There are few marketing techniques as effective as social media marketing. The ability to reach your audience from anywhere in the world makes this method of obtaining and retaining customers more accessible than ever before. 

Now that customers are always on their cell phones, many businesses are looking for new ways to target potential customers on-the-go. Facebook lead ads are an excellent way to reach your audience regardless of where they live, what time it is, or what they are doing. And best of all — this type of ad is designed to help you capture leads in the form of email addresses. Once you have a potential customer’s email address, you’re free to market to them on your own terms.

Here’s how to use Facebook lead ads to grow your email list and gain more customers. 

About lead ads and why they’re so valuable

Facebook lead ads are simple ads that you can share from your business’s social media page. In most cases, the advertisement is short and sweet — perfect for those on the go. 

When creating a lead ad, it’s important that you have a clear call-to-action (CTA), or, the action you want the reader to take. Your CTA should involve a customer signing up with their email address in exchange for something of value. 

As you run your ad, you’ll grow your subscriber list and obtain more leads for your next email marketing campaign. Let’s look at an example Facebook lead ad from Allstate Insurance:

Facebook lead ad example
This example entices any viewer of the ad to “Sign Up” with the prospect of saving big money (source).

There are a couple of things that are worth noting in this ad. First, notice the short headline that paints a big picture. Everyone wants to save money. This type of advertising is used to draw in potential leads who are looking to save some cash (A.K.A. most people). 

The next thing to note is the attractive call-to-action. In this instance, customers can click Sign Up and get their free auto insurance quote. The value here is the opportunity to save money on their car and get bonus checks for driving safely. 

Lead ads are slightly different from traditional social ads because they include a built-in lead form and allow the business owner to select different autofill options to help customers sign up easily. If you were to click the “Sign Up” box of the above ad you would likely find that the ad pulled information from your Facebook profile such as your name, phone number, and email address. 

The ability to use information already stored on your potential leads’ profile improves the chances that they will sign up because you’re saving them valuable time during the sign-up process. 

Finally, it’s important that you add a thank you screen after your potential lead signs up with one of your ads. The thank you screen should feature a link to your website. An external link to your site will encourage the customer to continue engaging with your brand. 

Creating your own Facebook lead ad

Now that you know about lead ads and understand what goes into creating a new campaign, we are going to show you how to make a Facebook lead ad from start to finish. 

There are three things that you need to do before you start creating your first ad. You need to set up a Facebook Business page. It’s also vital that you know your target audience. And finally — you absolutely must figure out and plan the type of ad you want to offer to your audience. 

When creating an ad, you should make an offer that will appeal to your customer base and have some sort of value. Some of the common lead ideas include free eBooks, newsletters, quotes, free trials, or discounts on the first order. Once you get your audience pinned down and your offer formulated, it’s time to create your advertisement.

TIP: Create Facebook lead ads directly in Constant Contact

Before I break down step-by-step how to create a Facebook lead ad from your Facebook business account, I want to highlight that Constant Contact customers have the option of creating lead ads directly within Constant Contact.

Create Facebook lead ads in Constant Contact
Constant Contact makes it easy to create Facebook lead ads that automatically integrate with your email subscriber list.

Simply click “Create” on your Campaigns page, then choose “Ads” for the campaign type, followed by “Facebook Lead Ad.” Constant Contact will walk you through the rest of the process automatically to get your ad running and collecting new leads for your subscriber list in no time.

If you’re not a Constant Contact customer, or you’d prefer to learn all the details of what makes up a Facebook lead ad, read on for step-by-step instructions.

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Step 1: Sign in and click ‘Create an Ad’ 

First, you’ll need to sign in to your existing Facebook business account. Next, check out the Facebook lead ad page and look on the top right side of the page for the option to create your ad. 

Facebook for business - create an ad

Step 2: Choose your objective

Now, you’ll have to pick your objective for your ad campaign. There is a list of different ad campaign types to choose from. In this example, we are going to choose the Lead generation objective. 

Simply select the objective of your ad campaign to continue. 

Ad options for Facebook
Choose “Lead generation” as your objective to start creating a Facebook lead ad.

Step 3: Name your campaign and tweak the settings 

Once you select the marketing objective, you’ll get a list of options that you can adjust at the bottom of the page. You’ll first have to name the campaign. You’re going to want to pick a name that is both recognizable to you and distinct from other similar ad campaigns you’ve created. 

Facebook ad creation - naming your campaign

We decided to name our example Email Newsletter Campaign

Below that, you can tweak the options to make this campaign an A/B test. A/B tests, or split tests, are designed to help you create two similar ads with different options so you can determine which ad is more effective with your audience. If you would like Facebook to optimize your ads based on your budget, you can do so by clicking the button next to that option. Click Set Up Ad Account to continue. 

Complete the setup by making sure your location, time zone, and currency are accurate. Click continue to proceed to the next page. 

Facebook lead ad creation - setting a budget

Step 4: Create an ad set

This is the longest part of the process, and we will break it down step-by-step so that you can see how to create your first ad set. 

Facebook lead ad creation - choosing a page

The first thing you’ll notice is that you have to name your ad set. This is the name you’ll use to identify the specific ad when scrolling through your list of published ads. 

Once you’ve named your ad set, you’ll be asked to choose the Facebook page you want to promote. In this instance, we used a page called Marketing Pros and set it up as the business account for these ads. 

Facebook lead ad creation - defining your audience

Next, you’ll be asked to name your audience. The name of your audience is going to depend on the customer persona you hope to target. For example, you may want to name this audience ‘Unisex – United Stated – Ages 25 to 55.’ This information will allow you to quickly check the target audience and make adjustments as needed. 

