The results were not even close.
The offers deployed two types of Facebook ads: one linked to an offsite landing page, and the other used an on-site lead form. Both groups used identical audiences and ad assets. The test ran for six weeks and garnered thousands of registrations.
With a Facebook lead ad, the signup or registration is captured on the Facebook or Instagram platform.
First, some Instagram registrants did not have a real name in their profile, resulting in monikers similar to “Mrs. Magic Woman” in the lead form. This did not necessarily reduce the quality of the lead, but it didn’t help, either.
Other, more burdensome solutions include employing an application programming interface or manually downloading the leads.
Moreover, the email address in a Facebook or Instagram profile is likely personal versus business, making it less desirable for a B2B SaaS company.
Facebook Ad Test
The SaaS company had two existing automated campaigns: one for the courses and one for the workshops.
When your marketing plan requires newsletter signups, event registrations, and resource downloads, Facebook lead ads may be a powerful tool at an attractive cost per acquisition.
The ad is identical to any other Facebook ad. The difference is the form. It even includes a familiar call to action, such as “learn more” or “sign up.”
Registrations from lead ads were not perfect. The information loaded into the form comes from a person’s profile on Facebook or Instagram.
What’s more, in both cases the CPA dropped over time, presumably as the algorithm improved targeting.
I observed a couple of problems with this.
Nonetheless, the lead ad performed much better than the landing page version.
For the course, the lead ads produced 80% more signups at about half of the cost per acquisition. For the weekly workshops, the lead ads generated about 100% more registrations for half of the cost.
The test was aimed at two educational offers: a four-week course with live sessions and an unrelated, weekly live workshop.
Lead ads feature a mobile-first form already filled out with a Facebook or Instagram user’s name and contact information. The ads transform the registration or subscription path as less form friction results in more conversions.
Another challenge with using Facebook lead ads has to do with collection and automation. How does an advertiser get the leads created on Facebook? How are those leads added to marketing automation campaigns?
Keeping the registration on Facebook or Instagram is, for many, a better form experience. Facebook presumably prefers this, too, since the user is not required to leave one of its networks.
This likely has to do with the email address associated with some user accounts. My own Facebook and Instagram accounts, for example, are associated with an email address that I have had since the 1990s. I check it once a week or so. Perhaps some of the registrants included similar secondary email addresses.
The second issue was more troublesome. Follow-up emails sent to registrants from lead ads had relatively fewer clicks and engagements.
A simple Zapier integration can transfer the leads from Facebook to a marketing automation platform.