How to Set Up a Facebook Lead Ads Campaign

For any business, lead generation is a key component of success. By attracting potential customers to hand over their personal details, you can build up a list of high-quality leads that are ready to be converted into customers.

Sadly, attempting to generate a lead is far from easy. Consider this scenario. A person is browsing their Facebook feed, and they come across your advertisement offering 20% off all products. They’re interested in both the offer and items for sale, so they click on the ad and are transported to your landing page. The person is then asked to provide some necessary information – such as their full name and email address – before being supplied with that 20% off deal.

Simple enough, right?

While it is from a business viewpoint, you have to step in the shoes of a user and see the situation from their perspective. Firstly, they have to completely abandon their Facebook usage to visit the landing page. Then they have to wait for the page to loan. Then they have to fill in their details. These might only add up to be a minor inconvenience overall, but it’s a big enough one for a user to change their mind and opt against submitting their information.

Now imagine if that inconvenience is eradicated, where a user can remain on Facebook while inputting their data. Well, there’s no need to imagine – it’s very much a reality thanks to Facebook lead ads.

What are Facebook lead ads?

In essence, Facebook lead ads are an easy-to-use advertising format that allows a business to effortlessly collect leads with the assistance of forms. Rather than sending a user to an external webpage, the form is completed directly on Facebook.

As for what this form contains, that is up to the business to decide. You can effectively ask whatever you like. If you want to get a potential customer to fill in the form, however, keeping it relatively simple is recommended. Consider the following form options:

  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Full name
  • Job title
  • How did you hear from us?

There’s another benefit to keeping the questions simple. Specific fields will be filled in automatically based on information found within a user’s Facebook profile. This means that a person might not even have to type anything up – the form could be completed automatically as soon as they click on the ad! Plus, a user has the chance to edit any pre-filled information if required. This is helpful if, say, a user would prefer to use their business email rather than the personal one linked to their Facebook account. Just keep in mind there is one option that cannot be edited: a user’s date of birth.

These ads have been designed with mobile firmly in mind. As 94% of Ad revenue on Facebook is produced via mobile, it makes sense that Mark Zuckerberg’s platform has optimized their lead ads for mobile. This also gives them an advantage over other form types that collect user data. With Facebook lead ads, filling in the data on mobile is natural, fast, and secure – the types of qualities that ensure your conversion rates are as high as possible.

How do Facebook lead ads work?

Have you ever set up any form of ad campaign on Facebook before? If so, the Facebook lead ads process will feel similar. Simply log in to the Ad Manager, as usual, customize the required settings – more on that later – and begin generating leads. As with the function of the ad itself, Facebook has taken every effort to make the setup method as straightforward as possible.

Once up and running, the lead ad will take on the typical appearance of a Facebook ad. It appears organically in the Facebook feed, with the only differentiators being the “Sponsored” tag and the call-to-action button.

Facebook lead ads work

When a user is intrigued by the offer being advertised, they will simply click on the ad. This instantly brings up the form that is pre-populated with their details (when possible). The user can then edit, add to, and/or confirm this information before finally hitting the “Submit” button.

Facebook lead ads work

At this stage, the user is presented with a ‘Thank you’ screen. This can incorporate a call-to-action, such as a “Visit website” button or download link to a product.

As for your business, you now have the details of this lead at your disposal. If your business utilizes a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you can sync all collected leads to this platform directly. Alternatively, the precious data can be downloaded as a .CSV file. This ensures a marketer can be more efficient in following up with potential customers, which is essential for turning prospects into sales.

Facebook lead ads likely boast more functions than you currently envisage. For a start, lead ads can take on various different forms. Demo requests, exclusive discounts, newsletter subscriptions, price quotes, event registrations – the list goes on and on. This is thanks to the custom questions that can be implemented, which range from multiple choice to appointment scheduling.

To try and shine a light on the versatility of this ad type, here is how they can help a variety of industries:

  • Retail: As mentioned above, users can be provided with enticing offers for signing up, such as special discounts or free delivery. The lead ads form also offers the chance for retailers to open up preorders for upcoming products.
  • Automotive: Numerous major car companies have made use of Facebook lead ads to promote their business. This ad type can be implemented for people to easily request a quote, organize a test drive, and use the locator function to identify nearby dealerships.
  • Financial services: A finance-based business can use the ad for customers to fill out an application, answer questions to see if they’re eligible for a loan and request a quote.
  • Health services: Along with being able to request further information about specific products and service, customers could also be presented with the opportunity to book a consultation.

