Using Facebook Lead Ads for Lead Generation
It’s not often you get to hear directly from Product Managers behind the Facebook Ad Platform — and even less likely when the product is a new one like Facebook Lead Ads.
Last week, I got a chance to participate in a session at LeadsCon Las Vegas conducted by three Facebook team leaders: Maria Claudio, Client Solutions Manager; Marc Kelechava, Client Partner; and Jyotika Prasad, Product Manager for Facebook Lead Ads.
I almost didn’t attend the session, because I assumed it would be a review of basic information — but at the last minute, I happened to notice that the speakers were from Facebook. The speaker bios immediately caught my attention, and I grabbed a front row seat (yes, I’m that guy).
Towards the start of the presentation, Marc Claudio shared that earlier in the week, they learned that their ad platform is serving 28 trillion individual ad auctions each day, coming from 4 million ads receiving 7 billion ad impressions.
I don’t even know how to conceive of 28 trillion. How do you wrap your head around that?
Overall, their session provided lots of useful information for anyone interested in the Facebook Ad platform, so keep reading to learn some of the behind-the-scenes insights they shared, as well as a one-on-one discussion with Jyotika regarding Lead Ads best practices and roadmap.
What is a Lead Ad? Why is it useful?
If you’ve done Facebook Ads, you probably know that the process of creating an ad in Facebook can be time-consuming.
To make matters worse, Facebook has found that the user is also often frustrated because advertiser landing pages are poorly designed, slow, and inconsistent in behavior.
For both these reasons, Facebook has created the Lead Ad product, a method of connecting people to businesses using forms that automatically populate contact information once the user indicates interest by tapping or clicking on the ad. It is an exciting advancement for folks doing multi-channel marketing automation, as Lead Ads represent yet another opportunity to engage customers and prospects in a way that is convenient and conducive to lead generation.
For example, at MindFire, we create Custom Audiences based on leads we’re actively engaging in our marketing communication. Some are more responsive to ads they see on Facebook versus traditional channels — so our Lead Ads provide them an easy way to download an eBook or Whitepaper from us (see the example below).
Here are a few key reasons why Facebook Lead Ads are compelling for multi-channel marketers:
- Instead of you having to create and direct traffic to a landing page with a lead generation form, Facebook provides you with an easy way to quickly capture info from interested users. This means you can launch a campaign within a few minutes, since there’s no need to manage anything outside the Facebook platform.
- Instead of having to worry about creating a mobile-optimized page — and ensuring page load times are snappy — Facebook provides you with an interface that is native to the Facebook platform. They shoulder the responsibility of creating a fast and responsive experience for the user. This means that folks interacting with your ads are going to have the best possible ad experience.
- Instead of having to ask the user to fill in their details — which is even harder on the mobile device — fields are pre-populated with the data Facebook already knows about the user. This makes the conversion process much easier for the user, especially if they’re on a mobile device. Jyotika Prasad shared how they’ve studied user behavior, and people take at least 40% longer to fill out forms on mobile devices when compared to desktop. Lead Ads make this a non-issue (and they work on the desktop, too).
According to Facebook’s Jyotika Prasad, people take at least 40% longer to fill out forms on mobile devices when compared to desktop.
Here’s what the Facebook Lead Ads looks like for your users, starting with the ad on the left, and examples of the Facebook-generated form in the middle and right:
Jyotika Prasad Shares Facebook Lead Ads Insights, Roadmap, and Best Practices
After the session, I spoke with Jyotika Prasad to get into specific questions about Facebook Lead Ads. If you’ve used the ad type, you may have also wondered the same things. She was kind enough to answer all my questions and provide very useful insight.
Here’s a re-creation of our conversation.
Q: Can you create a Custom Audience comprised of those who click the Lead Ad — but do not submit? I want to be able to retarget those who did not complete the Lead Ad.
Not yet, but this is in QA and should be released in April or May 2016.
At that point, we’ll give you the ability to target those who clicked the ad, and you can exclude those that completed the ad, thus arriving at the segment you’re looking for.
