If you do any marketing on the internet at all, you know that relationship-based marketing is still the most profitable way to market. And within relationship-based marketing methods, email marketing is still the strongest way to create and maintain relationships as well as facilitate conversion to sales.
All relationship-marketing (that includes email marketing) starts with something that we call a “Lead”. This is merely a person who is a potential future customer. In order for a person to qualify as a “lead”, they need to offer us some way of staying in touch with them, whether this is a phone number or (even better) an email address.
If you’re already experienced with email marketing you will know that a lot of what you do revolves around acquiring leads. Whether this is through popup forms, landing pages, shopping cart checkouts, giveaways or offline forms, all of your email marketing starts with the act of acquiring leads in some way.
Now let’s tie this back into the topic at hand, which is generating leads through ads on social media. In the general sense, any ad campaign that generates leads for you is a “Lead Generating Ad”. If you have a Facebook ad that directs people to your landing page where they enter an email address, you are basically already running “lead generating ads on Facebook”.
So what is this fancy new “Lead Ad” option then? Is it just a naming gimmick by Facebook?
Any ad that you run on Facebook can generate leads. So why is there a special category of ad called a “Lead Ad”? The basic answer here is that Facebook’s Lead Ads are in fact custom-tailored to specifically focus on acquiring leads in the most straightforward and direct way possible.
This comes down to 2 basic advantages that Facebook has:
- It can offer a native experience
- It already has the person’s information on file
To understand why this (can be) an advantage, let’s compare it to the traditional method of gathering leads with Facebook ads.
Without Facebook leads:
- A person is scrolling down their Facebook feed and sees your ad promoting a free eBook
- They click on a button to get it and this button redirects them to your landing page
- On your page you have them enter their first name, last name, and email address
With Facebook leads:
- A person is scrolling down their Facebook feed and sees your ad promoting a free eBook
- They click on the button to get this free eBook
- Instantly, the Facebook ad transforms into a prefilled form that already has their first name, last name and email address right there.
- All they have to do is click a button to confirm
- After they do this, they can just continue scrolling down their Facebook feed and go about their usual Facebook browsing habits
With the second scenario the customer goes through something that we call a “native experience”. The entire process happens right where they encountered the ad. They’re not redirected to a website that might have an entirely different “feel” to it.
Even if you try to make the experience seamless, redirecting a person to a different website always constitutes a bit of a “pattern break”. It means that their mental flow is interrupted, even if ever so slightly.
In contrast, with a Facebook Lead Ad, the process is made to feel smooth, effortless and “natural”. And those prefilled fields sure do help. The mere fact that people don’t have to type in anything can (and often does) increase conversion rates to a measurable degree.
So Facebook Lead Ads are superior then, clearly?
Not so fast. You’ll notice that if you follow some of the most successful marketing-based businesses, most of them still utilize the traditional “redirect to landing page” model for much of their campaigns.
In most businesses, you will find that an ideal portfolio of campaigns will include some mix of the traditional landing page and the new native “Lead Ad” method. It will depend on your specific offers, your business model and a multitude of factors.
In many cases, a Facebook Lead Ad will outperform a landing-page or popup, but the benefit might be outweighed by the limitations it poses.
- An obvious example is that sometimes you do want people to land on your website for other reasons as well, not just because your signup form is on there.
- Sometimes you need a lot more copy to convince the person to give you their information. Perhaps you need a bunch of images, photos and testimonials that just can’t be put inside a Facebook Lead Ad.
The 3 major ways to use Facebook Lead Ads
1) Gathering emails for list growth (using “lead magnets”)
When it comes to working with your leads, email marketing is the most straightforward way to nurture and convert these leads into customers.
And the most straightforward way to obtain the emails of potential leads is to simply offer a good lead magnet. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s simply promising the prospect something in exchange for their email address. It can be a whitepaper, a webinar, free email-course, or anything that has value to such a prospect.
Most of the Facebook Lead Ads you will see out there will be a simple lead magnet. And for a good reason. Keeping it simple still works and lead magnets are the most straightforward way to get more leads.
If you’re uncertain about how to get started with Facebook Lead Ads, keep it simple. Create an Ad Creative that promotes a Lead Magnet.
2) Surveys and inquiry forms
One of the main advantages of Facebook’s Lead Ads is the sheer amount of options you have in terms of questions. Not only can you ask a whole plethora of demographic-style questions that Facebook will prefill for you, but you can also create custom questions.
And these custom questions can offer multiple choices. You even have the option to use “conditional logic”. This is where a person is only asked a question “if” they meet some criteria first.
Let’s say your first question is about their industry. You can then follow that up with a different set of questions based upon their answer. In other words, you can ask different questions to people from different industries.
In short: you can create some pretty nice surveys and inquiry forms
These are surveys that people fill out right there on Facebook, and all the data still reaches you. This means that you can save money on licensing or paying for a form-builder or survey solution. But it also means you’ll have a higher rate of people finishing the survey.
Now, whether you actually want to ask people to fill out longer forms with multiple questions, is a different matter. It will primarily depend on your industry. Someone in the insurance industry might find it more useful than someone selling lower-ticket items.
However, you won’t know until you give it a go. Whereas it’s easier in an industry where it’s expected (such as with providing an insurance quote), there are marketing campaigns that utilize surveys in industries where you wouldn’t expect it. You’ll just have to give people a reason “why” they are filling out a longer form, and a way to incentivize it.
Obviously, each survey should ask for their email address at the end. The money is in the email list. And even if you get a ton of other information from them, you still want to feed this lead to your email list.
