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  • The Small Business Guide to Facebook Lead Ads

Meta offers multiple ad types and options within its platform that can help you reach new audiences and grow your business. But arguably the best for driving leads is Facebook lead ads. Facebook lead ads allow you to capture potential customers right from the platform. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Facebook lead ads.

Table of contents

What are Facebook lead ads?

Let’s start with the basics of how to run Facebook ads to generate leads. A lead ad is an ad type available on Facebook (and, by extension, Instagram, as well as other social media sites). Rather than driving users to click a link and visit an outside website or landing page, Facebook lead ads have a form built directly into the ad to collect contact information from interested users.

Not only that, but the form pre-populates with the contact information the prospect has provided to the social media platform. Often, it takes just one or two clicks to register for the offer made in the ad.

facebook lead ads -example facebook lead ad process

The major difference between Facebook lead ads and other types of ads on social media (like general Facebook advertising) is that lead ads encourage users to stay on the social media platform rather than leading them offsite to a landing page you’ve built on your own website.

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How do Facebook lead ads work?

Facebook lead ads work in much the same way as other types of social media ads. You start by choosing what offer you’d like to make in the ad. Perhaps it’s an offer for a free trial of a product. Or it could be an offer to access valuable information, like a newsletter signup or a PDF download of a white paper.

Because Facebook lead ads allow you to make so many types of offers, the ads can be useful for just about any business. The forms are easy to create, and you can populate your form with a selection of standard fields (first name, last name, email address). Or, if you want to collect a novel piece of information, you can create custom fields.

Once people have entered their information into the form via your lead ad, you can download that contact information into your customer relationship management (CRM) platform or email manager to follow up with leads outside of social media.

graphic that shows how facebook lead ads work

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What are the benefits of Facebook lead ads?

So, what is it about Facebook lead ads that makes them so special? Other forms of social media advertising are great and certainly have their place. For example, other ads might be best for introducing your business to a new audience, staying top-of-mind with existing prospects, or reaching existing customers to bring them back for a new purchase.

Here are some benefits of Facebook lead ads.

They’re targeted

Like any ad on Facebook, Facebook lead ads provide powerful targeting options to help you reach those most likely to become your customer. Coupling this targeting power with a way to quickly and easily capture lead information can help your business get more customers–fast.

facebook lead ad targeting options example

An example of the targeting options available on Facebook.

Drive conversions

Facebook lead ads empower you to approach targeted prospects with a meaningful offer. If you target your Facebook lead ads at those who are already familiar with your brand but haven’t converted, you might finally have luck in getting that conversion by showing them a lead ad.

Make converting easy

Facebook lead ads reduce friction in the conversion process. By allowing prospects to stay on Facebook and by pre-populating the form with their contact information so that they don’t have to do any heavy lifting, you make it very easy for them to click the button and take advantage of your offer.

The more steps you can eliminate from the process, the more likely you are to generate signups.

facebook lead ads - example of form fill process on facebook lead ad

Can lead to increased ROI

Because you’re displaying these lead ads to a highly targeted audience and making it simple for these prospects to sign up, you’ll get a greater ROI on these social media advertising campaigns.

How to run Facebook lead ads

Many of the same general Facebook ads best practices that apply to any type of ad format also come into play when crafting a lead ad, but there are some marked differences.

Here are some tips for creating effective Facebook lead ads campaigns.

Determine the right offer

Facebook lead ads are flexible in terms of the kinds of offers you can make. If you’re a contractor or home remodeler, you can use Facebook ads to offer quotes. B2B businesses can advertise your newsletter subscription. Retailers or restaurants can use lead ads to provide a special discount code or offer. And any business can use them to provide helpful, valuable content. For instance, check out this Facebook lead ad example:

facebook lead ads - example of facebook lead ad


You can also create several different lead ads that speak to prospects at different stages of their journey.

You can target those at the top of the funnel with an offer to sign up for a newsletter or access a free ebook. But for prospects who are further down the sales funnel, you can target them with ads about an upcoming event and a pre-filled form so that they can register for the event.

Determine the lead ad offer that makes sense for your business and will be effective at converting your target audience.

Create your ad

Start by setting a clear goal and objective for the ad. This is often easier to do for lead ads than typical Facebook ads; because you’re making a specific offer to viewers, the goal is usually directly tied to that offer.

From there, you can begin to build out the creative for the ad. Select an eye-catching visual to help you stand out on viewers’ feeds. Make sure that the text clearly states your offer and the images or videos you include follow Facebook ad size guidelines.

facebook lead ad - example of facebook lead ad with strong copy

Here’s an example of a Facebook lead ad.

Be concise to attract as much engagement as possible. Don’t over-complicate things with long blocks of text. Select a call to action (CTA) button that makes the most sense for your campaign and drives home the offer you’re making.

Finally, you want to be sure the right people see your ad. As mentioned, Facebook allows you to use advanced targeting options for your ads based on demographic information or certain attributes and behaviors. By narrowing the focus of your advertising to those most likely to be interested in your specific offer, you have a higher likelihood of capturing more leads.

Determine the information you want to collect

In addition to tailoring the content of the ad itself, you can also define the information you’d like to collect. Facebook allows you to customize your form in many ways depending on your goals.

facebook lead ads - screenshot of creating form for facebook lead ads

When it comes to creating your Facebook lead ads form, make sure you’re collecting the least amount of information possible. The more information you ask for, the longer it takes prospects to fill out the form. And the longer the form, the more likely people are to give up halfway through filling it out.

If you’re looking for inspiration or want suggestions on the types of form fields to include for your ad, Facebook has designed form field options for certain business needs. So if you’re looking for more lead volume or higher-intent leads, there are form options for that.

Facebook lead ads allow you to ask for the information that’s most relevant for your business, so you can get the most out of each qualified lead.

Connect your incoming leads to your CRM

Of course, if this information were to remain in a Facebook vacuum, it wouldn’t be of much help to you. That’s why Facebook allows you to funnel the information you collect via their lead ads into your broader CRM platform.

facebook lead ads - connecting facebook leads to a CRM example

It’s important to have a centralized place for all of your valuable marketing information and Facebook ads reporting. Routing the information you collect on qualified leads from Facebook into your CRM tool makes it easier for you to keep track of leads and identify if and when they’re interacting with your brand on other channels.

It also allows you to target them via other channels, whether that be with retargeting via paid search or through targeted email marketing offers.

Start running Facebook lead ads today

Facebook lead ads are the missing ingredient in many businesses’ social media advertising strategies. Lead ads reduce the friction that comes with collecting important information about valuable leads. Plus, the cost of Facebook lead ads is no different from other ad formats, so there’s no reason not to use them!

No one wants to fill out a form (particularly not on a tiny phone screen!), so when you can make it easy for them, they’re more likely to convert and take the next step down the funnel with your business.

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