Email Signup Facebook – Buy email signups with Facebook Lead Ads

Many of us have played around with trying to get people on Facebook to sign up to our email list. Creating a “Sign Up” Button on our page, using an app to create a sign up page, or playing around with sweepstakes, competitions, and ads.

There’s now a much easier, more controllable way to do it – the Facebook Lead Ad.

It continues to surprise me how few online retailers are using this ad format to build their business – Facebook started testing it back in 2015, yet most people I mention it to have never heard of it.

I have clients who are experiencing great success with this method – so great it’s changing their whole marketing strategy.

In this post I’m going to take you through:

  • Why it’s so exciting
  • How to do it
  • If it’s likely to work for your business

Why am I so excited about the Email Signup Facebook Opportunity?

I believe focusing on email acquisition and welcome campaigns is a very straightforward and reliable way to grow an eCommerce business.

Read why in this blog – Your email sign up strategy is core to new customer acquisition.

The number one way to grow your list is to get email signups right there on your website. However, your site might not get enough traffic for you to sign up enough people on it to meet your growth targets. That means looking elsewhere.

A quick solution to any traffic problem is advertising. Now that Facebook Lead Ads exist you can either buy traffic to your website and hope it signs up, or you can buy email signups – which would you rather pay for?

I have a number of clients using email signups on Facebook to grow their business and they are getting great results. Buying email addresses for less than £2 ($2.50/€2.40) a go. Then converting over 20% of the signups within 6 months. That’s new customer acquisition for just £10 ($13/€12) a customer.

Show me the Adwords account that can consistently deliver that at volume!

More on the numbers later, for now let’s dive into the how.

How to set up your Facebook Lead Ads Campaign

This isn’t a how-to-use-Facebook-Ads post, so I’m assuming that you have done some Facebook Ads in the past. However, even if you haven’t it’s so easy to use I think you’ll be just fine.

How to create the email signup Facebook advert

Go and login to your Facebook Ad Account (

Start the “Create Advert” process and choose the “Lead Generation” marketing objective.

lead generation ad logo

Set up all the ‘Advert Set‘ Information:

  • Page – your Facebook page
  • Audience – chose who you want to put your advert in front of (more on this below)
  • Placements – select “Automatic placements” – this will show your ads across Facebook and Instagram (if you’d rather just one go into “Edit Placements”)
  • Budget & schedule – for your first test, leave everything as it’s already set up (will be about £20 per day).
    You should be checking in daily to see how it’s doing, but it can be handy to set an end date – I usually set it for 5 days.

This all means that Facebook will put your ads where it believes it can get the maximum leads for you, at the best price.

Set up the ‘Advert‘ information:


If you’ve been testing on Facebook and have an Ad format that works for you – use that.

If you’re fairly new to Facebook Ads, just start with the Single Image format. (the bonus with this one is if you load up to 6 different images you will be able to test which image works best, with very little effort).

Media (aka images / videos etc)

This is where you add the visual part of the advert that will appear in the Newsfeed. Make sure you pay attention to Facebook’s recommendations.

email signup facebook
so yes, at this point it looks pretty much like any other Facebook ad…


There are 3 pieces of text to supply:

  • Headline – appears on all ads on Facebook, but not on the Instagram ad
  • Text – appears on every single ad format – it’s above the picture in my advert above
  • News Feed link description – only appears in the newsfeed – it’s the text below the headline in the above example

I realise that’s fairly confusing – the good news is you can see previews of each and every ad format as you add in the text, which makes it super easy.

And you also get to select your choice of Call to Action button – (this is something you’ll be testing in the future!)

See below for details what to say in the text, and what your incentive for the sign up should be.

How to set up the Lead Form itself

The above sets out the ‘advert’ the part of the puzzle that gets someone interested – this section, setting up the Lead Form, is all about making sure they convert (complete the sign up process).

You’re setting up where they’ll go when they click on your advert.

