last updated 4 November 2021

Mortgage Lead Generation With Facebook Ads

Can Facebook Ads help you get more mortgage leads? And what are the best practices when it comes to running Facebook Ads for generating mortgage leads?

These are the kind of  questions I get asked all the time by mortgage brokers and financial advisers.

So, I decided to run this free event in my Facebook group to share a quick overview of how Facebook Ads works and how to generate mortgage leads using Facebook Ads.

I also shared my top tips for mortgage brokers and financial advisers who want to use Facebook as a lead generation tool::

TIP #1: Install the Facebook pixel on your website

TIP #2: Set the right objective for your Facebook Ads campaign

TIP #3: Decide on your target audience

TIP #4: Use a lead magnet

TIP #5: Create well-designed adverts.

TIP #6: Create lookalike audiences

If you’re already using Facebook Ads to generate more mortgage leads, or if you’re thinking of giving it a try, then you really must watch this video.

A full transcript appears below.

Full Transcript

Hello there and welcome to all of you who are watching this live with us today. It's really great to have so many of you at this event. Also if you're watching this later on the replay, then hello to you as well.

I know at least one person from the Facebook group was planning to watch the replay later because it's his partner's birthday. So Ben, if you're watching hello and hope your other home had a great day.

For those who don't know me, my name is David Miles and I'm on a mission to help mortgage brokers and financial advisors to generate their own leads online. So they can stop giving money to lead generation companies.

Now, obviously, there are lots of different online channels that mortgage brokers and anybody else can use to generate leads and get new clients. It's through Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. So in today's session, we're going to be talking about one of what seems to be the most popular choices based on the responses and comments that people have made in the Facebook Group which is Facebook Ads.

I'm going to be looking at how you can get mortgage leads using Facebook ads. I'll share with you six things I think are really important for you to do or to know about before you start advertising on Facebook. If you haven't started yet, these are things you need to be aware of. Or if you're already advertising on Facebook ads, then these six things are items that you might want to go and look into because they could variously increase the performance that you're getting from your ad campaigns and get you a better return on investment.

So, make sure you stick around to the end. What I mean is for this to last about half an hour, depending on how many questions we get that stick around to the end, cause I'll be sharing something towards the end. The final tip is one that very few appetisers, even experienced ones actually take advantage of. Yet it's a powerful feature. Do make sure that you're still with us for that.

Let's get started then tip #1 is if you are going to use Facebook Ads. The very first thing you need to do before you start advertising is to make sure that you have something called the Facebook pixel installed on your website. If you're not familiar with what the pixel is. It's basically a small piece of web code that goes on your website and it allows Facebook to use the code to track every visit that happens on your website, whether that person comes by Facebook or via any other source.

By using the pixel, Facebook builds up a really good picture of how people use your site and how they behave on it. Also, it can also track which people create a conversion by either submitting an inquiry or downloading a free guide or something like that. Then, it can learn from that and use that knowledge to help improve your Facebook campaigns. It also allows you to create something called audiences, which is a really powerful feature that we'll talk more about a bit later on. That's the first really important thing.

There are loads of people who start running Facebook ads without the pixel, which means they can't measure their results. Of course, if you can't measure something, you've got no hope of improving it. So to install the Facebook pixel, you can either get your web developer to do it or if you're running a WordPress site and you're reasonably comfortable installing plugins and doing things like that as there are lots of different plugins, which make it really easy to put the Facebook pixel on your site.

Once you get the Facebook pixel code from within your Facebook Ads account and use one of these plugins with your relevant details of the pixel ID number. The one that I recommend which I use myself it's called Pixel Caffeine. But there are loads of other ones which are free. In fact, if you will check I recently published an article on my blog about various WordPress plugins, which I recommend for mortgage brokers and others. Pixel Caffeine actually was one of those. If you need the details of it, just check out the blog, head over to ppcmachine.co.uk/mortgagebrokers, which will take you straight to read all the mortgage broker related articles there. So that's rule number one, or tip number 1 which is to get your Facebook pixel for your Facebook Ads.

The second point is you need to make sure that you pick the right objective for your Facebook Ads campaign. Now, if you've set up a campaign and are ready, but you're no doubt seeing that. One of the first things that Facebook asks you to specify is to say what your campaign objective is. You've got all sorts of choices like traffic or reach or engagement or conversions. Then, it's really important that you pick the right one because Facebook will try and use its algorithm, artificial intelligence and everything to show your ads to people who are most likely to help you achieve that objective.