Of course, this is just a smattering of industries that can utilize Facebook lead ads to their advantage. This ad type is an excellent fit for virtually any form of business due to the benefits it supplies. Speaking of which…

The advantages of using Facebook lead ads

In general, Facebook is one of the most effective and profitable marketing tools any business can utilize. From promoting posts to conducting contests, there are various different tools available on Facebook to advertise your wares and boost profit margins.

Yet despite this buffet of choices, there’s arguably one tool that is more delectable than the rest – Facebook lead ads. Why? Well if the above sections didn’t convince you, here a few advantages to using this ad format on Facebook.

Optimized for all platforms

As time goes on, more and more people are switching from desktop to mobile for their internet browsing. This is especially the case when it comes to social media, with Statista reporting less than 2% of people to access Facebook solely from their laptop or desktop computer.

The head honchos at Facebook realized this switch early on, which is why their Facebook lead ads are perfectly optimized for mobile browsing. There’s no need to scroll endlessly down the page, zoom in to decipher small portions of text, and so on. It’s all presented in a natural, easy to view manner that makes filling out the form a breeze.

Yet desktop browsers aren’t left out in the cold, either. The ads are designed for all devices, ensuring you can reach everyone and not be restricted by technical limitations.

Land the right leads

When it comes to advertising, most businesses will be happy to land any kind of lead. Yet it goes without saying that a low-quality lead could end up being more trouble than they’re worth. You invest money into promoting your products or services to them, but they ultimately don’t follow through with a purchase.

As a result, the aim should be towards high-quality leads that are willing to splash the cash. Landing leads like this is entirely possible through Facebook lead ads.

There are several reasons why this is the case. Firstly, Facebook is there to help. They’ll place your ad in front of the right audience, the type of potential customers that have previously expressed a keen interest in products or services similar to yours. You also can further refine the target audience. If there’s a demographic that displays greater enthusiasm than others for what your business has to offer, make them the focus of your lead ads campaign.

Also, the way you optimize the Facebook lead ad can remove the fat – aka the people who are not that interested in your business. Use the welcome screen to detail your business and the offer provided, incorporate customized questions, include a confirmation section, etc. If a potential customer is willing to go through these steps to receive the offer you’re presenting, they’re likely to be an actual customer in the near future.

It saves time… for everyone

Due to the nature of the Facebook lead ads, consumers can quickly complete the form that is presented. Once someone clicks on the ad, the form is brought up instantly. Then due to certain information being pre-filled, potential customers can submit the form in a matter of seconds.

Yet potential customers are not the only ones who save time – so do you as a business owner. As you receive leads in real-time, you can respond to them immediately. This is particularly the case if your ads are synced up with a CRM or other system to track customers. The quicker your business responds, the more likely a person with a query turns into a customer.

Tailored to your requirements

It was highlighted in the previous section, but it’s worth mentioning again. Facebook lead ads are highly customizable. Whether you want to offer 30% off or a free eBook download, there’s an abundance of routes you can take with your ad campaign. This is further enhanced by the fact you can create your own custom questions for users to answer.

How to organize a Facebook lead ads campaign

This guide has already highlighted that it is easy to put together a Facebook lead ads campaign. Well, the simplicity is enhanced due to the fact there are two methods available for setting up these ads. That’s right: if you don’t fancy going one route, there’s another one you can take – both of which being as straightforward as you’d hope.

The two options offered are to create the lead ads via Ads Manager or directly from your business Facebook Page. This particular guide will focus on the former, although Facebook has supplied easy-to-follow instructions for setting up lead ads from your Facebook Page.

Step one: Check if everything is above board

Before running in and starting your lead ads campaign, it’s essential to take a step back to assess the situation. Most importantly, you need to review the questions you plan to include in your form.

Based on the Lead Ads Policies, you cannot create questions that request details on:

  • Account numbers (cable account numbers, loyalty card numbers, frequent flyer miles, etc.)
  • Criminal history
  • Financial information (everything from credit card numbers to yearly income figures)
  • Government-issued identifiers (driving license, passport, etc.)
  • Health information (information on mental health, physical health, medical treatments, etc.)
  • Insurance information
  • Political affiliation
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Template questions (avoid creating new questions that are the same/similar to template questions that already exist)
  • Trade union membership
  • Usernames or passwords

With that said, most of these topics are not outright excluded. You can contact Facebook to request approval to incorporate questions relating to these types of information. If you are authorized to do so, Facebook will provide you with written permission.

Step two: Ad settings

To begin with, creating the lead ad, you first need to login to Facebook’s Ad Manager. Once there, click on the “+ Create” button towards the top left of the page.

