a lead gen ad is to offer something immediate to the potential customer in return for their invaluable personal information. These ads are great when used to advertise free thought leadership content such as whitepapers, where a free download is offered to the customer in exchange for submitting their lead information. Other good uses for lead gen ads can involve offering a free coupon code mailed directly to their inbox, or even a “get in touch with our company if you’re interested in receiving a free ______ “ (fill in the blank with any company or product offerings, such as an insurance quote or free SMB audit, that you are willing to provide to get qualified leads). Be sure to call this out in the Facebook ad copy, creative, and CTA button, so that it’s obvious what your ad is offering to a potential client.

Tip #2: Be sure to follow up PROMPTLY

As we all know, people’s attention spans are short. Therefore, always promptly follow up with a response to a lead submission with what you promised—ideally within 24 hours—or else the customer may forget what they requested from your company, and mark future communications as spam. Plus, they could flag the ad for being misleading. The best way to setup an immediate follow-up from a lead gen ad is through integrating it directly to your CRM software, so the process becomes automated. Otherwise, you will have to manually download a .CSV file each day and follow up with new leads that way. Click here to see a list of CRMs that are compatible with Facebook lead gen ads and how to set them up (see the Top Questions section).

Tip #3: Limit the number of fields on your form to 5 max, and throw in a field unique to your company/service to leave a deeper impression on a potential customer’s mind

As we all know, less is more. And this is extremely true when it comes to filling out forms, so remember to keep things short, sweet, and to the point. Only include the most important and topical fields on any form you build, limiting it to 5 fields max to maximize your ad’s response rates. Luckily, Facebook will help auto-populate information from a user’s Facebook profile in order to make the form-filling process even easier and faster, but it’s up to your company to decide whether the emails and information people use to sign up for Facebook would be considered qualified leads.

Some classic fields that our clients generally include are name, email, and phone number – pretty standard fare. However, we’ve seen that lead form CTRs will sometimes dramatically jump up when a company includes a field or two that’s specific to their product offering or brand; for example, you can create open-ended questions on lead forms such as “Have you ever used our product before?” or “What makes you interested in our brand?” to reach people at a more personal level. And, as a bonus, you might glean some interesting learnings from potential customers by doing so.

Tip #4: Add a context card to, well, provide more context

Every time you build out a new lead form, you’ll have the option to include a “context card” for your form. This is a somewhat helpful feature that allows you to add a pop-up card with a Headline, customizable CTA button (you come up with the button text!), and either a paragraph of information or 5 bullet points of text that you can use to provide more context about your company or the ad’s offerings.

We’ve seen mixed results when it comes to context cards – sometimes it helps improve our CTRs, and sometimes there’s no appreciable difference in performance between a lead gen ad with or without a context card – but we do believe that having more ad real estate can be a bonus if you have very compelling copy and creative CTAs. Plus, you can upload a second image as a header for your context card that can be further used to highlight your brand or offering and leave a deeper impression in the minds of potential customers.

facebook context card

Tip #5: Use Facebook’s new “Engagement on Facebook” feature to build organic custom audiences and lookalikes off of those people who click on or submit a lead via your lead gen ad

Now, I can’t laud this awesome feature enough – Facebook’s new Engagement on Facebook feature allows marketers to build a custom audience off of users who have either: clicked on a lead gen ad but didn’t submit the form; clicked and submitted a form; or just simply interacted with the ad. First, this allows us to retarget people who ended up not submitting a form even though they initially expressed interest in our ad. Second, we can build Lookalike audiences off of customers who submitted a lead to find other similar Facebook users who would be likely to become leads as well. This is an amazing feature that lets companies produce a lot of quality seed audiences that are dynamically refreshed every 90 (or fewer) days to build LALs off of for other advertising campaigns as well. We highly recommend testing out this feature offered through lead gen ads, even if this is the only tip you walk away with from our article.

custom audience facebook engagement

So there you have it, folks – the 5 most practical and easy-to-implement tips on how to better optimize Lead Gen ads on Facebook for your marketing needs and goals. Got any questions or comments? Leave them below!

1 Comment

  1. Danny Swa November 10th, 2016

    Very insightful and precise article Chang.
    I have resorted to using lead generation tools as it helps me save time and resources. And also, these tools and services help me procure targeted leads with qualified information. Lead generation services like AeroLeads (https://aeroleads.com/services ) help me build processed list of leads within 48 hours that best suit my requirement.
    Content marketing has also proved to be very beneficial. I am able to generate a lot of traffic through my regular blogs and with the help of SumoMe’s pop-ups I am able to capture emails with ease.

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Chang Liu
Chang joined 3Q Digital in January of 2016 as an associate on 3Q's Social Team. She graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Sociology and formerly worked in the crowdfunding, social media, and e-commerce startup space prior to joining 3Q. She has experience building and running her own startup from scratch, but has moved out of entrepreneurship to hone her skills in marketing and digital advertising. Her passions include reading, singing improvisationally, and strumming out tunes on her Mahalo Ukulele.