Facebook’s advertising products are built around “objectives”. Within Ad Manager, you will find an objective to suit most needs–anything from pure reach-focused buying, to complex website conversion objectives.
Facebook’s Lead Ads product rounds out that list with an objective optimized to email list generation, customer registration, and similar goals.
Lead Ads do what the name implies. Instead of generating a click or a post engagement (Like, Share, etc.), the Lead Ad generates a customer contact record. It’s a really neat development–not without its potential drawbacks–to service the middle of a sales funnel.
What are Facebook Lead Ads?
Leads are big business in many industries–from Insurance and Mortgage, to Auto sales and retail or ecommerce affinity programs.
Facebook’s Lead Ads replace the need for a prospective consumer to manually enter lead form data–name, phone number, and so on–by automatically populating those fields with information from your Facebook profile.
For now, Lead Ads are a mobile only product, but the plan is to extend Lead Ads as a desktop feature. The Ad placement itself appears within the Facebook App or mobile web experience. Instead of needing to go offsite to complete a lead form, the person can quickly enter information from within the Facebook app.
Fields You Can Include in a Facebook Lead Ad
Your Lead Ad form is configured from standard fields based on common profile information (name, phone number, address, etc.). You do have the opportunity to configure custom questions and basic multiple choice responses (e.g. Q: “What color car are you searching for?”, A: “Ferrari Red; British Racing Green; Corvette Yellow”).
In as little as a single click, the person can complete your lead form. This is a significant reduction in conversion funnel friction. The reduction is amplified on mobile where an out-of-feed experience may deter the casual prospect from completing your form.
Page load time and long forms both have a significant impact on bounce rate (consumers leaving your site without taking any actions), especially on mobile where bandwidth and screen real estate are limited. For the prospect standing at a bus stop or riding and elevator, this can mean the difference between a passive interaction and an active sales contact.
You can download your leads from Facebook’s Power Editor in CSV format, or through a direct CRM integration by way of one of Facebook’s Marketing Partners. You can expect additional features as Facebook builds out this ad product and more Marketing Partner services come online.
Example of Facebook Lead Ads
On the surface, Lead Ads do not appear much different from your normal Page Post. That’s where the similarities end. Clicking the call-to-action brings up a native form flow process for the user to answer questions and review information requested (all information that can be pre-populated is pre-populated). After submitting the lead form, the individual can visit whatever page you specify during form creation. Once the user has filled out a lead, the call-to-action is “checked” and greyed out–so no need to worry about duplicate leads.
How Lead Ads Fit Into Your Marketing Strategy
As mentioned above, Leads are big business in many industries. If your company does significant business in email list management or through contact center operations, Lead Ads could be a good fit for you.
The obvious application for B2C advertisers is building your email list either for newsletter or sales registration purposes. Your current process may involve ad placements that point consumers to a registration-focused conversion funnel where prospects can sign up to “learn more!”. Lead Ads replace that process.
There is almost always a significant loss through successive pages of a lead funnel. If you are using Facebook as a customer acquisition channel, Lead Ads may improve performance by reducing dropoff. If you are NOT using Facebook as a customer acquisition channel, Lead Ads may put Facebook on the table by reducing friction to the point where Facebook becomes a cost competitive channel.
The simplicity of Lead Ads points to some interesting use cases. A retail advertiser who is heavy in direct mail, but light on email marketing, might consider targeting their DM prospect segments using Lead Ads to increase email list subscriptions. Advertisers who see substantial repeat business can use Lead Ads to expand nurturing and remarketing.
How To Get Started With Facebook Lead Ads
Lead Ads are currently a Power Editor only feature, but expect the placement to appear in Ads Manager in the coming months. Configuration follows basic steps similar to other Facebook Ads.
The two new additions are form creation, which is handled in-flow during ad creation (pro tip: currently you cannot edit or delete forms once created–if you need to do so, you’ll have to create a new form and update ads accordingly).
Second, and optionally, you can configure direct input to a CRM system through a third-party Marketing Partner integration–though we have found direct export is painless.
Lastly, you can supply a url to a page to show the prospect post lead submission. This is a good practice generally to avoid a “What did I just sign up for??” reaction. We recommend a “thank you” type page with additional resources for the prospect to learn more about your company/offer.
Facebook Lead Ads Best Practices
- Respond quickly.
- Respond appropriately.
- Monitor quality.
- Use leads appropriately.
The response process is critically important in any lead generation funnel. Facebook Lead Ads are no exception. A prospect has just registered interest in your offer. The quality of the interaction you have with that prospect is directly proportional to the swiftness of your response and the content of your message. So respond to leads post haste!
But also consider the context. Lead Ads are originating from mobile only for the time being. That prospect may be riding the subway and unable to take a call immediately. An immediate email response with a proposal to set a followup call may work best.
Mobile has traditionally not had the best lead quality, especially for complex purchases, given the context we just mentioned. Friction in the lead process, while increasing dropoff, can also conversely _increase_ lead quality as tire kickers leave the process before completing. This ad placement exposes both of these problems so monitor lead quality closely and modify the offer and response process appropriately.
If you are new to the lead generation world, it will take time to dial in an offer that both resonates with prospects up front–and gets them to complete the form–and delivers valuable qualified prospects down the line. Experiment with your lead generation process to determine where this source best fits.
These are not sales qualified leads. They may not even be fully marketing qualified leads. It is probably not ideal to drop these prospects onto the desk of a sales rep and expect a high close rate. But these might be ideal prospect records to insert to your lead nurturing process. Again, this will take experimentation.
Lead Ads are a compelling new placement from Facebook. Our internal testing has shown this can be a welcome new source of prospects. How you use them in your business will take both a thorough understanding of your company’s sales funnel, and expertise in managing Facebook Ads.
We at 1226 Digital LLC are social customer acquisition experts–and we also have deep backgrounds in digital lead generation. Drop us a note and we can brainstorm with you on how Facebook Lead Ads can fit your lead generation goals.