Facebook Lead Ads: A Low Cost But a Terrible Idea

21 Jun, 2023

Explore the truth behind Facebook Lead Ads in our latest blog post. Learn what they are, their appeal, and the often-overlooked downside: low-quality leads. Find out when it makes sense to use them and how DriftLead can help you generate superior leads.

Facebook Lead Ads: A Low Cost But a Terrible Idea

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The world of digital marketing is a captivating blend of opportunities, enticing enough to lure businesses into trying out various platforms and ad formats. Facebook, with its expansive user base and granular targeting options, seems an ideal frontier for advertisers. And among Facebook's various ad formats, one that often takes center stage is Facebook Lead Ads. On the surface, they seem like a gold mine—low cost, easy setup, and promising volumes of leads. But as they say, not all that glitters is gold.

As a seasoned agency, DriftLead has had its fair share of experiences with different advertising platforms and formats, and we're here to share an important insight: Facebook Lead Ads, while seemingly attractive, might not be the best option for your business. Surprised? In this article, we will dive deep into what Facebook Lead Ads are, how they work, why they've gained popularity, and, crucially, why they might just be a wolf in sheep's clothing for your business. We'll also reveal why their generated leads often leave much to be desired.

Understanding Facebook Lead Ads

As we dive into Facebook Lead Ads, let's set the stage by understanding what they are. Facebook Lead Ads are a type of ad format available on the social media giant's platform that allows businesses to collect information from users without needing to leave Facebook. These ads appear like any other ads in a user's news feed but, when clicked, open up a pre-populated form with the user's Facebook contact information.

This user-friendly feature is designed to make gathering leads as frictionless as possible. The user must review their information and hit 'submit'—no need to type anything or even leave the Facebook interface. For advertisers, this means a streamlined path to collecting user data and generating leads.

On the surface, Facebook Lead Ads appear to be a marketer's dream: they're easy to set up, they eliminate the typical barriers associated with lead generation (like form-filling fatigue), and they promise a steady stream of leads right from Facebook's massive user base. But as we'll discover in the subsequent sections, the reality is more nuanced, and this seemingly perfect solution might not be as beneficial for businesses as it initially appears.


Image source: Drip.com

The Attractiveness of Facebook Lead Ads

As a business, it's easy to see why Facebook Lead Ads might look like a shiny new tool in your digital marketing toolbox. Their appeal lies in a combination of user-friendly features, simplicity, and the potential to tap into Facebook's vast user base. Here are some reasons why businesses are attracted to Facebook Lead Ads:

  • User-friendly: With Facebook Lead Ads, users don't have to leave their comfort zone, i.e., the Facebook interface, to provide their information. This makes the process less disruptive and more convenient for potential customers.

  • Simplicity: Setting up Facebook Lead Ads is a relatively straightforward process. Facebook's user interface guides businesses through the setup process step by step, making it easy to get your ad campaign up and running.

  • Access to Facebook's User Base: With billions of active users, Facebook presents businesses with an enormous pool of potential leads. This large and diverse audience is a major draw for businesses considering using Facebook Lead Ads.

  • Speedy Lead Generation: The ad format is designed to reduce friction in the lead generation process, making it easy for users to share their information with advertisers. As a result, businesses often see higher conversion rates compared to other ad formats.

  • Cost-effectiveness: Facebook Lead Ads can be less expensive than other types of ads because they are designed to encourage quick and easy conversions, reducing the cost per lead.

At face value, these advantages make Facebook Lead Ads appear to be an attractive proposition. However, as discussed in the following sections, the reality might not be as rosy when considering lead quality and long-term impact on your business.

When Facebook Lead Ads Make Sense: A Creative Approach

Despite their potential drawbacks, there are circumstances and strategies where Facebook Lead Ads can prove useful. The key lies in how creatively you approach the tool, keeping its strengths and limitations in mind. Here's when and how Facebook Lead Ads can be a valuable addition to your marketing strategy:

Understanding the Attribution Advantage: Post the iOS 14.5 update, the digital marketing landscape has drastically changed. Apple's privacy updates have made it challenging for advertisers to track user behavior accurately. However, with Facebook Lead Ads, the conversion event happens within the platform, ensuring 100% accurate attribution. This is a significant advantage, especially in a time when tracking and attribution are becoming increasingly complex.

  • Rapid Testing: If you are in the early stages of a campaign and want to test out your messaging or targeting quickly, Facebook Lead Ads can help. They offer a fast and cost-effective way to test creative and messaging and iterate quickly without waiting for users to navigate the entire funnel or buying cycle. Note, however, that by shortening the buying journey, results may not tell the whole picture.