3) Promotions and special offers
A less often utilized, but just as valid way to use Lead Ads is through advertising special offers and promotions. Don’t forget that people who buy a coupon to get a discount on some good also become a “lead”.
Sometimes marketers tend to define “a lead” in very restricted terms. They think a lead is a person you bribed with a lead magnet and will sell stuff to “in the future”. In actuality, anyone that provides you their contact information for any reason is, in fact, a lead that you can nurture. A person that fills out your lead ad in order to purchase something becomes a customer, but also a lead as well.
If that confuses you, consider that any good business has multiple products and services to sell. They might buy one thing you offer, but you still have other things to sell them. And even if you sell just one main service, you still need to maintain that relationship and get them to purchase or renew again in the future.
Email marketing is the best method at nurturing current customers, ex-customers as well as one-time customers. It’s the best way to get them to come back, continue buying and just decide that there are more ways in which they can spend money with your business.
Important things to consider
1) It matters a lot which fields you choose to include
The main advantage of lead ads is that it lets you define exactly what data to ask for, and it offers a ton of options. Many of them prefilled by Facebook. You actually want to be careful about which fields you include in your form though.
There are both marketing reasons and technical reasons behind your choice of fields. For example, if you look at our manual on setting up Facebook Leads for Emercury, you’ll notice we recommend asking for first name and last name separately.
This is important as Facebook has “full name” as the default. However, this will result in issues if you send those leads to a system where the two are separate fields.
In marketing terms, it’s important to ask the optimal number of questions
You want to ask for as much data as you can get away with. If you’re offering lead magnets, in most industries this will be just asking for their name and email address. In some cases, you might find your conversion is a lot higher if you ask for an email address and nothing more.
Depending on your actual offer, industry, business model and marketing approach, you might have to ask more questions. For example, if you offer “free classes” and it’s important to segment the signups by age-group, you might want to ask for their age-group right there in the lead ad. If you automate things properly, you’ll have different age-groups added to a different automation in your automated follow-up process.
2) The call-to-action button matters
Talk to anyone that’s spent a lot of money testing Facebook Ads, and you’ll hear some commonalities. One of them is that choosing the proper call-to-action button matters, and in some cases, it can make a substantial difference.
This is true with Facebook Ads in general, but even more so with Facebook Lead Ads in particular. The reason is that Lead Ads primarily work through providing a “native” and “integrated” experience. Everything has to feel right, and that includes the CTA button.
If you’re advertising a webinar, you probably want to choose the “Sign up” button. But, if you’re offering a free PDF as a lead magnet, the “Download” button will almost always outperform. And in cases where you have a special promotion going on “Get Offer” or “Learn More” might work.
The takeaway here is that you need to test. It’s easy to get lazy and just stick to the same button in all of your tests. However, when it comes to Lead Ads, the difference the button text makes is sometimes quite significant and definitely worth experimenting with.
3) Lead ads are next to useless if the follow-up-process isn’t automated
The biggest advantages to using Facebook Lead Ads would pretty much get wiped-out if you don’t have an automated follow-up-process. By default, unless you integrate your Lead Ads with an automation platform, these people just get added to a “csv file”.
That’s right, a person sees your amazing lead magnet offer, clicks download. And… nothing happens. You would have to go into your page-settings, manually find your forms archive, and then download your “new leads” as CSV file. You would then have to manually upload the new leads to a list in your marketing solution. Unless you’re on the computer 24/7, this is going to result in a pretty bad flow for those leads.
Fortunately, if you use Emercury, all of this can be automated. Just look at our guide about automating the process. You can have people filling out your lead ads, and within seconds they are going to get the appropriate follow-up email.
Remember: Email-marketing is still king and using the right email service provider is the key to converting those leads
Utilizing Facebook Lead Ads isn’t just about setting up the ads themselves. That’s the least of it. The real magic happens when you send those leads to a marketing automation platform that helps you nurture and convert those leads into raving fans. Picking the right platform will make a big difference in the ROI you get out of your lead ad campaigns. Let’s look at how to pick the right platform.
1) It is important that your platform of choice provides marketing automation features.
The trick is that a lot of platforms offer overly complex and fancy automation features that you don’t need unless you’re a Fortune 500 company, and this increases both your monthly bill and implementation speed.
At Emercury we work really hard to keep things simple and let you implement things that give you results at lightning speed. That’s why our no-frills automation builder has everything you need to get the results you need, without any of the fluff
2) The platform has to actually care about delivering your emails.
Most people are confused by this point as they assume that’s what all email-service-providers do. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case. Some just provide the email-sending platform and do not worry much if you actually get the most out of it in terms of deliverability.
When you’re an Emercury customer, we help you get the best deliverability possible. What’s the point of gathering leads on Facebook if they never receive your emails? We work with you both personally and by providing lots of helpful resources and knowledge to ensure the best deliverability.
3) It’s essential that they want to see you succeed
If you look at our Testimonials you will notice most of them are from people surprised that our team helped them out personally with getting the most out of their email marketing.
This is because Emercury is more than just a platform. We strive to be your partner in email marketing success. Our support isn’t just technical in nature, it’s more like having someone right by your side as you try to monetize your email marketing.
4) They put their money where their mouth is
A quality email provider will not hesitate to offer a very generous free plan. The more features their free plan has, the better. In our case, the forever-free plan includes almost all of our features. We hold almost nothing back in terms of functionality.
This means that you can go ahead and start fully utilizing Facebook leads today at no additional cost. You can sign-up for a free Emercury account in minutes. Then connect it to your Facebook lead ads, build a simple automation and off you go.