Facebook as a lead generation channel for Ecommerce is like good weather for airlines: if it’s there – you just fly, if it’s not there – all sorts of issues may come into play up till full stop of flying operations.
Why is Facebook so huge for ecommerce? This is mostly for 2 reasons:
- Facebook is acutely aware of the established and emerging competition, like Google Ads, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest. To be competitive, they have to offer the highest ROAS among all of those gigantic advertising platforms. All of these platforms, that evolve by the minute to increase their advertising market share.
- Facebook has 2.5 billion users and multiple gazillions of data points to bring an online shop owner the right customer in any ecommerce niche.
With that database of your potential clients and that competitive spirit, Facebook has proven over the years to be the advertising engine №1 for many online shop digital marketers and owners.
But once you have entered the channel, you have entered a highly competitive game of decreasing your CPA and increasing your ROAS. You keep optimizing, improving, squeezing more out of your ads.
This is when this piece may come handy: we are providing the best practices and tricks on how to generate leads on Facebook more efficiently.
What is a lead?
In simple terms – a lead is the first stage of turning any person exposed to your product into a client when they advise such business of their interest for further communication.
Lead is a user who has demonstrated interest in the business’s offers, by sharing their contact information, providing their data for an offer download, clicking on a lead ad in Facebook, messaging a business page or as much as leaving a comment on a sponsored post.
The importance of lead generation to a business
Lead generation is at the very beginning of the sales funnel. The more leads you get, the more potential clients can be converted.
Even with a lousy conversion, lazy salespeople and poor product, the more leads you get, the more clients you get. As easy as that. Fine-tuning every stage of the funnel and optimizing every pixel on your Facebook creative and every CTA of your ad text is a different story.
But lead generation as such is that first original step of the process that defines all the other steps.
Facebook ads lead generation is a huge subcategory of the general lead generation process that we look at closely within this piece.
Lead generation process
The lead generation process is the process of conversion of strangers to visitors and further conversion of visitors to leads.
Usually, it involves few touches of your brand with the customer from a marketing point of view [exposure to advertising or a blog article] with further familiarization with your product, checking out of your website and leaving the contacts in exchange in the contact form.
After that, with certain luck & at a certain percentage of success, leads can be converted to sales and further down the funnel existing customers can be converted to brand advocates.
Factors why lead generation yields unsatisfactory results
While there is a myriad of reasons why we cite a few below:
- You're not reaching the right audience
The sub reason for that may be a poorly mapped user persona, a badly chosen channel for a brand awareness campaign, an unprofessionally set target audience in your Facebook ad campaign, low-res images in your creatives and many more reasons. But as the result of those faults, you are not hitting the target or your messaging and communication doesn't resonate with it.
- The time is not right
Some online flower shops only work for Mother's Day. All major brands compete in starting the Xmas sales as early as possible – to get the share of that holiday spending. Day of the week, hour of the day, season – they all matter a lot, statistics help to recognize the best time to promote your products to your audience. Sometimes, a product is just ahead of time.
- Your value for money needs a closer look
Pricing is vital specifically in the highly competitive world of ecommerce. Checking the competition, the USPs, the market price points for a similar product is vital. Low price is as much of a problem as a high price. Handmade products, antiques, eateries may be too cheap for some people to buy: the high price tag is easily taken as a symbol of quality and status by those with funds.
Best practices for generating leads with Facebook Ads
If your ecommerce store is using Facebook ads for lead generation, these insider tricks will come handy:
Use video in your Facebook lead generation campaign
Who’s the biggest newly emerged rival to Facebook? Right, TikTok. Indeed, YouTube has taken a hit too, but rest assured, Facebook & Instagram are taking TikTok seriously. It caters for everything young generation is craving for: dopamine, light-hearted easy-peasy content, speedy change of scenery [remember we have average attention span lower than a goldfish, right? Goldfish: human = 9 sec : 8 sec].
So yes, if you have a choice between a text or an image, always choose an image. If you have a choice between an image or a video, always go for a video.
Not only users prefer vids, but it is also the Facebook algorithm who does – they are mutually coordinated, reinforcing each other anyway. Videos enjoy more than twice [135%] as much organic traffic than images.
Bonus: you can embed you CTA both visually and in the audio format – doubling the effect.
Extra bonus: videos are part of the voice recognition search system, which is growing by the minute due to hands-free on-the-go usage of devices.