For example, you said that your campaign objective was to get traffic. I get as many people visiting your website as possible. Then Facebook is going to try and show your ad to the people that it thinks are most likely to click on your ad and visit your website, regardless of whether those people are likely to take the desired action when they get there. If you go to the traffic objective, which I'm not recommending you do, you'll get lots and lots of clicks through to your website, but you won't necessarily get much in the way of inquiries and leads. In the majority of cases, if you're using Facebook Ads to get leads and inquiries, you need to pick the campaign objective of conversions. Because if you do that, you might get less traffic, but you should get more conversions from Facebook. Facebook will use all the massive amounts of data it's got on all its users to identify users who are most likely to submit an inquiry when visiting your website. And it will use its place learning as it gets from your own particular campaign to continuously optimise it for that.

That is definitely the best objective to pick is conversions. One reason why we need the pixel there is because until you've got the pixel there, Facebook can't tell which of your visitors are converting or not. Then, when you put the pixel and set conversions as your campaign objective, Facebook will do everything to optimise your campaigns and show the ads to the people most likely to convert.

Then, the third thing is that you need to decide who to target or who you're going to show your adverts to. Now, deciding who you want to target is fundamental to any marketing campaign, which is a bit that people very often miss out on.

I know I've been talking to a few of you over the last few days about the online course that I launched a month or two ago, which started out with the intention of being purely a course about Google Ads. Then, once I sat down and actually planned it, I realised that the reason people are using Google Ads is that they don't often get the results they want. It's because they haven't identified who they're targeting and what their marketing messages are, which they fail to get those fundamentals in place. The said course actually ended up having the first module all about marketing fundamentals.

Actually, Google Ads is in the final bit of it, as it takes the same approach when you're running your own Facebook Ads. First of all, you should decide who you want to target, and what kind of people. Then, if you haven't done any work yet on identifying your ideal customer persona or working out your niche you want to focus on within the mortgage market, then I would strongly recommend you do that before you go on to setting up your Facebook Ads. Again, if you go onto that same part of the blog, there are loads of free articles about creating customer personas and niching.

Anyway, the beauty of Facebook is loads of information, like what their hobbies and interests are, what kind of site they responded to in the past, where they live, how old they are, what their jobs are, and all that kind of thing. Then, it's very easy to be very specific about who you want to target.

This is one area though, where the advice has changed over the last couple of years, as the general advice was to go really, really tight with your targeting. Then find people in, a particular age group, live in a particular town, and have shown an interest in things like mortgages or are fans of the right move page. It indicates that they are potentially interested already in mortgages. The reason the advice has changed a bit is that as Facebook's algorithm has got better, it's clever for want of a better word. Now, the advice is actually to go a lot broader than you might have done before then better have a broad targeting and allow Facebook's algorithm to do its work. And from that big set of people you're targeting, it can find the people most likely to convert.

With that, I would say rather than targeting people based on several different things to target them based on one kind of characteristic. Maybe you based on the fact that they've been identified by Facebook as being interested in first-time buyers, remortgages, or another option it might be. Again, this depends on your customer personas if you're someone who is niched into mortgages. For example, contractors target their target audience by occupation like i.t contractor or i.t consultant. Or if you're geographically based, you could target by location. Also in another kind of way, you could go a bit off at a tangent and think of what interests do people have that might indicate they need a mortgage.

For example, if someone has been tagged by Facebook as being particularly interested in home improvements, new kitchens or new bathrooms, they could be good people to show a remortgage advert to plant the idea that they might want to get a remortgage for a home improvements project. There are various different ways you can do it, like picking just one of those rather than trying to do some very clever combination of all those different things. If you can start off with an audience of 1 to 2 million initially, that's actually now thought to be the better way of doing it, rather than trying to really niche it down. Because you don't want people to see the same ad too often and you want to give Facebook's algorithm the best chance possible of finding the people for you.

Let's just have a quick look at the comment section. We've got unquestioned from Amanda. She asks, ‘Do I need a website or can I just have a Facebook page?’ You can run ads on Facebook without having a website. You can just create a Facebook page and add specific ad campaigns. For example, to more people who like your page then the more people are potentially going to see the posts.

In terms of lead generation though, that's not a particularly direct approach. If you're looking to use Facebook Ads for lead generation and you don't have a website, ideally I would say you should get a website. Or if it's just like a single landing page, because then you're fully in control of it.

