Facebook Lead Ads

Facebook Lead Ads allow advertisers to collect information from prospects directly from mobile ads. They make the mobile signup process easier by automatically populating contact information that users have given Facebook, like email addresses. Instead of sending traffic to a landing page where users manually fill out a form, when users click the ad, the information requested by the advertiser (name, email, etc.) is pre-populated and the user simply clicks Submit. All within the Facebook platform.

When the form is submitted, the information is collected by Facebook (for later access by the advertiser) and--if you have configured our integration--the information from the form is simultaneously passed to Sailthru to create or update a user profile. Additional campaign attribution data is also added to each user profile for use in Audience Builder.

For Facebook users, this is a seamless experience on mobile, and for you it is a very efficient method of capturing new leads. Further benefits of this approach are realized when you use Lead Ads in combination with Sailthru's Lifecycle Optimizer to automate welcome emails or other actions for new users, as well as our Facebook Custom Audiences integration. Using the power of Sailthru's Audience Builder with Facebook Custom Audiences, you can discover new customers that look like your best performing new leads or any other segment of your customer base.

Note: Your Facebook leads will be automatically added to a default list called facebook_lead_ads. You do not need to create your own list.

Set Up Facebook Lead Ads Integration

Use the following instructions to connect your Facebook account to your Engage by Sailthru account.

Note the following restrictions

  • Our integration supports Facebook Business Portfolio accounts only, personal accounts cannot be linked.
  • Users must have admin access to the Facebook Business Portfolio and to the Apps and integrations as action will be needed to assign Engage by Sailthru as a CRM partner to the account.
  • If you have multiple Engage by Sailthru accounts and only one Facebook Business Portfolio, we recommend that you set up each Engage by Sailthru account by granting permissions to all pages regardless if they are associated to that specific account. Once the pages are available, you can then "link" the pages corresponding to your specific account.
    • The reason for this is that Meta's integration is a one-to-one relationship integration and doesn't recognize having more than one account per Facebook Business Portfolio.

Connect Your Facebook Lead Ads and Engage by Sailthru Accounts

    1. Go to Settings > Setup > Integrations > Facebook Lead Ads
    3. Enter your Facebook credentials.
    4. Select which business portfolio you would like to connect.
    5. Select the Pages you want to connect.
    6. Select the Ad Accounts you would like to connect.
    7. Review what Engage by Sailthru is requesting access to and select Save.

      Note: The connection may take a few minutes to fully complete.

    8. Once the connection is complete, select Got It.
    9. Add Engage by Sailthru as a CRM in your Facebook Business Portal by navigating to the Integrations menu and select Leads Access. Users must have admin access to the Facebook Business Portfolio to perform this change.
        1. Select Assign CRM
        2. Select Sailthru
        3. Select Assign

      This will need to be done for each active page.

    10. If you have multiple Facebook Business Portfolios, follow the above steps to connect each one.
    11. </ol

Link your Lead Ads Pages

After connecting your Facebook Business Portfolio with Engage by Sailthru, you can then select the Ad Pages you would like to receive leads ads from.

      • Linked Facebook Businesses - will display each Facebook Business Portfolio that has been connected to the account.
      • Linked pages - will display the Lead Ad Page(s) that have been connected and are ready to pass subscriber form information from Meta.
      • Linkable pages - will display the available Lead Ad Page(s) that can be connected. These pages have not been connected and are not passing subscriber form information from Meta.
      1. If the Lead Ad Page is available to be connected, the Link Page button will be visible. Select Link Page and the Lead Ad Page will be moved to Linked pages
      2. If the Lead Ad Page is not eligible to be connected, you will see a disabled Unlinkable button. Hovering over the Unlinkable button will display the reason why the Lead Ad Page cannot be linked. 

Possible reasons:

      • LEADGEN_TOS_NOT_ACCEPTED:  Meta's Lead Ads Terms of Service has not been accepted
      • INSUFFICIENT_USER_PERMISSIONS - the user attempting to link pages does not have the appropriate Facebook Business Portfolio admin permissions.

Once the issue is resolved, the Lead Ad Page will be available to link.

