Lead Generation vs Conversion Traffic: Which one is right for you?
Before bringing on a new paid social client, I typically have a discovery call with them to see what type of business they have and what their overall goal is. All of my clients are unique; some want opt ins or leads, some want purchase conversions from their eCommerce store, and some simply want to beef up their blog traffic.
For those clients who want opt ins or leads, the big question becomes which type of ad campaign do we focus on: lead generation or conversion traffic? Both types of ad campaigns have their pros and cons, and it ultimately comes down to what my client is most comfortable.
Here’s the breakdown of both lead generation and conversion ad campaigns so that you can make your own decisions with your business.
Lead Generation Ads
Back in the old days (and by old days, I mean back in 2014), prospective leads for your business had to give you their contact information the old fashion way: by either visiting your website or landing page and manually entering in their name, email and/or phone number into an online form. But in today’s society, where people are bombarded by so many options, the goal of a business should be to present the lowest barrier of entry for someone to give you their contact information.
Enter Facebook and their Lead Generation ad campaign. Facebook makes it ridiculously easy for someone to give you their information. When presented with a lead generation ad that someone finds interesting, they simply click your call to action button, prompting a form within Facebook to pop up and auto-populate with information from their Facebook profile. The prospective lead simply has to click “Submit” and boom. You have them as a lead! The lead doesn’t even have to leave Facebook or waste their time manually filling out the form information on your landing page.
Through the help of the almighty pixel, Facebook now has an algorithm that make intelligent guesses on the behaviors of your audience. If your goal is to drive people to your landing page and offer them something for free in exchange for them filling out a form (aka “opting in”), conversions ads work great because they automatically optimize your ads to an audience who are mostly to take your desired action. (Which in this case is opting in.)
Conversion ads work for a variety of actions, such as page views / clicks to website, adding items to a shopping cart, making a purchase / checking out, and the aforementioned focus of this blog – opting in or registering. Since the Facebook pixel tracks everyone’s behaviors on and off Facebook where the pixel is present, Facebook can easily point your conversion ads in the direction of those in your audience who are most likely to have a “take action” behavior.
Lead Generation vs Conversion Ads: The Pros and the Cons
With all of this being said, when it comes to free opt ins and lead capture, both types of ads can deliver what you ultimately want: someone’s email address or phone number. So which one do you choose? Both have their pros and cons.
Lead Generation ads are great because they are the lowest barrier of entry, which means potential leads are most likely going to give you their contact information. However, for instant delivery of product or communication to the lead, you’ll need a third party software account, such as Zapier, for connecting Facebook to your CRM system, which starts at about $20 a month. And since you are not sending anyone off of Facebook, these ads won’t assist you in beefing up your pixel traffic, and you won’t have a way to retarget those who don’t sign up. On the plus side, with this type of ad, you don’t have to worry about sending a bunch of traffic to landing page that doesn’t even up converting (for whatever reason); you can see right away in the Facebook console whether or not your ad set and ad creatives are netting you leads or not. As for the validity of the leads you’ll get; there have been instances where I’ve had clients net a TON of leads through this type of ad, but in the end, had zero conversions once they went through the system. But I’ve also had clients get a ton of success with their leads, so it’s a gamble you’ll have to take.
Conversion ads are great because the cons of the Lead Generation ads are pros for the conversion ads. With these ads, you have to drive potential leads and customers somewhere off of Facebook, so they will get caught in your pixel. And the validity of the leads seem to be a lot warmer, because the traffic you are sending to your landing page or website are exposed to multiple levels of your offer; so if they see your ad and then see your landing page and then opt in to what you are selling or giving away, it’s a higher chance that they are a warmer lead versus someone who just hits submit on a whim with Lead Generation ads. Plus, you can always retarget traffic that didn’t sign up the first time they visited your page, which is something you can’t do with lead generation ad viewers.
Which ad is right for you?
When breaking down the cost, every business will be different, because every business is selling or giving away something unique. I’ve tried both types of ads with dozens of clients, and it has been even split between the two in terms of cost per lead versus cost per conversion.
However, here are a few case study examples from past campaigns that I have had the pleasure of working on.
Gyms / Fitness Locations: Conversion Ads that direct traffic to a well planned landing page tend to work better. As of late, I’ve had a lot of gyms tell me that the leads they gathered from lead generation ads have been mostly duds.
Free Videos: Conversion Ads that direct traffic to a well planned landing page tend to work better. If people want to watch your video, they typically want to watch it right then and there, and not have to wait for you to email them the link to it, which is what happens with lead generation ads.
Free eBook or Email Series: Lead generation ads work great, as it’s easy for someone to sign up and they know they will have to check their email to obtain whatever it is that you are giving away for free.
Blogs/Websites with Newsletter Signups: Both types of ads work great.
Ultimately, discussing your goals and ad budget with your Paid Social Specialist is the best way to determine which type of ad works best for you. If you are interested in a free discovery call to see how Green Pixel Media can help with generating leads for your business, shoot us an email or give us a call!