I do appreciate that there are a lot of brokers who work for someone else, or they're part of a network where getting their own website is a lot of hassle or impossible. If you're one, there is a particular kind of Facebook Ads campaign that you can run called a lead generation campaign. It works when someone sees your ad and clicks on it, instead of them being taken through to your website, they stay on Facebook and they get an inquiry form presented underneath the ad. And if they fill in then that's the equivalent of filling in a form on your website. You will know once they fill in the information because it comes through to you. The nice thing about it is there is a lot of information on the form which is pre-populated. Obviously, because Facebook already knows the person's name, email, or in some cases their phone number, it can fill those things in automatically.

Therefore, it's an easier process for the person to submit their inquiry because they haven't got to leave Facebook anymore and a lot of the stuff is already filled in. That's how it works. Also, even if you've got a website it's worth experimenting with lead generation ads and testing those versus ads that send someone to the website to see which ones get you the most results, and which get you the best cost per lead. I hope that answers the question, Amanda, but if not, then leave me another comment and we can talk about it more afterwards.

Moving along, tip #4 is to use a lead magnet rather than trying to go straight in and sell to someone or get them to request a mortgage quote from you. I'll talk a little bit in a minute about what a lead magnet is, but first, let me explain why I think it's really important to have one.

The biggest drawback of Facebook Ads is called interruption marketing. I can contrast it with something like Google Ads, if you show a Google Ads to someone they're only seeing that because they sat down at Google and type something into the search bar like to get mortgage or mortgage advice. With that, they actually made the first to look for help. Now compare that to ads on Facebook, most people are on Facebook not to find a mortgage or remortgage but to look at pictures of their family, funny videos about cats, see what their ex-girlfriend is up to now or whatever it might be. They're not on Facebook to get a mortgage.

So when your advert appears, it interrupts what they were actually to do. It's very unlikely that someone who was just on Facebook browsing sees your advert, and goes, ‘Oh yeah, yes, I did need a mortgage. Actually, thank you for mentioning it. I'll get in touch and request a quote.’ This is very unlikely to happen unless you're really lucky with your timing because even someone in your target audience and the right demographic say, you're advertising mortgages. Well, they might be only one year into a three-year fixed-rate deal. The timing was just not right at the moment.

The reason you need to have a lead magnet is that it's a really good way of getting people into your sales funnel. Then being able to nurture them and when they are ready to do a mortgage you can reveal who you are when the time is right. It's you who can remember to come back and also it's you who started building some kind of relationship in the online world.

It's one way to help you build trust and credibility. When they do speak to you, they already feel a bit of a connection and as they know you a bit. A lead magnet is a really good way to do that.

What a lead magnet is? It's some kind of resource which has value to your target audience. It's free to download but requires you to put in their name and email address. But it needs to be something catchy or interesting sounding to make them willing to do that of course. So think about who your target audience is and an example of their needs, e.g.who wanted to be mortgaged in order to save money.

Then you could provide some kind of research about launches, but also give them lots of other ideas on how to save money, how to make their money work harder for them or other topics about money tips. If you're targeting first-time buyers, you could create some guide about the house buying process like 7 things you need to know when you're buying your first home. You could obviously talk a little bit about mortgages or about all the other things like how to deal with estate agents, how to get surveyed, or you can highlight different bills to pay once you're a homeowner, e.g. Council tax and water bills. Well, it should be something useful to your target audience which doesn't have to be hugely technical or in-depth. It can just be 3, 4-5 five pages and make that available on your website as a PDF, which they can download in return for giving their details and the links into an email automation system. There are various different ones.

Again, I've reviewed quite a few of them on the website. If you want to have a look at some of those articles, I'd recommend to people I'm working is to use Active Campaign. It works to send out a series of follow-up emails to each person who downloads the lead magnet and joins the mailing list. There's a pre-written sequence of emails. Again, the emails are designed to give them more useful information and add more value. It's not corporate newsletters or news and information about your company, because, with the best will in the world, people aren't interested in that. The people are interested in the knowledge and value you can give to interest them.

A lead magnet is followed by a series of follow-up emails. You want to say, 'Get one email every few days,' or, if I suspect most of you are watching this on my mailing list and would have had similar things to me, so you know how the system works. But that is a really great way to keep yourself front of mind until people are ready to take action and also gives you plenty of opportunities to demonstrate that you have the knowledge, the expertise, and all those kinds of things that make you the right mortgage broker to help them rather than someone else.

