If your business relies on leads to come in, then you have probably tried running ads on various mediums in an attempt to bring in more leads. One of those platforms that you probably have tried is Facebook.

Facebook has an abundance of benefits including its audience size, low cost per acquisition, and detailed targeting options. A lot of these benefits will be for nothing if you are not running optimized ads on Facebook.

If you’re currently running Facebook Ads and you are finding that you’re not generating the leads that you want, there are some steps that you can take to improve your results. Running any ad, whether it is on Facebook, Google, or even older mediums like print, requires testing, analyzing, and optimizing in order to find the recipe for success.

Through our many years and many dollars spent, we have come up with 6 reasons why your Facebook Ads aren’t generating leads:

Budget is too Small

The next 5 steps after this one basically outline the order of potential issues that need to be optimized and tested. Until you have that right recipe that works, Facebook needs to properly learn the exact behaviours of your target audience. This cannot be achieved with a small budget.

If you are constantly running Facebook campaigns with the intention of generating leads on say a $100 budget, and you are not seeing any results, increase your budget.

Facebook needs to learn who your exact audience is and what you are trying to accomplish, which can take time. Let’s not forget that your ad or copy for your ad might not be resonating with your audience either, which could further delay any lead generation.

Once you have figured out a comfortable cost per lead formula, you can reduce or increase your budgets since, in theory, you will know exactly how many leads you will receive for every dollar spent.

Tip: When you first start your campaign, set your budget to a significantly higher amount to force Facebook to learn faster. When you set your budget, Facebook paces itself to ensure they land exactly on your budget, and this unfortunately also means they will slowly learn if your budget is small. Once Facebook passes their learning phase and they understand what you’re trying to accomplish, decrease your budget back in line with what you were intending to spend.

You Chose the Wrong Objective

6 Reasons Why your Facebook Ads aren't Generating Leads

If you are trying to generate leads, there really are only a handful of objectives that you should be using on Facebook:

  1. Lead Generation Objective
    This objective uses lead forms that Facebook users can submit to you without ever leaving Facebook. Your ad will appear like any other sponsored post, but when they click the call-to-action button they will be taken to a form with some extra real estate to add copy. Pros: Form will be pre-filled with the user’s information since it lives on Facebook. There are also fewer items to optimize since you will not require your own landing page with this objective.Cons: Restricted to use Facebook’s built-in landing page which isn’t visually appealing. It is also limited on space.
  2. Traffic Objective
    If you have a landing page that you know already works, or perhaps you want to retarget on other platforms like Google, you may want to lead the Facebook user to your website. Pros: Typically a lower cost per lead than the Lead Generation objective. You will also generate more “first-click” traffic through this objective, giving you an opportunity to re-target individuals that may not be ready to convert today.Cons: As you will discover on a later point, your landing page is a huge success factor to whether or not this objective will ultimately convert. If you have a poorly designed landing page, revert to using the built-in Facebook form and go with a Lead Generation Objective.
  3. Conversion Objective
    This objective specifically targets Facebook users that are most likely to convert in the fashion that you want them to. If your landing page has a “call now” button as the main conversion, Facebook will find people likely to call you. If your conversion is a download of a pdf in exchange for info, then Facebook will find that person. Pros: Very precise and high intent users based on your very specific form of conversion.Cons: Requires some setup on your website and requires a big budget in order for Facebook to fully understand your specific conversion.

If you are using any other objective to try and generate leads, this is probably the reason you are not generating leads. Moreover, if you are using one of these 3 objectives, you might need to analyze which of the three is best for your business.

Incorrect Audience

After you create your campaign and choose the right objective, your next step is creating your ad set. Your ad set is where you create your audience.

Until you find your right audience, we recommend running different tests with multiple ad sets. If you are just starting out with Facebook Ads or wanting to hit the reset button to start over, we recommend running a minimum of 2-3 ad sets. Also, make sure you turn on “Campaign Optimization”, which will allow Facebook to distribute your budget to the ad set they feel is performing best based on your objective.