Ad settings

Note: On the next page, you can press the “Switch to Quick Creation” button. However, this option is only advised for an advertiser who is well-versed in how the ad creation process works on Facebook.

In the “What’s your marketing objective?” section, go to the “Consideration” column. Now select “Lead Generation” as your objective.

LinkedIn Profile Monitoring

In the next section, you are asked to select a Facebook Page to promote with your ad. If you don’t currently have a Page ready, you can click the “Create new Facebook Page” button and go through the steps to make one.

Once you have chosen the right Page, you will be asked to “View Terms”. If you’re happy with everything, click the “I Agree to the Terms and Conditions” button.

Custom Audience

To ensure your ad has maximum impact, you can define your audience and focus on a particular market. If you already have a suitable Custom Audience created, simply search for it in the “Custom Audiences” section and select the right one. Otherwise, you can edit the predefined options – locations, age, gender, detailed targeting – to target a specific audience.

Note: unlike other ad campaign types provided by Facebook, you cannot send your lead ads to users who are under the age of 18.

Custom Audiences

The next step is to set the placements where your lead ads will appear. Facebook recommends sticking with “Automatic placements”, but you can opt-out of specific placements by going the manual route. This is a suitable option if you feel there are any placements which won’t deliver the results you expect.

Automatic placements

Decide on a budget and schedule for your lead ad, and then click on the “Continue” button at the bottom of the page.


Step three: Create the ad and form

On the next page, you can begin to visualize your lead ad by incorporating the media and text you desire. Before that, however, you need to decide how your business will be represented by the ad.

This is done by going to the “Identify” section. Simply select the Facebook Page you chose in the previous step. You also have the option of linking up your Instagram account, a choice which is recommended by Facebook.


Under the “Format” section, select how you want to structure your ad. As this is a Lead Generation ad, you are presented with two options: “Carousel” and “Single image or video.”


Upload your chosen images and/or videos to the “Media” section. Note: you can incorporate different media for each placement. For instance, an image can have the right dimensions for a Facebook Stories placement but be entirely off for the Facebook News Feed.


This is where the “Edit placement” option comes in handy. It allows you to preview how your media will look for each chosen placement. If something’s not quite right, you can crop or change the media.

Edit placement

For the text portion of the ad, fill in the “Primary text” and “Headline” sections. You also need to select the most appropriate call-to-action for your ad. The options for this are:

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Download
  • Get Offer
  • Get Quote
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
  • Subscribe

Now it’s time to put together the questions you want to feature on your form. Firstly, go to the “Instant Form” section and select “+ New Form”.

You will be asked to pick your “Form type”. There are two choices available: “More volume” and “Higher intent”.

  • More volume is the choice for those who are seeking to create a form which is quick to complete, gaining more leads as a result.
  • Higher intent incorporates a review screen, which displays all of the information a user has inputted. The user needs to confirm the information is correct before submission. While this step will naturally result in fewer leads overall, the aim is to secure potential customers who have a strong intent to use your business – hence the name.

You have the option of using an introduction page for your Instant Form. For this, you require:

  • A headline
  • A suitable image
  • Additional text that details your products/services. This is presented either as a paragraph or in a bullet point list.

Now it’s time to flesh out the form with questions. This can be done with either “Custom questions”, “Prefill information”, or a combination of both.

Custom questions will be broken down in more detail in the next step, so now’s the time to focus on Prefill information. These are essentially the questions you can ask that are automatically filled in – assuming a user has included the info on their Facebook profile of course.

Prefill information

There are various different Prefill choices available, and these can be found by clicking on the “Add Category” button. These include:

  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Street address, City, State, Province, Country, Postcode, and Zip code
  • First name, Last name, or Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Relationship status
  • Military status
  • Job title
  • Work phone number
  • Work email
  • Company name
  • National ID number (Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador only)

Above the requested information options, you will see an “Enter a message” field. This is so you can let users know how their data is going to be processed. For example, this could be a message like ‘Your information will allow us to send you exclusive discounts and information about our latest products’. For further inspiration, Facebook has provided several examples to follow.

Step four: Custom questions

To begin, simply go to the “Custom Questions” section and click “+ Add Custom Question”.

Custom questions

As seen in the image above, you are presented with several options from the drop-down menu. These are:

  • Short answer: As the name implies, this is designed for asking a question that requires a simple, one-line answer.
  • Multiple Choice: Again, an obvious one based on the name. You can present multiple possible answers to your question, and the user then has to pick one of the given answers.
  • Conditional: This option provides multiple conditional answers across a set of questions. These conditional answers change based on the response to a prior question.
  • Store Locator: This allows a customer to search for your nearest store. The Facebook locator utilizes the information provided via your Page or business.
  • Appointment Scheduling: A customer can request a time and date for an appointment.

