How to Create & Use Facebook Lead Ads in 7 Steps

Learn how to capture quality lead information using Facebook lead ads, all without prospects leaving the Facebook platform.

Facebook lead ads help businesses of all types generate high-quality inbound leads. Whether you want B2B or B2C prospects, paid lead ads can help you grow your customer base, amplify your brand, and better understand your audience. In this article, we'll tell you what lead ads are, how to create them, and how to optimize them for the best conversions. Plus, we will give you some examples of effectively-crafted lead ads.

What Are Facebook Lead Ads?

Facebook lead ads are paid social ads with forms embedded directly in the Facebook platform. These forms enable you to capture lead contact information without sending them off-platform to an external website optimized for lead generation. This means less friction for the prospect and a higher chance they'll fill out your form.

The way lead ads work is simple. In the ad, offer something of value to the lead—such as a lead magnet—in return for filling out a form. When a lead clicks the ad, a form pops up. In it are certain fields (questions) to collect information. These fields could be name, email address, company, and more. If the answers are part of Facebook’s data, the fields autopopulate. If it’s a custom field, like “favorite food,” the user fills it in themselves.

Creating one is easy. Just go to your Ads Manager and select "lead generation" as your objective. After naming your new campaign, pick your audience traits, placements, budget, and schedule. Then, create the clickable ad, which can come in a variety of formats: carousel, video, and single image. Lastly, make the form and select which information you want to collect from your leads.

example facebook lead ad
Facebook lead ad example

Overall, lead ads are effective, but they can cost as much as $2-$10 per click. If you'd like to check out a full list of the best free and paid Facebook lead generation strategies, check out our ultimate guide on Facebook lead generation. Otherwise, let’s take a look at the best use cases for Facebook lead ads and then dive into the specifics on how to create and optimize ones that actually convert.

Who Should Use Facebook Lead Ads

B2B and B2C companies looking to generate inbound social media leads and grow their customer base directly on the Facebook platform can benefit from lead ads. Here are some common use cases:

  • You Want High Form-Completion Rates: Facebook lead ads make it quick and painless for users to fill out your form.
  • You're Trying to Grow Your Email List: The primary purpose of Facebook lead ads are to increase sign-ups.
  • You Have a High-Value Lead Magnet: If your brand has good content, such as templates or reports, that help your audience, this is the chance to offer it in return for their information. 
  • You Want to Book Meetings: You can offer consultations, demos, and more through Facebook lead ads, and visitors can easily sign up for them. 
  • You Want More Webinar Attendees: You can include a call-to-action to sign up for an upcoming webinar. 
  • You Want to Know Your Audience Better: With lead ads, you can choose which information you collect about your ideal customer.

Regardless of your business type and need, Facebook lead ads are a great paid option for generating quality leads and capturing their information. Now, let’s take a look at how to actually create your Facebook lead ads.

Create a Facebook Lead Ad in 7 Steps

Creating a lead ad is simple, especially if you are familiar with Facebook’s ad platform. Here is the step-by-step process for setting up your Facebook lead generation ads:

1. Navigate to Ads Manager

First, go to your Ads Manager. In the top left corner of Ads Manager, click Create. The button is green, as shown below.

create ads manager
Facebook Ads Manager example

Then, Facebook will prompt you to choose an objective. Select Lead generation as your objective, as shown below. When you do, you will see the option to name your campaign.

Facebook lead ad campaign objective
Example campaign objective

2. Name Your Campaign & Ad Set

Now, below where you selected lead generation, name your campaign. Be descriptive here. Include your campaign objective in the name so it’s easy to compare results later on. For example, in the image below, the campaign name is very informative.

