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How to use Facebook lead generation to fill sales pipelines

An effective sales funnel only works if you keep adding new leads. Without a steady drip of qualified prospects, your sales cycle will likely come to a standstill.

To ensure business continues to grow, many sales teams are turning to Facebook. Facebook lead generation ads, in particular, continue to grow in popularity because they are so effective. By launching a Facebook lead generation campaign, one global brand realized a 52% decrease in its cost-per-lead.

In this post, we’ll show you everything you need to know to use Facebook lead generation campaigns to fill your funnel and increase your pipeline.

Table of contents


Design your Facebook lead generation journey and sales process

Facebook lead generation helps you capture data from a robust, mobile-first audience. 98% of people visit Facebook from their phones, so lead ads are optimized for mobile. This means leads can complete a Facebook lead generation form without leaving the platform.

Here’s what this looks like:


The ad is simple and has minimal barriers to completion. With fewer hoops to jump through, you can secure lead information quicker and easier, resulting in higher conversion rates.

WordStream analyzed Facebook lead ads (when leads complete forms within Facebook) vs. conversion campaigns (ads that redirect to landing pages) and found lead ads generated a 2.07% higher conversion rate. The cost per action was slightly higher ($17.98 vs. $13.26), but the dollars paid off.

Facebook lead generation advertising isn’t something you can activate overnight. Before you begin, you need to ensure you have all the pieces in place for a smooth execution and have an idea of the financial benefits and costs.

Align Facebook lead generation campaigns with audience insights and funnel stages.

Your lead ad campaigns should target people using indicators that align with your buyer personas and target audience (more on this in a moment) and invite them to input their contact information into a lead form.

Using Facebook’s API, or another integration, you can then automatically send data from form fields to your CRM. Pipedrive connects with Facebook Lead Ads via Zapier, to help you automate and streamline your process. Once you’ve optimized your ads for the most gain, automations will continuously flow leads into your CRM to contact and retarget with future offers.

To incorporate a Facebook ad campaign into your existing lead generation strategy, you need to consider how the platform will fit into your overall sales process. To do that, review your sales funnel stages and map out each stage of the journey.

Your Facebook lead generation tactics will be top-of-funnel, awareness and discovery campaigns.


This means your ads should speak to the challenges that your audience is trying to solve and position your solution as something that can help.

To point Facebook in the right direction, you need to understand your target audience. This includes unlocking audience insights such as:

  • Audience personas

  • How your ideal buyer moves through your purchasing path

  • What types of content are most likely to grab their attention

These insights will be specific to your business and should function as a roadmap when you are setting up your Facebook lead generation campaigns. Collecting data like this will make your campaigns more effective, resulting in more qualified leads acquired.

The easiest way to uncover this information is to look at your existing customer data, like purchasing data and behavioral insights.

For example, you can use a tool like Web Visitors to analyze behavior on your website and push leads that meet your criteria to your CRM. This helps you identify new businesses that align with your ideal customer profile. You can then target those leads with Facebook lead generation ads to officially bring them into your pipeline.

With your strategy falling into place, it’s time to build out your audiences in Facebook Ad Manager.


Build out the right audience

The first step is to understand who you’re looking to attract so you can build out targeted audiences in Facebook Ad Manager. This is why the customer research we touched on in the previous section is so important.

There are four types of audience you can build within Facebook Ad Manager:

  • Custom Audience. Individuals who interacted with your website or imported contacts from a custom CSV list.

  • Lookalike Audience. Users who are similar to your existing followers.

  • Saved Audience. Frequently used audience groups with basic targeting options.

  • Special Ad Audience. A specialized audience group with certain compliance-related limitations, such as those to be targeted for credit, employment and housing opportunities.


For your lead generation campaigns, these audiences should incorporate a mix of your existing customer lists, engaged website visitors and demographic-based targeting parameters.

If you’re attempting to reach new prospects who haven’t interacted with your brand before, you don’t have to worry about targeting website visitors with your Facebook pixel. The pixel is only helpful for retargeting visitors who may have missed an opportunity to solve their problem with your brand.

If you wanted to re-engage existing leads, you might consider creating a custom audience from an email list or using the retargeting pixel to serve your ads to website visitors.

Now that you have your audiences ready, it’s time to design your creative in a way that catches their eye and drives them to click.


Serve your audience compelling and eye-catching creative

With so much clutter in newsfeeds today, you need to make sure your ad creative stands out.

The key to an effective creative is to make sure it’s “thumb-stopping”: it causes the prospect to pause and look at it when they’re scrolling through their feeds. To create thumb-stopping ads, you’ll need to focus on two components: the copy and the image or video assets.

Crafting your ad copy

Here are a few best practices:

  • Keep it short and sweet. So that your copy doesn’t get cut down on mobile devices, make sure you use a maximum of 125 characters. The copy should be short and engaging, so it’s easy for Facebook users to digest on any device.

  • Drive home the benefit. Your ad copy should clearly state the benefit of the piece of content you’re advertising while highlighting the competitive advantage it offers.

  • Make it scannable. Give your copy space to breathe by spreading it out on multiple lines.

Mastering static image creative

Effective static images jump off the page. Consider how bright colors and unique branded elements will cause the prospect to pause and view your ad.

That pause is crucial. People spend on average 1.5 seconds viewing Facebook content on mobile compared with 2.5 seconds on desktop. For the best chance at holding attention, make your content stand out.

Another pointer is to create your ad specifically for Facebook. One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is using the same ad across various channels. Your ad should feel natural in the Facebook newsfeed and be in a similar style to what users organically post.

Take this Facebook lead generation ad example for Whirli. They use an engaging photo of a small child playing with toys. It’s similar to photos your Facebook friends might share, so it feels native and familiar. As you scroll by it, you might pause to see whose child it is, only to realize that it’s an ad for a toy company.


