Canva’s Facebook advertising guide part 1: Optimizing for lead generation


Optimizing for lead generation is a win-win for everyone.

To put is simply: a lead is someone who has shown interest in your product and lead generation is the act of warming someone up to your brand. By optimizing for lead generation you, the marketer, can say goodbye to cold call-like tactics and save unlikely customers from it. Only individuals who are likely to make a purchase will click and enter their information.

In this article we’ve outlined eight simple steps that will optimize your website for lead generation, from defining your lead lure to nurturing your leads. Ready to get yourself into this win-win situation?

Step 1. Design a Juicy Lead Lure

Before diving into the design of your ad, you need to conceptualize and design a juicy lead lure. To begin, ask yourself: What are you offering potential leads in exchange for their valuable personal information?

Our inboxes are precious personal spaces we do not want cluttered with just anything — there is nothing more annoying than unwanted mail to accompany your morning coffee. You’ll have to offer potential leads something they find very valuable if you ever want them to give up their emails.

So, what makes a lead good?

Good leads target a specific niche users. Because potential leads all have different interests, it is extremely difficult to create one mega magnet that will attract leads of all kinds. To efficiently generate leads, don’t try to target every individual out there. Focus on providing one particular niche of users with a valuable lead.

Good leads are also easily digestible. You do not have to offer a multi-volume publication to attract leads — one actionable how-to article that will help leads solve a problem works wonders. In fact, leads that are too complex can be off putting as they will not provide your audience with good ol’ instant gratification.

Finally, your lead lure needs to be thought of as highly valuable by whoever you are targeting. This brings us back to our first point: targeting a niche of users. Its tough to create a lure that everyone will find valuable. If you’re offering a free recipe, those like me who cannot cook for their lives will not latch on.

Leads are a great place to get creative. What you can offer in exchange for information can take on many forms. However, whenever deciding what form your lead will take, keep your audience in mind. If you are targeting teenagers, for example, eBooks might not be as appealing as a special discount. Popular lead lures today include:


BookBub offers hundreds of ebooks as a lead lure. Note how what they are promising potential leads is clearly communicated in the ad.



Audible not only offers a free audiobook to potentials leads but also reminds their audience they offer a free 1 month trial.



Special Tools

Templates that simplify your potential lead’s life are always a hit. Zillow takes advantage of their popularity in the ad below. Notice how the CTA is easy to spot and features text that clearly states what potential leads are being offered.



Template Monster offers a set of PSDs that promises to simplify the process of creating multiple size banner ads.


Template Monster


Having a sale? Let potential leads know by creating an ad that clearly states it, like Template Monster.


Template Monster

Beautiful photography goes a long way in ads! Check out the example below from Plated, offering a special discount to potential leads.



Gated Information or Content

Have a special article or content potential leads might appreciate? Use it as a lead lure, like My Design Deals does in the ad below.


My Design Deals

Simple solutions are often best, as showcased below by ISACA. A clean image and bold CTA help promote their lead lure.



Email or Online Courses

Offer a special course or promote an upcoming event to help create a great lead lure, as GRE does below.



Special Promotions

Contests, raffles, or even games featuring a special promotion are always popular online. They are also extremely flexible, as they can be built around most topics.



Prizes are, of course, excellent lures. SurveyMonkey offers potential leads the chance to win Go Pro in exchange for some time taking a survey.



Below is a lineup of templates that apply the ideas listed above. Browse through the selection and click through to customize your favorite one; or you can read through the rest of the article first — you’ll find more designs throughout this post.

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Step 2. Design a Landing Page

A killer lead lure won’t do you any good if you do not provide potential leads with a place to land and access the goodies you’ve offered.

Design an awesome landing page where users will arrive after they’ve clicked on your ad and can download your lead lure from.

Landing pages need not be complicated. In fact, you’ll want to design them as lean as possible. Avoid bells and whistles or any other elements that will distract users from what you want them to do: provide you with their information.

Unsure of what to build into a lean landing page? Here are a few tips:

  • Include a simple form for users to file their information with. Generally speaking, you’ll want to request the least amount of information possible as this will result in a higher conversion rate.
  • Keep your form above the fold. Make users do the least amount of work possible to get whatever they’ve been offered. This includes scrolling. Facebook Lead Ads makes the process of collecting information super easy, more on them below.
  • Keep it simple. Again, leave out unnecessary design elements and details. Include only what you need. White space is beautiful!
  • Focus a user’s attention on your CTA. Use color or typographical hierarchy to draw attention to where you want users to click or look.
  • Do not make potential leads dig further for what they’ve been offered. A great way to make sure the lure magnet is extremely visible is to give the button they’ll need to click to submit their information the name of the lure. So, if you’ve offered an eBook, give the button that submits their information the name “get my eBook.”

