FB Lead Ads: Pros, Cons, and Best Practices

If you’re a marketer using social media to find new leads to drum up business, you know that the secret to having a successful FB lead ads campaign is to remove as much friction from the process as possible. 

That means if you want to boost your customer base and collect names, emails, and phone numbers from potential customers, you’re going to want to make it super simple for people to fill out your lead form. 

You might be thinking: well, duh! And you’re right! 

It seems obvious, doesn’t it? So let’s talk a little more about why FB lead ads are the perfect solution for making things super easy so that you generate all the leads you’ll ever need to boost your business.

Plus we’re giving you all the best practices to follow for ads that optimize for tons of conversions.

What is a FB lead ads?

Chances are that you’ve encountered an ad attempting to get lead information before. They’re the ads that direct you to a company’s landing page and prompt you to provide your name, email, and phone number. There’s usually a reward for giving your information, like a special offer or discount code. 

That’s not a FB lead ads. At least not the kind we’re going to discuss here.

A FB lead ads is different in that it enables you to get a lead’s information without them ever leaving Facebook. The ad includes its own form, called an Instant Form, that can be accessed within the app, straight from your ad.

What are the benefits of using FB lead ads?

Before FB lead ads, marketers would have to take potential leads for a longer ride. From ad to the landing page to the blank form. 

Those “traditional” lead ads are meant to find people who might be interested in your business and gather information from them. They work well for gathering high-quality, qualified leads since the information collected comes from individuals who are more invested in your brand or product and aren’t bothered by the longer click-through path.

But it doesn’t help you to get information from potential customers who are deterred by the difficulty of abandoning what they were doing to visit your page and take the time to fill out your form.

That’s where FB lead ads come in. 

Since there’s a lot of friction involved in the prospect to lead process, marketers looking to find more leads and simplify the process for potential customers should consider using the Leads campaign objective in Ads Manager to run a Facebook lead ads campaign. 

To get a better sense of why Facebook lead ads are so effective, let’s look a little closer at the difference between other ads aiming for a lead vs FB lead ads. 

When you run a Facebook lead ads campaign, Facebook users can fill out lead forms, join email lists, and get discount offers all while never leaving the social media platform.

This means you can help eliminate drop-off and create a form that users can complete right in their News Feed, in Instant Articles, the Messenger app, or wherever else they may see your ad. 

Facebook automatically fills the form with a person’s contact information.

Literally, all they have to do is click “submit.”

By not sending people to another page, you eliminate friction and have a higher chance of capturing more leads.

To sum it up, FB lead ads will help you get more conversions because: 

Less friction

User information is auto-filled, and they can answer questions through your Instant Form without ever leaving Facebook. 


It seems pretty clear based on the numbers that mobile ads are the future of marketing. Thankfully, lead ads are easy to view and interact with on mobile devices. 

Fast data with less effort

There’s no need to create a new landing page or conversion path to capture customer information. Gather names, phone numbers, and emails fast to start getting more conversions. 

You can even integrate your CRM for more effective analysis and immediate action.

More targeted

Use interests, demographics, and geography in Ads Manager to reach your ideal audience and gather key information from qualified leads. 

You can then use that key customer information you’ve collected to create more targeted ad campaigns in the future.

Disadvantages of using FB lead ads

It’s definitely worth noting that lowering the barrier to conversion can have a negative impact on lead quality. 

Because FB’s lead ads make it SO easy to get a prospect’s info, it’s especially important to qualify and nurture leads.

The best way to do this? Marketing automation and your customer relationship management (CRM) tool. 

For example, if you’re trying to get signups for a webinar or build your email list, use double opt-in. It’s an email marketing best practice.

As soon as that lead submits their information in the Facebook lead ad, set up automation so that your CRM (or email marketing) tool sends a confirmation email. You can then set up rules that disqualify the contact if they don’t open or click the email. 

If they end up confirming, nurture the heck out of them with all your valuable content. Use automation to send them a curated welcome email that highlights who you are, what you do, and what content you have that could help them.

There will be a dropoff with FB leads ads, but the better you can learn to nurture them, the less your dropoff will be.

Getting someone’s information is the hardest part. Once you get access to their inbox or phone, it’s all up to you to wow their socks off and give them a reason to keep paying attention.

Now that we know the pros and cons of lead ads, let’s look at how to create new lead ads step-by-step. 

How to create FB lead ads

Using Ads Manager, you’ll begin by selecting the “Lead generation” campaign objective. In addition, you’ll be able to enable Campaign Budget Optimization to distribute your budget across ad sets to get more results depending on your delivery optimization choices. 

From there, you’ll create your audience, determine the budget, and select placements just like you would with any other ad type.

Once you customize the ad copy and specify the creative (single image, carousel, video, etc.), choose how you’d like to prompt your audiences with a call to action. 

FB Lead Ads: How to Create them

Creating your Instant Form

Now, let’s talk about the portion of setting up your lead ad that is unique to lead generation: the form. 

This form is what users will see when they click on your ad’s call to action. Of course, you could link your ad to a separate web page that users will navigate to when submitting their contact information. However,  we recommend creating an Instant Form. 

