Facebook Direct Response Campaigns: Getting Customers to Act


Kevin Urrutia


Facebook Ads


May 05, 2024

When you want your customer to take a specific action—on Facebook that’s usually a click—a direct response campaign is your best tool for success.

Since you’re trying to compel people to click, it’s really important that all the major elements are in place and correct. Otherwise, you’ll probably get poor results.

So, we’ve developed a hack to help you create better direct response campaigns on Facebook by leveraging ads that you’re already running.

But, first we need to hash out the details of direct response on Facebook, so that you can understand why, and how, this hack works.

We’ll start with the basics.

We focus on direct response and customer acquisition in e-commerce, lead gen, and mobile. When it comes to results and leads, we speak your language.

What is Direct Response on Facebook?

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On Facebook, direct response is all about getting prospects to click the CTA button. Direct response campaigns use psychological triggers to compel people to click through on ads. It’s the proverbial hard sell.

You’ll usually use direct response campaigns at the consideration and conversion stages of your Facebook funnel. These campaigns work best if you have a very targeted audience who already knows your brand.

So, it’s best if you target prospects who have already seen your awareness ads or interacted with your brand in some way. Cart abandoners and previous buyers are excellent targets for direct response campaigns.

Direct response on Facebook leans heavily on storytelling, emotion, video footage, and positioning to get results. When they see a direct response ad, customers should feel that the benefits of your offer are just on the other side of that CTA button.

Another very compelling tool in direct response is social proof. It’s especially important on Facebook.

Social Proof in Direct Response


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Simply stated, social proof is evidence from other people that your product or service works. Reviews, testimonials, and recommendations are all forms of social proof.

On Facebook, social proof takes the form of likes and comments. Often, people won’t even read the comment on an ad. They just check how many likes it has and look at the number of comments.

An ad without any likes or comments lacks social proof. The more likes and comments your ads have, the better. That’s why our hack helps improve direct response campaign performance.

But, remember to police the comments on your ads. Remove spam and bot comments. Some people actually read the comments. A comments page full of spam sends a bad message.

Before we talk about hacking social proof, we need to cover something that’s equally important: positioning.

Facebook Ad Placements for Crushing it With Direct Response

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Even if your ads tell a story, appeal to people’s emotions, and deliver social proof, the performance will be lackluster if your ads aren’t in the right place.

There are a lot of Facebook ad placements. But there are only a few that really work with direct response campaigns.

These are the placements that work best:

  • When people are scrolling their feed, that’s when they’re most willing to leave Facebook to check out your offer. The resistance to clicking is the lowest here.

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  • Instant experience. Instant experience ads deliver your message without taking the viewer away from Facebook. It’s essentially a mini-landing page within the Facebook app. These often get better responses because the user doesn’t have to leave Facebook.

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  • In-stream. In-stream ads pop up while users are watching videos on Facebook. On the one hand, they can be annoying. On the other hand, it’s more likely that people will watch your entire video, because they’re interested in getting back to the entertainment. It’s especially important that you’re sensitive to the fact that you’re interrupting a video with this placement.

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The other placements generally perform poorly with direct response. So, it’s wise to stick to these three.

There’s just one last thing to consider before we outline how to hack the social proof side of Facebook: ad copy. Never fear, we’ll be quick with this one.

Direct Response Ad Copy on Facebook

Even though video is the star of your campaign, it’s important to make industrious use of the copy in your ads.

This means that:

  • Your video needs to stand on its own. If the viewer watches the video without reading any of the ad text, they should still be compelled to click the CTA button.
  • Your ad copy should compel those who read it to watch the video, then click the CTA. Avoid simply restating what’s in the video. You’ve got the space for some words. Use them to add value.

That’s it. Fast and furious, as promised.

Now, let’s talk about that hack.

Hacking Social Proof on Facebook

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People on Facebook typically fall into one of two categories:

  • Likers and sharers. These are the people that readily like and comment on content, even sponsored ads.
  • These people generally like and comment less, but are more likely to click through on an ad if they’re interested.

Since likes and comments are social proof on Facebook, the people who like and comment help you get more clicks from the second group, the clickers.

The trouble is that Facebook only lets you select one objective for a campaign. You’re either targeting engagement (likes, comments, shares), or you’re targeting conversions (clicks). This is sort of a conundrum, right?

Not if you use the ads that you’re already running.

Your awareness campaigns are just sitting there, piling up likes and comments, waiting for you to put them in for some conversions. That’s how our hack works.

Here’s what you do:

  1. In the Facebook Ads Manager, navigate to one of your awareness campaigns. Preferably one with quite a few likes and comments.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of the ad preview, click the button with a square with an arrow pointing out the upper right-hand corner.
  3. A drop-down menu will appear. Select “Facebook Post With Comments” under the See Post header.
  4. This will take you to a screen that shows the ad as Facebook users will see it (it should open up a new tab). Check out the URL. There’s a string of numbers at the end of the URL. That’s what you want.
  5. Copy just the string of numbers at the end of the URL. Copy nothing else from the URL. Only copy the second string of numbers, after the last slash. This is the ad identifier that Facebook uses to locate the ad.
  6. Go back to your ads manager tab. Navigate to one of your consideration or conversion campaigns, and get into one of the ad sets.
  7. Click the green “+Create” button to create a new ad.
  8. Within the ad creation workflow, click the “Use Existing Post” tab.
  9. Below the “Select Post” button, there’s a bit of clickable blue text that says, “Enter Post ID.” Click it.
  10. Right click, and paste the string of numbers you copied from the post URL into the box.
  11. Click “Submit.”
  12. Your ad should appear on the right side, in the ad preview pane, with all the likes and comments from the original ad.
  13. Boom. Social proof: hacked.

Not only does this give you social proof for your consideration ads, it also improves your relevancy score. This gets you more mileage out of your ad creative.

So, that’s our down and dirty coverage of direct response on Facebook. We could go on, but then we’d be getting long-winded.

If you want to dive deeper into direct response, get more detailed information on creating Facebook ads, or learn more tricks (or watch a video of how to perform our social proof hack) check out the Biteable Video Marketing Lab.


Author’s Bio: Ken is a co-author of the Facebook Video Marketing Handbook and a social media scientist in the Biteable Lab. Out of the office, Ken likes collecting caps and hiking through the hills of Vancouver.



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