I think it's the biggest thing to remember with Facebook Ads. It works when you're being overly optimistic. If you think that you can run Facebook Ads and immediately get inquiries from them. Or if you want inquiries immediately, you're much better off looking at Google Ads first. But if you're, if you're willing to play the slightly longer game, get people into your funnel, nurture them until they're ready to become clients then Facebook Ads works really well for that.

There's a quick follow up question from Alison. She asked ‘How to do lead generation without a website? What type of questions are best to put on the inquiry form for a lead gen campaign?’ Some of my customers don't respond if I ask for their phone numbers, which is very common. You'd be surprised if I tell you that talking on the phone is a big step for a lot of people. So, as soon as you start asking for someone's phone number, there's a big fear on their part that they're going to get bombarded with phone calls and you have to start trying to sell to them. This is another reason why the sort of the lead magnet follow-up of a nurture email is a better way to do it because it's a softer approach when taking sort of baby steps.

If you're going to ask for the phone number, make it optional and don't make it compulsory. You might want to actually experiment rather than asking for the phone number, getting their information, emailing them, getting them on your mailing list. There's no reason why in your emails you can't cite in the follow-up emails, call to action saying to people, 'if you'd like a free review of your mortgage, reply to this email with your phone number, and I'll give you a ring' because, by that point, they'll have built a bit more trust and metal come to know you a bit. So, I certainly wouldn't make it compulsory to have a phone number on that very initial contact.

Simon says, ‘You may be going to discuss this, but could you advise on the budget on hour per day as maximum and minimum?’ As a rule of thumb, I would start with a bucket of £5 a day with Facebook Ads. That's enough to allow Facebook to drive some traffic, get the learning photos of the ads, and campaigns going. Then once you've seen which ads and which target audiences work, then you can start to scale it up from there.

Right back to the tips, #5 tip is to have well-designed adverts. Now there are loads of things I could talk about here and I might actually do a separate Facebook Live. in another time just on ad design. But it's really important that your ads stand out from the crowd again because this is interruption marketing.

You're thinking about when you're on Facebook yourself on your phone scrolling through and something's gotta really stand out to make you stop scrolling and look at it. Then, go for the sort of ads that are eye-catching. The first thing people like to spot is the image rather than the text. The image that is going to catch their eyes is really important.

A lot of people have found that having things like yellow backgrounds or yellow borders and things on ads is good because yellow contrasts really well with the blue colour that is predominant on Facebook, which makes it stand out. Just something like having a border around your ad that provides a kind of visual interrupt to make people stop and go. You can add some text on the image to make it clear but not too much because Facebook doesn't like you to have too much text on the ad.

If you were doing advertising remortgages at least have on the ad something like, ‘Are you wasting money?’ or ‘Save money on your mortgage?’ This gives people a headline as to what it's about. Definitely try out different ads, test multiple ads against each other to see which ones get the best results. If you're not sure how to create ads that look nice and eye-catching, my advice is to use Canva. Canva is a free online design tool to create ads. It has lots of templates, easy to use or look for some free image libraries like Pixabay for eye-catching images.

Also the other thing I do myself in Facebook as an end-user is if I see an ad that makes me stop and look, even if it's not stupid mortgages, I'll take a screenshot of it on my phone. Then when I'm creating ads, I quite often look back through my screenshots on my phone for ideas and inspiration. I think if that ad made me stop and look, then why did it make me stop and look. Perhaps it was the background colour, a person's expression, someone pointing out the screen, or whatever it was. I'll try and replicate that kind of thing in my own ads. Well, it's a really good source of inspiration. In terms of text, you can do different versions of experiments, long versions, short paraphrases, drop emojis in. I know its emojis can look a bit tacky. Again, it's something that provides a visual interruption and makes someone more as you can stop in the look, then just experiments with different headlines on the ads. But still, the main thing is to make it eye-catching, as there are no hard and fast rules.

So I have more than one ad and test different things out. If that's something people are interested in, let me know in the comments or put something on the Facebook group. I'll look at doing a live stream just on Facebook ads and we can perhaps look at some examples or critique them.

The final tip, #6 is the really powerful feature of Facebook advertising, which most people either don't know about or don't think to use. They're actually really missing out if they don't and it's called lookalike audiences. Now I look like the audience as the name suggests is where Facebook chooses an audience to see your ads, but it's an audience that looks a bit like an existing audience that you've got.