Test the Facebook Lead Ad integration

Meta has provided a testing tool that can be used to test a Lead Ads integration. This tool is not maintained by Engaged by Sailthru and is available at Meta's sole discretion. 

      1. Open Meta's Lead Ads Testing Tool 
      2. Select the page and form you would like to test. Be sure to select a page that has been linked. 
      3. Select Create lead
      4. Once the success message is displayed, locate the following user test@fb.com within your Engage by Sailthru account. 

Within the User Profile you should see the list(s) the user was added to and under the Custom Events tab, you'll see where the lead event was generated from facebook_lead_ad_conversion. For future leads, any leads coming from Instagram will display as ig_lead_ad_conversion

Facebook Lead Ads Integration Page

Within the integrations page, you will have additional visibility tools to help give insight into the performance of the integration.

      • Health Status
        • Green = Connection is active with no issues
        • Red = Connection is experiencing issues and is not able to receive Lead Ads
      • Lead Ads received
        • Based on a rolling 7 calendar days, this is the number of leads received from this page
      • Unlink page
        • Unlink a page from the integration at any time. The page will be moved to the Linkable pages section

FAQs and Troubleshooting

This guide will help you understand the most common questions/issues related to Facebook Lead Ads and ways to troubleshoot an issue.

      • Linking multiple Engage by Sailthru accounts with one Facebook Business Portfolio

        The reason for this is that Meta's integration is a one-to-one relationship integration and doesn't recognize having more than one receiving account per Facebook Business Portfolio. If you have multiple Engage by Sailthru accounts and only one Facebook Business Portfolio, we recommend that you set up each Engage by Sailthru account by granting permissions to all pages regardless if they are associated to that specific account. Once the pages are available, you can then "link" the pages corresponding to your specific account.

      • My Facebook Business Portfolios are not displaying once I login in to Facebook.

        There are two reasons that a Facebook Business Portfolio will not displayed after logging in:

        • The user logging in does not have the appropriate admin access to the Facebook Business Portfolio. Users must have admin access to the Facebook Business Portfolio and the Apps & Integration to set up the integration as action is needed to assign Engage by Sailthru as a CRM partner to the account.
        • The login is associated to a personal account, and personal accounts cannot be linked.
      • Identifying whether the lead comes from Instagram or Facebook

        Go to the Custom Events tab under the User Profile for facebook leads. You'll see facebook_lead_ad_conversion and from Instagram leads will display as ig_lead_ad_conversion.

      • Not able to see Meta's Lead Ads Terms of Service agreement

        You must have admin access to the Facebook Business Portfolio to accept the Terms of Service.

      • My integration health status alert is red.

        There are two reasons that may cause the Health Status alert to be red:

        • Token missing or invalid: the user access token is no longer valid causing Engage by Sailthru to lose access to the Facebook Business Portfolio. The user will need to resolve the issue within Facebook Business Portfolio or another user with admin access can relink the integration following the steps above.
        • Webhook is missing: User disconnected the webhook within their Facebook Business Portfolio and did not notify or update their integration with Engage by Sailthru. To resolve this, users with admin access can relink the integration following the steps above.

Create Lead Ads

Facebook Lead Ads are managed by your marketing team within the Facebook Ads Platform. There, a Lead Ad can be created in three easy steps:

      1. Click Create Campaign and give it a name.
      2. Under Objective, select Lead Generation. Keep in mind your buying type must be Auction.
      3. Click Create.

You can learn more about how to set them up on this Facebook help page.

The information from lead form that you create, which is associated with the ad, will be automatically posted to Sailthru when the Facebook user submits the form. We also collect additional information such as the ad_id, the ad_group_id, and the leadgen_id which will be stored on the user profile allowing you to identify groups of users in Sailthru that signed up through a specific Facebook Lead Ad.

Automate Responses to Lead Ad Conversions using Lifecycle Optimizer

Acquiring a new user through Facebook Lead Ads is just the first step of your interaction with the lead. To make the most of this initial interaction, you can use Sailthru's Lifecycle Optimizer to automate the next steps, for example, sending a welcome email, or adding the lead to a particular Sailthru list (in addition to the default list to which all of your Facebook conversions are added).