  • Surveying and Research: Facebook Lead Ads can be a quick way to gather customer insights. You could use the lead form to ask a few simple questions, helping you understand your audience better.

  • Top-of-Funnel Engagement: If you’re running a top-of-the-funnel campaign and want to maximize reach and engagement, Lead Ads can be a good option. For instance, they can be a great tool for content downloads, sign-ups for webinars, or newsletters.

  • Use for Specific Industries or Products: If you're in an industry where buying decisions are impulsive (like low-cost consumer goods), Lead Ads might work well. High-value products or B2B businesses might not be the best fit due to the typically longer sales cycles and the need for more qualified leads.

The Reality Behind Facebook Lead Ads

As tempting as Facebook Lead Ads might be due to their accessibility and attribution advantages, it's crucial to weigh these factors against the quality of leads they produce. Here's what you need to know about the flipside of using Facebook Lead Ads.

Questionable Lead Quality: While the ease of filling out a form within the platform might increase the number of leads, the quality often suffers. It's too easy for a user to click and submit a pre-populated form accidentally or out of curiosity without any real intent to purchase or learn more about your product or service. The result? A bunch of leads that are unlikely to convert, which might give you a false sense of success while draining your marketing budget.

  • Lack of User Engagement: Since users never leave the Facebook platform when submitting a lead form, they don't interact with your website or get a feel for your brand in a deeper or more meaningful way. This absence of engagement could hinder your relationship-building efforts with potential customers.

  • Low Conversion Rates: Due to the above points, businesses often experience lower conversion rates from Facebook Lead Ad campaigns. When the leads you acquire aren't seriously interested in your offering, the likelihood of them converting into a sale or becoming a loyal customers diminishes significantly.

  • Marketer Beware: Facebook Lead Ads often appear to perform well on the surface. After all, who wouldn't want a high volume of leads at a low cost per lead? However, the picture often changes if you dig deeper into the metrics that truly matter (like cost per acquisition and lifetime customer value).

Why Facebook Lead Ads Might Not Make Sense for Your Business

While quickly collecting leads might seem appealing, consider whether Facebook Lead Ads align with your business objectives and audience. Here are a few reasons why they might not be the best fit for your business:

  • Quality over Quantity: In business, especially in B2B sectors or industries with high-value products or services, lead quality often trumps quantity. One high-quality lead that turns into a significant sale is often more valuable than hundreds of low-quality leads that lead nowhere. If your business falls into this category, it may be worth focusing on platforms and strategies that yield higher-quality leads.

  • Need for Nurturing: If your product or service requires a lot of customer education and nurturing before a sale, Facebook Lead Ads may not provide the depth of engagement necessary to move leads down your sales funnel effectively.

  • Costly Follow-Up: While lead acquisition might seem cheap, remember to factor in the cost of follow-up. Every lead generated requires some level of follow-up, whether that's an automated email sequence, a sales call, or both. If these leads aren't converting, this can significantly drain resources.

  • Missed Opportunities for Connection: When a user completes a Facebook Lead Ad, they miss out on the opportunity to connect more deeply with your brand, explore your website, learn about other products or services, or engage in other ways that could boost their likelihood of becoming a customer.

How DriftLead Can Help You Generate High-Quality Leads

Navigating the world of online advertising to generate high-quality leads can be daunting, especially when it seems like the rules are constantly changing. That's where DriftLead steps in. Our marketing experts specialize in developing and executing data-driven strategies that focus on lead quality, not just quantity. Here's how we can help:

  1. Custom Strategy Development: Every business is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach won't deliver optimal results. We'll work closely with you to understand your business, goals, and target audience, then develop a strategy tailored to your needs.

  2. Effective Campaign Execution: Whether it's through Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, or a more targeted Facebook Ads approach, we'll handle every aspect of campaign execution, from creating compelling ad copy and visuals to setting up the perfect targeting parameters.

  3. Conversion Optimization: We're experts at conversion rate optimization, meaning we'll design your landing pages, forms, and follow-up strategies to maximize the chances of leads converting into customers.

  4. Data-Driven Decisions: We don't make decisions based on hunches. Instead, we use advanced analytics and AI tools to track the performance of your campaigns in real-time, allowing us to optimize and improve your results continuously.

  5. Transparent Reporting: We believe in transparency. That's why we'll provide regular reports detailing your campaign performance, lead quality, and ROI, so you'll always know how your advertising dollars work for you.

Don't settle for low-quality leads. Let's start creating advertising campaigns that deliver real, measurable business results. Get your free marketing plan now!

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