Dave’s note: Jyotika asked me how I felt about Lead Ads in general, and I told her that overall, they’ve performed well for us — but that the inability to retarget leaves some ROI on the table. Again, she reassured me that this functionality is on its way.
Q: Because the experience of filling out the form is so easy, I want to be able to tell people this up front. My theory is that it will increase conversion rates. Do you agree? If so, what’s the best way to do this?
We’re thinking about making the Lead Ad look a little different, so that eventually, users come to expect that it is an easy-to-complete form. Right now, it looks like other ad types, so there’s no easy way for them to tell.
We suggest — based on user interviews — that you tell people three times what to expect: up front in the text, on the Context Card, and on the thank you page. However, we don’t allow editing on the thank-you page yet (this is on the roadmap).
Q: Can you copy or edit forms?
Yes, you can edit a form — which in essence creates a copy of the form. Editing the live form would cause problems. We released this functionality this week.
Q: What do you suggest displaying in the “Marketing Message” thing that appears in between the user’s click and the Facebook form?
The name for this has been changed to “Context Card” — and this is the second place we suggest telling the user what they’re going to get and what happens to their information once submitted.
Tests show that lead quality goes up with this message displayed. Although it is optional in the Lead Ads product, we suggest exploring how it impacts the quality of the lead down the line.
Q: Can you re-order fields in the Lead Ad form?
No. We have ordered them in a way that we feel is best based on the data we’ve gathered.
For example, email isn’t the first thing we capture since people seem more inclined to provide that information if it is asked further down the form.
The order of the questions on the form impacts conversion rates. From user tests, the least intrusive information seems to do better at the top of the form, with the most intrusive data captured at the bottom.
We suggest that you apply this finding to your lead gen landing pages too — not just the Lead Ad.
Q: Since there’s not much out there about Facebook Lead Ads best practices, what have you gathered from user feedback?
We’ve conducted extensive user research, and user feedback boils down to two key points that users want to know from an advertiser:
- What do I get for filling this out?
- Where does my information go?
We’ve found that if you provide answers to this information — three times — you’ll get better conversion rates and higher quality leads.
Q: How should we do this three times?
Mention it in the ad’s text, in the Context Card, and eventually, on the final page of the Lead Ad process.
In all our user studies where we seek to understand how people view our ads, there are two things that are most important to them: 1) A clear understanding of what they get, and 2) A clear understanding of what happens to their data. We have found that lead quality is best when this is stated 3 times.
Q: What advice do you have regarding creating a Lookalike Audience?
Creating a Lookalike Audience usually provides lower CPM pricing because there is less competition compared to interest targeting.
For example, imagine targeting an interest like “NFL” — a lot of advertisers bidding over the same group.
On the other hand, a Lookalike Audience driven by your unique customer list will have less overall competition and thus provide you with better CPM.
We recommend that your seed list be between 1-and-5 thousand people. This is the sweet spot for our algorithms.
Q: How do we get support?
There are 3,500 Facebook employees serving 3 million advertisers, which means that each person is handling 850 companies. That’s a lot! We’ve grown so quickly that it has been hard for us to keep up with incoming questions, but we’ve recently aligned our support organization in the following way:
- Global Sales, handling the Fortune 100 companies and a handful of large private companies.
- SMB-managed Clients, which are companies spending $10k to $100k per quarter, with dedicated account reps on phone, email, travel. The US team is located in Austin, Texas.
- SMB-proactive, which is for companies spending under $10k per quarter, where we reach out in a consultative approach to help with bugs, best-practices, etc.
- Reactive / unmanaged, for anyone spending over $1 within 180 days, where we provide chat and email support. We usually respond within 24 hours.
Now It’s Your Turn
What do you think about Facebook Lead Ads? If you’ve used them, how well have they worked for you?
Want to learn more? If you’d like to learn more about Facebook as an option within your multi-channel marketing toolkit, check out these two Pixels and Ink podcast episodes: “How You Can Leverage Facebook to Generate Leads And Revenue” and “Retargeting with Facebook Demystified“
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