Campaign name for lead ad
Name your lead ad campaign

Then, name your ad set. This is a group that will hold all ads for a specific campaign targeting a specific persona. Ad sets will save you time in the future because all new ads you make in the ad set will share settings; you won’t have to do it over. Ideally, include the specific persona in the name, like in the image below.

ad set name for lead ad
How to name your lead ad set

3. Select the Page & Agree to Terms

Below Ad Set, click Show More Options. Then, choose the page you plan to use for the lead ad. Usually, this will be your Facebook business page. Then, click View Terms, read the terms and conditions, and agree to them.

view terms for facebook lead ads
Agree to Facebook lead ad terms

4. Choose Your Ad Specifications

Choose your target audience, placements, budget, and schedule. You can filter your target audience by demographics, interests, behaviors, and connections. The placements determine where the ad shows up for your audience (sidebar, newsfeed, FB stories, etc.). Your budget is how much you want to spend per day, and your schedule is the duration you want your ads to run.

facebook audience for lead ads
Example lead ad specifications

5. Craft the Format & Appearance of Your Ad

Under Ad setup, choose your lead ad format. You can select from a single image, carousel, video, or slideshow. Then, scroll down; here, you can add your headline, primary text, media, and call-to-action. The headline and call-to-action fields can include up to 60 characters. This will be what your audience sees on their news feed.

facebook lead ad copy and media
Example appearance fields

While you fill out the fields above, a window on the right offers a preview of your ad while you're creating it. This way, you can make iterations in real time to decide on the best mix of media and copy.

Example of facebook lead ad preview
Example lead ad preview

6. Create Your Lead Form

Scroll down and click Create Form under Instant Form, as shown below. The Create Form window is where you will create your instant form that will pop up when a user clicks on your ad. It is meant to collect the contact information that you want.

questions format facebook lead ad
Example lead ad form creation

As you can see below, on the Create Form window there are five dropdown menus you will complete: the form type, ad intro, question fields, your company’s privacy policy, and a thank-you screen. Let’s summarize each and share some tips for filling them out.

facebook lead ad contact form information
Example lead ad form creation fields

Form Type

Under Form Type, you can choose one of two options: more volume or higher intent. Choose more volume if your goal is to get the form completed by as many people as possible. Higher intent adds a step to your form that prompts people to review and confirm their information before clicking submit.

Lead Ad Intro

The lead ad intro in your instant form is an opportunity to share why users should submit the form. Facebook’s short guide recommends using this section to describe what people will receive in return for submitting the form. Here you can also include a background image that will be shown behind the form.

Custom Question Fields

Question fields represent the information you want to collect from the lead. You can choose from two types of question fields. Standard question fields (gender, job title, company name, address) are fields that can autopopulate. Custom question fields are questions you write in yourself. For instance, it could be {number of years as a turtle owner}. You can include up to 15 questions, but we recommend keeping it to four or less.

Privacy Policy

Facebook lead ads require you to link to your company’s privacy policy. Create this page on your business's website if you don’t already have one, and type the link here.

Completion Screen

This is the screen that will appear after a user submits the form. Facebook enables you to include a call-to-action or download link here. Usually, it pays to say thank you and offer them a link to use to visit your website or some other page they will enjoy.

Enable Open Sharing on the Form (Optional)

Click Settings at the top of the Create Form window, and check the box that says open. This is an advanced step and is optional. But, we recommend it since it helps you gain organic traffic.

7. Publish or Save Your Ad

Lastly, in the bottom right, click save draft or, if you are ready to publish, click publish. Then you are all done. Congrats! After completing these steps, Facebook will review your ad campaign. Typically, the approval process takes less than 24 hours. If you are worried about getting approved or have been rejected, check out Facebook’s How to Get Ads Approved.

Now that you understand the technical aspects of the process, let’s walk through some strategies and tips for optimizing your Facebook lead ads.

How to Optimize Facebook Lead Ads

Follow these tips to optimize your Facebook lead ads to generate the most and best leads possible. Track your conversion rates as you make these optimizations to test for improvements.

Target the Right Audience

The audience you target should align with your ad’s objective. For instance, if you sell biodegradable wooden silverware, you should target people with behaviors that indicate a love for the environment. If you're selling membership to a yoga studio, focus on health-conscious people in your local area. Facebook gives you a wide range of targeting options.

