Even with all the digital marketing options available to your business, email remains one of the most effective, raising an average return on investment of 36:1. 

To see your best returns, you need to grow your email list. But, how do you attract interest? 

Facebook lead generation ads can help you do just that, getting your business in front of the right people and inspiring them to sign up. 

Owning your audience

Instead of relying solely on social media to build your brand, turn Facebook into a lead-generation tool by following these guidelines.

What are Facebook lead-generation ads? 

A lead ad on Facebook is an ad campaign designed to build interest in your products or services. It looks similar to your sponsored and organic posts, but its purpose is to drive contact list signups. 

Like other sponsored posts, you can target lead-generation ads to different audiences based on their interests and demographics. However, these ads go a step further, offering instant forms that interested leads can fill out on your email and SMS contact lists. 

How do Facebook lead-generation ads work? 

Facebook lead ads cut out the middle man by letting users sign up for your offers and opt into your email list directly from a sponsored post. Viewers can fill out a form directly from the ad or go to a dedicated landing page where Facebook can autofill some of the fields for them.

You can sync your ad with your preferred CRM database or look at your Facebook Ads Manager page to find a list of people who have opted in. This method doesn’t add much extra work since you can download the list and save it as a .csv or .xlsx file that you can upload into your database. 

It’s more effective to offer users a benefit when building your contact lists. People want to know what’s in it for them when they sign up. So, hook your Facebook leads by creating lead-generation ads with exclusive offers.

Perhaps customers will receive something free, like a one-time consultation, a trial, or a unique piece of content. Or you could offer a special discount code or other promotions to people who sign up. If you’re not sure what to offer, poll your current customers or look through previous email campaigns to see what had the highest levels of engagement. 

This Facebook ad from Sport & Health offers a one-time trial to people who sign up for more information. The copy showcases what the gym has to offer new clients, appealing to those looking for a new gym.

Facebook lead generation ads are also easy for potential leads to fill out. They are:

  • Optimized for mobile devices
  • Easy to connect to your CRM database
  • Customizable for specific target groups

Facebook lead generation ads vs. conversion ads

Lead generation ads are designed to inspire people to fill out a form.

In contrast, conversion ads are created to encourage a specific action, like watching a video, buying a product, or signing up for an event. 

Your main goal for running lead generation ads is to build brand awareness and find more high-quality leads.

If you’re running conversion ads to a group of Facebook users who don’t know your brand, they probably won’t take advantage. Lead generation ads let you introduce yourself and highlight what you have to offer to potential customers.

How to nurture your new Facebook leads

When you start seeing traction from your lead generation ads, take these steps to nurture interested leads through the sales funnel: 

  • Follow up with messages through Facebook’s chatbot
  • Post quizzes to boost user engagement
  • Send personalized content welcoming people to your email list 

Benefits of using Facebook lead generation ads to build contact lists

Email marketing is most effective when your list contains highly qualified leads interested in doing business with you. 

Facebook lead generation ads let you target specific groups of people who are more likely to interact with your business. And, since these ads are mobile-friendly, you can catch users while they scroll on their phones, and interested leads can fill out their contact information directly on the platform without navigating away from Facebook. 

Your best chance of successfully building your contact list with a Facebook lead generation ad is to target people with similar characteristics as your ideal customer. If you’ve already done market research, you know who to target.

If not, create a Facebook lookalike audience using your current list of contacts.

If you’re just starting to build a contact list, look at your existing customers and social media followers and note any trends. You may notice that your best customers come from the same area, are in the same age range, or share interests.

Another option is to do a look-alike.

Once you’ve defined your target audience, you can create ads with language that speaks to them. For example, suppose you have an online clothing store whose primary clients are women ages 25-45 looking for business casual staples. In that case, you can target this age group with your lead generation campaign

If you know what your current customers like about your merchandise, use it to write your ad headline. Instead of creating a generic call to action to sign up for news and deals, you could target your ad by saying: “Build your professional wardrobe with special offers on office staples. Sign up for our mailing list today.” 

In this ad, Valenti Salon appeals to students who are returning to school, offering them the chance to look their best on day 1.

How to use Facebook lead generation ads to build contact lists

Follow these simple steps to create your first set of lead-generation ads and watch your mailing list grow

1. Decide what you will offer in exchange for contact information

Why should someone sign up for your email list? What’s in it for them? Facebook users need a reason to sign up. So give them an incentive.

Determine what you’ll offer people who opt-in to your email and SMS marketing messages. It could be a limited, one-time-only offer, a special discount, a trial, or another offer that will inspire people to share their contact information. If you have some industry-specific knowledge, offer insider information like a webinar or white paper. 

Think of something that will solve an initial pain point for your customer, allowing you to build their trust. 

2. Create an opt-in lead generation landing page

While Facebook allows you to collect contact information directly in the ad, you should also set up a landing page for anyone who wants more information about your brand before signing up.  

Add more detail about your offer and why people should sign up for it. Consider why people may object to signing up for your email list and answer these objections on your landing page. Use language focused on how people will benefit by being on your list. 

Include a call to action above the form that inspires visitors to complete it. Set the form to require users to provide an email address, but give them the option to sign up for text messages as well. With this, you avoid overwhelming a new lead. 

Integrify’s landing page details how users can benefit from the platform. It includes a clear call to action to sign up for a demonstration.

