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Lead generation ads

Lead generation ads: What, why, and how with examples

Search engines used to be a huge channel for growing businesses. They didn’t have to invest heavily in ads and could still convert searches into potential buyers.  

But every year, I see the organic search evolving. Organic SERP results are more “information-driven”, making conversions much harder.  

It is obvious that businesses will turn to ads to generate leads, marketing, and advertising.

According to Statista, in five years(2019-2024), U.S. digital ad spending is forecasted to grow from 132.46 to 278.53 billion dollars.

These lead generation ads aim to make the prospect share their contact details by filling out the lead form and getting them in the lead bucket. There are various methods of running lead generation ads. 

Some platforms redirect the user to your website, while some platforms allow lead forms within the platform—for example, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Ads, etc. However, practically what matters is the ultimate goal of making prospects sign up for the lead form. 

Let’s start with the basics. 

What are lead generation ads? 

Lead generation ads are digital advertisements that collect prospect data from various channels hoping to meet their primary goal of conversion.  

In simple words, lead generation ads are all digital ads that bring in new customers or prospects.  

These ads also aim to collect relevant contact information of people who clicks on your ads. Here’s an example of a lead generation ad for “lead generation ads”:  

Google search - Lead gen ads

When users click the CTA on the ad campaign, it directs them to a dedicated landing page/homepage, or a popup appears.  

Some platforms offer pre-populated information from their social media profiles. Usually, the prospects have to fill up the data in the lead generation forms by themselves. 

Lead gen ads make the signup experience more cohesive for the users; hence it observes a high conversion rate. 

5 Most popular lead generation ads channels 

  • Google Ads 
  • LinkedIn  
  • Facebook 
  • Instagram 
  • Twitter 

Why should you use lead generation ads? 

These are three key benefits enough to prove the efficacy of lead generation advertising offered to every growing business. 

1. Cuts down the signup process 

As we discussed, some lead ads avoid directing users to a website, and rather a popup appears, specifically on social channels. 

Users don’t want to leave the social platform and hinder their experience. 

Many prospects can find it daunting to feed information manually, especially if there are too many form fields. 

Such lead gen ads are perfect for speeding up this lead generation process. Also, these are beneficial when you don’t have a proper website in place. 

You can run these ads and collect prospect data directly. But you’d have to initiate the communication in this case.  

This is extremely useful for a small online store relying on an Instagram page and not having a proper website.  

2. Collect high-quality leads 

Lead generation ads are clicked mainly by people who are interested in the product or service you sell. 

These lead ads offer a higher conversion rate than other conventional lead generation tactics. 

The below example is of a lead generation ad for webinar signup. So, this ad only targets a specific demographic, helping you collect qualified leads. 

Lead generation advertisement

The quality of leads depends on how well you have optimized your lead ad.  

3. You don’t need a website 

As we discussed, some ads directly collect leads using forms. This is amazing for new businesses that have no websites. 

They can directly move forward with new leads while building their website and branding. Of course, in this case, businesses must first contact potential customers and take the deal forward. 

8 Tips & tricks to create impactful lead generation ads with examples

Though creating lead generation ads is a marketing team collaborative work, as an ads manager, the major responsibility of setting up successful lead gen ads is on your shoulder.

Here are some tips and tricks that you can try to extract the most benefit from your lead gen ad examples.

1. Ask questions that’ll help you understand your ideal customers 

Use custom questions to filter prospects. Get in touch with your sales team, and see if they wish to learn something specific about the leads being offered. 

Ask questions that’ll help you understand your ideal customers

When a prospect is asked specific questions that are aligned with their requirements, you will receive relevant information as answers. 

Also, this information can be reviewed by the sales teams, so they don’t ask the same questions repeatedly. 

These can be some sample questions for a car dealership lead ad: 

  • When are you planning to buy a car? 
  • What’s your budget? 
  • Will you need a car loan? 
  • When would you like to request a test drive? 

2. Integrate lead gen forms directly with your CRM 

Make sure that you integrate your lead gen form with a CRM. So, their data will be stored directly in the CRM whenever a visitor clicks on your lead ad and fills up the Web Form

Here are some of the benefits of using an integrated CRM. 

  • You won’t have to maintain spreadsheets, upload them using other tools, or download them manually from the ad platform. 
  • Once you have the lead enters to your CRM, you can truly leverage Marketing Automation to send onboarding emails or welcome messages.  
  • It helps you build your customer profile from the very first interaction. Your CRM will record every touchpoint of the prospect, from marketing to sales closing. 
  • Every data in CRM makes your ICPs better. 
  • It is much easier for sales teams to connect with prospects if leads are stored in CRM. 