Let me give you an example, any recommendation of how you would use that. So suppose you're running Facebook Ads and the call to action is for someone to download your lead magnet like a free guide. Hopefully, it won't be too long before you've got a reasonable number of conversions. I would say a hundred conversions as a minimum. Once a hundred people have converted by downloading your lead magnet. You can then create an audience on Facebook, in the audiences section of people who have downloaded your lead magnet which is called a custom audience. Once you've created that custom audience, then you can ask Facebook to create another audience of people who it thinks are very similar to that audience who've already downloaded your lead magnet. Therefore the theory is if you've got these hundred people here who downloaded your lead magnet, you don't know all their characteristics, but Facebook does.

Facebook can look at that hundred people and look for similarities and patterns. From that, it can decide out of the rest of the whole, of the UK population, we reckon that these hundreds of thousands of people or whatever are the ones who are most like those and therefore will be most likely to convert. It allows you really to scale up a campaign that's working well.

So, I use them a lot because obviously with what I do, I target a lot of my Facebook Ads at mortgage brokers. Now, the problem is that Facebook doesn't actually know a lot of people's job titles because it's not like LinkedIn where it's all job focused. Facebook knows loads of stuff about what you do when you're not at work, but it doesn't for a lot of people. It doesn't know what a job title is.

According to Facebook, there are about 3000 mortgage brokers in the UK which is less than a 10th of the real number. A lot of the times when I'm running ads and I want to target them to mortgage brokers, I will say, right, I've got an audience here, but people who've already downloaded a lead magnet or bought a book or whatever it might be. I say to Facebook, 'Create me a lookalike audience, then go out and find me more people like the ones that have already converted.' If you can create those in a number of ways that you can do it based on what people have done on your website, or if you've got an existing mailing list of past clients, you can upload that mailing list into Facebook as a custom audience, and then say to Facebook, 'Create me a lookalike audience of that.'

In other words, a look-alike of people who are like a whole load of your past clients, the theory being or if those people have done business with you, then the people who look like them are going to want to. Also, if you haven't looked at lookalike audiences, then that is definitely something to look into. Again, if you want me to do a longer session at some point, let me know and I'll be happy to do it. This is a kind of whistle-stop tour of a number of things. I'm happy to run future ones, just picking one of those bits and go into it in more detail if you want.

So, that's my 6 tips. I don't think we have any other questions that come in at the moment. What I would say is, if you want to know more about Facebook Advertising or if you haven't seen it already, I've got a free guide to Facebook Advertising on the website, just head over to PPCmachine.com.uk/free. It doesn't cost anything relevant, but number 3-4 you'll find various guides. One of them is called Facebook Ads, tips for mortgage brokers or something really imaginative like that.

Also, if you want to really go to town and learn more about Facebook Ads and Google Ads as well, and don't forget the online course that you can look at doing as well. Happy to talk to you about that for any questions around that. So, if you've got a question that we haven't covered, leave it in the comments and I will look back later today or tomorrow and come back to any of those.

Thank you very much for coming along. I hope it's been useful and I'm planning to do a movie sort of on a regular basis. I'll post something in the group, try and find out when is the best sort of time for people to come along to these and what topics you want to be covered. Hopefully, see you at the next one. Thanks so much. Bye for now.

  • "By using the pixel, Facebook builds up a really good picture of how people use your site and how they behave on it. Also, it can also track which people create a conversion by either submitting an inquiry or downloading a free guide or something like that. Then, it can learn from that and use that knowledge to help improve your Facebook campaigns." - David Miles
  • "It's really important that you pick the right one because Facebook will try and use its algorithm, artificial intelligence and everything to show your ads to people who are most likely to help you achieve that objective." - David Miles
  • "Facebook will do everything to optimise your campaigns and show the ads to the people most likely to convert." - David Miles
  • "The reason you need to have a lead magnet is that it's a really good way of getting people into your sales funnel. Then being able to nurture them and when they are ready to do a mortgage you can reveal who you are when the time is right. It's you who can remember to come back and also it's you who started building some kind of relationship in the online world." - David Miles
  • "Facebook can look at that hundred people and look for similarities and patterns. From that, it can decide out of the rest of the whole, of the UK population, we reckon that these hundreds of thousands of people or whatever are the ones who are most like those and therefore will be most likely to convert. It allows you really to scale up a campaign that's working well." - David Miles

About the author 

David Miles

As a digital marketing consultant, author and trainer, I specialise in helping businesses in the financial services sector use the internet to get more enquiries and increase profits.

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