Below you’ll see an ad for Eve Online, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. It features Sci-Fi imagery and bold text. It would follow then that the landing page for the sweet ad would feature the same kind of imagery, typography and feel.


EVE Online

If you have hardworking headlines, the customizable Facebook ad templates below are perfect for you. The evocative images work together with the minimal copy to lead interest to the headline and ad caption.

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Step 3. Design a Great Facebook Ad

After developing a killer lead lure and designing a great landing page, you’ll be ready to design a great Facebook ad.

Let your lead lure inform the design of your ad. If you’re offering a discount, for example, you’ll want to make sure potential leads can easily tell how much they’ll be saving using it. If you’re offering an eBook, it is always a great idea to make sure you’ve given it an appealing title that’s prominent within the design.

As with all other visual material you push out, be sure to adhere to your brand guidelines when designing your ad. Canva makes it extremely easy for you do work within your own brand standards with its integrated brand kits. Simply define the guidelines you’ll be working with once and push on forward.

Dollar Shave Club makes sure its ads are inline with its brand by using the same kind of imagery, type, and palette in its ads. Note also how they are even consistent with their brand voice by using copy that follows its brand guidelines.


Dollar Shave Club

Visually reference your landing page. You do not want to disorient potential leads by presenting them with a landing page that feels completely different than the ad they just clicked on. Keep colors, typography, and design elements between your ad and landing page consistent.

On a daily basis, I see at least half a dozen ads on my Facebook feed. Most of these just end up annoying me. Just get out of my way and let me see who’s doing what these days, right? However, the occasional ad that does grab my attention normally features an impactful image, like the one featuring gorgeous turquoise waters below featured on an ad by Emirates.



This doesn’t always mean cute puppies or cats–I’ll stop scrolling for shots that are well composed and lit. And I am willing to bet you do to. Keep this in mind as you select an image for your ad and be sure to always select the highest quality images.

Within Canva you are able to find thousands of great professional photographs covering virtually every subject imaginable. Simply key in whatever you’re looking for into the search field and browse away. Get a sampling of Canva’s photos in the customizable templates below.


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Make sure your lead lure is always at the very top of your information hierarchy. Potential leads shouldn’t have to look twice for it. Use bold typography or accent colors to bring it front and center.

GMAT Club makes it easy for potential leads to quickly glean what the ad is all about by using bold type and a vibrant red.



When you’re designing, you’ll want to develop a few variations of your ad to test. As a rule of thumb, it’s good to test at least 3 variations of each ad you’ll be running.

You can work with different colors, copy, typography, or imagery. Eventually, these variations will help you discover what is helping you hit your marks and what isn’t. More on testing a bit further down.

Facebook Lead Ads

Facebook Lead Ads help make simplify lead generation campaigns by building in pre-populated forms into the ad, reducing the amount of work potential leads are asked to do to gain access to your lead lure.

When potential leads click on your ad in their Newsfeed, they are shown a pre-populated form that contains all the information they need to submit to gain access to your juicy lead lure. The form is populated using information the potential lead has already submitted to Facebook. Potential leads still have full control of the information they ultimately choose to submit and can edit or remove any information they do not wish to send over.

If the ad for UpOut SF below was a Facebook Lead Ad, potential leads clicking on Sign Up would not have to manually enter their email or name–they would just have to click submit and the signup process would be over.


UpOut SF

You also have full control over the kind of information you are asking to get access to on said forms. As you create a new Facebook Lead Ad within the Facebook Ads Manager, you can specify what questions you want your form to include. Here, you’ll also be able to specify details about your audience, placement, upload your creative, define your CTA, set a budget and schedule, and, of course, download your lead list after you’ve ran your campaign.

Step 4. Track Your Conversions

Alright, so you’ve got a killer lead lure, a great Facebook ad, and you’ve designed an awesome landing page. What next? Push your ad and track your conversions.

You’ll want to know if your lure and ad are helping you accomplish your goals by tracking how many leads you’re generating. If you aren’t hitting your marks, you’ll have to backtrack and revise.

If the guys at Brookside Chocolate weren’t seeing results from the yummy ad below after a few days, they’d ideally revise their ad creative as well as the copy accompanying it.