When advertising on Facebook, there are three main types of audiences: lookalike, location-based, and custom.

  1. Lookalike Audiences: If your goal is to find more customers, build a lookalike audience. It's modeled after the traits of your current, most valuable customers. Narrow is better. Niching down is a good thing, no matter how much it hurts. 
  2. Location-Based Audiences: If you want to spread the word about or drive traffic to a brick-and-mortar business, you should create an audience of people in close proximity to the physical location. You can use Facebook’s business locator feature for this. 
  3. Custom Audiences: Custom audiences could be people on your email list, recent website visitors, past customers, or people in your Facebook business group.

Include a Valuable Offer

Clearly state what you are offering the user in return for filling out of the form. Write this offer in your body ad copy and in the introduction of your lead form.

Also, be sure to include images that back up your words. If you are offering a physical product at a discount, include an image of the product and write the discount in the ad headline. If you are offering a free SEO checklist, include a snapshot of a section of the checklist. Essentially, the image's job is to help users understand what they will receive.

Simplify Your Form

When your ad form is simple, more people will fill it out. Each field you add increases the likelihood that a user leaves. So, we recommended including three to four questions if possible. Figure out what information matters most for your sales process and stick to it.

Keep in mind that the custom questions you include will not autopopulate the lead’s info. Therefore, take advantage of Facebook’s question types. One popular type is multiple choice, which gives the user a dropdown menu of answers to choose from.

Save Money Through Ad Scheduling

Ad scheduling is a great way to reduce costs by making sure your ads aren’t running while your target audience isn’t actively using the network. For instance, if you sell professional coaching services, your audience isn’t probably awake at 3:00 in the morning. Don’t run ads then. 

However, if you sell a drink that induces sleep and your target audience is people coping with insomnia, go ahead. Remember, you can always test and adjust scheduling.

Use the AIDA Technique

Famous copywriter Gary Halbert recommends the AIDA technique for creating effective ads. Let’s take a quick lesson from the man and learn how to get your leads to click on your form. 

  1. Attention: First, grab the scroller’s attention. You could use a surprising image that evokes strong emotions. Or you could highlight the incredible discount you are offering. Write body copy that’s out of the ordinary. Most of all, align it with your audience’s interests. 
  2. Interest: Next you have to get them interested in your offer. Do this by writing what they will receive clearly in the ad copy or lead form introduction. 
  3. Desire: List the benefits of what they will receive if they fill out your form. Or use a format that shows them something they want, like an image of a new dirt bike or a carousel that walks a visitor around a rental house to a private beach.
  4. Action: Clearly label your lead form call-to-action button.

Remember the Psychology of Sales

There are some age-old psychological tactics that still work for grabbing people's attention and influencing them to take action. 

  • Urgency: If you are making a limited-time offer, mention it in your ad copy. If people know this is their one chance to get it, they might pull the trigger. 
  • Social Proof: Social proof lends credibility to your product or service. Show pictures of other people using your solution or include a testimonial in the copy. 
  • Benefit Over Features: List benefits, not features. If you are selling an online course, don’t write the course materials. Instead, write what they will learn and how their lives will improve. Apple’s iPod ad said “1000 songs in your pocket.”
  • Giveaways: People love free things. Give them a free ebook, report, or consultation. This will also help you make sales down the line. In the book Influence, Cialdini writes of the law of reciprocity: if you give someone something, they feel inclined to give you something back—their time or money.

Facebook Lead Ad Examples

Let’s go through some examples of ways companies are successfully using Facebook lead ads. Use the best elements from each to create a high-performing ad of your own.

The Creative Carousel Lead Ad

The carousel ad format allows you to display multiple images in your ad. If you are feeling extra creative, you can make sure these images follow a logical progression. For instance, if you are offering a bungee jumping outing in New Zealand, you could document the journey of one of your customers through the adventure.