Start by creating a ‘new form’

new form image

You can now customise your Lead Form. Here’s some tips:

  • Welcome screen – Unless there’s a great reason to, I’d turn this off, it’s just one more click before the sign up
  • Questions – keep it to just email and full name (or just email if you can)
    • Privacy policy – has to be set up, suggest you include your brand name in the link text
  • Thank you screen – if in doubt link to your homepage

This image shows how each of the 3 screens look:

facebook lead ad example

That’s your advert all ready to go.

Before you go live – set up your Welcome Campaign integration

The success of this marketing method relies in both acquiring the email addresses at a good cost per sign up AND in getting the order from the new sign up.

That means you need to:

  • Get an email to the signup as quickly as possible after they sign up – ideally delivering whatever you promised them in return for signing up
  • Then send them the quality email marketing (probably in a Welcome Campaign) that will convince them to buy

Before you can do any of that you need to get the details of those who’ve signed up out of Facebook and into your email marketing software.

The good news is that for most email platforms it’s possible to set up the integration to run automatically.

You can find out how that works for your system here.

strongly recommend getting that integration set up before you publish any of your adverts. BUT if you can’t set up an integration, OR it’s going to take time and you want to start straight away… then you can do a manual download.

If you’re going to do a manual download – please do it once per day – the quicker you get the first email to your new subscriber the more likely they are to convert.

You can get my “Welcome Campaign Checklist” to help you set up a great Welcome Campaign.

Choosing your Audience

With Facebook Ads it’s essential to put the ad in front of the right people – the audience you show your ads to is a key optimisation method (along with how the ad looks).

Here’s some tips for setting up your first Lead Ads test:

  • However you select your audience, make sure you’ve set up these selections to maximise chances of conversion:
    • Geographic selection – only show ads to countries you sell to
    • Age selection – if the majority of your customers are 20-30 then only show the ads to people who are 20-30
    • Gender selection – if the majority of your customers are men – then only show the ads to men.
  • If you have experience with Facebook Ads – then start your Lead Ads test with your most responsive audience selection (that isn’t your existing email list!)
  • If you haven’t got a favourite audience already – then start with:
    • Your Facebook Page fans (if you’ve got a few 1,000)
    • Lookalikes of your Facebook Page fans (Facebook will find people similar to those who’ve already liked your page)
    • Lookalikes of your email list – you can upload your existing email subscriber list to Facebook, then create a list of people who look like the people on your email list

Setting your Call to Action

Facebook Advertising is interruption marketing.

That means your Call to Action really needs to stand out, and be something the person wants enough to let it distract them from whatever they were already doing on Facebook.

That usually means just offering great email newsletter content isn’t enough – you need to offer a discount or a download.

My preference is for a download (because it doesn’t affect your margin!). The download is a short PDF (1-10 pages) about a topic your customers would be interested in.

  • In fashion it could be the latest season look book
  • In triathlon – a list of the competitions over the next 6 months
  • A mini-ebook that educates the customer how to buy

Sometimes it takes a bit of brainstorming to come up with the right idea! (if you’re struggling why not head over to the eCommerce MasterPlan World Facebook Group and ask the group for suggestions).

Likely results, and word of warning

In the introduction I explained the following were pretty typical results:

Spend £100 => @£2 per signup => 50 sign ups
Welcome Campaign => 20% conversion => 10 orders @£10 cost per order

Whilst those stats are superb, those rough numbers come from some tests which are fairly new, and thus pretty unoptimised. With a bit of optimisation I think it should be possible to get to this:

Spend £100 => @£1.50 per signup => 67 sign ups
Welcome Campaign => 25% conversion => 17 orders @£5.80 cost per order

That’s an even more attractive result!

So please make sure you work at optimising your Lead Ads – tweak the text, tweak the images, tweak the CTA, and (of course) the audience.

My word of warning – whilst for most eCommerce businesses these costs per order are going to give them break-even or better results, that’s not going to be the case if you have a low AOV business, or if you have low margin products. So when you’re testing this out please bear that in mind!

Want some more ideas for increasing the size of your email list? Then check out my new freebie – the Email Capture Checklist.

I would love to know how you get on with this – so please let me know via email, the comments, or in the Facebook Group!