When you use an Instant Form, you can make connections with people by letting them send their contact information and other information without leaving the Facebook platform, removing friction and increasing chances of a conversion. 

Follow the steps below to create an Instant Form on Ads Manager to help you choose what to include in your form fields:

1. Choose your form type

Once you click Create Form while going through the process of creating your lead generation ad campaign, you’ll be prompted to customize your form depending on the goal of your campaign. 

You can choose a form that’s short, quick, and easy to fill out on mobile (“More Volume”) or a form that includes a review step and gives people a chance to confirm their info (“Higher Intent”). 

FB Lead ads

2. Determine your intro and greeting

After choosing your form type, you’ll be asked to include a background image that will show behind your form. You can either use the image from your ad or upload a new image. The recommended sizing for the new image is 1200 x 628 pixels. 

FB Lead Ads: Create Form

Then, Facebook recommends you add a greeting to your form to let people know why they should complete your form. Add a headline and a description of what your form includes, what it might be used for, and what the user might get in return for filling out the form. 

3. Add your questions

Next, add the most important part of your form: your questions. 

Before you ask for user information, let people know how the information they give will be used or shared in the description box. This reasonably prominent notice will be shared with people before they submit the Instant Form.

Facebook Lead Ads : Add questions

For custom questions, you can choose from multiple-choice, short answer questions, and conditional questions. For conditional questions, you’ll be asked to arrange answers in a CSV file. 

Thankfully Facebook offers the option of downloading a sample file to use as a template in excel. Appointment request questions are also available if you want customers to denote a time of day they would like to meet with you. 

If you need a little help coming up with custom questions for your form, here are some tips on what to ask and what not to ask. 

Instant forms also allow for prefill questions to gather user information. Some of this information may be auto-filled by the user’s Facebook account. Choose from a drop-down menu of categories to add the type of information you need. Options include: 

  • Email 
  • Full name
  • Contact fields (phone number, street address, city, state, province, country)
  • Demographic questions (date of birth, gender, marital status, relationship status, military status)
  • Work information (job title, work phone number, work email, company name)

4. Complete your form

Once you choose what kinds of questions you want to include, you’ll want to complete your new form by adding a message for your leads once they submit their information.

This message can tell them what to expect following their submission, or it can be a thank you screen that can let them know you appreciate the time they took to fill out your form. 

FB Lead Ads: Completion Form

Your end screen can (and should) also include a call-to-action button that directs users to view your website, download a document, or call your business.

Best practices for FB Lead Ads

Now that you know how to create lead ads, let’s look at some best practices to think about when running your lead ad campaign on Facebook.

Create a really good ad

Just because this is a lead ad with a form, doesn’t mean that you drop all the other best practices you would follow when creating an ad. You form will never be seen if they don’t even stop for your ad. Here’s tips for creating a scroll-stopping ad, form or not.

Create a simple and compelling introduction

To help increase conversion rates for your Instant Form, craft an intro section that includes relevant information about your business and what people can expect when they submit your form.

This is the part where you know you have their interest and you need to really sell it in order to get them to continue with the next step. 

Add prefill and multiple choice questions

Make it easier for leads to submit your form by including questions that will prefill answers based on the information people have already given to Facebook. 

You can better qualify your leads by adding multiple choice questions, too. For example, ask for their timeline for purchasing, or their preferred product/service.

The real challenge though, is to keep your ad simple to make sure your audience isn’t overwhelmed with too many questions. Be sure to keep your questions aligned to your goal and ask as few questions as possible to make it easier for people to submit your form faster

Limit short answer questions

Requiring people to type in multiple pieces of information may prevent them from submitting the form. Make your form simpler and more streamlined by eliminating short answer questions. As an alternative, try using multiple choice questions to collect information. 

Provide valuable incentives

An effective strategy for getting your audience to fill out your form is to offer a prize or reward for their submission. Offering your audience a valuable incentive can help increase your numbers of quality leads and build trust with prospects. 

Valuable incentives that may entice users to fill out your Instant Form range from discount codes, gift certificates, sample products, sweepstakes, and eBooks sent by email. 

You may want to test out different incentives and approaches with your custom audiences to determine which offer yields the best results. 

Test the length of your Instant Form

To make sure your form is meeting your business goals, consider running an A/B test where you measure completion rates, cost per lead, and cost per conversion against the length of the form. 

Create an engaging completion screen

Once your leads submit their Instant Form, have a completion screen that prompts them to take another action to ensure your submission form is not a dead end. Link to your Facebook Page, your website, or any online content that would be relevant to your target audience. 

Start creating your FB lead ads

Now that you know the benefits of creating lead ads and how to implement Instant Forms, go make the most of your lead generation campaign and start making your lead ad campaign.

If you’re looking for more information on running ads on Facebook, check out our Facebook Ads Manager guide to absolutely master Facebook campaign setup.

Or, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, let us know. We’ve got a team that can take your lead ads to the next level, getting you more leads than you’ll know what to do with.