Since its debut in 2015, Facebook Lead Generation Forms (LGFs) have been a powerful tool for direct response marketers.
For the first time, Facebook marketers can harness the power of the platform’s nearly limitless targeting capabilities without directing traffic to a website.
We were then able to create a simple form and have potential customers fill out their information in the app, even using their Facebook account data as a pre-fill.
Lead generation models featured and addressed two of the biggest challenges social marketers faced when driving low funnel goals on Facebook: low traffic And the Landing page conversion rates.
However, the pendulum swings almost immediately in the opposite direction.
By making the experience as automatic and frictionless as possible, lead generation forms can easily become a source of leads.
As a result, these potential customers have gained a bad reputation in some cases. While some advertisers may be reluctant to try this valuable tactic, lead quality has improved dramatically thanks to recent updates in how we track and improve lead generation models.
Here are the latest developments and best practices that you need to know to use Facebook Lead Generation models to their fullest potential.
conversion lead vs. Lead
If you’ve created a new Lead Generation campaign on Facebook over the past few weeks, you may have noticed that there’s a new option under the Ad block’s “Optimize ad delivery” tools.
The new optimization option is called “Lead”.
What is the difference? Well Convert Leads is a new option that uses Facebook’s Conversions API to improve the overall quality of your leads.
Here is a small breakdown:
- Lead Refine by quantity, giving you the largest volume of leads for your budget. This was how Lead Generation campaigns previously worked by default.
- Conversion leads Using signals from backend data to show ads to users that are more likely to convert.
Think of it this way: anyone can fill out a form and be a “leader” on Facebook. But whether this “lead” is valuable to your business depends on how it progresses through the sales funnel.
Leads can become MQLs, prospects, customers, etc – and this all happens after the initial lead is generated, usually in a CRM system.
By connecting your CRM system to Facebook via the Conversions API (CAPI), you can now send those conversion path stages back to Facebook for tracking and optimization purposes.
Instead of optimizing for volume, you can start optimizing the types of leads that mean more to your business.
Aim for quality, not quantity.
Configure your CRM
to benefit from Conversion leads On Facebook requires backend data to be integrated with Facebook through CAPI. The complexity of this process can vary depending on the type of CRM you are using.
Detailed instructions on how to configure CRM for CAPI integration can be found here here. Some integrations have to be built from scratch, while some partners have existing tools to help facilitate this with as little development work as possible.
Once your CRM system has been integrated through CAPI, Facebook will then allow you to configure the Sales Funnel in Events Manager.
During this step, you’ll grade the offline events that are sent back to Facebook through CAPI, and give the platform an understanding of how the leads are progressing.
Once you configure the sales funnel, you will be able to define a new optimization event.
This will be the lead quality indicator that Facebook will use to improve when selecting Lead Conversion as an optimization for you.
Choosing the right event means balancing the amount of data available with the importance of that event.
For example, B2B marketers may tend to choose a “closed win” as their optimization event, as this may be the final stage of the process.
However, there may not be enough data points to adequately train the Facebook algorithm.
That’s why we recommend a quality demonstrative event that’s plentiful enough to increase the data points flowing into the platform. For example, B2B marketers could use something like “MQL” instead.
Best Practice: Facebook Lead Generation Forms
As Michelle Morgan points out in her 2019 article 4 Strategies to Increase Facebook Ad Quality, advertisers can do a number of things using just the same model to improve the quality of their submissions.
Since the Facebook platform is constantly evolving, let’s review these suggestions, along with some new updates that can greatly improve your chances of getting the right people to raise their hand.
higher intent leads
Given that lead quality can be an ongoing issue with Facebook LGFs, the first thing we must do, counterintuitively to most direct response marketers, is create a little friction in the experience.
Selecting the High Intent form type adds a confirmation screen before leads are submitted. Although it may be hard to believe, there are quite a number of people who find themselves accidentally providing their contact information via these forms.
You can easily reduce this by adding this confirmation barrier, thus ensuring that only people who want to do business with you will share their information.
The drop in conversion rate in general is so negligible for qualified leads that I have a hard time recommending anything but high intent forms.
Use custom questions
Don’t be afraid to ask additional questions, especially if you have previous LGFs that have resulted in increased volume and doubt about quality.
Increasing potential leads with self-reported data not only improves the quality of your responses, but it gives your internal sales teams more data to work with during the onboarding process.
Facebook allows creating custom questions that can be either multiple choice or short answer. Questions can also be organized to contain basic conditional logic based on responses to previous questions.
Add additional questions in the format that works best based on your company’s qualification criteria, and try to match the fields as closely as possible to the CRM systems you’re using. This can be done in the Settings section under the Field Names heading:
caution: You might be tempted to create a custom question asking the user’s email address or contact phone number to request manual entry. As clever as this is, Facebook has recently cracked down on this practice, and your form can be rejected.
Contact after completion
Many advertisers focus so much on lead form questions and mechanics that they often neglect the post-submission experience.
Depending on the type of form and the experience you’re creating, Facebook gives advertisers three options to choose from for use in the final screen after a lead has been submitted.
Call-to-action buttons include:
- Visiting site.
- Download (for walled assets).
- Business contact.
If your campaign doesn’t involve giving the user a closed asset (white paper, etc.), you might be tempted to just direct potential applicants to a relevant landing page. But you may miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of high-intentioned customers as soon as possible.
Test your call-to-action “Call business,” and allow applicants to speak to the right people as quickly as possible.
We recently tested this CTA for one of our clients, and we were so glad we did.
When given the option, more than 12% of applicants called the number, and the qualification rate for these high-intention callers was 20% higher than the baseline for driving the form themselves.
This so-called “speed-to-lead” can be problematic for many marketers, as follow-ups occur hours and sometimes days after the initial lead has been submitted. Adding a phone number to a post-submission page almost completely removes this problem.
Flexibility of model delivery
In case you missed it, Facebook is now giving marketers the option to turn existing lead forms into automated conversations.
This option is great because it collects the lead information you’re looking for and allows you to interact with audiences via Facebook Messenger after the lead has been submitted.
Recently, Facebook added a new option to the Ad Settings called “Flexible Form Delivery”. Toggling this option will improve the type of experience (form or chat) for audiences based on conversion potential.
Some people like to fill out forms. Others are more active on FB Messenger. Testing this option can increase volume, conversion rate, and overall quality by customizing to the optimal user experience.
Facebook LGFs can drive you a large number of leads at an effective cost per lead. But quality problems have been an ongoing problem for most marketers.
But thanks to recent advances in offline tracking and optimization through the Facebook Conversions API, marketers now have more levers to pull when optimizing your lead qualification rate with form campaigns.
With these new advancements and battle-tested best practices for creating high-converting lead forms, there’s never been a better time to add Facebook Lead Generation Forms to your direct response marketing mix.
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