Should you use the Facebook Lead Form Ads?
This past month, we ran a giant experiment with Facebook Lead Form Ads because we wanted to see if anything had changed with the new iOS updates.
These ads typically result in low-quality leads, BUT it’s essential to test and retest strategies as Facebook pivots its algorithms and rules.
So…what are the results? Are they good for biz or bad for biz?
The answer isn’t quite so clear-cut.
Check out this episode where I break down our results and list ALL the pros and cons of using this strategy.
This episode is packed with specific results, lots of data, AND a perspective on how we run tests in our agency.
It’s a complete behind-the-scenes peek at our process, and you should walk away with clarity about Facebook Lead Form Ads and insight into how to run tests with your marketing!
After you listen, let me know if you think you might try out these ads in your account! DM me at @EmilyHirsh with your answer!
WANT TO WORK WITH TEAM HIRSH?
Honestly, we’re more than a marketing team — we’re a tactical partner who will care about your business growth just as much as YOU (maybe even more)! We’re here to play the long game and help you create a powerful impact! APPLY NOW!
SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW THE NOT FOR LAZY MARKETERS PODCAST!
Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast! If this podcast has added value and helped you in your business journey, please head over to iTunes, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver great, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more amazing entrepreneurs just like you.
READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Hello, my friends. Happy day. I am chugging all the tea today because I have a sore throat. I put this on Instagram the other day and I was saying, “Nobody prepared me for the fact that when you have little kids in school, how there’s always something in our house.” I’m so over it. I have my son in first grade and then my daughter in preschool and then a two-year-old, and I swear they’re always sick. One of them is always sick. Not always. But if one gets sick and then they all get it, and then it’s in our house for two weeks it just goes around to everybody. And I’m just over it.
But we live a very natural life, so I don’t really give my kids pretty much any medicine. I’ve actually never given my kids Tylenol or anything before. We’ve never needed that. So I just let them fight it. I give them some natural immunity stuff. And I know it’s good for kids to get sick. They’re building their immune system. But from the adult perspective, I’m over it because they keep giving it to me. And we’ve had the stomach flu in our house three times since November, and I’m just so done with being thrown up on, cleaning up, throwing up, and all of it. I’m over it. So anyways, that’s my rant. Nobody warned me about that. I have three brothers. There’s four of us, and I’m sure my mom dealt with this too, but I don’t remember that happening in our house, but it must have, because my mom said, “Yeah, you’re just at that stage. They’re always picking up germs everywhere.”
So anyways, I woke up my kids. I got home from my trip from Utah that Monday night. Next night, Will, my youngest, threw up all over me. And then I thought, “Oh, crap. It’s only a matter of time until the next two have it.” And of course, one and a half days later, the next one has it. The next day, the next one has it. So I booked an IV drip. I swear by those, you guys. If you have access to getting an IV drip where they basically put an IV in you and pump all these vitamins into you, it’s incredible. I did it when I had COVID. Every time I do it, I feel amazing. But also, if I’m starting to get sick, it just stops. It’s really amazing.
I’m fortunate to have a place five minutes from my house that has all these different cocktails, so I booked an emergency appointment yesterday and I thought, “Not today, I am not going to get this.” So I do have a sore throat and I’ve been chugging tea, but otherwise I think I stopped it from coming. I’m just going to go with that, because I don’t want to be more sick. All right, you guys. There’s my rant. You moms and dads out there with young kids in preschool and all the germs probably can empathize with me.
So today’s episode is going to be short and sweet, and I wanted to do this because I’m getting this question a lot. I think a lot of you guys are wondering this based on what people are saying, and I want to address it.
And that is, should you use the Facebook lead form ads? So Facebook lead form ads have been around for a long time, and since forever, since I can remember. Seven years ago when I started ads, they were there. And basically, it’s where the actual opt-in is on Facebook itself. So someone clicks the ad and it’s a lead form right there on Facebook, name and email. Usually gets auto-populated with their Facebook information, but you can turn that off, and then you’re able to send them to a thank you page.
And you can use something like Zapier so that when someone fills out that lead form, the lead ends up right into your CRM software. So we use Ontraport. It ends up right in Ontraport, tagged, just like someone went to your landing page.