Lead generation using Facebook ads may be cumbersome, but with video organic traffic exceeding that of image traffic more than twice, this tip is a no-brainer to follow.
Using a lead-generating landing page
Lead-generating landing page can be posted right to your Facebook page in a number of ways: be it in a post, in "about" section, in a comment or a capture to an image post.
Lead-gen geared landing pages offering some free resources are the most converting ones and are pretty easy to put together. Ecommerce marketers often use the following free resources downloadable on their websites:
- Templates [excel, word or ppt all do the trick as long as they offer additional value to a client].
- Checklists [if you have accumulated expertise in the field you clients may be interested in, help them optimize some repetitive processes by offering a comprehensive checklist].
- Courses [even a 10 minutes webinar with insider expert knowledge may progress and help your clients].
- Podcasts [the best thing about them is that they don’t have to be coming from you – an invited celebrity of a person with specific knowledge may chat with you on record for further sharing].
- Trials [if you are positive your product is user-friendly and brings actual value to your clients, giving it away for a couple of weeks for free is a wise thing to do, easing your potential client into the product and giving them time to get used to the idea of paying].
Using shortened links to your landing page [with all the tracking data embedded in the longer version] when posting on Facebook is a recommended version: bitly will help.
Also, remember to provide social proof on your landing page in the form of featuring big-branded clients as well as providing reviews of your clients.
Make sure your inquiry forms on the landing page itself are kept to a minimum – specifically the required fields are to be kept to max 2 or 3.
Create an offer that appeals to your audience
Creating an appealing offer is more than just getting it right with the image or a creative. It involves a plethora of marketing actions, just a few tips are below:
- Do your homework, spy on your top competition. What do they offer? A checklist? Download theirs and order a better one.
- Source inspo from other countries. Find the top 2 in your niche in the USA, UK, India, Spain – you get it. By exposing yourself to diverse cultural creatives you may find something that will resonate with your GEO too.
- Dig some adjacent niches. Are you into selling real estate? Check out rental offices and construction companies. How do they generate leads? Anything to mimic? Something to translate into your business’s lingo?
- There is an app for everything nowadays, always see what’s on offer to automate your lead gen and make your communication with the client quicker and more efficient?
- Run A/B tests. Everything needs to be A/B tested in Facebook lead generation. Interests, audiences, creatives, captions. This is an ongoing process. Optimize, have a cup of tea and then optimize again.
- Check the keywords with Google Keyword planner for your top competitors. You may find some insight as to what it is exactly to base your offer around, what kind of a podcast or template your clients may be interested in.
- Ad Creative means a lot. Your targeting may be spot on, but without a catchy caption and finger-stopping ad imagery, you poor creative will be scrolled right past by your warmest potential client.
Consider the pre-populated and custom questions
OK, one of the disadvantages of the lead ads on Facebook is that they are so easy to opt-in. Facebook provides you with the user's pre-populated data in a click. This is all great but you end up with a bunch of data of users who occasionally pressed a button without much purchase intent.
If you consider getting as much data as possible so that you can later keep on nurturing this relationship – this is fair enough.
But if you'd rather get more expensive leads that would be much warmer with higher purchasing intent, than we recommend you:
- create custom questions instead of the pre-populated ones.
- introduce an extra step into the lead form submission process, making your clients "review" their info and make a conscious decision to opt-in.
By doing so, you will raise both: the cost per lead and the quality of the lead. We would recommend this strategy for companies with strong brand awareness and mature Facebook Pixel. This is specifically a good tactic to stick to if your average check is high and leads’ quality matters.
If you are only starting, collecting more leads may be a good idea to grow your audience first, so you can build off look-alike audiences based on them.
Lead ad form type: more volume vs higher intent
We suggest you chose the "Higher Intent” form type of you are looking for high-quality leads. You are basically asking Facebook to connect with users who have demonstrated the signals similar to those, who have converted in the past and have the history of purchasing.
If you choose the “More Volume” form type, you are saying to Facebook: “I am happy to rack through the tons of users, educate them about my product later and convert them with remarketing”. You are asking Facebook to out your in contact with users who have previously opened similar ads. Not purchased from similar merchants, but interacted with similar lead ads. And you want plenty of them.
Is this a bad thing to do? Not always. If you have a real cheap product with awesome highly-converting creatives with professional product images, you might as well be even better off with such form type. You know everyone can afford your product and your creatives are too persuasive and too enticing. Boom! More volume is your type of form for a Facebook lead ad.
