Facebook Lead Ads: A Complete Guide

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Back in 2015, Facebook announced Lead Ads as a way to collect leads without sending users to your website.

In this post, we’ll talk more about what Facebook lead ads are, how they work, how to set them up, and things to consider.

Let’s explore…

How it Works

Facebook lead ads look like any other link ad when presented to a user. But, once clicked, the user isn’t redirected to a website. Instead, it immediately loads an Instant Form.

The advertiser determines what information they want to collect, from standard contact information to creating custom questions. When possible, Facebook will prefill answers for the user that can be pulled from their profile (things like name and email address). The user can still edit the prefilled answers.

As a result, completing a form becomes significantly easier for the user. No web page to load. No concerns about mobile usability or poor design. The barrier is cut dramatically with prefilled answers.

Create a Campaign and Ad Set

To create Facebook lead ads, you need to utilize the Lead Generation objective.

Facebook Lead Ads

At the ad set level, you can choose to select a product catalog if you want to run Dynamic Ads for Lead Generation.

Facebook Lead Ads

If you don’t have a product catalog or know what this is, don’t worry about it. It’s not required. You can skip it.

You’ll set up your targeting and placements the way you normally would. You won’t have any optimization options, as you can only optimize for Leads when running lead ads.

Facebook Lead Ads

Ad Creation Basics

When you create your ad, you’ll have the option of using a carousel or single image/video.

Facebook Lead Ads

We’ll walk through this while using a single image, but make sure you understand the image dimensions and character limits.

The initial ad setup for a Facebook lead ad is nearly identical to the setup for a typical link ad.

Facebook Lead Ads

You’ll provide an image or video, primary text, headline, description, display link, and a call-to-action button. The main difference compared to a link ad is that you won’t provide a URL (the display link is only for show, and I’d recommend using your domain).

You can also utilize Multiple Text Options if you choose.

Facebook Lead Ads

You’ll have the option of creating an Instant Form or using Automated Chat.

Facebook Lead Ads

We’ll focus on the Instant Form here, but feel free to read a post I wrote about the Automated Chat option.

Create an Instant Form: Intro

Click the button to create a form.

Facebook Lead Ads

Name your form something descriptive.

Facebook Lead Ads

Select a form type for “More Volume” or “Higher Intent.”

The “Higher Intent” option provides a final confirmation screen that users need to get through. The thought here is that it may lower volume but increase quality. Facebook defaults to “More Volume,” but I’ll select “Higher Intent” so that you can see that, too.

Just know that if you select “Higher Intent,” there will be a final “Review” screen prior to submitting a lead that a user will need to click through.

Facebook Lead Ads

You can either upload a new image or pull in the image you used for your ad. Just know that Facebook recommends that the image in your Instant Form be 1200×628 pixels (or 1.91:1 aspect ratio).

Facebook Lead Ads

The Greeting is the first screen someone will see after clicking your ad. In addition to the image, you can display a headline (up to 60 characters) and a paragraph description or list (up to 60 characters per list item). This explains what a user is registering for.

Facebook Lead Ads

Create an Instant Form: Questions

As mentioned earlier, you can ask prefill questions that will pull answers directly from the user’s profile. Facebook defaults with Email and Full Name. First, you should also indicate what you’re going to do with this information.

Facebook Lead Ads

Know that you can add or change these prefill questions. For example, I prefer separate fields for First Name and Last name. If you click the button to “Add Category,” all possible prefill questions will be grouped by category.

Facebook Lead Ads

Contact fields…

Facebook Lead Ads

User information…

Facebook Lead Ads

Demographic information…

Facebook Lead Ads

Work information…

Facebook Lead Ads

And National ID (for select countries).

Facebook Lead Ads

You can also ask custom questions that may be more relevant to your product or offer.

Facebook Lead Ads

You can create multiple-choice questions…

Facebook Lead Ads

Short answer questions…

Facebook Lead Ads

You can use conditional questions that will create a path that depends upon the user’s answers (read this post for more details).

Facebook Lead Ads

Or an appointment request so that a potential customer could schedule a time to meet with you.

Facebook Lead Ads

Create an Instant Form: Privacy

One of the screens is related to your website’s privacy policy.

Facebook Lead Ads

You’ll need to provide a link to your privacy policy. You can also add text that is linked to that URL.

If necessary, you can also include a custom disclaimer.

Create an Instant Form: Completion

The final step is the Completion screen. This is where you give the subscriber a final message and next steps.

Facebook Lead Ads

You can use one of three calls-to-action for the final button at the bottom.

Facebook Lead Ads

If you use “Download” or “View Website,” you’ll need to provide a URL to an actual web page (not to a PDF, image, or file download).

Facebook Lead Ads

The “Call Now” CTA will actually initiate a phone call when the user clicks the button.

Facebook Lead Ads

This could be a great option for auto dealerships or realtors who can have leads initiate a phone call immediately after answering specific questions.

Create an Instant Form: Settings

One more thing for you to do, and it’s often missed!

Under Form Configuration, you can set the language of your form. More importantly, though, is you can determine whether the form is Open or Restricted.

Facebook Lead Ads

I’ve never understood why the default for this is “Restricted.” I would think that most advertisers would want their form to be shared widely so that people they didn’t target can submit it, too. There are always exceptions when you may want to use “Restricted,” but I’d think most would normally want “Open.”

You can change how field names appear in your export files…

Facebook Lead Ads

You can also add parameters for tracking purposes.

Facebook Lead Ads

Both of these options are advanced and would be used for very rare, specific circumstances.

Collecting Leads

Once your campaign runs and you begin collecting leads, a link will appear within the ad-level reporting under “Results.”

Facebook Lead Ads

Click that…

Facebook Lead Ads

You’ll be able to download new leads, download leads by date, or use your Leads Center within your Facebook page. The files are XLS or CSV format. This may be sufficient for low volume, but understand that these leads just sit there unless you are using integration to automatically sync to your CRM.

Facebook has a ton of integration partners to help accomplish this.

We won’t go through all of the details here, but I use Zapier for my CRM integration with Facebook lead ads.

Potential Disadvantages

There are a few things to be aware of with Facebook lead ads.

1. CRM Integration. As just mentioned above, this isn’t as seamless as it probably should be. You need to set up a solution in most cases, particularly if you have any volume or if registrants expect an immediate response.

2. Quality Concerns. The easier you make something, the more you need to worry about low quality. If answers to your questions can be prefilled from a user’s profile, the registrant may not look to be sure that information is accurate and current. They may provide an old email address. Or, they may simply click through quickly without even realizing they submitted something.

3. No Website Traffic. Yes, it’s nice to make things easier. But, sometimes it’s also nice having control and getting that website traffic. While the final step can send people to your website, they aren’t required to do that (they already completed the submission anyway). So, you might lose some cross-sell opportunities as a result.

While that means you can’t take advantage of website custom audiences in this case, you are able to create Lead Form Engagement custom audiences based on people who opened, submitted, or didn’t submit your form.

Lead Ad Form Custom Audience

Your Turn

What do you think of Lead Ads? Are you using them? What results are you seeing?

Let me know in the comments below!

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