Call-to-Action Units in Instant Articles

You can add call-to-action (CTA) units to your Instant Articles to help create direct relationships with your most loyal readers on Facebook. These units appear inline in your Instant Articles and feature the same native speed and responsiveness readers enjoy in all Instant Articles.

Each unit features a blue call-to-action button that prompts readers to take a specific action. Currently, 3 types of units are available to all publishers:

  • App installs
  • Email newsletter sign ups
  • Page likes

You can create and customize these units through a self-service management flow and see their performance on a dedicated insights page. These tools are accessible through your Facebook Page.

Learn how to create your own call-to-action units and how to track your results.

Call-to-action units do not take the place of an ad or impact how many ads you can place in an Instant Article.

Types of Call-to-Action Units

App Install Unit

Add a call-to-action unit to Instant Articles that prompts readers to install your app. The app install unit features a blue download button along with an icon and customizable headline and body text.

Readers who tap the app install button are redirected to your app's product page in Apple's App Store or the Google Play Store, where they can follow the instructions to download and install the app. They return to the Instant Article where they saw the call-to-action unit when they go back to the Facebook app.

Email Newsletter Sign-Up Unit

Get new readers to sign up for an email newsletter. Readers who submit their email directly through this form agree to receive email updates from your publication. Facebook will automatically determine the placement of this call-to-action unit. There are two placement options:

  1. Header Unit – A smaller version, appearing directly beneath the article byline.
  1. Body Unit — The full-size version, appearing in the article body near the footer.

With option 1, the unit's content is abbreviated. Only the headline you provide for the unit appears. No secondary text diplays when this version is served.

In both cases, Facebook automatically determines the placement of the call-to-action unit. However, only one email newsletter sign-up unit will show up per article.

Page Like Unit

Drive high-intent audiences to like your Page. Readers that like your publication through this call-to-action unit will receive updates and posts from the publication's Facebook Page. The like will be attributed to the Page that manages your Instant Articles.

Create Your Own Call-to-Action Units

Create call-to-action units by following the self-serve flow located within the call-to-action units subsection under Instant Articles in the publishing tools tab on your Page. Click + Call-To-Action Unit then follow the guided flow.

Once you have created units, you can turn each one on or off at any time by selecting it in the management window and using the actions drop-down menu. The status column indicates whether a unit is active or paused.

App Installs

To create an app install unit, you'll need to make sure that the app you want to promote has been added to Facebook and is available through the same Page you use to manage Instant Articles.

Facebook apps can be linked to iOS and Android apps. The call-to-action unit will show up on the applicable platforms.

What You'll Need

  1. Unit Name — This name is for your internal use to help keep track of the unit and is not visible to the public. Use it to identify the unit on your Page's insights tab.
  2. Headline — A header for the unit. As a best practice, let readers know one of the main benefits of using your app.
  3. Body Text — A brief description of the content included in your app.
  4. App — Select the app you want to promote from the dropdown menu. For an app to appear in this menu it must be registered with Facebook, linked to an Android or iOS app and added to your business manager account.

Facebook automatically pulls the icon (or logo) that appears in the call-to-action unit from the Facebook app you select in the dropdown menu. The link used to download the app also defaults to the URL associated with the Facebook app.

Email Newsletter Sign Ups

What You'll Need

  1. Unit Name — This name is for your internal use to help keep track of the unit and is not visible to the public. Use it to identify the unit on the insights page.
  2. Headline — A header for the unit. This appears in both the body and header versions of the unit.
  3. Body Text — Description of your newsletter. This doesn't appear in the header unit.
  4. Privacy Policy URL — Link to your publication's privacy policy.
  5. Confirmation Message — A message displayed to readers after they sign up. This appears to readers on a second screen after they click the call-to-action button.
  6. Style — Settings to customize the unit's font and background colors.
  7. Logo — Selection of logos previously uploaded to Instant Articles to choose from.

To see a preview of the confirmation message, click to view the second screen of your live preview.

In the body unit, the blue call-to-action button reads "Sign Up for Email Updates."

You can promote one email newsletter at a time in the sign-up unit. If you want to change the e-mail you are promoting, select edit under the actions drop-down menu and revise your headline and body text accordingly. You can also turn off the email newsletter sign-up unit, if you'd prefer not to use it.