Example Lifecycle Optimizer flow for Facebook Lead Ads

In the following example, we will create a new flow in Lifecycle Optimizer for Facebook Lead Ad conversions. Every time a new lead is added via Facebook Lead Ads, Lifecycle Optimizer will add users to this flow in order to put the user through a sequence of steps.

Before you begin, ensure that

      • Facebook Lead Ads integration with Sailthru has been tested successfully
      • A 'Welcome' email template exists within Sailthru, if you'll want such emails sent to the users who respond to your Lead Ad.

Configure Lead Ads conversion flow

      1. To create a Lifecycle Optimizer flow, go to my.sailthru.com, select Communications > Lifecycle Optimizer, and then click New Flow.
      2. To begin creating this flow, click the Entry step box, select "Custom Event (API)" from under "Start this flow when...." and use the event name facebook_lead_ad_conversion
      3. You can filter the users you take action on based on the optional event custom fields filter.
Custom fields and Lead Ad triggered events
      The custom event triggered by Lead Ads will also pass through the following custom fields (vars) with the event. facebook_adset_nameadset_namestring Active Subscribers Audiencefacebook_lead_type stringCTA (organic lead) or Lead Ad (coming from a paid campaign)
varFacebook ValuetypeExample
facebook_adset_name adset_namestring
women sunglaseses

* Lead 1:

 * Lead ID: 123456789

 * Created Time: 2024-02-26 12:00:00 UTC

 * Ad ID: ad_123456 * Form ID: form_789   

 * Ad Name: Special Offer Ad * Adset ID: adset_987

 * Adset Name: Winter Sale Campaign * Campaign ID: campaign_654

 * Campaign Name: Winter Sale 2024 * Page ID: page_321

 * Page Name: My Business Page * Full Name: John Doe

 * Email: johndoe@example.com

 * Phone Number: 1234567890

 * Custom Questions:

* Question 1: Answer 1

* Question 2: Answer 2

Paid Lead Form - Indoor Amusement Park
Lead Ad

You can determine who enters the flow based on evaluation of the above custom fields. For example if you want to send a different welcome email based on the specific Lead Ad that the user converted from you can check the value of the facebook_ad_id in the flow entry custom field filter. You would then have a unique flow established for each ad campaign.

Create a new flow for each ad campaign and associated ID. Event custom fields (vars) are a powerful way to segment your messaging around specific Facebook Ad Campaigns or specific variations of Lead Ads giving you complete control on how you want to deliver the right message post-conversion.

Use Facebook Lead Ads with Custom Audiences

If you are running a Facebook Lead Ad campaign to acquire new customers, you can use our Custom Audiences integration to acquire additional users similar to those acquired through your original Lead Ad.

Consider this example:

      1. Using Audience Builder at my.sailthru.com, create a Smart List of all users from a specific Facebook Ad who have spent at least $100. Facebook Lead Ads - Using Query builder, create a Smart List in Sailthru of all users from a specific Facebook Ad who have spent at least 100
      2. On the Lists page, find that list and click on the cloud icon on the right hand side of that list. A dialog window will open, prompting you to share that list to Facebook Custom Audiences.
      3. In Facebook, you can create a Facebook lookalike audience to identify users on Facebook who look similar to this high value segment.
      4. You can then target that new Lookalike Audience with a Lead Ad, closing the loop and acquiring more users!

Lead Ads Forms

      To build a lead form:
      1. Open Facebook Ad Manager.
      2. When asked for the objective of your ad campaign, select Lead Generation.
      3. In the Ad Set step, associate a Facebook page with the Ad account (if it doesn't already exist). Accept Facebook's Terms of Service before associating any page with an ad set.
      4. To edit the Lead Form, locate it under the Ad step. You can customize the Welcome Screen, collected user fields (ie. Email, Full Name, DOB, Job Title, etc), and custom questions:

Add Vars with Custom Questions

Within Facebook Lead Forms, you have the option to add Custom Questions. This is where you can set up vars using short answer or multiple choice for the value. When the user submits the form, these custom questions become vars in the user profile.