Once you have added a custom question, you are free to do so again. Simply press the “+ Add Custom Question” button again and go through the same process as before. Note: a maximum of 15 custom questions is allowed.

Step five: Finishing the job

Once all of your questions are in place, it’s time to complete the Instant Form – and the lead ad in general.

Below the “Questions” tab, you will find the “Privacy Policy”. You must supply a URL link to the privacy policy your business has in place.

Privacy Policy

There’s also the opportunity to include a “Custom disclaimer”. This is so you can include supplementary notices, like marketing opt-ins or legal disclaimers not covered by Facebook’s default privacy disclaimer.

Custom disclaimer

The final section to complete for the Instant Form is the “Thank you” screen.

With that said, Facebook delivers a preset Headline, Description, and Button text for the Thank you screen. The only thing you technically need to include is a “Website link”, which will point to the destination you want potential customers to visit/download/call.

Thank you screen

If you do want to customize the text, keep in mind the Headline and Button text options have a maximum limit of 60 characters.

Once you have finished the Instant Form, make to check it in the provided preview box. If there are any issues, simply go back and correct these before clicking the “Finish” button.

When off the Instant Form screen, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Confirm”. You will have to wait for Facebook to approve the ad before the campaign goes live.

How to optimize your lead ads for guaranteed success

Okay, there is no guaranteed success in the world of online marketing. It’s a rocky road with many different twists and turns along the way. Yet there are specific marketing processes which have a higher chance of delivering the goods – one of those is Facebook lead ads.

However, there are specific approaches you can take that’ll determine just how fruitful your promotional endeavors will be with lead ads.

Offer a quality incentive

If a potential customer is going to receive something in return, they’re going to be more open to sharing their personal information.

Yet the incentive itself needs to be something worthwhile. If it’s just a 10% off code that anyone can find with a quick search on Google, they’re not going to go through the trouble of providing their details.

Free products are always a solid starting point. Other valuable incentives could be exclusive access to an upcoming event, entry into a competition, and the chance to test pre-released products.

Be clear with your offer

If you have a great incentive to offer to potential customers, don’t be vague about it. This aspect should be the primary focus of your lead ads campaign.

As well as being clear about the offer in the ad copy, follow this up with a description of the incentive on the Instant Form’s introduction page. This way there’s no confusion and potential customers know exactly what they’re signing up for.

Ask the right questions

What type of information do you want to gather from your lead ads campaign? Most businesses are simply hunting for those precious email addresses. Others, however, are looking to gain in-depth feedback from customers.

When putting together your Instant Form, ensure it incorporates all the questions you desire. The custom question option is supplied by Facebook for a reason! Although watch out that you don’t make the form too bloated – people can quickly bail out if they feel they’re being handed a seemingly endless list of questions to complete.

Eye-catching ad design

Before people are faced with your list of questions, they will see your actual advert. As with any type of ad, this needs to capture the attention of browsers. This is best achieved by crafting an ad that utilizes an eye-catching image or video, one that perfectly matches up to your incentive. Sharp, snappy copy can also help to sell your brand in a line or two.

Follow-up with leads

Due to the power of Facebook lead ads, you can instantly get in touch with any captured leads.

Don’t let this benefit go to waste.

According to research conducted by Harvard Business Review, a business is seven times more likely to land qualified leads if they reply back to a customer within an hour. Therefore, you should always strive to get in touch with leads as soon as possible.

Analyze and refine

If you want to take your lead ads campaign to the next level, you must analyze the results.

Are your forms being abandoned before completion? Maybe it’s time to look at trimming down the number of questions asked. Are your ads simply not being clicked on? See if you can incorporate more impressive visuals. Ultimately, there’s always room for improvement.

Test the market and run a couple of lead ads at the same time. These ads should feature the same offer but differ in terms of the copy and imagery used. Compare the results and see which advert worked better. This is an easy way to refine and improve the overall quality of your campaign.


Many major brands have utilized Facebook lead ads to their advantage. Names such as Nissan, Actimel, and Alliance Bank have implemented lead ads to increase visibility, leads, and sales figures.

Now is the ideal time for your business to do the same. As with any Facebook ad option, the entry point is accessible to any kind of company – big or small. Combine this with the number of benefits on the table, and you have one of the most effective promotional options on any social media platform.