Facebook Lead Ads: Everything You Need To Know and How To Create it

Facebook Lead Ads: Everything You Need To Know and How To Create it

In addition to generating sales, many website operators also pursue a second goal – increasing leads. These can include newsletter subscribers, requests for appointments in local shops or applications for job advertisements. 

There is a suitable ad format on Facebook and Instagram for these goals: Lead Ads. The lead ads were rolled out worldwide in October 2015 and have been continuously updated since then due to their resounding success. Therefore, the ad format today has an impressive range of functions. In 2020, the lead ads were renamed Instant Forms.

With the “Lead Ads” ad format, Facebook promises to connect people and companies with just two clicks.

And this promise is kept.

No matter whether you want to receive more newsletter registrations or e-book downloads, for example: with the lead ads, all of this is not a problem at all.

Lead ad forms are filled with one click by the contact information that the user has stored in their Facebook profile (such as name or email address). Thanks to them, difficult filling out of forms is a thing of the past.

This is a real revolution for lead generation, especially on mobile devices.

Because there it is really annoying for users to fill out forms.

At the same time, everyone expects to be able to do everything with a smartphone. Or? 😉

Facebook has recognized exactly this problem and massively simplifies lead generation with the lead ads.

This ad format enables you to quickly and easily get the contact details of potential customers.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about Facebook Lead Ads and how to create them.

What are the advantages of Facebook Lead Ads?

Facebook lead ads massively simplify the filling out of forms.

The cumbersome process of filling out forms on mobile devices is one of the main reasons why it often crashes. Lead ads also make this process much easier on a desktop PC.

The information of the users is drawn directly from their Facebook profile into the form. This is convenient for users, and it also reduces false information

facebook leads ads

Lead ad forms are also 100% mobile-optimized. They open directly within the Facebook app or within the desktop news feed. A lead form is saved directly on Facebook. No link to an external landing page is required. And that in turn significantly reduces loading times.

It is not only the ads that are responsible for the success of a lead generation campaign. Above all, addressing or targeting the right users is crucial.

All of Facebook’s targeting options are also available for lead ads: e.g. Website Custom Audiences, Custom Audiences or Lookalike Audiences.

And Facebook’s targeting is awesome. You reach exactly the people who are important for you and your business.

What Facebook Lead AdsCan Be Used For

Lead ads can be used in a variety of ways and are suitable for almost every application of lead generation. Gathering contact information from potential customers is interesting for everyone, isn’t it? 😉

Here are some implementation examples that can be realized with this ad format:

Application examples for lead ads:

  • You gain new subscribers to your newsletter – the classic!
  • Competitions can also be carried out with user-defined questions, for example.
  • You can offer your e-book or white paper.
  • Conduct surveys with custom questions to get to know your customers better.

The possible uses for Facebook lead ads are extremely diverse. There are (almost) no limits to your imagination 😉

What are the characteristics of instant forms?

If you wanted to generate leads in the past, you had to use Link Page Post Ads, which led to a landing page outside of Facebook. Even with a very well mobile-optimized page, this led to many interruptions, since users had to leave Facebook to fill out the lead forms. This effect was particularly noticeable with mobile devices, as 80% of users use Facebook on the go. This is exactly where instant forms attack and allow the lead information to be submitted in a form within the respective app. 

In addition to mobile play, desktop placement is now also available. In the beginning, instant forms were only possible as dark page post. The formats were then enriched with carousel ads and videos. This increases the scope for more complex leads. The latest update now even enables the use of lead ads on Instagram.  This is particularly exciting, since users on Instagram are significantly less affinity with leaving the network and, thanks to the instant form, no longer have to. 

Open your Facebook advertising account to start a lead ad campaign. clicking on “Create advertisements” you select the objective “Lead Generation” and give a name to your campaign.

click on lead ads

Now select your campaign budget. Here you have two option either choose a lifetime budget or a daily budget.set campaign budget


After you have selected your fan page, it is time to define the target group (s) and spending controls


custom audience

For a lead ad campaign, all targeting options known from Facebook are available to you for defining the target group. 

Exciting targeting options for lead ad campaigns are:

  • Website Custom Audiences: Reach the visitors of your website with the help of a Website Custom Audience and address them with your lead ads. In this way you can, for example, turn your visitors into subscribers to your newsletter.
  • Lookalike Audiences: Use your lead ads to address, for example, the twin target group of your previous newsletter subscribers or fans.
  • Targeting by interests, demographics or behavior: Address people on Facebook based on their interests or behavior. Use the “Limit target group” or “Exclude people” function here to refine your targeting. This avoids wastage and saves your budget. 

You can also choose the placement of your ads, where you want to display your ads.

placement of lead ads

After you have created your target group (s) and placement option, you need to do the optimisation and spending controls.

facebook ads optimisation


This will serve the ads to the people within the target group who Facebook believes will fill out the form.

With the “bid value,” you then have the choice between an automatically set by Facebook or a manual bid.

With a manual bid value, you determine how much a lead is worth to you. Facebook then tries to maintain this value and controls your ads accordingly. One way that you should use.

Make sure that your manual bid is at least as suggested by Facebook. Otherwise, your ads may not deliver.

Note: If your manual bid is too low, there may be little or no delivery of your ads. If this is the case, you can either increase your bid or switch the bid value back to “Automatic”.

Create ads and lead form

After you have determined the target group and the budget, it is time to create ads and lead form.

Here you can select your Instagram page if you want to run the ads on Instagram as well.

Now the select format of your ads. You can run carousel ad, single image ad or video ad.

facebook ads format

When designing your ad, you have the choice between all known design elements. Here you determine the ad image or video, all texts and the call-to-action button.

