How Do Facebook Lead Ads Work?

Have you ever been scrolling through your Facebook app when you accidentally click a link and get taken to a website? It can be so annoying. If you are a marketer, you have probably noticed that people hate filling out forms. When people are inconvenienced by being forced out of an app? If so, you’ve come to the right place, because Facebook lead ads solve it all. In this article, you will learn what lead ads on Facebook are, how to use them, and why they can benefit your business.

lead ads work

Facebook Lead Ads

As a way to combat low conversion rates on mobile platforms, Facebook rolled out lead ads a few years back. These convenient advertisements are perfect for solving this issue, offering your audience the form-filling process without leaving the app. Social media should be a seamless experience, and when that experience is interrupted, people are less likely to give you their time.

More directly put, lead ads offer your prospects the opportunity to interact with your ads without leaving the app. You can receive information or encourage action, all without disrupting the social media experience. This means no more missing out on that large pool of prospects interested in your product just because of a convenience issue.

The way Facebook lead ads work is by embedding a fillable form within the ad, rather than directing prospects to an external website. All a viewer has to do is click the action button on your advertisement and they are able to display interest in your product. This information may even be pre-populated, depending on the fields you have selected for them to fill. Facebook lead ads sound great and are great, but there are important steps to take to ensure they are successful for your business.

How to Set Them Up

If you’ve used Business Manager on Facebook, you will probably be pretty familiar with the process of setting up a campaign on the site. However, lead ads have different features that require different attention.

The first step in creating your lead ads is to sign into Business Manager on Facebook. Once you are in signed on, select “Power Editor” to begin designing your campaign. To do this, press the “+Campaign” button, which will display objectives for you to choose from. To use the lead ad format, the campaign objective you need to pick is “Collect leads for your business.”

Once you have selected your focus as generating leads, you will have to input the basic information needed to run a campaign. This includes your budget, audience, schedule, targeting options, and so on. After selecting what works best for your business, you will need to create (or select) a lead form.

looking at facebook lead ads

Lead Forms

If the term “lead form” is unfamiliar to you, it refers to the selection of fields you want your audience to fill out once they click on your ad. Common options include first and last name, email, gender, shoe size, and so on. The point of these forms, and lead ads in general, is to collect the necessary information to accelerate and optimize a consumers’ buying journey. Depending on your product, this information could be about personalizing a shopping experience based on style, or simply collecting an email.

Once you have decided between using an already made lead form (only available if you’ve made one in the past) or creating a new one, you have the option to make a context card for your ad.

Context Cards

Before you are able to make your lead form selections, Facebook offers the option to include a short summary to compliment your ad and give context to it. While this is technically optional, context cards are basically essential when it comes to lead ads. A main benefit of Facebook lead ads is the fact that prospects can stay in the app while completing your form, which is a big motivation booster. The problem with this is the pages of rich information the prospect misses out on by not visiting your website.

This is why context cards are so important, as they serve as the only information that persuades your viewer to take action in the given space. Make sure you are concise and intentional with context cards, and explain exactly why your audience needs to fill out this form.

Once your context card is done and you have selected your lead form options, you are pretty much set! Just read through the last few prompts, and your ads are on their way to be seen.

What’s the Point

As we’ve mentioned a few times now, the premise behind lead ads is convenience. Many brands are missing out on engagement and conversions, not because of their marketing efforts, but because of a lack of integration on mobile platforms. Lead ads change this, making even half asleep social media users prospective consumers. But why should you use them when your other campaigns are successful as is?

Well, maybe you shouldn’t! Just like with any other campaign objective, certain options are better suited for certain companies and industries. The bottom line is, any campaign you decide to run should be based off of your prior data and business strategy. Having said that, lead ads do have certain positives they are known for.

facebook lead ads

Why Lead Ads Work

Two of the main benefits lead ads offer are effectiveness and cost. Because of the way lead ads are set up, they receive a lot of engagement since the actions required are minimal. This means they are effective in doing what they need to do (which is generate leads), and as a result, usually have more success per amount you spend.