Managing the Header Unit

The header unit is automatically shown in your articles unless you choose to turn it off. Control the header unit by clicking the check box under Other. You can access this box when you first set up your sign-up unit or, later, by selecting the edit option from the management screen. A checked box means the header unit displays. This setting does not affect the body unit, which continues to appear in articles until you turn it off through the management screen.

In the header unit, the blue call-to-action button reads "Sign Up."

There is no preview of the header unit available currently.

Header units feature the same headline text you write for the body unit.

Retrieving Leads

In order to retrieve reader emails, you can download a CSV file from the call-to-action units management page. If you'd like to automate this process, you can retieve the same data programmatically with our Marketing API through a webhook or API.

Best Practices

  • Automated Lead Retrieval — Try to minimize the time between when a reader signs up and when they receive their first email. Send new subscribers their first daily newsletter within 24 hours (or, even better, a welcome message on the same day). To automate the flow, integrate your system with our webhook or API rather than relying on a manual process. This contributes to a positive reader experience and helps your publication solidify relationships with valuable new audiences.
  • Headlines — Engage readers with a tangible value proposition. Invite them directly to take an action, such as "get," "subscribe to," "sign up for" or "be informed with." Indicate what kind of information they will be receiving, whether it's as simple as "updates" or as specific as a "daily newsletter." Experiment by trying out different headlines and comparing results. Also, make sure that the headline you use can stand on its own and doesn't need your body text to provide additional context. When the header unit is served, readers won't see any secondary copy. Only the body unit version displays the complete text.
  • Body Text — Share some details about the editorial content in the newsletter. Help readers understand where to find your product. Specify the frequency of delivery (e.g., daily, weekdays, weekly) and the time of day (e.g., morning, afternoon, evening). It can also be helpful to point to email or email in-boxes as the place of delivery. Now that your readers are signing up, make sure they know how to find the newsletter.

Page Likes

What You'll Need

  1. Unit Name — This name is for your internal use to help keep track of the unit and is not visible to the public. Use it to identify the unit on the insights page.

Page like units are not customizable.

Edit an Existing Unit

  1. To edit an existing unit, click Call-To-Action Units below Instant Articles on the left side of the publishing tools tab.
  2. Use a checkbox to select the unit you'd like to edit.
  3. Click Actions at the top left of the library and select Edit from the dropdown menu.
  4. Edit your information in the window that appears and click Save.

Call-to-Action Units Insights

Monitor the performance of your Instant Articles call-to-action units on the insights page. You can compare clicks and impressions over time and see demographic data on audience age, gender and location.

To access this tool, click on View in the insights column on the Page where you created your call-to-action unit. Or, you can head to Insights at the top of your Page and click on Instant Articles CTAs in the left navigation bar.

Only people with the Admin role on your Page can access Call-To-Action Unit insights.

How To See Insights On Your Units' Performance

Select the tab corresponding with the unit you'd like to measure. Use the date drop-down menu to set the time period for which you want to view results. The insights tool delivers data for call-to-action units in weekly segments, with the previous week's results becoming available on Mondays. No data is available for dates before February 2017.

Explanation of Metrics

Email Newsletter Insights

  1. Sign Ups — Total number of new email newsletter subscriptions added through the call-to-action unit. The main graph shows total impressions and total sign ups. Direct your cursor to a point on the graph to see the click-through rate in a pop-up window.
  2. Gender and Age — The percentage breakdown by age and gender of new email newsletter subscribers through the unit.
  3. Location — The percentage breakdown by cities of new email newsletter subscribers through the unit.
  4. These metrics show the combined results of body and header units.

Page Like Insights

  1. Page Likes — Total number of new Page likes added through the call-to-action unit. The main graph shows total impressions and total Page likes. Direct your cursor to a point on the graph to see the click-through rate in a pop-up window.
  2. Gender and Age — The percentage breakdown by age and gender of new Page likes by people through the unit.
  3. Location — The percentage breakdown by cities of new Page likes by people through the unit.

App Install Insights

  1. Outbound Clicks for App Installs — Total number of outbound clicks on the app install button in the call-to-action unit. The main graph shows total impressions and total clicks. Direct your cursor to a point on the graph to see the click-through rate in a pop-up window.
  2. Gender and Age — The percentage breakdown by age and gender of app install clicks through the unit.
  3. Location — The percentage breakdown by cities of app install clicks through the unit.