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Authors: Build Your List with Facebook Lead Gen Ads

Create a Lead Gen Ad

Today, we have a guest post from Anne Felicitas, Editor at AdvertiseMint, a Facebook advertising agency.

My first instinct after finishing a piece, whether that’s a poem, an article, or a blog post, is to share it. After all, what’s the point of toiling for a work of art that no one else can see, that no one else can enjoy? You, a fellow writer, an author, likely share the same sentiment. After spending years on a book, writing your outlines, redrafting your manuscript two or three times, you want people other than your spouse, your editor, and your agent to read it—you want prospective fans to discover your work.

You can easily gather new readers for your book by creating a Facebook Lead Ad, an ad that functions as a digital sign-up form. Lead Ads, with their superior ad targeting options, will help you build an email list of prospective readers.

What Is a Facebook Lead Ad?

In 2015, Facebook witnessed three phenomena: more users were migrating from desktop to mobile phones, advertisers were demanding sign-up forms to collect leads, and users, accustomed to quick results, were often too impatient to fill out slow-loading, too inquisitive forms. Although Facebook wanted to appease advertisers by creating sign-up forms, it first needed to address the problem of impatient and mobile-centric customers. To resolve its problems, Facebook create a sign-up form that accommodates mobile phone users who often abandoned forms that took too much effort to fill, that took too long to load on a cellphone. Facebook created the Lead Ad.

Lead ads, which are accessible on Facebook and Instagram, are digital sign-up forms that allow you to collect customer’s information. With these forms, you can create a sign-up sheet for newsletters, price estimates, follow-up calls, or business information.

Optimized for mobile devices, although also accessible through desktop computers, lead ads are unlike any other form you’ve seen before. It expedites the sign-up process by automatically populating contact information customers provided in their profiles, such as first name, last name, and email address. Additionally, they load and open quickly within Facebook’s app. As soon as it opens, customers can fill in and submit the form without being redirected to a slow-loading web browser or to a different app.

How to Create a Facebook Lead Ad

You can create Facebook Lead Ads from two places: Business Manager or your Facebook page.

On Business Manager

Step 1: Choose the objective “Lead generation”

In order for you to enable the lead ad format, you must first choose “Lead generation” as your objective, the only objective eligible for Lead Ads. After you’ve chosen “Lead generation” as your objective, click “Continue” to proceed to the next section of the ad.

Step 2: Choose your Facebook page

If you have more than one Facebook page, choose the one you want to promote. The Facebook page account that you choose to promote will be the account that will advertise on your behalf. For example, after choosing AdvertiseMint as the Facebook page I want to promote, the ad that will appear on news feed will appear as posted by Advertisemint.

Step 3: Create your target audience

If you don’t already have an existing customer list you can upload to Facebook for targeting, then you must create a new audience by choosing the demographics, behavior, and lifestyle of the audience you want to target. Examine the sample target audience illustrated below.


Men and women aged 18-40


United States




Barnes and Noble, books, novels, Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale, science fiction, dystopia


People who like your page

If you want accurate targeting, create the persona of your target audience. Ask yourself who your readers are. Are they men or women? What is their age? What genres do they like? What novels? Who are their favorite authors?

You can also upload an existing customer list to Facebook. You can either target the people on that list or you can create a Lookalike Audience, a highly recommended option, which allows you to target new people who are closely similar to your current readers from your customer list.

Step 4: Choose your placements

If you choose automatic placements, Facebook will deliver your Lead Ad to the three placements it’s eligible for: Facebook desktop news feed, Facebook mobile news feed, and Instagram. If you want to place your Lead Ad exclusively on Facebook or exclusively on Instagram, you can do so by clicking “Edit Placements” and checking off the placements you prefer.

Step 5: Set a budget and schedule

Here’s a helpful tip: when you set your budget, optimize for leads rather than for link clicks. Choosing the latter may result in a higher click-through rate. If you want to get the most out of your Facebook ad, always optimize for your goal, which, in this case, is leads.

Step 6: Choose your format

Your Lead Ad is eligible for the formats carousel, single image, single video, and slideshow. The single image format is commonly used because it’s the easiest to create. The carousel format, on the other hand, allows you to feature up to 10 images and videos in one ad unit. If none of the formats appeal to you, and you want a cheaper and easier alternative to the video format, use the slideshow format. If you’re new to Facebook advertising, and you don’t have time to create complex creatives, then use the single image format.

Step 7: Enter text

Write copies that give your readers a clear understanding about your offer. What exactly are they signing up for? Will you give them a free book? Will you give them email updates about your upcoming novels? Will you notify them about your book tours? Be honest, and try not to inadvertently deceive your potential fans.

Step 8: Create the form

When you create your form, keep your questions to a minimum. Lengthy forms may dissuade your potential fans from signing up as they may be reluctant to disclose too much personal information. Instead, request necessary information, which will likely be the person’s full name, email address, and phone number. If you must ask questions on your form, ask multiple choice questions rather than open-ended questions. A convenient process leads to more conversions.

Step 9: You’re done!

On Your Facebook Page

If you don’t have a Business Manager account, there’s no need to panic. You can still create a Lead Ad straight from your Facebook page.

Step 1: Go to your business page

You can access your business page from your news feed. It should appear under “Favorites” on the left column of your screen.

Step 2: Go to Publishing Tools

Click “Publishing Tools” located above your cover photo.

Step 3: Click “Lead Ads Forms”

Click “Lead Ads Forms” located on the left side of your screen.

Step 4: Click “Create”

If you haven’t made any Lead Ads, this page should be empty. Click “Create” on the upper right corner to create a Lead Ad.

Step 5: Create the form

Click “New Form” then click “Next.”

Step 6: Add a context card to your form

Context cards allow you to add more information about your product or service before they visit your form. In the context cards, explain what people are signing up for. Are they signing up for a newsletter, a raffle to win a prize, or a free book? As aforementioned, be honest and avoid inadvertently deceiving your fans.

Step 7: Fill in context card

Write a headline, add an image, write a description in either bullet or paragraph form, then add a call-to-action button.

Step 8: Add a link to your website

Provide the website link to where you want your form to direct users.

Step 9: Add your privacy policy

Link the text or URL to your privacy policy to avoid future disputes.

Step 10: Choose sign-up information

You can choose to ask for email, phone numbers, first and last names, addresses, etc. To view more options click “Show more options.” After checking all desired information, click “Next.”

Step 11: Enter URL in thank-you card

Your Lead Ad will end with a thank-you card that lets people know that their form was successfully submitted. The bottom of that card will contain a link that can direct them to your website. It’s important that you provide the link to the website you want them to visit after they’ve signed up.

Step 12: You’re done!

Your form should appear on this page. The form may take a minute or so to appear, so if you don’t see it, refresh until you do.

You’ve labored for that book. Don’t let your hard work go to waste by preventing others from reading it. Fortunately, gaining prospective readers is just a lead form away.