And in the past, they have been really poor quality. I’ve tried them many times, and that might not have changed, so stay tuned. We just tested them, and I’ve got test results for you guys on this. So in the past, they’ve been really poor quality. And Facebook is basically saying, “Use lead forms. Use lead forms.” And they’re telling you to use lead forms, and their reps will tell you that. And the reason why is, from Facebook’s perspective, they don’t want their users to leave Facebook. So of course, Facebook likes it better because their users stay on Facebook. The lead form pops up and they’re still on Facebook rather than going to a landing page. You can redirect them to a thank you page, which is what I would recommend doing if you do try this, your own thank you page.
So in the past, they’ve been really poor quality, but with the recent iOS updates, we decided several months ago, let’s test them. And we tested it on a couple client accounts. We tested it in my own account and have some results on that. And so the cost of the Facebook lead forms is significantly lower, and it always has been. I mean, there’s less barrier to entry, right? There’s not a landing page for people to convert on. I’m sure Facebook’s algorithm does favor those ads because they want you to use those ads. So we saw about 30 to 50% lower lead costs on the Facebook lead forms, which is what I was expecting. And across the board, we saw that some way lower, again, about 30 to 50% lower than what I was paying going to a landing page to opt-in for the webinar for us. We did it for a live challenge, but we tested webinars on our client accounts too.
And now here’s the key. What we did to make this an accurate test was we made a separate tag so that when they ended up in our CRM, these contacts, they’re tagged Facebook lead form, and we named it… For us, it was a live challenge Facebook lead form. Now I know all the leads that came specifically from the Facebook lead form. And the reason why I did that is I want to see what they do. I want to see if they open emails. I want to see if they bought, if they filled out applications, so that I could track the quality of the leads. So we did that for our most recent challenge, and we put about 25% of our total budget into the lead forms, and then the rest went to our landing page.
The cost per lead was 30 to 50% lower, so it definitely was lower. And that was true and consistent across the board. For all of our clients that we tested this on, we saw it lower. However, out of all those leads, we only got four applications, which was about a 2% application conversion, when our total lead list converted at 8%. So we got a fourth of the leads that converted into applications, but then all those applications were denied, and so no sales. So the quality wasn’t there, which is what I expected. And I’m going to explain why you still may want to test it, but my hunch is still true that the quality is really poor of the Facebook lead form ads.
So even when I started looking at the emails coming in, I could tell that it wasn’t great leads. A lot of people started their Facebook when they were teenagers, and so the emails… Even for me, the email I use on Facebook is so old. I think it’s a Yahoo email, and I never changed it. So the emails that you’re getting, because Facebook will make it really easy to just auto-populate your Facebook email and your name, so the emails you’re getting, if they’re crap emails, then you’re not going to be able to send out any of your stuff to them. So that’s one reason.
Second thing is, I feel like, for some reason with the algorithm, Facebook shows these ads to poor quality audiences, is also my hunch. And then my own data, and true for clients too. We saw poor quality across the board with clients as well. My own data showed it was poor quality, both in even getting people to apply, but also the email open rates were lower. So that just means people… I think it’s because of the emails. The quality of the emails were poor, and so they don’t even look at that email anymore, so they don’t open it. And so the truth is still, you’re going to see about a 30 to 50% lower lead cost, but the quality is really going to suffer.
Now, this was about a month ago that I tested these out. I do want to see over the next three months, do any of these leads end up converting? Because on average, it takes somebody three to six months to buy one of our offers. So we have a longer sales cycle. We do obviously get some people who come right in and buy. Our average is three to six months. So now that all these leads are tagged, I’m going to be able to see over the next several months, do any of them do anything? Do they become a sale? Do they become an application? Can I see that? And so I think it’s worth testing in your business if you have the budget to test it, because you don’t want to sacrifice… If you have a small budget, say under $5,000 a month, it’s better for you to put your ad spend towards someplace that you know is going to get the most quality leads.
But if you have a larger budget, you could absolutely test this out, and you can afford… I could afford to spend 25% of my budget and lose it all. It was okay for me. It was worth it. Part of the reason I do this testing is so now I can help our students and I can help our clients and I know what’s working, and so it’s worth it for me in that sense too. But for some people, 25% of their budget, that could go to leads that could become sales that are essential for them to stay profitable. So if you have the budget and you want to test this out, you can test it out. And some things I would do within the setup is, one, use Zapier to hook up the lead form to your email CRM, so as soon as they sign up, they end up tagged and they get the email just as if they were going to come through your funnel.
