Just because something is specifically developed for a specific purpose doesn’t mean that there is only one use for it.
Lead gen ads on Facebook (and LinkedIn) are just such an example in online advertising.
They were developed to help lead generation companies, B2B or B2C, generate leads to follow up within their sales pipelines.
But their uses don’t stop there.
Whether lead gen or ecommerce focused, most companies have found some way to use personal information to their benefit.
Lead gen ads are a fast and easy way to get that information as someone is perusing their favorite social media platforms.
Here are seven ideas for using lead gen ads for companies that don’t generate leads.
1. Newsletter/Email List Sign Ups
No one ever bought anything while not thinking about it (unless they gave their child a device with Amazon 1-click buy set up).
Newsletters or regular email updates about inventory, sales, etc., are great ways to get shoppers to visit your ecommerce site or brick-and-mortar stores.
Rather than waiting until they feel they need something, or just have the urge to go shopping, you can get their mind onto your products by popping in their inbox right alongside their regular correspondence.
For this option, lead gen ads have a super easy setup The information needed for someone to sign up for your mailing list should be fairly minimal. You could ask for only an email.
Bonus: many fields will automatically populate in the form if the person has made that information a part of their Facebook profile. It couldn’t be easier for you or your customer.
People love a good giveaway.
Lead gen ads can be an easy way for users to participate directly from Facebook rather than going to a site and engaging there.
Depending on the type of contest you’re having, you can ask for any combination of information. All personal fields above can be leveraged if someone only needs to enter to win.
But what about making the customer do a little work?
Maybe you want to ask a trivia question or have someone enter their suggestion for a new slogan for your store.
These can be easily achieved with custom questions in lead gen forms.
You can choose from four different types of questions:
Multiple choice (where you add in the potential answers).
Conditional (which requires a CSV set up and upload).
Before setting a form with custom questions live, be sure your CRM has the fields mapped appropriately so you can capture the custom information alongside the standard fields you chose.
3. Scheduling Appointments
One of the custom question formats lends itself directly into another use for lead gen ads: appointment scheduling.
This option allows the advertiser to customize a question and confirmation statement. This can be used to ask the target customer when they would like their appointment to be scheduled and instruct them to leave personal information for follow up.
Although this could be used for lead gen companies (e.g., insurance or meeting with a contractor), it could also be used for scheduling hair appointments, reserving a table at a restaurant, or scheduling a massage.
If you have a reason to set a time with a customer, appointment scheduling could be an option for you.
4. Early Notice of Events/Sales
If we’ve learned anything from history, we know people love exclusivity.
Does your store have the potential to give some users access to a sale or event earlier than others?
Think about things that have limited quantities and are in high demand. Think: concert or event tickets to an exclusive show, first look at the summer collection in a boutique, or early access to Black Friday sales.
Using lead gen ads, you can offer these to your target customers, then either email them their pass or give it to them directly the Thank You portion of the lead gen ad.
For example, if you were giving early online access to a clothing sale, maybe you go ahead and put the offer code directly the thank you portion of the lead gen ad so the user has it immediately
5. Collect RSVPs for an Event
Although Facebook has official ways to create and promote events, this might not be the best fit for your event.
In similar fashion to early access to an event, Facebook lead gen ads can also be used for people to RSVP to an event. Your ad and lead gen welcome page can do the work of selling the event to the user.
You can then use the multiple choice custom question to ask how many seats they would like to RSVP for. Even if you don’t use this as an “official” RSVP, this can be a great way to get a head count for an event you’re hosting if you’re not sure of demand.
6. Rewards Program Sign Ups
Nearly every company has a rewards program. Grocery stores, restaurants, clothing stores, gas stations, everyone.
Here’s the thing: they always ask if you want to sign up while you’re checking out.
It creates a sense of urgency and immediacy. “If you sign up today, you can save 20% on this purchase.”
And in many scenarios, it works.
But not all.
I, for example, am the kind of person who will always say no, just because I don’t particularly like being put on the spot like that, especially if other people are waiting behind me in line.
I’d rather have time to actually understand the benefits beyond today’s 20 percent discount before making a decision. Is this a scenario where I feel like paying the price with my personal information?
If you’re able to target your customer on Facebook, this could be a great way to get users to sign up before coming into the store rather than asking them on the spot while they’re checking out if they want to do so.
This way, the pressure is off of them and you don’t have to rely on your salesperson doing a good job of explaining all the benefits of the program. Likely, you’ll be able to leverage standard form fields that will prepopulate, but for those where you can’t, a simple custom question can fill in the gaps.
7. Gathering Feedback
The custom questions part of the lead gen forms can make them a crazy powerful tool. Additionally, you don’t even have to ask for any personal information in a lead gen form.
Sounds strangely counterintuitive, right?
But think about it.
What feedback would you like to get from your customer base that they might not be so keen to share along with their identity?
What would you love to understand about them if you were able to ask a simple question or two?
Aside from the occasional chatty Cathy at the register, I would venture that you don’t get much feedback on whether your customers would prefer you get higher quality or lower priced items in the store. They may not tell you that they had a hard time navigating your website or that the font was really hard to read.
These are easy questions that can be asked through lead gen forms. Even if only a few people respond, it’s better to have that feedback than none at all.
For the question above, you could easily create a remarketing audience of users who have been to your website and target them with a short UX question. You never know what kind of interesting responses you’ll get.
Lead gen ads aren’t just for lead gen companies anymore. (Honestly, they never really have been.)
Maybe a few of these examples could work for your business. Maybe none of them do.
But hopefully you’re starting to think of ways you can leverage this tool to help your business, even if lead generation isn’t your focus.
Early Access Ad Example: EmailTuna.comAll screenshots taken by author, Jan 2019
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ’s Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!