For more information on how to add custom questions to your Lead forms, please reference this help page from Facebook.

Helpful Definitions

          • Lead Ads: Ad units that allow advertisers to collect information from prospects directly from mobile ads. They make the mobile signup process easier by automatically populating contact information that people have given Facebook, like email addresses.
          • Facebook Custom Audiences: Custom audiences allow advertisers to target their ads to a specific set of people with whom they have already established a relationship on/off Facebook. Audiences can be defined by a unique identifier ( Sailthru uses email address)
          • Facebook Lookalike Audiences: Lookalike audiences allow advertisers to target more people who look like their established customers. A lookalike audience uses several kinds of user set as a "seed"(i.e. a custom audience) and an audience is built of similar users. Lookalike audiences can be used to support any business objective: Targeting people who are similar to sets of customers for fan acquisition, site registration, off-Facebook purchases, and coupon claims, or simply to drive awareness of a brand, and so on.

We'd love to hear of more ways that you are using Facebook Lead Ads. Please get in touch with our partnership team at partners@sailthru.com and share your stories.

Confirm Successful Integration

Facebook offers a Lead Ads Testing Tool which you can use to confirm that Lead Ad information is being captured. This tool will send a mock lead with the email address test@fb.com, including dummy data. It's a good way to test that the integration is connected.

If you want to do a test of an actual ad, you can do that from the Facebook Power Editor tool by clicking the "View in Mobile" link under the ad preview. This will send a notification to your Facebook mobile app where you can complete the form.

In Sailthru, search for the email address you login to Facebook using the search box at the top of the screen, often this will be your personal email address if you use that for Facebook. Please note that after you have submitted the form, it may take a few minutes to appear in Sailthru.

Below is an example of vars added from a Facebook Lead Ad where additional information Country, Gender and City were added to the Lead Ad Form.

example of vars added from a Facebook Lead Ad where additional information Country, Gender and City were added to the Lead Ad Form

Set up Lead Ads Integration


When you want to get started using Lead Ads with Sailthru, contact Sailthru support by clicking the blue support bubble at the bottom of your screen. They will send you an application-specific API key to use during your Lead Ads setup.

Use the following instructions to connect your Facebook account to your Sailthru account.

Connect Your Facebook and Sailthru Accounts

      1. Create a new account specific to this integration at this URL. For security purposes, do not use the same password that you use on my.sailthru.com.
        Facebook Lead Ads Integration Account Setup
      2. After logging in, you can connect your Facebook account by clicking the Facebook Lead Ads button with the Facebook logo on it.
        Facebook Lead Ads Integration Connection Finalize
      3. You are redirected to your Facebook account and presented with a permissions screen where you will need to confirm that the Sailthru Custom Audiences app has permission to manage your pages and ads. If you have already added this permission, you will not need to approve the app again and will be connected immediately.
        Facebook Setup Manage Pages Ads Permissions
        Note: The user connecting their Facebook account will need Facebook's "manage pages" permission for their company account.
      4. After completing the Facebook authentication, you'll need to connect your Sailthru account. Click the Sailthru logo, and then underneath it, click Edit. Add the Sailthru API Key and Secret that were provided by your CSM. (This API key must be the one associated with the Sailthru account to which you want to pass lead information.) Reminder: Each separate Sailthru account will require a new integration account to be created at this URL.
      5. Once you have added these Sailthru credentials, you will need to associate the Sailthru account with the Facebook account.
        1. Click the Facebook logo and then the Sailthru logo to open the dialog for the formula template.
        2. Select the formula template by clicking the icon below "Select a Formula Template." (If asked for additional information and an email address for notifications, please add integrations@sailthru.com). image00
        3. After clicking the formula icon, a drop-down opens with a list of the Facebook pages you have access to. Select the page that is associated with your Lead Ads. image05
        4. The selected page will display on the right hand side of the screen when completed.
      6. Once you have connected your Facebook Account to Sailthru's application, you're ready to start using Lead Ads.