Two, I would turn off the option that lets them auto fill their Facebook information and try to force people to fill it in, because that could lead to a more positive quality lead. And then three, I would send people to your thank you page after they fill out the lead form so that they’re still going to your page that ideally has some call to action or video on it, and now they’re still in your sales funnel. And then four, I would make sure you tag all of those leads with a separate tag than your funnel so that you can actually track the quality of those leads.
And so here’s the thing. We know that the quality’s going to be lower 100% across the board. I can guarantee you the quality’s going to be lower because of the fact that the emails, a lot of the emails that are put in there, are old, outdated emails. However, if the cost is so much lower for you to get those leads and then you still have some quality leads within there, it might be worth it for you. You know what I mean? If you get double the leads and your sales conversion is half, you might still be able to
make up for it in the long run. Or let’s say you get triple the leads. I guess if you did it that way, probably you’d be about the same.
But if you get triple the leads and then your sales conversion is half, well, it might still be worth it. Now you’re getting more leads. You have two-thirds of them that are poor quality, but then you are able to get one-third of those leads for less cost than you would pay, and then it works out. You know what I mean? So you have to play those numbers. For me, we paid about half. Let’s just go with the good case scenario and say we paid less, 50% less for our cost per lead, but my application conversion was a quarter. So in the end, it didn’t make sense because my regular ads were converting four times to an application than these, and I was paying half the cost, but it wasn’t equal.
So it’s worth it to test, is my answer. Set it up with all of those tips that I just gave you. And I would say only if you have a budget that’s at least above $4,000 a month, if not above $5,000, and you’re okay saying, “Okay, I’m going to take a percentage of my budget for this launch or whatever, and I’m going to put it into lead form ads and just test it.” And you’re not really going to know if it works until after, because of the sales. You have to wait to see what the leads do. The cost of the ads is going to be lower, 100% it is. The quality is going to suffer. The question is, how much lower is your cost and how much lower is your quality, and do those even out to be better than paying higher cost with higher quality?
So it’s worth testing. Set it up right. But from all of our tests, we didn’t make the decision that we wanted to stick with Facebook lead forms. And we tested it on me and three other clients who have pretty big budgets and were willing to do that, and across the board, they’re off. The lead form ads are off. So I’m still of the mindset that you should go with your own funnel and your own landing page, but it’s still absolutely worth it, if you want and you’re curious, to test it out. And I will still continue to see what those leads did because they’re tagged in my CRM software, so if some of them come out of the woodwork and become a sale, that changes the quality a little bit, but still in general, having only a fourth of the application conversion is pretty low.
And I also just looked at the list and all the emails, and I can tell it’s poor quality, and I think five or 10% less were even opening the emails from our average open rate. and it makes sense because they’re old emails. So worth it to test if you have the budget. Set it up correctly. And that was kind of the outcome of our Facebook lead form test that I thought you guys would appreciate. There’s a lot of people out
there that are trying to actually maximize and capitalize on saying, “Let me teach you how to do Facebook lead forms and they work really well.” And it’s because the cost is lower, and so they’re making it look really good.
But this is why, you guys, in marketing, any time someone tells me, “This is a really awesome strategy,” or, “I’m getting this cost per lead,” or, “I’m getting this,” however,, “Show me the big picture. You are getting that cost per lead, but let’s see the sales. Let’s see the data behind that.” Because usually I can uncover some things that they weren’t either looking at or sharing. But I have seen people saying, “Let me teach you how to do lead form ads, and they’re really super cheap,” which is true. So people think, “Okay, that’s awesome,” but you’ve got to look at the big picture.
And sometimes you can’t see the big picture right away, because usually new leads take a little bit of time to buy, and so the quality takes a little time to determine. And if somebody doesn’t have their tracking in place correctly, like if they don’t have that separate tag, how are they going to know where the sales came from? They’re not, so then they’re just guessing. So you’ve got to dig deeper any time someone tells you. That’s my job, is to give you guys the full picture. So hopefully you guys found this helpful. Thanks so much for tuning in, and I’ll talk to you next week.
Thanks for listening to The Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast. If you loved this episode and want deeper support with your marketing, head over to helpmystrategy.com to see how Hirsh Marketing can help take your marketing to the next level, no matter where you’re at today. We help our clients scale faster than ever, find hidden leaks in their funnel, experiment with new creative marketing strategies, and help their business explode and be more profitable than they ever dreamed possible. Head over to helpmystrategy.com and see if you qualify for a free strategy audit with Team Hirsh.