Listrak Exchange Lead Ads Playbook

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Listrak’s digital marketing automation platform lets you cultivate deeper relationships with shoppers through personalized, multichannel marketing strategies that drive revenue, engagement and growth.

What are Lead Ads?

Lead Ads are an email acquisition tactic deployed through Facebook and Instagram to targeted audiences defined within a Facebook Ads Manager. These ad types provide a simple, frictionless solution to capture new email leads. LeadAds allow consumers to more easily connect with retailers and brands in their preferred channel. Some consumers are spending as much as 50 minutes a day on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger* – so the opportunity to capture their eye and build the value for your email channel is substantial.What areLead Ads?

Lead Ads also provide a unique opportunity to capture an email address from a consumer without having to interrupt their current activity - browsing their Facebook news feed orInstagram feed. With just two clicks, a consumer can easily verify their information is correct and hit submit. Listrak Exchange then automates the transmission of that email address to the Listrak platform and sends the new subscriber your welcome series.

Customer Success Stories

Retailers and brands running Lead Ads and automating data and leads through Listrak Exchange have not only driven list growth, but also revenue growth. Costs of acquisition have averaged around or under $1.00 and those new to the list have driven 6x ROAS within the first 30 days of signing up.

Creating Facebook & Instagram Lead Ads

When building a Lead Ad campaign for the first time, select the “Lead Generation” objective from Facebook’sAds Manager.

You only need to create one campaign that will contain all of your Lead Ad sets. Each audience that you choose to target should be maintained within each individual ad set. By tailoring each ad set to a specific audience, you avoid duplication across multiple Lead Ad campaigns and prevent the same consumer from being targeted multiple times.

Who to Target With Lead Ads

You can target audiences defined by your first-party data, Facebook’s third-party data and the data captured via the Facebook tracking pixel placed on your website. You can create powerful combinations using these three data sets. Don't forget to exclude your current subscribers from all of your ad sets—this can easily be automated using Listrak Exchange so that you don’t waste ad dollars on subscribers whose email addresses you already have.


  1. Website Visitors that don’t Subscribe - This audience has spent time on your website but they may not have subscribed yet. Consider refining this audience to only include people who have visited two or more pages of your website or people who browsed specific pages.
  2. Lookalike Audience of Repeat Customers - Your most valuable first party audience is your repeat customers. Take this audience of repeat customers and create a Facebook lookalike audience of Facebook users who share similar traits and tendencies. Use this audience as a prospecting audience and acquire email addresses of new brand followers.
  3. Cart Abandoners / Purchasers not on Marketing List - Cart abandoners and purchasers are people who have shown the highest level of engagement with your brand. Build a first-party audience of cart abandoners and purchasers who have not opted-in to receive your marketing emails. You can target this audience with Lead Ads to not only re-acquire their email address, but also their consent to receive marketing emails
  4. Facebook Page Followers - Don’t forget to target people who like or follow your brand’s Facebook Page. This is an easy audience to target and could result in a nice boost in subscribers

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"Whether you are just considering adding Lead Ads to your acquisition efforts or you are looking to optimize the Lead Ads you are currently running—Listrak Exchange can help your team save time and increase the performance of your campaigns."

Creative Strategies

Always include at least four to five creatives in each ad set. Facebook will optimize your ad delivery around the ones that perform best. Even if you’re unable to completely rewrite each ad, you should at least change the hero image(s) or video in each ad.