When the Facebook Lead Ads Integration is being set up, you may see the following error while trying to connect to your Sailthru account:

If you have verified that the Sailthru API Key and Secret are correct, the issue could be that your Sailthru instance uses an Allowed IPs list. Go to the API and Postbacks page (Settings > Setup > API and Postbacks) to check the Allowed IPs field. If the Allowed IPs field is not blank, contact Sailthru Support to have the appropriate IP ranges added in to this field for successful API authentication.

Cloud Elements

Delete Multiple Accounts

If you have multiple Facebook accounts added to your Cloud Elements account and need to remove one or more, follow these steps.

      1. Sign in to the Cloud Elements Console (with same credentials used in Cloud Elements)
      2. Go to Formulas on the left-hand side & Find "Sync Facebook Lead Ads to Sailthru"
      3. Hover and Click into the number that shows. In the example above - 2.
      4. In the next page, hover over the account that needs to be removed & click Delete.

Re-enable Disabled Lead Ads Instances

      1. Visit my.cloudelements.io
      2. Use same login info as sailthru-fb.elementconnect.io
      3. From the left sidebar click Formulas.
      4. Find the tile that says Sync Facebook Lead to Sailthru  with a blue number bubble.
      5. Click the blue number bubble. This will take you to the active instances.
      6. If you see a tile with a red power button, that mean it's disabled. Hover and click the edit button.
      7. From the Edit screen, you should see a greyed-out slider on the right that says Active.
      8. Click Active and the slider should turn blue.
      9. In the bottom right corner click Update.
      10. In a new tab, test via the Lead Ads Testing Tool


If you are having trouble subscribing to the Facebook Lead Ads integration through the Elements Connect console you created an account for, we can lead through these troubleshooting steps to manually connect or identify the error causing the connection to fail. Before running through these steps, visit the Facebook Test Tool and see if Sailthru's app ID "1387369858150302" is under the subscribed webhooks. If it is, we have connected. Example of a working account: Example of an account that is not working:

Reset the Existing Integration

One of the most effective ways to resolve issues with an existing integration is to redo the setup.

      1. Remove the previously connected pages and formulas. Select the Sailthru integration and remove all formulas and connected pages.
      2. When there are no more formulas, navigate back to the main integration page.
      3. Remove the two existing integration pieces by hovering each square and clicking the trash can icon. These actions effectively reset the account and remove all existing integration configuration.
      4. Follow the steps listed in the "Set up Lead Ads Integration" section.

If you need to make sure that users who might have been "missed" while the integration was disconnected are imported into Sailthru, then you can export the leads from facebook via these instructions to import them. TIP: Follow the above steps if you are looking to change your Sailthru API credentials.

Check for failures in API Logs

Another way to find any issues occurring with Facebook Lead Ads is to check for failures in your API logs.

      1. Log into the Elements Connect console with your credentials.
      2. Navigate to Activity.
      3. In the filters section, update the "All Elements" value to "Facebook Lead Ads".
      4. Check for any "FAILED" calls within the logs and click on the line item in the table.
      5. In the opened tab, look for the "provider_message" to see a description of the error occurring.

Common Errors

Common errors you will find are as follows:

      • Error validating access token: The session has been invalidated because the user changed their password or Facebook has changed the session for security reasons. How to resolve: Reconnect your Facebook account with your updated credentials in the Sailthru Facebook Lead Ads UI under the "Select a Service" section.
      • Error validating access token: Sessions for the user are not allowed because the user is not a confirmed user. How to resolve: Update the user account from your Facebook backend and ensure that the user has been given appropriate user permissions and up-to-date access token.

Information to provide to Support:

If you run into an error outside of the list above, please provide the following in a Support ticket:

      1. The email address you're using to login to Elements Connect.
      2. The entire error message you're seeing, and being sure to include the instance_id.

Re-enable Disabled Lead Ads Instances

Using Element Connect:

          1. Visit sailthru-fb.elementconnect.io and login
          2. Click the Facebook tile, then the Sailthru tile.
          3. On the right, you should see the page that is having issues. Hover over the page, and click the red X.
          4. Click the grey Formulas tile on the left side
          5. Select the page you'd like and click Create.
          6. Test again via the Lead Ads Testing Tool.

Contact us