Create a form to gather applicable information for your offer, but keep it simple. You can always follow up and ask for more details further down the sales process. Depending on your offer, ask for a subscriber’s: 

  • Name
  • City
  • Job Title 
  • Company Name

Ask them for their names and city if your primary customers are individuals. Even if they don’t have to live in your area to get the offer, tracking interested customers is always beneficial. It can also help you target future ads by location.

Create an automated welcome series to welcome and confirm when a new contact has signed up for your list. 

3. Set up your automated welcome series

Your automated welcome series gets you on the right foot with your new leads. It’s your chance to make a first impression and deliver on your promise to offer something of value to anyone who signs up for your list. 

Your automated welcome series also serves as the first step in relationship-building with new leads. Create a minimum of two welcome emails to remind new contacts why they signed up for your list and invite them to connect with you. 

In your first email, thank your new leads for signing up. Include the promotional offer or specialized content promoted in your Facebook ad.

In the second email, tell new contacts about your business and how you operate. Get more engagement by asking them to follow your social media feeds and tell them what to expect from your email list. 

If they’ve signed up to receive SMS messages as well, send out a confirmation text message. Be sure to let them know what to expect to receive via text and include an easy way for them to opt out if they want to. Follow up with a reminder to check their email for the offer you promised.

4. Create and run a Facebook lead ad campaign

You want new contacts to notice your ads instead of scrolling past, so use vibrant and eye-catching images. Stock photos work in a pinch, but many companies use royalty-free photos that all look alike, and you want to stand out. 

Consider investing in paid photos for these ads or take some of your own pictures of your business or products. If you’re running a restaurant, take professional pictures of your best-selling dishes with one-time deals to attract customers. 

Next, write a caption to go with your post. Use language that appeals to your target customer and outline how they will benefit by signing up for your email or SMS list. Once you’ve settled on your image and caption: 

  • Open your Ads Manager page
  • Click “Create”
  • Set your objective as “lead generation” and add a campaign name
  • Select your target audience
  • Pick a format for your ad (you can choose a video, single image, or slideshow)
  • Ad your headline, caption, and image
  • Add a contact form to your ad and choose questions for your new contacts to answer. 
  • Click “Finish”

5. Track your campaign

Once your ad is live, you can start using analytics tools to track your performance. Look in Facebook Ads Manager to see how many people interact with your page. And use your online marketing platform’s reports to monitor how many new users have signed up for your email list or SMS messages. 

6. Review, test, and revise for greater success

Not every Facebook lead generation ad will resonate with people the same way. When creating your ads, use different photos, play around with your headlines, and revise your ad copy. Watch your click-through rates (CTR) to see how many people engage with each ad. 

Run A/B testing to see how your target audience reacts to your ads. Select small test groups in similar demographics and change your ad slightly. You might tweak the headline or use different images in each ad. Launch each ad simultaneously and see which one gets better engagement. 

These insights will help you tailor future lead-generation ads to improve your chances of success. 

Use a professional digital and email marketing platform to have everything you need in one place

Using a professional digital marketing platform gives you everything you need in one place. Choose a tool that seamlessly integrates with your Facebook account to create both Facebook and Instagram lead ads easily. 

Create and publish a lead-generation landing page

A lead generation landing page collects initial customer information and establishes contact. A professional digital and email marketing platform offers the tools you can use to easily create a landing page that matches your current website and branding. Find a tool with user-friendly templates, including a clear call to action and a signup form. 

Take it further by adding a “Thank You” to your landing page that loads after someone signs up for your list. This page can include your discount code, promo offers, white paper, or other content exclusive to new members. Or it can be a simple thank you with a note to keep an eye on your inbox.  

Manage your contact lists

Once new users sign up, you can manage your lists using click segmentation and other tools to break contacts down for further personalization. Look for a platform with automated click segmentation to organize your list based on their interests. This will help you create content that resonates with each segment independently. 

Track click-through rates and subscribers

Use dashboard and analytics tools for valuable insights, like click-through rates and new subscribers, to learn which ads and offers get the most clicks. 

For example, you may find that a promotional offer with a one-time discount code draws more people to sign up for your email list than a white paper. This information will help you create future offers that inspire more people to click. 

Create and automate your welcome series

A detailed digital marketing platform will offer tools you can use to write and design your automated welcome emails. Look at the various campaign options and templates for email automation.

A robust platform will offer tools and templates for single automation, like welcome emails, anniversary, and happy birthday emails, alongside tools for multi-step automation. If you’re setting up a welcome series, use multi-step tools to create various messages based on how new leads interact with your welcome email.

You can create different welcome messages based on which segment a person opts into by clicking links in your email. This makes the welcome series feel more personal.

Put it all together

When you’re excited about your business, you want to tell everyone — and email marketing lets you do just that.

Facebook lead-generation ads are a great tool for growing both your mailing list and your SMS marketing list to expand your marketing potential.

Get started by thinking of a killer offer and designing an ad that looks similar to your most successful Facebook posts. Once you know what works best for your audience, get creative with each new campaign and keep growing your business by growing your contact lists.

Learn how to do it in Constant Contact

Create a Lead Generation Landing Page to collect new contacts
Create a lead ad for Facebook and Instagram
Track visits, subscribers, and conversions for a Lead Generation Landing Page