  1. Video Creative - Facebook gives news feed priority to video content. This means more impressions at a lower cost. Whenever possible, test video creative against carousel ads or static image ads. Keep videos short and concise. Don’t forget that you want the user to engage with the video and subscribe. Lastly, optimize your video design for mobile. A significant majority of Facebook users watch your videos on small screens.
  2. Carousel vs Static Images - Consider leveraging a carousel ad that features multiple gateway products* often purchased by new customers. Try a mix of lifestyle and product photography for each carousel image. Remember, people like to see other people in ads so don’t be afraid to use friendly photography or even approved user-generated content.Single static images are a staple in most Facebook ads. Use this image to create some visual contrast that captures the user’s attention as they swipe through their newsfeed. Also, less is more when it comes to text in images. Facebook will limit delivery of ads that contain too much text in their image.Lean on your ad’s headline and news feed description to relay your message or incentive.*Gateway Products are products that are most commonly purchased during the first purchase a consumer makes with your brand.
  3. Text - This is the content that appears above the ad image. We recommend including a brief and friendly brand message here. Remember, if you’re running Lead Ads on Instagram, this is the only text that will accompany your hero image.Make sure this text can stand on its own.
  4. Headline - This appears in larger text size beneath the ad image. This should be concise and lead with a call-to-action and brief value proposition.We suggest testing offer versus no-offer. Ads without an offer could mean that you’re capturing more loyal subscribers and, in many cases, these ads perform as well or better than ads with an offer.
  5. News Feed Link Description - Expand upon the Headline above. Remember, this will be truncated on mobile devices.
  6. Call-to-Action - Your call-to-action button should support your headline above and reinforce the action you want the user to take. In most traditional B2C Lead Ads, this call-to-action will be Subscribe or Sign Up
  7. Lead Ad Form - This is one of the most important parts of your Facebook orInstagram Lead Ad. Lead Ad forms are displayed to users who click the Lead Ad call-to-action in their news feed. This form captures the consumers’ email address which is pre-populated by Facebook or Instagram with the address tied to their account.Upon submission, this email address can be automatically passed back to Listrak via Listrak Exchange and dropped into aWelcome Series email campaign.

How Can I OptimizeMy Lead Ad Form?

  • Allow your targeted audience to share your ad. This means that if someone is shown an ad and they tag a friend, the friend can submit the Lead Ad form even though they were not originally targeted. This option is enabled by default.
  • When possible, disable the Welcome Screen. This is an optional first step in the Lead Ad form that the user must click through before they can submit their information.
  • Collect the least amount of information possible. Email and Full Name are the default fields added to a Lead Ad form. We suggest sticking to these fields or even collecting email alone. Remember, all fields added to a Lead Ad form will be required for submission.
  • Customer disclaimers can be used to provide information that encourages the user to participate in your email channel. Some ideas might be to let them know what you will be doing with the email address and what’s in it for them to submit their information.
  • Consider adding UTM parameters to the Website Link. When a user submits their email address, they can choose to click through to your website from the Lead Ad. You want to be able to track this traffic in the future.

Monitoring & OptimizingLead Ad Campaigns

Well executed Lead Ad Campaigns can significantly improve your ongoing acquisition strategy. Lead Ads can result in very cost-effective acquisition rates, but more importantly, help you acquire subscribers who will result in high lifetime values.


After setting up a new Ad Set, allow it to run for a few weeks without any changes to the Campaign, Ad Set or Creative. Facebook’s algorithm needs time to optimize delivery and this takes time. If any changes do need to be made to budget, targeting or creative, make incremental changes every 24-36 hours.

For example, increase budget approximately 10-15% per 24 hours. If you see success, don’t immediately double or triple your budget in a single update. This throws off Facebook’s optimization and it takes time tore-establish that optimization.

Do not frequently enable/disable the Campaign or Ad Sets. This also negatively affects optimization.

Determine your brand’s estimated Cost per Acquisition (CPA). Once you know what it should cost to acquire a new subscriber, you can optimize your budget and delivery to meet that goal.

Retargeting website visitors who expressed higher intent will result in a higher conversion rate and lower CPA. Prospecting Lookalike audiences could result in slightly higher CPAs. You may see CPAs as low as $0.30 for retargeting website visitors and $1.00+ for prospecting audiences.

Relevance Score, on the creative level, is a very important measure that you should use to define the effectiveness of an ad. Aim for at least a 7 (out of 10) Relevance Score. Low Relevance Score indicates a negative response from the targeted or creative audience. This means your audience targeting or creative may need to be adjusted or updated.

Aim for a conversion rate of at least 1%. It is possible to have a low conversion rate and low CPA; however, a conversion rate of 1%-3% is often attainable with Lead Ads.