Facebook Lead Generation Ads Stop Working – What Can Be Done?

Facebook lead generation ads is a powerful way for businesses to collect meaningful data for their businesses on Facebook. This powerful advertising tool was launched in October 2015 to “make signing up for business information easy for people and more valuable for businesses.”

We have been using Facebook lead generation ads for businesses, especially for industries that require longer conversion process such as real estate projects (for developer and agencies alike), insurance agency, education provider and more. The results are simply amazing.

It is important for businesses to understand that this advertising method serves two purposes. Firstly, it is to generate leads that are more likely to convert. Second is to gather database for future marketing on and off Facebook.

Facebook lead generation ads serves multiple purposes

While our usual conversion rate for leads generated ranges from 0.5% up to 10%, using the data gathered to build longer term relationship via email newsletter or Custom Audience are proven useful for long term digital marketing strategy for businesses.

However, Facebook lead generation ads may not always work as marvellous as it should be sometimes. It can be frustrating as we have encountered the problem countless times and I’d like to share a few tricks you may find useful to optimize your Facebook lead generation ads.

Pro tip: Follow my Facebook Page for daily Facebook advertising tips.

What happened when Facebook Lead Generation Ads stop working?

A few situations when Facebook lead generation ads stop working, among others:

  • Ads stop delivering (or extremely low reach suddenly)
  • Cost per lead shot up significantly
  • Low quality leads


It could be quite frustrating when your Facebook lead generation ads stop working because they usually happen without any sign.

So what can be done?

We have a set of variables to test in order to identify the root cause and (try) to bring the campaign back to life:


Let’s dive right in.

Target Audience

There could be few reasons that your target audience is causing your Facebook lead generation ads to stop working. It is either the audience size is too small (too niched), or your target audience is not relevant to your product/services.

Remember how Facebook advertising objectives work? They are actions most like taken, based on historical data.

Now, if your target audience size is too small, chances are there are simply too little people that are “likely to submit a lead form to your business”.

For the second situation, if you’re targeting a set of audience that are not relevant to your offerings, you most probably will get low quality leads.

Similar to conversion objective, it takes time to “train” Facebook about your target audience. For most of the B2B businesses we handle, we have a simple formula to increase the lead quality over a course of 1-3 months. Here’s the steps.

You need to train Facebook about who are more likely to submit lead to your business

Firstly, start your campaign with a relatively broader audience, less detailed targeting, wider age group. At this stage, we want to train Facebook about the action, which is to submit lead. You might get lower quality leads, close monitoring is needed to be done at least twice a week to continuously adjust the audience.

Audience exclusion is important at this stage to avoid your ad from reaching the people you don’t want to target.

We work with client closely to constantly optimize the campaign from angles like detailed targeting, age group, ad creative, etc. Language plays an important role usually, consider split test this area.

Once you have gathered enough leads, we’re looking at 100 at least based on our case studies, your lookalike audience can be used as your cold targeting now. The campaign usually stabilizes by now, continuous monitoring should be on optimizing the cost now.

Bid Strategy

There are times where your Facebook lead generation ads stop working because it is not spending to its daily budget, meaning your ads are not reaching your target audiences.

This usually happen during festive season where the advertisers flock into the system, or after you’ve made significant change to the campaign and triggered learning phase.

We used to have optimization options here to switch to impression and reach optimization here but removed last year. You can try adjusting the bid and the play with the delivery type here.

But before that, you need to understand the Facebook ad auction mechanism.

Start pushing for ad delivery (reach) when your Facebook lead generation ads stop working by adjusting the bid cap. We usually test this by stage, adjusting gradually until we are able to spend the daily budget.

Bear in mind that the bid you put here is not necessary how much Facebook will charge you, but how much you willing to pay per conversion, which in this case, per lead form submission.

Your bid is “how much you willing to pay” not “how much you get charged”

You can also consider switching to target cost option when you have reach certain optimization level and want to maintain a stable cost for your campaign.

Delivery type is the next option you’d test if everything is still not moving and stagnant after you’ve tried bid strategy, but our recent tests indicates that this may not be contributing much in optimizing for reach.


Facebook lead generation ad is not the only way to generate lead and gather data. In fact in some situation, we find lead generation less impactful due to its easiness to submit. At the same time, due to the recent privacy issue, lead generations seems to be decreasing in its effectiveness due to privacy concern.

Over the years, we have tested a few other alternative methods to substitute Facebook lead generation ads. Most of them, based on our experiments, works as well, if not better, than Facebook lead generation ads.


For most cases, B2B businesses tend to be more complicated and can’t be easily explained over Facebook ads.

Whether you have a contextual Facebook advertising funnel for your B2B businesses or not, website should be the most important area to optimize as it should serve as the centre of universe of your digital marketing mix.

Canvas (Now Instant Experience)

Canvas is an interesting format which I think it works well as a good alternative that combines the key elements of a website and Facebook lead generation ad, if used right.

You can build a Canvas with key info about the product/service that you’re looking to promote and serve as the in-page landing page with 3 important benefits: it is easy to build, it is beautiful, and it loads fast.

Just put the button to bring them back to your contact form, or drive them to WhatsApp link or anything that can start conversation with your business.

Not to forget, by doing this we’re capturing Custom Audiences from video view (if you use video), form opens, landing page visits (contact page). You can then build a funnel in Facebook Analytics to give you a clear overview of your customer journey, and retarget them, of course.

Messages Objective

This works to a certain extend, and for specific businesses. If your objective is to initiate conversation with your prospect, try this.

Run Messages ad, setup your custom respond for them to initiate conversation with you easily, then set your auto responder on your Page to ask for contact number.

With that, you can at least send your brochure over (with over 90% open rate), and to call those who actually give you the contact number.


Remember the rule of thumb here: keep testing.

Do share with us your success stories or any strategy to help more e-tailers success in the crowded ecommerce scene.

If you need help with your Facebook advertising campaign, we offer 1-on-1 coaching and monthly Facebook Advertising Master Classdrop us a line and we’re more than happy to assist in your Facebook advertising success.