Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Vikram Gupta, Business Director, Havas Media. You can connect with him on Twitter – @vikram_a_gupt.
Facebook has opened up to advertisers for capturing leads. Launched in last October, users can easily fill out lead forms with their Facebook account information with a couple of taps on their smartphones. Recently, Facebook made the format available on desktop, as well.
A lead ad on Fb looks like a typical link ad with a call to action button on the surface, but when you click on the CTA button (“Apply Now,” “Get Quote,” “Download,” “Learn More,” “Sign Up” or “Subscribe”), the user is immediately shown a form within Facebook.
The form pre-fills requested information like name and email address based on Facebook profile information, which of-course can be edited by the user before submitting. Learn more about setting up lead ads.
A typical lead gen ad on Facebook looks like this:
Many marketers who’ve had access to early A/B testing of Facebook’s native lead ads claim that it outperformed link ads driving to the website to fill out a lead form – in terms of total leads and conversion rate, while driving an almost 4x reduction in CPLs compared to other lead generating inventories.
Facebook has also added multiple CRM/vendor partners for lead-gen ads, with the likes of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Constant Contact, Infusion Soft and Sparkroom. This is a definite plus and will enable seamless integration of campaigns and CRM systems.
So the question is will it or won’t it take off? Here’s my take on why Facebook Lead gen ads will take off:
A less cumbersome process with simplification of Opt-in forms
Since FB already has a lot of user shared data – these are automatically populated in the form – saving users the hassle of typing – a blessing for Mobile Lead gen campaigns.
Also this overcomes (to a great extent) the struggle which marketers have always faced – how much user data to capture! As the thumb rule goes, more the info requested – lower the conversion rate – well, Fb might have just overcome this with pre-populated user details.
No more Landing pages
While LPs are a great way to channel the user and provide relevant info, a lot of times it just creates more opportunities for the user to lose interest, get distracted or decide not to fill out that form with this process.
Empirically we’ve also seen that users generally do not want to move away from the site they are on for the purpose of filling a lead (that’s why the form based banners were created!)
Then there are the many issues that can happen on the LP
- Poor load time
- Improper or no-optimized LP design
- Too many fields in the form etc.
A blessing for Mobile and junk will decrease
No more fiddling to type in user details – all the user needs is couple of taps to complete the form.
Besides junk leads will decrease drastically since Facebook has already verified the users credentials while signing up (most of the time the info is authentic), chances of leads with typical lead problems will be reduced.
Percentages to contact would increase, database tables would not require extra efforts to be maintained, and lead values and fields will have uniformity.
Privacy Still Applies
All lead forms are submitted only once the user authorizes by clicking on submit. So it won’t be sent without the user’s approval.
While there are strong indicators for this inventory to succeed, there are some questions that do come to mind such as:
Will Conversion Rates Go Up? Definitely the lead conversion rates would go up as users would definitely be comfortable with this new method, however because now users would make the decision to submit a lead (more or less impromptu) without having read the full details of the product/landing page content – this would increase the percentage of cold leads.
Will Costs Go Up? If conversion rates go up, their demand would increase. As a result, Facebook may charge more to use Lead Ads.
All in all, I think this is a welcome property and it sure is the next logical evolution of ad units from Facebook.