When designing your ads, make sure that the display on both desktop computers and mobile devices is appealing and that no texts are abbreviated.

set facebook ad

You can find up-to-date design recommendations for the design of lead ads in the official guide for Facebook ads.

Now we come to the core of it all: the lead form.

After clicking on “Create Form” you can create a new form or to duplicate an existing form (to adapt it if necessary).

create lead form

Name your form with a unique name.

Before you continue, you should have the “show advanced options” because there is an exciting function hidden there.

Activate the field “Include leads from all sources”. This means that your form can also be filled out if it spreads organically – e.g. if someone shares it or comments.

You can also share your form on your fan page or in a Facebook group, for example, without having to advertise it.

In the next step, you determine which data you would like to query with your form. In addition to the general user information (such as e-mail address and name), there are over 30 possible fields available.

Basically, the shorter the form, the higher the completion rate of the form.

So limit yourself to the most important information that you would like to receive from the users – e.g. email address and first name.

facebook lead form

Here is an overview of all the data that can be queried with a lead ad:

(The lists open after a click).

1. General data:

2. Contact fields:

3. Demographic issues:

4. Contact data fields:

In the additional question fields, you can either formulate individual questions or select fields from the existing categories.

Attention: A question you have defined or a user-defined question can have a maximum length of 50 characters. In addition, custom questions are always displayed at the beginning of a form. Here, Facebook, unfortunately, limits the scope for design somewhat.

As you can see, Facebook covers almost every area of ​​application with a very large selection of question fields.

And if you want, you can customize the form with a custom question specifically for your purposes.

Because you collect with the Lead Ads information, your customers need you in the next step a  link to your privacy policy to insert.

You can also optionally add a custom disclaimer.

In the last step, you insert the URL of your website. This link will be shown to a user after he has completed your form.

Time for a high five! 

Your form is ready and almost ready to use. Because before you start, you can still decide whether you want to add a context map to your form.

A context map is placed between the ad and the lead form and is basically a small landing page. It offers additional space to integrate further information and texts.

very helpful feature!

A context map is a mini landing page where you can provide more information. Here you can, for example, place information about your company, your e-book or a competition.

This is extremely helpful because, as you know, ad text is limited in length.

A context map consists of a titlean imagea text and a call-to-action button.

The title can be up to 45 characters long.

The image below the title corresponds to the ad image you are using. It automatically pulls into the context map.

When displaying the text, you can choose between bullet points (bullets) or body text (paragraphs).

You also have the option to edit the text of the call-to-action button – for example, in “Participate now & win” or “Download e-book now”.

A context map is a very useful element for communicating further information. It builds additional trust among users.

However, this is an optional element. You can use a context map, but you don’t have to.

At the end of the process, you will see a preview of your form. Here you can click through the individual steps and check everything again.

After clicking on “Create form”, the time has finally come. You can put your lead generation campaign live. 🙂


Before you get to work, I would like to give you some tips on the way. There are a few things to consider:

Create different ads

Always create different variants of your lead ads. Test different ad images, texts or headlines against each other. With the help of such an A / B test, you will soon see which display is the most successful.

Test different target groups

Use your lead ads to address different target groups, e.g. website custom audiences or lookalike audiences. Also useful for targeting interests, behavior or demographics. 

Use an incentive or a lead magnet

Honestly, who gives his contact details these days without a consideration? Right, nobody! For this reason, you should always offer an incentive for lead generation campaigns. This can be a voucher, white paper, e-book, competition or, as in my case, a tool guide.

Insert a context map

A context map is a useful extension for the lead ads. A context map is an excellent way to communicate additional information (e.g. on the incentive). This builds trust among users. And that, in turn, increases the completion rate of your lead form.

Query as little data as possible

There is a simple rule for lead ads: ask as much as necessary but as little as possible from the users. This increases the conversion rate of your form.

How do I get the data of my instant forms?

The report with the data collected can be called up directly at the ad level in the “Results” column. For this action, however, you have to be registered as a page administrator in the company settings of the advertisement manager.

In this way, the data can then be downloaded very comfortably as CSV or XLS. This file then forms the basis for further use – for example, integration into a newsletter distribution list. To maintain the quality of the leads, users should be synchronized and addressed as soon as possible after the lead has been submitted. This is already possible for some Facebook partners  – for example, Salesforce. Others can use the Zapier IFTTT service. This enables the link to popular mailing systems such as Mandrill or Unbounce.

What tips should you need when placing lead ads?

  1. Instant forms can have many useful uses that go beyond subscribing to a newsletter. An attractive application is the recruiting of employees. However, the execution of competition or surveys are also possible via instant forms.
  2. The data required in the forms should be reduced to the bare minimum to maximize the conversion rate.
  3. Similar to other ad formats, instant forms should be precisely targeted. This is where working with Custom and Lookalike Audiences lends itself. Your fans can also be an excellent source of leads.
  4. If newsletter subscribers are won, the following approach should be made immediately. It can thus be ensured that the registration is still present in the minds of the users, and the opening rates of the newsletter are positively influenced. This also applies to other purposes.
  5. Different forms should be tested against each other. Above all, this allows the amount of data requested to be optimized.
  6. Finally, it makes sense to communicate the advantages that arise from the release of the information. Good test scenarios can also be created with this.
  7. Mobile there are two questions on a form page.
  8. Forms cannot be deleted, but they can be duplicated.
  9. The evaluation of the lead quality should be carried out in comparison to other extraction measures
  10. Test of all placements (mobile, desktop, Instagram), ad formats (page post, video, carousel) and form elements.
  11. Exclusion of existing contacts from targeting.

Because of the promising possibility of generating leads via Facebook with excellent usability for the user within the Facebook and Instagram app, mobile or on the desktop, every advertiser should carefully consider the placement of instant forms. Almost every business model can benefit from leads – Facebook offers an excellent format for this with its instant forms.