The Difference Between a Lead Generation Ad and a Conversion Ad on Facebook

Are you advertising on Facebook and wondering what about the difference between a Lead Generation ad and a Conversion?  I find that people often select the wrong objective and aren’t sure why it’s not working correctly.

A lot of people see “Lead Generation” and think, yes, that’s what I want – more leads!  But that objective may not be what you think it is and

In this post you’ll learn when you need to choose each objective, and what you need to have in place before you choose either objective.

When you go into your Facebook Ads Manager and select Create Ad, here’s what you will see:

Facebook Ad Objective Lead Generation vs Conversion


The Main Difference Between a Lead Generation Ad and a Conversion Ad

The biggest difference is a Lead Generation Ad happens all ON Facebook and a Conversion Ad you are sending the traffic OFF of Facebook (to your website that has your own Facebook Pixel installed on it)

If you have a “landing page” or “squeeze page” that you want the traffic to go to, then you need to select the Conversion Ad and you should make sure you have the Facebook Pixel set up correctly.

If you don’t have a landing page but want to collect leads, the Lead Generation ad is a perfect solution for you.

Here are some of the other differences between Lead Generation Ads and Conversion Ads.


 Facebook Lead Generation Ad   Facebook Conversion Ad
 Gather Leads through a popup form ON Facebook  Gather Leads through an optin form on your website
 NO website address or URL needed for this option  Direct traffic to the website or URL
 Build a form to collect the data in Facebook  Form on your website typically comes from your email system
 Form data goes into the Publishing Tools Section on your Facebook Page  Form data goes into your email system automatically
 You can redirect someone to a website after they submit their form  You must redirect someone to another page on your website to register the conversion after they submit their form
 Do not need the Facebook Pixel  Must use the Facebook Pixel
 Facebook calculates the cost per lead based on when people submit their data in your form  Facebook calculates the cost per lead based on if they reach the Standard Event or Custom Conversion you specify in your Ad setup
 Facebook pre-populates the form with the data that you ask for from the Facebook profile (can be easier for the user since they don’t need to type their email address)  Person must manually type in their data into your form on your website.
 You have to manually download the data to get it into your email system (or pay for a service to automate the process)  The data is automatically added to your email system from your website optin form


Here is my Facebook Live on the differences also:


Example of a Lead Generation Ad

If you are wondering about what a Lead Generation Ad looks like, here is an example.  It looks just like a regular ad:

Lead Genearation Ad example


But when you select the “Download” button, you get a popup form:

Lead Generation Ad optin form


Before You Run a Lead Generation Ad

Set up your Lead Form before you start so that you can make sure it looks the way you want.  You can do this in your Publishing Tools section of your Facebook page.  This is also where your Leads will be stored.

Facebook Lead Form


Your Lead form can have a different image from your Facebook Ad, or you can use the same image.

Facebook Lead form configuration



Before You Run a Website Conversion Ad

Before you run a Website Conversion Ad, you need to tell Facebook “what a lead looks like” for you by either adding the Standard Event code to the Thank you page or creating the Custom Conversion for your Thank you page.

Facebook Ads Funnel progression

So in this image, the Lead standard event has been added to the Thank you page.  Then you would optimize your Ad around Leads.

Alternatively, you could create a Custom Conversion and you would name that Custom Conversion and optimize your ad specifically around that Custom Conversion.


In general, I’ve found better results with Website Conversion ads personally but you should test them and see which one works better for you.

Another point of confusion can be between a Traffic ad and a Website conversion ad.  Visit my blog post here: to get the details on those differences.

How about you, have you tried lead ads or conversion ads?  Let me know how they worked for you in the comments below!


Facebook Advertising Secrets is opening again SOON!

If you need focused help with your Facebook ad campaigns as well as a private support group where I’m personally answering your questions, join me in Facebook Advertising Secrets.

The course is opening again soon and you can get the details and get on the waitlist to be notified here:

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