Sep 9, 2020

Facebook Ads lead gen: An end-to-end playbook including strategy, tactics, and measurement

6-MINUTE READ | By Edward Ford

FacebookPerformance Marketing Analytics

[ Updated Mar 7, 2023 ]

If you use Facebook Ads, you’re probably interested in answering this question:

How can I effectively generate more leads using Facebook Ads?

Well, we’re going to cover the end-to-end playbook in this post based on the insights and findings from Jeff Sauer, a Facebook Ads expert and founder of Data Driven. We’ll break this post down into:

FYI, we’re focusing on leads generated on your site from Facebook Ads (not via Facebook’s Instant Forms). This article is based on a Facebook Ads masterclass we did with Jeff, which you can watch here.

Research from analyzing +10,103 Facebook Ads

The starting point for getting more leads from your Facebook Ads is to look at what’s worked in the past. That means research and analysis. Jeff and his team analyzed 10,103 Facebook Ads from some top Facebook advertisers and they found the following:

  • Short words like “now”, “new”, and “more” appear frequently
  • Headlines are typically short and sweet, about 3-4 words
  • Ad copy is also short and sweet, most often between 11-20 words
  • Images are more popular than video

Armed with this information, Jeff experimented with some different lead gen ads on Facebook featuring characteristics of what other top Facebook Ads advertisers were doing.

Three formulas for producing effective ads

The experiment Jeff ran was to compare the performance of three ad formulas. Each formula was essentially a framework that gave each ad its own unique angle. The idea here is that when one formula is shown to work, it’s really easy to replicate across all your lead gen campaigns. The three formulas Jeff developed were:

  • The super short
  • The fast feature benefit
  • The “what if”

1. The super short

Description: Get to the point in three lines or less. Then let your landing page do the rest.


  • Stay between 20 and 30 words
  • Use with low barrier to entry offers like lead magnets
  • Ask a question your audience can’t answer (but would like to)
The Super Short post

Results: When Jeff ran this ad formula to promote his Facebook Ads study, he was able to generate +300 leads with a cost per lead of $2.57. Not too shabby.

CTA: Try this out next time you’re promoting a lead magnet like an original study, webinar, or high-quality gated content offer.

2. The fast feature benefit

Description: Get to your features and benefits. ASAP.


  • Direct, short, and to-the-point intro
  • Use for simple offers with strong pricing
  • Don’t go overboard with your bullet list
The fast feature benefit

Results: When Jeff ran this ad formula to promote his Google Analytics Mastery course, he generated over $5k in sales with a 5.89 ROAS! ?

CTA: Try this out next time you’re promoting a strong offer for your product or service.

3. The “what if”

Description: Turn skeptics into believers by teasing the promised land.


  • Paint a picture of a better future for your audience
  • Use for high-consideration products and offerings
  • Identify a clear problem you solve really well
The “what if”

Results: When Jeff ran this ad formula he generated +$1.5k in sales from only $215.44 in ad spend. That’s a whopping 7.33 ROAS — and worth of two flame emojis! ??

CTA: Try this out if you’re promoting a high-consideration offer with a typically longer sales-cycle.

Reporting results and showing your value

So these three ad formulas drove great results for Jeff. But showing your results can often be easier said than done. So what does Jeff use to report on his Facebook Ads performance? Rather than speak on his behalf, I’ll just share this quote of his from the masterclass:

“This is where Supermetrics can be your best friend. I don’t really like reporting but what you can do is build a report template you like. I created a template that shows which campaigns and creatives work best. Then just connect your Facebook Ads account to a product like Data Studio with Supermetrics and generate something like this in just a few clicks.”

Jeff Dashboard

Using a report template is a simple way to get started with marketing reporting. Our free Facebook Ads overview report for Data Studio is a good starting point. You can connect it to your Facebook Ads account and it will automatically populate with your data. If you want to tweak the template, you can customize it any way you want.

Findings from a Facebook Ads experiment we ran at Supermetrics

When we were planning the masterclass, we thought what better way to promote it than using the very ad formulas Jeff was going to share (yes, we got a sneak peek at the materials). So that’s what we did. 

We created three ads, one built on the super short, one on the fast feature benefit, and one on the “what if”. Since each formula was better suited to different scenarios, we expected the super short to be the top performer since we were promoting a lead magnet, or webinar to be precise.

But did it come out on top? Let’s take a look…

Here are the three ads we set up.

1. The super short

The super short

2. The fast feature benefit

The fast feature benefit

3. The “what if”

The “what if”

And here are the results.


So we expected the super short to come out on top, and you could argue it either did or didn’t. From an engagement perspective it performed worse than both the fast feature benefit and the “what if” with a lower CTR and conversion rate. However, the CPC and CPA were lowest for the super short so it generated the cheapest sign ups. We didn’t quite get the $2.57 Jeff managed with his super short, but we weren’t far off with $2.79.

All in all this was a pretty cool meta experiment and you can check out the full masterclass for more Facebook Ads goodness from Jeff.

Wrapping Up  

Generating more leads with Facebook Ads doesn’t need to be hard. If you simplify things and experiment with these three ad formulas you should see good results in a short space of time.

And if you want to build Facebook Ads dashboards in Data Studio like Jeff, start your 14-day free trial of Supermetrics today!

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