Facebook's new lead ads for mobile give consumers an easy opportunity to gather more information from the businesses they're interested in.
After a several-month-long trial period, Facebook has officially rolled out its new lead ads to everyone. The ads are designed to give mobile Facebook users a quick way to sign up to receive information from businesses, such as through newsletters or special offers.
"Whether businesses want to encourage people to sign up for their newsletter, an offer, an event or more information about their product, lead ads simplify the mobile sign-up process, helping businesses hear from people interested in their business," Facebook wrote on its blog.
When a Facebook user clicks on a lead ad, a form opens with the person's contact information automatically filled in on each field. The ad generates that information from the details the user already shares with Facebook, such as name, email address and phone number.
Automatically populating the contact information simplifies the sign-up process. With this format, users simply click on the ad and then click the submit button to send in the auto-filled form. If the form contains information the user doesn't want to share, he or she can edit the contact details before submitting. [Facebook Marketing Strategy by Life Stage ]
Lead-ad forms offer both standardized and customizable fields. In addition to contact details, businesses can also customize the forms with open-ended or multiple-choice questions to gather even more information.
A variety of businesses can use lead ads, Facebook said. The company offered the examples of bookstores that want to promote a book on pre-sale, or car dealers that want to entice users to get a quote on a car.
Businesses create the ads by choosing their ad creative, setting their targeting and bidding type, and customizing their form fields.
Businesses have a variety of ways to retrieve the data from the forms. They can, for example, set up the ads to sync with one of the CRM programs that integrates with Facebook's marketing platform. These include Driftrock, Marketo, Maropost, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Sailthru and Salesforce.
Businesses not using one of these solutions can collect leads by setting up a custom integration between the CRM they use and the Facebook API. If neither of those options work, you can download the information manually into a CSV file.
Facebook plans to expand its lead-ad capabilities in the coming weeks by making them available in new formats, including video and carousel. In addition, lead ads will soon be offered to desktop users, so businesses will be able to collect data from people on any device.