Facebook lead ads are here!

Facebook has rolled out a new form of advertising that’s now available to marketers everywhere. Lead ads make the process seamless for marketers to ask for info like emails, names, job titles, and more. The process is smooth and easy for Facebook users, too, as they never need to leave Facebook. (It’s very similar to how a Twitter lead gen card might work.)

I find this pretty exciting for a few reasons:

  1. Generating leads from Facebook may have just got a whole lot simpler.
  2. We can’t wait to try them out ourselves!

As we’re learning tons about how these work and the best way to implement them, we wanted to share a few reflections on Facebook’s latest tool for marketers.

facebook lead ads

First off, what are Facebook lead ads?

TL;DR: Facebook’s lead ads let you generate leads without the person ever needing to leave Facebook.

The lead-generation forms that would normally live on a landing page are automatically prefilled with Facebook user data. Woohoo!

For example, let’s say we wanted to promote our social media strategy email course on Facebook to grow our email list. These new ads make it super simple for people to hop aboard—without ever leaving Facebook.

Here’s how that works:

First, someone in our targeted audience sees the ad. It looks very much like an everyday Facebook advertisement.


But check out that sweet “Sign up” button! If someone’s interested in taking this course, here’s what happens when they click on that button:


Facebook automatically fills in the person’s email address from their Facebook profile! Our friend Marcus didn’t have to leave Facebook or even type in his email address for anything: all he has to do is tap “Submit” at the bottom.

And when he does . . . BOOM! He’s all signed up, just like that.


Why are lead ads such a big deal?

That’s what I wondered at first.

After all, Facebook has allowed interactive ads for a good long time now. We can already run ads that allow people to perform all kinds of cool actions by tapping a button, including:

  • Liking a Facebook business page
  • RSVP-ing for an event
  • Install or open apps
  • Get a special sales offer

But Lead Ads can change the game in a few major, major ways—especially for the small business owners doing their own marketing atop everything else.

4 ways Facebook lead ads change the social media advertising game

The team and I have put together a list of ways this new kind of Facebook advertising might be super helpful.

1. Lead ads pull from data that Facebook has already collected

One thing that’s difficult for me as a marketer is getting “enough” information about leads. A lead is created when someone trades some form of contact information in exchange for something of value. A rather popular lead-generation exchange we see in marketing involves someone trading their email address for an ebook or whitepaper.

But is an email address enough? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

I’ve found that in many cases, an email address is just the starting point, but you need some more bits of information to know if they’re the kind of people you should be targeting your marketing efforts on.

For example,

  • Sometimes you need to know if a lead is a decision-maker at their organization. In this case, you may need their job title.
  • Sometimes you need to know where they’re located, which might involve getting their state or ZIP code info.
  • Sometimes you might even need a phone number.

But asking for more information often makes for a longer form, and longer forms can get abandoned—because not everyone wants to fill them out!

Facebook’s lead ads seem to make a big difference here. Instead of people hitting a form with multiple fields to fill out, Facebook fills out those boxes for them—because they’ve already given Facebook that information on their profile!

2. Lead ads help you capture leads without needing to build landing pages or forms

This might be the most popular aspect of Facebook’s lead ads: now, you don’t need to build any more assets between your offer and your ad. You can just capture those leads straight from Facebook!

Here’s why that’s such a big deal:

Without lead ads, if you wanted to run a lead gen campaign using Facebook ads, one way to do it would have been the traditional lead-gen way:

  1. Create your offer (that piece of content like an ebook or whitepaper that you’d trade to people for their contact information).
  2. Create a form to capture leads’ email addresses (and maybe some other info).
  3. Create a landing page for that form to live on.
  4. Create some ads pointing your target audience to your landing page.

That’s a lot of work. Not only do you have to create that piece of content you’re giving away, but then you need to build landing pages and forms just to make it available to the people you made it for.

And that’s assuming you can create landing pages and forms yourself. I’m not so handy with code, which means if I’m a small business owner, I may have to pay for extra services to help me create those forms and landing pages. (There’s nothing wrong with this of course—it can just get a little pricey!)

But Facebook lead ads don’t need landing pages. They let you set up the ad, and then the ad handles all the work of capturing that information. You don’t need to make a landing page, you don’t need to write AJAX forms, none of that. Woohoo, right? =)

3. Facebook lead ads put fewer steps between your audience and your offer.

Remember those four kinds of marketing assets we listed in the previous section?

  1. Content you’re giving away
  2. Form
  3. Landing page
  4. Ad

If you flip that list upside-down, you see what your audience’s experience would look like. It’s roughly four steps long:

  1. Click an ad
  2. Leave Facebook to go to a landing page
  3. Fill out a form
  4. Get that free content!

There’s nothing wrong with this process. (I’m pretty used to it as a customer!) But Facebook’s lead ads eliminate the need for landing pages and forms . . . which means the user’s experience goes from four steps long to only three:

  1. Click an ad
  2. Confirm my info
  3. Get that free content!

Wow. At first glance, this is already shaving about 25% of the complexity out of this process—which is terrific. But I think it gets even better . . .

4. Facebook lead ads don’t pull people out of Facebook

I feel like this is a golden, golden win for everyone.

We looked at how, with lead ads, your audience doesn’t need to visit a landing page to get to your awesome lead-generation content. It’s a simpler, more straightforward way to get to your offer. (Huzzah!)

But that means your audience gets to stay in Facebook, which can be a huge win for two big reasons:

  1. Your audience feels less interrupted. With lead ads, your audience can see your ad, sign up to get your content, and then smoothly transition right back to browsing their News Feed.
  2. Your audience doesn’t have to wait for a new page to load. Instead, they’re served up that option to confirm info immediately. This can be a HUGE deal for mobile users especially!

A great resource on how Facebook lead ads work

Jon Loomer has written a fantastic summary of how Facebook lead ads work. He’s got a detailed step-by-step tutorial lined up, along with some thoughts on how they have worked for his lead generation campaigns. Thanks so much for the fantastic article, Jon! =D

Over to you

What do you think? Have you taken lead ads for a spin? If so, I’d love to hear how they’ve worked for you!

I’m also curious: We’re running a lead ads campaign right now ourselves—would you be interested in hearing how that goes in a future blog post?

I cannot wait to chat over this with you in the comments!