If you pick a CRM like Salesmate, you can integrate any social platform and collect data using Zapier. This is a single data source for you and the entire team. 

Bring leads directly into your CRM!

Bring leads directly into your CRM!

Create Embeddable Web Forms inside Salesmate and assign leads automatically.

Explore Web Forms

3. Analyze your user’s post-fill-out experience 

Some lead gen ads work best because they collect information on the same platform without driving them to your website.  

But that shouldn’t stop you from sharing your website and socials. 

Once the visitor is done filling out the form, you can provide options to visit specific feature pages or invite them to check out your YouTube channel. 

4. No distractions ad 

If you have noticed, all the paid ads have limited ways to distract you as a visitor.  

The reason is simple. 

Businesses are spending money per click; they WANT you to click where conversions are coming. 

That’s why, on many websites, the header and footer are not visible in the ad version of the copy. Instead, the user will have only one option to take action – Sign up! 

5. Use extra-ordinary visuals 

An image or video that best represents your products and services is a tried and tested way of getting a user to click on your lead generation ad. 

Let’s understand this with an example. 

HULU uses a rather dramatic approach with its CTA.

Disney Lead gen ad

As you can observe from the above image how the design team: 

  • Uses contrast colors so the user doesn’t miss out on anything while skimming 
  • Emphasizes the CTA using the ‘Get the Disney bundle’ phrase 
  • Makes use of their wallpapers in the background to showcase what content a user can consume 
  • Tries to capture leads by offering access to multiple platforms that help users save money 

6. Distribute your budget accordingly 

You can promote your business globally to scale rapidly. 

But it can be overwhelming for your sales team to seek follow-up on such a massive influx of leads. Therefore, choose channels wisely and allocate the budget accordingly, which drives potential leads.

You can distribute your advertising budget across channels as per the goal you wish to achieve.  

For example, if you’re spending money across multiple channels. You can take historical evidence based on the performance of each channel and make the budget distribution accordingly.  

Let’s say Instagram and Facebook lead ads are small-sized tickets; you can spare a minimum budget here. Similarly, LinkedIn is quite costly but gives you large customers; you can spend a heavy budget over there. 

Budget allocation is a critical part of any marketing strategy. The data below reflects how businesses majorly rely on digital channels to allocate their marketing budget. 

Marketing channels budget allocation

7. Retarget users who have engaged with your ad previously 

There can be several reasons why a user starts an interaction with your ad but doesn’t complete the process. 

Many times, website visitors get distracted and end up leaving the page.  

The smart thing to do is to retarget such users with targeted ads and entice them to complete the action. 

8. Send personalized emails 

80% of potential customers are more likely to buy from a brand that provides a tailored experience. 

If you think about it, your future customers expect a personalized journey. And that’s exactly what you can do with their emails. 

Once visitors fill out their details, you can send them a personalized welcome email. In addition, you can create a highly personalized email for every ad source.  

You can easily do this using a marketing automation platform. Best if your CRM is also a Marketing Automation platform.

Not just welcome emails, but you can also set up lead nurturing campaigns. 

Pros and Cons of having lead generation ads 

Now, that you’ve learned so much about lead generation ads. I’m sure you’ve guessed the benefits of it. However, here’s a detailed section to help you understand the pros and cons of this ads: 

Pros of lead ads: 

  • A good option for businesses that have no websites yet. They can set up successful lead ads and build a potential customer list.
  • Higher lead quality, so you can truly see the ROI. 
  • They are scalable and easy to access. Users can view it while they are browsing on mobile or any device. This makes it flexible to use and results in success. 

Cons of lead ads: 

  • There are heavy sales dependencies on the ads. Sales reps must start the conversation and move the leads down the funnel. 
  • New marketers might face issues setting up a successful lead ads campaign and optimizing to the highest level to meet their campaign objective.
  • For bootstrapped startups, it can be costly to invest money in ads. They might need to pick limited platforms with a limited budget. 

Conclusion

Here’s a sneak-peak of the practices mentioned above one can use to garner maximum benefits from their lead gen ad campaign. 

Allocate ad spend budget wisely, plan your campaign, analyze results, and reinvest in implementing the new learnings. 

But trying different combinations of lead gen forms using the right images, videos, content, and CTAs on various marketing channels can yield positive results. 

These practices will help you engage with your target audience and convert them into leads. 

Dhanashree Pal

Dhanashree has been into writing since her teens. She believes writing is the best way to express and explain everything happening in this world. Reading and imagining are something she can do for hours. Enthusiastic about exploring new places and food. Young and hopeful of becoming better with every passing day.

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