Below the target audience name, you’ll be asked to pick the locations you hope to target. You can select Everyone in this location followed by a specific place. You can narrow or broaden your search by typing various locations into the ‘include’ box below your initial location.

You may also need to review Facebook’s Non-Discrimination Policy per their guidelines. If so, click Review Now and look through the document before continuing. 

Now we will get into the specifics of your target audience. Click the age drop-down boxes and select the age group you wish to target. 

Next, select the gender(s) you want to target.. 

Select the languages you wish to target in the next box. 

Detailed Targeting allows you to hone in on your audience by picking people who are only interested in certain topics. For example, if you’re trying to sell a marketing e-book, you’re going to want to select Detailed Targeting and pick popular demographics, interests, and behaviors in order to pinpoint your target audience. 

Finally, click on the Connections drop-down box. You can choose who sees your advertisements based on certain specifications. You can choose to exclude people who already follow your page, target friends of people who follow your page, and more. Your connections are going to vary depending on your niche and the value proposition in your ad. 

Click Save This Audience to save this specific audience to your ad page. Once they’re saved, you’ll be able to easily target this same audience again with another ad in the future.

Step 5: Set your budget

Budgets are going to vary greatly from business to business. Below your target audience, you’ll find the ability to set your ad limit based on your budget. Here’s what that screen looks like.

Facebook lead ad creation - budget and schedule

You must first decide if you are going to use a daily budget or a lifetime budget on each campaign. Again, this will vary greatly depending on your marketing plan, your budget, and your goals for this campaign. 

Once you set a budget, select whether you want your ads to run all the time, or if you have a specific time you want them to reach your audience. This is great if you know when your audience typically gets online and want to make sure that they can see your ad. At the bottom of the page, it will tell you your average weekly budget based on what you’ve selected. 

On the right side of the page, you’ll be able to see how many people your ads will reach daily, and how broad your audience is when compared to other ads.

Facebook lead ad creation - audience and reach estimates

As you can see in our example, we have a broad audience size and it’s estimated that our ad will reach between 546 and 3,400 people a day. 

Click Continue at the bottom of the page to continue setting up your ad. 

Step 6: Choose an ad format

You’ll be brought to a page that allows you to create and preview your ad before publishing. The first choice you have to make is how you want your ad to display to your audience. 

Facebook lead ad creation - format options

You can select a single image or video if you want to have a static image next to your advertisement. Alternatively, you could use a carousel to display multiple images while the text of your ad remains the same. We are going to use a single image in our example. 

Step 7: Upload an image or video

The next step involves picking which image(s) or video you want to show on your ad. It’s a standard upload screen where you can select images from your computer or drag and drop to upload them to your Facebook ad campaign. 

Facebook lead ad creation - choosing images

If you’d like, you can create multiple ads with different images at no additional cost. This means your total reach is divided among all of the different versions of the ad you create. 

Step 8: Design text and links

The next step involves choosing the text that you want to appear in your ad. Here’s an example we made:

Facebook lead ad creation - setting your text

The first thing you’ll need to enter is the text you want to appear at the top of the ad. We went with “Want to step up your marketing game?” to generate curiosity from potential customers who are marketing their business, but feel like they could be performing better. 

You can then add a display link if you want customers to be able to go to your page without moving through the call to action. Depending on the circumstances, this could be a benefit or a hindrance. 

Next, you’ll need to add your headline. That’s the bold text at the bottom of the ad. We went with ‘Generate More Leads Today’ because it explains exactly what the person can achieve by clicking our call to actions, which reads ‘Learn More’. 

Facebook lead ad creation - setting your call to action

Below the headline, you’ll have to enter a news feed link description. This is basically where you put your offer on the table. You’ll want to let customers know what they are getting if they choose to follow your ad’s CTA. 

Finally, you’ll be asked to choose your CTA box option. Your call to action will vary based on your offer. Select the option you’d like to use in your ad and check the preview on the right to make sure it looks good. 

Facebook lead ad creation - creating your lead form

The final step in creating your lead ad is designing the contact form for your potential leads when they click your CTA. 

Step 9: Design your lead form

After you click the blue New Form button you’ll be brought to a page where you can use a form builder to choose the type of information you want to gather from your potential leads. 

Facebook lead ad creation - creating your lead form

If you select Intro, you’ll be able to create a small greeting for people who click through on your CTA. This is not a mandatory step, but it could help build rapport with your audience early on and reinforce why they should complete your lead form. 

The meat of your form is going to involve the User Information tab. By default, the email address and full name of the person following your ad are required. In many cases, this is all the information you need to gather for your lead list. However, if you click “show more options,” you can pick other options that will autofill when the lead clicks your ad. You can include options like phone number, address, city, and more. 

The final option here is for creating custom questions. You can use this box as a way to get pointed answers from potential leads about why they are signing up and what they hope to gain from your offer. This information will help you create more effective lead ads in the future. 

If you’ve already added your payment information to your business account, you can select Confirm to create your ad and it will start reaching potential customers based on your specifications. 

You can also review your ad before publishing by clicking the Review button on the bottom of the lead ad page. 

Final thoughts on Facebook lead ads

Social media marketing is the premier way to reach a wider audience and introduce them to your products or services. As you create more lead ads, you’ll soon discover what customers respond to, and how to further engage leads and convert them into customers. Like all forms of lead generation, Facebook ads require trial and error to obtain the best return on investment for your social media marketing efforts.

And remember — if you’re overwhelmed by creating and managing ads on Facebook, on top of your other social media platforms and Google, consider using an all-in-one marketing solution like Constant Contact, which you can try for free with a 60-day trial.