Tick “Review screen”
If you are looking for leads with higher intent, your form will have an option to tick called “Review screen”. This is another fire-sure way to both: increase your cost per lead and lead quality.
You are asking your clients to work harder to submit their lead – this cannot be the slip of a finger anymore, they have to make a conscious decision to partake in this personal data submission.
Use “Thank you” screen as next step info
If you are looking for an answer on how to get leads on Facebook, another tip from Facebook ads pros on the Squareshot team will come handy. Once Facebook users have submitted their data in your lead ad form, it is good to let them know what’s happening next. Use the “Thank you” screen to advise them of how and when your company will next interact with them.
“We have sent you a link with the free checklist to your email” or, “we have sent you an SMS with promo code” or “Our sales team will be in touch within 24 hours”.
Building their expectations will build their anxiety towards getting their hands on your product as well as it will help your sales team do their job, preparing them for the call morally.
How to set up successful lead ads in Facebook
The main advice here will be to make sure you know exactly if you are looking for volume or quality.
The rule of a thumb is easy:
- in the low and mid-price-ranged products, you may consider opting for lots of cold leads and work with them. The easier it is to afford your product for everyone, the more likely it is, that going for volume is a good strategy.
- in the premium price segment and the mid-price segment with a mature Facebook pixel, going for high-quality leads is more reasonable. They will cost more but they will convert quicker too. [see below how to make your audience work to opt into your lead form and prove their purchasing intent].
Again, creatives are vital for the success of Facebook lead ads: make sure you use catchy text with lots of CTAs, FOMO and social proof triggers. Also, make sure your visuals are attention-grabbing and finger-stopping. Your product photography absolutely must rock. Make that finger stop from scrolling along.
Creating a lead generation strategy
A strategy is as important as inputting an address of your destination into a GPS before taking a long trip. You don't wanna spend gas, time, and money driving along and taking the wrong turns, right? Make sure you have a plan on which channels you are going to use to establish & fine-tune your lead generation process, what budgets, human resources, and timelines you can count on.
See how the world rolls first. Check out global stats and your niche stats.
For example, as per this graph by venture harbor, email marketing is still leading in ROI and lead gen. Attending live events followed by content marketing are also quite effective. Has the stats changed ever since this article of 2020? are there new channels?
Then decide on your USP – how are you going to differentiate your ecommerce business from hundreds of other ones? Is this going to be the design? Affordability? Value-for-money? Customer service? Digital transformation? Once you know what it is that makes your brand THE one for your customer, it is easier to hone on your user persona, right channels, communication frequency, tone of voice, brand identity, visual content profile.
If you are an ecommerce beginner, our top advice will be to pick 2 or maximum 3 channels for your initial promotion and marketing and expand only when you have reached the level of domination in those channels.
This way you keep your focus and invest most of your energy into 20% of the Pareto principle.
We recommend one tip to our ecommerce entrepreneur clients & digital marketers, who discuss their marketing strategies with us. We always advise them to treat this list as if it was the list of things to take onto the uninhabited island. We ask them to start with the top 5 channels for promotion. Then take it down to 4. then to 3. Then we ask them to leave 2 most pertinent channels. This is what we advise them to start with.
By choosing this way, business owners go through the pertinence of the channel to their audience, cost per lead on the channel and cost of servicing of such channels. By narrowing the choice from the top 5 to top 2, only the best fitting channels remain on the list, which is likely to bring the highest ROI.
Facebook lead ads as the ultimate lead generating tool
With an audience of 2 billion people, Facebook is safely one of the most lucrative leads generating machines out there. Lead gen ads are the acme of the lead gen feature of the Facebook ads, so if used wisely, they can capture just the right audience for pretty much any ecommerce business: for a $7 T-shirt or a 7 million penthouse.
There are few constants in this equation of successful Facebook lead gen ads: the great visuals and the catchy capture. While we cannot help you with the CTAs that convert, we definitely can assist with the product imagery that grabs attention and looks mouth-watering, even if we are talking metal bolts.
Squareshot product photography studio in New York has been helping their clients stop those fingers from scrolling their feed & generate qualified leads. Get your products clicked more due to high-quality product photos.
For everyone, who is not our client yet: this is the link to try our services with $100 for your first order. We thought you couldn’t resist.