Capturing leads with your Facebook page can be very powerful. Another powerful way that can be used successfully is capturing leads with your own Facebook application. Once your Facebook account is validated with either a credit card or phone number you can have access to their developers center. This area allows the creation of your own application where you can insert your own custom HTML and get as creative as you wish.
The powerful thing about this is the extra trust added to the user especially when you’re purchasing advertisements through Facebook. Since essentially the user will not be “leaving” Facebook’s website they’re much-more likely to comply with submitting their information that you can use for further monetization. If you’re a lead generation arbitrager or a local business looking to collect leads, both are feasible to work with this method.
Suppose that you have a web app available at http://www.example.com/canvas. This is your Canvas URL. When you setup your app on Facebook, you must specify a Canvas Page name that is appended to http://apps.facebook.com/. In this example, we will use your_app as the Canvas Page name. When the user navigates to http://apps.facebook.com/your_app in their browser, they will see the contents of http://www.example.com/canvas loaded inside of Facebook.com. Note that http://www.example.com/canvas cannot forward to another URL via HTTP redirect responses, e.g. response code 301, but has to return the response directly.
To set up your Canvas Page and Canvas URL you must first register your Facebook app and enter in your basic app information. With that complete, click the “Facebook Integration” tab on the left side of the configuration screen and specify a Canvas Page and Canvas URL:
OK so put you marketer thinking cap on for a second… Since you’re able to enter the URL of your own custom HTML think how easy it is to incorporate a lead capture form from AWeber or any other mailing service provider. How about collecting educational leads and then submitting them to a host-and-post offer and possibly displaying an offer wall? What if you’re a local dentist; collect information about “potential” new clients and follow up with them on the phone. The number of ideas possible with this are only limited to your imagination.
As I stated above on of the most effective things about this strategy is that users never have to “leave” Facebook’s website. Since they’ve obviously had no problem entering their personal information on Facebook (hell I can’t believe some of the things people post); chances are you’ll have much higher optin rates and more monetization options.
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.