Another reason why lead ads are effective and cost efficient is because of the targeting options available for them. Facebook makes sure your lead ads are present for any type of consumer you are trying to find. Between page placement, scheduling options, location, similar audiences and much more, getting your ads discovered will be the least of your worries.

Generating leads on Facebook is also especially useful based off the sheer number of users the platform sees daily. Social media sites are so versatile that they are used for any kind of task at any time of day. Utilizing a campaign that targets this vast number of consumers, and recognizes their needs at the same time is a dream come true for marketers.

Creating the Best Facebook Lead Ads

Now that we have covered the basis of what lead ads are and how they are useful, it is also important to consider the implementation of them too. Understanding what to do as well as what not to do when creating your lead ads can determine whether or not they are successful for your brand.

Customize Your Lead Forms Each Time

Since these ads are such convenient tools, it can be easy to get stuck in such a mindset. Make sure you are customizing your forms for each campaign you design. This is especially important when running your second, third or fourth campaign because of Facebook’s vast targeting. Since lead ads reach consumers at all points in the funnel, repeating a form could end up asking someone ready to make a purchase for basic contact information. This is not to say that lead forms can never be reused or similar. However, always make sure your forms match your marketing objectives.

click on lead ad

Targeting on Facebook

As we mentioned earlier, Facebook’s targeting options are among the best. Utilizing these options correctly can mean better ROI (return on investment) for your campaigns.

To target correctly, you first need to understand your consumer and their patterns. Once you have useful data and insights to go off of, Facebook does the rest. Their countless consumer profiles and demographic options allow you to get as specific as possible. This not only makes your ads more visible, but also more likely to reach those actually interested in your product.

One important tip to consider when targeting specific consumers with your lead ads is to base your audience off of someone who has bought your product. Rather than looking at people who may be interested in your product, this method focuses on profiles who reflect true intent. Attract those who need your product, not those who think it’s just cool to look at.

Designing Facebook Lead Ads

Like any other ad, you still have to attract viewers to interact with lead ads for them to work. Visuals and creative aspects can be especially useful for lead ads due to the lack of context they provide. Complementing your direct and specific action button with a relevant image can help the viewer understand what they have to gain from clicking your ad. Two important characteristics to consider when optimizing your visuals are:

  • Design boldly and differentiate– Lead ads can be used by anyone on Facebook, and many marketers understand them well now. Sticking out from the crowd with a vibrant design is one way you can gain an advantage on your competitors.
  • Complement and contextualize– As consumers on social media, many times we are looking out for visuals rather than text. Communicating the dilemma and how you help solve it through an image can make the difference in someone truly understanding and giving your ad attention.

Utilizing your Data

You now have all the information you will need to make a great lead ad on Facebook! While we have covered all of this useful knowledge, you may still be asking yourself, what’s next? Lead ads are great at collecting all of this important information, but how do I even access or utilize it? Luckily for you, finding your results only takes a few clicks!

The old fashioned way to access your data is through a CSV file. To find and access this, go to your “Results” section and select the option listed as “Leads(form).” From there, you should be able to export your leads and utilize the information on a spreadsheet. Unfortunately, this does require a bit of manual work to be able to actually apply your data.

The other way to access this information, which is more automated, is by using a CRM. This tool will collect and display your data for use without you needing to do a thing about it! The only CRM programs that are compatible with Facebook at this point are:

  • Sailthru
  • Salesforce
  • Maropost
  • Marketo
  • Oracle
  • Driftrock

analyze facebook lead ads

Need More Assistance?

Facebook lead ads are a useful tool in digital marketing, but they still may be a relatively new term for you. If you are just beginning to learn about lead ads or are having a hard time grasping the concept, don’t worry! Reach out to our marketing professionals here at SEO Design Chicago at any time to learn more.


  • What are lead ads on Facebook?
  • How do I find the data from my lead ads on Facebook?
  • Are lead ads an effective way of marketing?
  • Should I use lead ads to advertise for my business?
  • Benefits of lead ads?

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