On-Platform vs On-Site Leads

Updated: Feb 16, 2024 | Angel Manalad | 3 mins. read

Growing and maintaining a healthy business is the goal of any business owner. There are many ways to nurture and grow a business, with many dealers and OEMs turning to Facebook Ads as a key marketing channel given the size of its audience, low barriers to entry and quality of user data it has at its disposal to target ads.

There are many different ways to set up Facebook campaigns depending on the desired outcome. 

Today, we will focus on conversion campaigns and, more specifically, lead generation campaigns.

Lead-gen campaigns on Facebook allow businesses and advertisers to target audiences/potential customers and capture their contact details (name, email, and phone number). 

On Facebook, there are two ways Facebook ads can help generate leads for your business; 

  1. On-platform leads (sometimes called Facebook Lead ads) and 

  2. On-site leads. 

Facebook Lead ads are Facebook ads that contain lead forms in pop-ups connected to the ad. The whole experience exists within the Facebook platform. 

On-site leads are leads generated from the advertiser’s website. A user must click on the ad and then be taken to your website, where they submit their details via a form or chat on the site. 

While both types of leads can be valuable for your business, let’s unpack the differences between on-platform and on-site leads and the benefits and limitations of each.

Benefits of On-Platform Leads

On-platform lead forms are mobile-first

Approximately 98% of users access Facebook on a mobile device. If most of our impressions are on mobile devices, optimising the lead form for mobile devices makes sense. This makes the on-platform lead form a seamless user experience, especially if your site isn’t mobile-optimized. 

It keeps audiences in the Facebook ecosystem

This sounds counterintuitive, but there is a reason why this is a benefit. Countless A/B tests and studies on live campaigns on Facebook found that audiences were more receptive and had a stronger positive brand association with advertisers who used on-platform leads. This is because it is less disruptive to the user and doesn’t disrupt the scroll by taking them off-platform, leading to higher conversion rates, a lower cost per lead, and more leads for your business. On-platform leads can be more cost-effective

Because on-platform lead forms don’t take audiences off Facebook, it also shortens the consumer journey between clicking on your ad and submitting their details. Countless studies across various media channels show that the easier you make the consumer journey for your audience, the more efficient your ads will be.

A CRM integration is preferred

You don’t NEED a CRM integration to run on-platform lead ads, but it does streamline the process and can maximise campaign performance if you do. A CRM integration allows leads to be viable to the sales team in real-time.

Without CRM integration, leads need to be manually downloaded from Facebook in a CSV file or managed in Facebook’s new ‘CRM lite’. This means there is a lag in lead submission to follow-up. For effective lead management, “speed to lead” is one of the keys to success.  

CRM integration allows advertisers to share high-value segments with Facebook for more tactical executions. 

Limited customization

On-platform lead forms have come a long way since being introduced. Initially, lead forms were rudimentary, with limited fields and functionality. While they are much more robust today, even allowing for rich creative and conditional questions to qualify your leads, lead forms are generic and don’t allow for all the nuances of a business’s product or category.

Benefits of On-Site Leads

Higher friction

On a website, a user needs to click the ad and leave Facebook, view the landing page content, navigate to the form and fill in the form – either on the landing page or then go to a second page. All this additional friction will mean the volume of leads is lower, and the cost per lead is higher. The quality will also be higher; in many cases, we have seen website leads close at 10x the rate of on-Facebook leads.

Keeps your data in one place

This is most beneficial if you don’t have a compatible CRM integration. Running lead generation optimised to on-site leads would remove the need to manually download leads from Facebook. This would allow a business to completely house user data within its internal systems, ensuring privacy compliance.

More customisation

As mentioned above, sometimes there are instances where Facebook’s on-platform solution isn’t the best solution for your business. This is particularly true if there are nuances to your business that require a high level of customisation or a high level of detail. On-platform leads are great for generating volume; however, on-site lead forms have the benefit of being fully customisable to suit your needs, especially if you need those nitty-gritty details.

On-site leads are potentially more qualified

Yes, this will likely translate to a higher cost per lead. However, as the user journey is more involved and longer for the consumer, any leads generated are more considered and potentially offer a higher value for your business. There are exceptions to the rule, as sometimes the quality of the leads is impacted by the quality of the lead form.

Limitations of On-Site Lead Forms

Higher user drop-off / higher cost per lead

It’s already been said, but to state the obvious, the longer the user journey, typically the more you will have to pay to deliver a lead. While exceptions exist to the rule, this is particularly true for on-site lead generation as you ask your audience to leave a platform they are engaging with to visit your site.

Which lead solution should you choose?

Like lead generation on Facebook, it’s not one size fits all. 

If volume is the goal, on-Facebook lead ads can be very effective.

If quality is the goal, website leads are better. Facebook lead ads can be used, especially with additional friction to slow the users down and/or in retargeting campaigns where the audience has already been qualified. 

The balancing act is the quality of the leads from the website tends to be higher compared to the volume of leads that can be generated via Facebook.  In many cases, a combination of the two can be effective.If you’re struggling with lead generation, we can help

As experts in lead generation, our team have an innate understanding of on-site and on-platform lead generation, and can help guide you in the best option that will deliver quality, qualified leads to your business. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation, contact us today and level up your lead generation with Retain Media.

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