Brookside Chocolate

Facebook makes it extremely easy for you to track conversions. To do so, you’ll want to insert the Facebook pixel into the thank you or follow up page new leads see after they’ve provided you their information.

If you’re working with a developer, they’ll know how to handle the ordeal. If you are not, you’ll have to manually insert the Facebook pixel into your page’s HTML.

Code may seem a little intimidating to the uninitiated. However, with the right instructions, anyone can make use of the Facebook pixel. Simply follow the instructions in Facebook developer’s page and you’ll be golden.

Step 5. Use Facebook Targeting Options

We’ve mentioned good leads target a specific niche of users but haven’t covered exactly how to do so. These days, it is extremely easy to tailor an audience for your ad using Facebook’s targeting options.

As you get ready to share your ad, you can create multiple audiences for your ad using:

  • Location, age, gender, and language: what demographics define your desired audience?
  • Interests: does your desired audience share specific interests?
  • Behaviors: define your audience based on what they do, including purchasing behaviors or device usage.
  • Connections: define your audience based on their connections and relationships to other pages, apps or events.
  • For detailed information on each of these categories and how they will limit who sees your ad, checkout Facebook’s article on ad targeting options.

Step 6. Test, Test, Test

After at least a couple of days of running your ad, begin to look at each variations performance and analyze the data you’ve been collecting.

Drop ads that are not hitting the marks you desire and keep running those that are. Once you’ve exhausted their light, analyze them and learn what made them successful with the audience you’ve targeted. Was your imagery on point? Did you have excellent copy?

Take a close look at successful ads and learn from what audience best reacted to your campaign and lead. Based on these findings, refine the creative of your next campaign to better target said individuals and generate more leads.

Step 7. Refine Your Audience

Even your best work will fail against the wrong audience. After you’ve ran a few variations and have analyzed your test results, refine your audience. What changes can you make to your targeting options to further refine your audience? Was your ad more successful among men?

Generally speaking, individuals between the ages of 18-25 are checking out potential colleges. Targeting anyone outside of this range only wouldn’t make sense for College Raptor and would increase the chance of the ad flopping.


College Raptor

Be sure to tweak your ad Facebook targeting options in your next campaign to reflect this learning.

Step 8. Nurture Leads

It isn’t enough to get leads–you want them to stick around. So how do you get them to do so?

Nurture the relationship via email. Follow up with your leads with a thank you note and further valuable content. Whenever possible, personalize your emails. Remember, do not clutter your new leads email. Marketing emails are cool but should not be the only email your new lead is receiving from you.

If you’ve ever sent out material to leads, you’ve probably gotten responses back. Be sure to respond to all of them. You want to make sure your new leads know you’re there and care. Do not let feedback, questions, or any other kind of comment fly over your head. This is all part of building a relationship.

Help the relationship between you and your new lead continue to grow by not providing dead ends. In other words, whenever you reach out or send out material to your new lead, be sure to provide actionable links, new information or a valuable piece of information that will fuel on the relationship.

Advanced Tips

Familiar with everything we’ve mentioned above? Try:

  • Building a sense of urgency into your ad whenever possible. Will the lead become unavailable in a few days? Let your potential leads know. Generally speaking, if your potential leads perceive your goods to be limited in supply, they’ll tend to want it more. We tend to act quicker on goods we might miss on. Take advantage of that.
  • Give careful consideration to the language on your CTA. Go for a first person approach or a relaxed, original tone. How many times have we seen the word “Submit” used on forms that gather our information? Using it again on your lead ads as a CTA won’t make it stand out or get your potential leads excited. When thinking about the language you are using in your ad and CTA, design it just as much as you would beautiful typography or design elements. And, of course, stay true to your brand’s voice and tone.
  • Use your thank you or confirmation page as an opportunity to further the relationship you’ve just begun to build. Now that you’ve got a brand new lead, what can you share with them on the thank you or confirmation page that will make them even more excited about you and what you are offering them? Give offering your brand new lead access to information that is exclusive to those who have jumped on your bandwagon. Not only will this make them feel part of something special, it will help you begin to build a community around your brand and product.

Free Templates

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Over to You

Creating lead generation campaigns can be overwhelming. If after reading our article you’re feeling like you’ve a dozen walls to climb, split your work load up into small, manageable steps.

Use our tips above as a to do list. Treat each tip as a single step. Once you’ve tackled one, move on to the next. You’ll quickly be ready to launch your campaign.

As always, if you are already putting everything we’ve covered to use and are using Canva to do so, share links with us in the comment section. We love to check out what you’ve been up to.