This creative strategy would differ if applied to LinkedIn, for example. Since LinkedIn is intended for a professional audience, images featuring a child wouldn’t feel natural on the platform.

Most importantly, make sure your ad is sized correctly and optimized for all devices. Keep these Facebook lead generation ad specs in mind: image ads should be at least 1080x1080 pixels and maintain a 1:1 ratio.

Capture prospects’ attention with video

One of the most impactful things you can do is to incorporate video ads into your Facebook lead generation strategy.

Whether it’s a testimonial video, webinar clip, or motion graphic, adding video elements into your ad strategy can drive engagement while minimizing your cost-per-click (CPC).

An important, but often forgotten, tip is to add subtitles to video ads. Subtitles make your ad accessible to everyone—even if their sound is off.

These tips should provide a solid foundation for your Facebook lead generation ad strategy. Facebook allows you to try many different variations of your copy and creative, so continue to test and optimize until you find out what works best with your audience.


Produce content your leads are hungry for

A beautiful ad that lacks a compelling offer won’t do anything for your lead acquisition efforts.

The content needs to be something that the prospect truly wants in order for them to willingly provide their personal information. In other words, it must deliver value.

Take the time to consider what type of content your audience wants. A few common types of content that businesses promote on Facebook include:

  • Reports

  • Guides

  • Coupons

  • A free gift

  • Ebooks

  • An exclusive membership

  • Webinars

  • Product samples

  • Infographics

  • Whitepapers

  • A freetrial

  • An on-demand video series

Make sure to deliver content in the best form for your audience. A newly published guide won’t dazzle an audience that primarily engages with webinars. Leverage previous research and existing social and web analytic data to ensure your creative aligns with your audience’s behavior.

For example, if you know that your audience frequently downloads your quarterly reports, you should look into targeting similar audiences with these reports in your Facebook lead generation ads.

Once the prospect clicks on the ad and submits their contact information, the asset will be sent to them. Then, the challenge of nurturing them until they’re ready to buy begins.


Create your follow-up sequences

After the email is captured, you can (and should) send your lead a follow-up email. These emails nurture the lead through the sales funnel until they are ready to convert.

The most effective lead generation machines personalize their follow-up sequences based on their buyer personas You can set up triggers that funnel your leads into different email pathways that tailor their experience.

You can design your email sequences to serve different types of content to each of your lead segments based on their post-download actions. You might send them a video, demo or ebook that provides more context about your product or service.

For example, a lead who downloads your whitepaper and then watches a video about one of your product’s features will receive a totally different email to a lead who downloads your whitepaper and then does nothing. One lead might be ready to hop on a demo call, while the other might need more self-guided information about the product.

The pieces of content in each email should vary in the type of content and the information provided. You want to make sure the information is relevant and effectively reaches all your prospects in the way that they individually consume information.

Here is an example of follow-up sequences based on a specific set of prospect actions:


This triggered nurture email program is essential for qualifying leads for your sales team. Investing in a system like this will ultimately drive more revenue for your business.

Nurture emails that are sent automatically can drive 320% more revenue than standard email campaigns. Imagine how much money is left on the table if you don’t have a program like this in place.

Once this is created, it’s time to set up your ad campaign and begin adding new prospects to your funnel.


Set up your Facebook lead generation ads

Setting up your Facebook lead generation ad campaign is simple.

To get started, open your Facebook Business Manager and select your ad account. Once it’s open, click “Create Ad” and the following box will pop up:


Choose “Lead generation” for your campaign objective. According to Facebook, lead generation campaigns “use forms, calls or chats to gather info from people interested in your business.”

Once you hit “Continue”, you can name your campaign, select your buying type and opt for A/B testing. If you aren’t experienced with Facebook ads, leave the buying type to “Auction”.

Using A/B testing will allow you to figure out which different variations of creative and copy work for your campaign. Once you find the combination that works the best, you can redirect your budget to serve that ad placement to your potential customers more often.


Next, you can select your “Lead method”, which is the dynamic way you’ll collect the information from your prospects. Your options include instant forms, automated chats, or calls.


Select the Facebook page that you want your ads to be associated with, input your budget and schedule so Facebook can optimize the budget pacing.

Next, you can set your targeting parameters. If you created a custom audience using the steps outlined in the second section above, you can search and select that audience. If not, you can create a new audience or use the demographic targeting parameters to get more precise.


Next, you can input your copy and upload your creative. You’ll see previews of your ad in the different ad placements formats that will be served across Facebook, Instagram and Facebook’s Audience Network. Make sure to review each one to ensure that they are displaying correctly.

You can even customize where your ads will show. You might decide that you don't want to run ads on Facebook Messenger or that one of the formats doesn't make sense for the Facebook lead ad campaign. If so, you can remove these placements from the campaign.

Finally, once everything looks good, hit publish and begin your campaign!

Launching your ad is only the beginning. It’s important to continuously monitor your campaign to make sure your budget is being spent wisely. Turn off creatives that aren’t working and add new ones into the rotation to constantly optimize ad performance.

After a few days, you’ll have insights that you can use to make smarter decisions about your next Facebook lead generation campaign and drive more sales than ever before.


Final thoughts

It’s critical for sales teams to continuously find new ways to reach new audiences and Facebook lead generation tactics are a great place to start.

Map out your existing lead generation journey and sales process to see where Facebook lead generation campaigns will fit. With those insights, you can build out the best audience, design eye-catching copy and creatives, produce engaging content, create follow-up sequences and build the most effective ads.

By transforming your Facebook page into a lead generation machine, you’ll have a continuous source of qualified contacts to reach out to from your CRM.

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