Facebook Lead ads appeared in my Power Editor last week and I just had to give them a try. I do get excited about this stuff. My first impression is that they are going to be hugely valuable for advertisers.
Lead ads are mobile-only and encourage users to complete a form. This form could be a newsletter subscribe, a download or even a competition entry.
When users click the ‘sign up’ button the form auto-populates from their Facebook info. By default it’s their name and email but you can add up to three additional questions.
I set one up quickly yesterday to see how they worked. Here it is:
I think they could be really effective, particularly if you offer something valuable in return for the lead. In my test I offered a very basic Facebook ads worksheet. I’m imagining I’d get better results for an eBook or competition.
Here are my initial thoughts:
What I Like
Simple For Users
Facebook users will find this kind of ad easy to interact with. When we create ads that drive people to our websites users usually have a long wait whilst our site loads. As anyone who uses Facebook knows this can be a very slow process. I’m sure we lose lots of potential leads purely on load time within Faceobook.
Because lead ad forms are part of the Facebook architecture, load speed won’t be a problem. Forms will load speedily.
Forms are auto-populated by the info the user has given Facebook. This means users won’t have to spend time typing into their mobile. Again this means less friction, people are more likely to add their info.
No Landing Page Required
Landing pages are specific pages on your website that you drive your Facebook ad traffic to. Spending time optimising your landing pages is usually an important part of any social media campaign.
Lead ads eliminate the need for landing pages. The form is in essence your landing page and it’s built into Faceook. This is great news for those who don’t have the technical knowledge or budget to create landing pages on their sites.
What I Don’t Like
I’d love it if the information I collected was sent straight to my email marketing software. This would mean that subscribers would automatically get my welcome email and I could start building on the results immediately. Sadly this isn’t an option yet.
Facebook already integrates with Mailchimp for it’s custom audiences so I’m sure this is something that will be added in the near future.
Although Facebook has a ‘real name policy’ I have several Facebook friends who use fake names. I’m also aware that the emails people use for Faceobook aren’t always the ones they use in their real life. I know I rarely check the email address I use to access Facebook.
Because the forms are auto-populated we coould get leads in a fake name and with irrelevant email addresses. I’ve added an additional question to my ad ‘Work Email Address’ to help combat this problem.
No Instant Access To Data
To see the information you have collected via your lead ad you have to download a spreadsheet from your Facebook page. Because I’m excited about this new ad type I’m downloading this everytime I get a new subscriber. This seems more labour intensive than necessary. Again I think this is something Facebook will fix soon.
Database Hard To Find
As far as I can see the only way to access your database of subscribers is to go to your page, click ‘Publishing Tools’ and select ‘Forms Library’ from the left hand side menu.
I may be missing a shortcut but I’ve looked elsewhere and it’s not clear if there is somewhere else to find it.
I like lead ads, I love their simplicity and I can see them doing well in the future. To date I’ve had three new leads from my ad and one of those came organically. I’ll update you with the final result at the end of the week.
Have you tried Lead Ads? Have you responded to one? I’d love to hear your thoughts.