Facebook's New Lead Ads: A Pain-Free Way to Boost Social Sign-Up
Facebook is currently testing the use of new mobile News Feed ads, called “lead ads,” that will simplify form completion. The new two-tap process will streamline registration by allowing users to stay in the Facebook app and auto-filling fields with contact information users have already shared with Facebook. Despite some concerns about privacy, this new model is expected to significantly increase conversion rates.
No one enjoys entering information on a mobile device. Even on the largest devices, the buttons are too small to avoid making mistakes, and even though it typically takes only a minute or two, it still feels like a time-consuming process.
To combat this, Facebook is currently testing new mobile News Feed ad units that simplify and streamline the registration process. These “lead ads” will be more effective in connecting patients to brands that are relevant to their needs. Simultaneously, lead ads will provide an opportunity for companies to buy advertising that invites consumers to sign up — to receive newsletters, product information, patient education or doctor discussion guides, for example — in only two simple steps.
A call-to-action button, “Subscribe,” initiates the process. Facebook then auto-fills the form with users’ registration data. After reviewing the auto-filled content, users tap a “Submit” button to complete the process.
Information that can be auto-filled includes the following and depends on how much the user has shared with Facebook:
- Email address
- Street address
- City, state, ZIP code
- Phone number
- Employer/company name
- Job title
This feature is not available for all advertisers yet. Facebook typically tests new features with a handful of its large advertising partners before making them widely available.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
WHAT ABOUT PRIVACY?
WILL LEAD ADS BE MORE COSTLY?
If conversion rates go up, lead ads will likely be in great demand. As a result, Facebook may charge more to use this type of ad.
HOW WILL CONVERSION RATES BE AFFECTED?
According to Tech Crunch, “Removing the click away and manual data entry could drastically boost conversion rates on these kinds of ads … ” If Facebook users value the new process — and we think they will because it’s so simple, so fast — it’s very likely conversion rates will significantly increase as a result.
WHAT ABOUT CONVERSION QUALITY?
The quality of leads is worth considering. All users who complete the two-step process may not be as invested as those who take the longer route to registration. Pharma will likely see an increase in leads, but only time will tell how many of those leads will prove valuable. Regardless, Intouch sees it as a win-win-win: pharma will acquire more sign-ups, users will have a better experience, and Facebook will keep users on its site.
DOES OUR COMPANY NEED A FACEBOOK PAGE TO USE LEAD ADS?
Yes. An advertiser must have a business Facebook page in order to run lead ads in the News Feed. Intouch’s social media team is adept at building a successful Facebook presence and can answer any questions your team may have.
WHAT ELSE DO WE NEED TO CONSIDER?
Real estate on the new lead ads will be limited. There may not be room for branded messaging that requires fair balance and important safety information, so disease awareness outreach will likely be the best choice. It also will be critical for pharma marketers to carefully craft messages to ensure users know exactly what they’re signing up for. Surprise parties are fun; most other surprises are not.
THE BOTTOM LINE
We are optimistic that, for marketers who have Facebook business pages, lead ads will provide an attractive new doorway into pharma customer relationship programs.
Although it typically takes some time for Facebook to allow broad use of a new feature, it’s important to be prepared because uptake will likely be swift. Is your team ready?