When you are creating your ad sets, make sure your audiences are very different from each other to ensure you can start pinpointing exact interests and behaviours for future campaigns. Also, at least one of your ad sets should contain a lookalike audience, which is a collection of interests and behaviours that Facebook users that have engaged with you share. Read more here on how to create lookalike audiences.

After Facebook runs their initial learning on your audience, your objective, and your ads, you should be able to clearly see which ad set is performing best. At this point, you can start shutting off poor performing ad sets. If you still feel you are not achieving the cost per lead that you are comfortable with, you can create a new ad set with the current ads, and change up the interests and behaviours to run further tests.

Before you create another ad set, take a closer look at your ads, as this might be the reason you are not achieving your desired cost per lead (move on to the next step below).

Tip: You should always have a retargeting strategy in place for previous Facebook users that have engaged with you. Retargeting will always be cheaper than acquiring new Facebook users to engage with. So with that being said, exclude previous website visitors from your “new acquisition” ad sets. If done properly, the users that engage with your ad will be put into a funnel and see different ads. We wrote an article, Step-by-Step Guide to Facebook Funnels for Lead Generation, which goes into more detail about creating a funnel strategy.

Bad Creative and/or Copy

After you create your ad sets, it is time to create your ads. Facebook offers a variety of different formats to use for sponsored ads, but for now, we will stick to just image ads.

When creating your ads, always draft multiple ads when launching a campaign. This ties back into the theme of testing. You’ll want to run multiple ads with different pictures and different copy. For your images, check out this article on Facebook Ad Image Best Practices that will Send your Click-Through-Rate to the Moon. Mix in a short-form copy as well as long-form copy. You can read more on Secrets the Pros Use to Create Great Facebook Ad Copy.

Once your ads begin running, see which ad is generating the most interest. At this point start optimizing. Since Facebook, and Instagram for that matter, is very visual, you should begin your optimization process with your images. Start by shutting off ads that are not generating any clicks. When you determine an image that appears to be working, recreate the ad with different copy and a different call-to-action button.

Your Offer

So now that you have determined that you have the right audience, the right creative, and the right copy, yet your Facebook Ad is still not converting, it is time to look deeper into what you are offering.

Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, your intention might be to generate traffic for future retargeting, which in that case, you don’t need a strong offer, but perhaps a compelling enough message to capture the user for further along in your funnel.

If you are deeper into your funnel, or perhaps your intention was to generate leads immediately, you will want to take a closer look at your offer if everything else with your campaign appears to be working.

When it comes to asking Facebook users for their contact information, you will need a very strong offer to entice this from them. Sometimes the offer can come in the form of downloadable content in exchange for information, and in some cases, it can be a strong “buy now” or “get a quote” offer.

Be readily equipped with different offers to advertise with. Once you have covered all of the other steps above, test different offers to further optimize your cost per lead.

Landing Page

Once you are satisfied that you did everything right on Facebook, it is time to take a closer look at where you are leading people when they click on your ad.

You can have the right audience, a relevant ad, a strong offer but a horrible landing page, which can easily be the culprit to your lack of leads. Does your landing page convert on other channels (ie Google Paid Ads, Organic Traffic)? If so, you might have to revisit the previous steps in this article. If there is a common trend of no conversions, then your landing page might need some tweaking.

There can be various issues with your landing page. You can read this article, Landing Page Optimization: Best Practices, Tips and Tools (2018), for some great tips on fixing your landing page.

Just like a lot of the various points in this article, testing will be key here. Make variations of your landing page to ensure you have the best possible version for conversion.


Having a proper strategy in place is key to running Facebook Ads that generate leads. You really need to be disciplined in running proper tests and to continuously optimize. If you are still having issues with this, feel free to drop us an email, and one of our specialists will be more than happy to consult you.