Below, Tokyowheel did a great job creatively leveraging the multiple images in a carousel lead ad. Each image is associated with a section of the course. And they quickly describe what’s included in each section. This helps the user grasp what they are receiving when they sign up. It also helps that the teacher looks so friendly.

example carousel lead ad
Example carousel lead ad

The Beautiful Image Lead Ad

Beautiful, high-quality, crisp images are often great ways to stop someone dead in their tracks. People can’t help but gaze into the vibrant contrasting colors of your lead ad. For an idea of what we mean by high-quality images, check out Practical Social Media’s ad. It’s simply glowing.

Example lead ad with high-quality image

The Product-Focused Lead Ad

Sometimes buyers just want to see what the product looks like and how it works. You can provide them these answers in your lead ad images or videos. Check out how Square did this in their carousel lead ad.

Highlighting your product and how it works in your images.
Example product Facebook lead ad

They are showing off the card reader here and doing a great job of it. They help visitors visualize exactly how they will use the reader with your smartphone. It just looks so easy. Plus, the blue background really makes the white reader pop. Even more impressive is that they are anticipating other questions that might pop into the visitor’s mind, such as “Will it read chips?” Then they address it in the next image.

The Smile-Inducing Lead Ad

If you can get your audience to smile or laugh when they see your ad, you have a better chance of converting them into leads. Slack does a great job with an image of a professional riding a pink pony.

humorous facebok lead ad
Example humor in a lead ad

Plus, they clearly state a common pain point for their target audience (office meetings), then offer the solution (their product). Furthermore, their call-to-action button is “learn more” rather than “shop now.” They know the audience will want to do some research on their own before investing in a software solution.

The Enticing Discount Lead Ad

People love to get things at a bargain. Consider offering a discount to people who fill out your lead form. Udemy does this well in this lead ad.

discount facebook lead ad
Example discount lead ad

Udemy does a couple of things well here. First off, they put the discount right at the beginning of the headline. Second, they clearly state the benefits of signing up: if you sign up for the course, you will learn how to perfect your nonverbal communications. Anyone looking to improve in this area will think twice before scrolling down.

Benefits of Facebook Lead Ads

Facebook lead ads provide many benefits to businesses. They help them expand their customer base, generate high-quality leads, and increase brand awareness. Here are some other key benefits of lead ads: 

  • Reduce Drop-offs: Leads can fill out the form right on Facebook, without jumping to your website. Plus, the lead ad forms autopopulate using the user’s data, so the lift for them is light. 
  • Optimize for Mobile: Lead ads are optimized for small screens. So they will look appetizing to mobile users, which includes 98% of Facebook users. 
  • Ask the Right Questions: You can decide which questions you ask your leads, selecting only the ones that matter most. 
  • Provide People What They Want: Whether your customers want demos, consultations, reports, or newsletter subscriptions, you can give it to them. 
  • Fewer Steps: You won’t have to create a landing page for the ad campaign. Leads fill out the information right in Facebook.
  • Highly Targeted Segments: Facebook’s targeting functionality gives you a lot of options so that you can target a very specific audience. That means the leads you generate have the potential to be highly qualified for your product or service. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Much Do Facebook Lead Ads Cost?

There are a lot of variables that determine how much your lead ads will cost. Depending on your circumstances, lead ads could cost you as much as $10 a click or as little as $0.70. According to a Wordstreams study, the average cost per click of Facebook ads across all industries is $1.72.

How Do I Edit Existing Lead Forms?

It is impossible to edit an existing lead form’s content after you have published it. However, Facebook offers this workaround. Essentially, you can duplicate the form you want to edit, make the edits, and then publish it.

If your form is saved as a draft, you can edit it all you’d like. Hover over the form you'd like to edit. Click the Edit button. Then, make any necessary edits and click either Save Draft or Publish. If you are still working on it, click Save Draft; that way, you can return to finish it later.

Bottom Line

Regardless of your specific business objectives, Facebook lead ads can help you with high-quality lead generation. These lead ads are relatively inexpensive and easy to set up. What matters most when creating them is your ability to align your messaging and offer with your audience.

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