Prevent your Facebook Ads from spending all your money while you're not watching
Not so long ago I heard a story of a guy who did 2 major mistakes when launching his first Facebook Advertising campaign:
He wasn't careful and set the budget to $200/day by mistake (instead of $20/day).
He completely forgot about Facebook Ads the next day.
A couple of months later he spent $15,000 and generated close to 0 sales. The day I read the story, he was trying to get a refund from Facebook.
This happens more often than you'd think. And it typically happens to people who have to take care of all marketing/advertising aspects while running their own business.
You have other obligations and you can't exactly check the performance of Facebook Ads whenever you want.
Maybe you're going on a holiday and you want your ads to run without worrying if they're generating sales all the time.
So how can you successfully run Facebook Advertising campaigns and be confident that you're not spending more than you need to, all without checking in with the campaigns 24/7?
Let me show you.
Keep your campaigns under control 24/7
With Facebook's Automated Rules feature your campaigns are always under control.
Here's how it works:
You launch a campaign as per usual in your Facebook Ads Manager. But instead of forgetting about it the next day, you can set up an Automated Rule on top of it that adjusts your campaign based on its performance.
For example, you can tell Facebook to stop spending your money for a campaign if it didn't generate any Purchases in the last 3 days.
Or if the campaign is performing really well, you can tell Facebook to increase its budget.
Everything is done without your immediate manual input. You set the Automated Rules once per campaign and put your mind at ease.
Setting up an Automated Rule only takes a minute but can save you a lot of money
Setting up an Automated Rule will only take you a minute, but it can save you a lot of money moving forward.
If you've never heard of Automated Rules before, I don't blame you. A lot of people consider it being "a hidden feature" because Facebook isn't exactly flaunting it.
The easiest way to access the feature is to click the three dots on top of your Facebook Ads Manager and click "create a new rule".
This is how you start the process of setting up your rules. Now, you have to tell Facebook what you want them to do.
You can apply this rule to all active campaigns, ad sets, or ads.
Or if you've selected a campaign, ad set, or an ad before clicking on the three dots to access the rules, you can apply a rule to a specific campaign, ad set, or an ad.
The actions currently available in Automated Rules are to:
Turn off campaigns / ad sets / ads
Turn on campaigns / ad sets / ads
Send a notification
Increase daily budget
Decrease daily budget
Increase lifetime budget
Decrease lifetime budget
And for that action to happen a condition that you previously set up has to be met.
There are dozens of conditions to choose from. One of the most common ones are:
If Frequency is greater than X
If Cost Per Result is greater than X
If Website Purchase ROAS is smaller than X
Conditions can also be combined together. You don't need to set up just one condition per campaign/ad set/ad. You can set up multiple ones, meaning that all of those need to be met for that action to go through.
For example, you can have your campaign turned off if the frequency is greater than 4 and you still haven't generated any purchases, instead of having just on one metric dictate the actions Facebook will take.
The process of setting up your own Automated Rules
It's important to tailor the Automated Rules completely.
When setting up these conditions and rules, think about different scenarios you can find yourself in and how you would typically react.
With the campaign you just launched, under what circumstances and seeing what results would make you pause the campaign?
If you're A/B testing different audiences on the Ad Set level - what cost are you willing to pay for the lead, click, purchase?
When thinking about scaling your campaign, what cost per purchase do you have to achieve to validate the effectiveness of a campaign and increase your budget?
Write those scenarios out and set up your rules accordingly.
A few rule ideas to get you started
To get you started faster, I have created a list of popular Automated Rules you can set up today:
Get more sales on autopilot
One of my favorite Automated Rules is this:
It allows me to generate more sales for a client if the cost per purchase is within the desired range. We set up the Daily Budget Cap that's within our budget and let Facebook's automation to do the rest.
You can still make changes to the campaign as you see fit. For example, you can implement new audiences, new visuals, everything, and rest assured that the campaign will run only if it's generating profit.
Turn off a campaign if it stopped generating leads
All is well if a campaign is successful. But if you don't check in with your Facebook Ads every day and it just stops generating leads/sales, you're losing money.
To avoid that, you can set up a rule that turns off your campaign if you generated less than 1 lead in the last 3 days.
Having that timeframe added to the Automated Rule is important. Sometimes you might just have a bad day and see not-so-good results because of a highly competitive ad market on that day. You don't want one bad day to decide your campaign isn't successful.
But if you're not seeing results for the past 3 days, maybe your campaign needs refreshing, but you definitely shouldn't be spending your budget for ads that just aren't getting you what you want.
Don't spend your money on audiences that aren't generating quality traffic
What if you did everything right, wrote the best copy, equipped the ad with visuals that have worked before, but you're just not reaching the right audience?
It happens. But to avoid wasting your budget on audiences that don't work, this rule might come in handy.
This will turn off an underperforming audience that's:
a) generating a bad click-through rate,
b) generating a higher-than-average cost per unique click,
c) despite reaching a broad audience.
BONUS: Turn off the campaign if you're not generating sales despite higher frequency (ecommerce specific!)
Facebook Ads for ecommerce are different in a couple of aspects. One of those is frequency.
When running purchase/sales ads, you typically need to reach a certain frequency to make a sale. Someone seeing an ad for a product just once isn't enough, you have to show them the ad at least 5x to make them convert. (The exact frequency number differs from business to business.)
You can't possibly conclude your ad set is unsuccessful with your frequency being 1-2.
And this situation is perfect for setting up the following rule:
This will turn off your ad set if your frequency is higher than 4, but your Website Purchase ROAS is less than 1, which means that you're losing money.
Automated Rules are a safety net, but doesn't replace manual improvements
When you make a decision to start investing in Facebook Ads, you should also make a decision to take this seriously.
Setting up your campaign and forgetting about it shouldn't be something that happens to you.
Facebook's Automated Rules act as a safety net to prevent you from losing your money in situations when you don't have time to check in with your ads every day.
But that doesn't mean that you can set and forget about your campaigns forever, especially if your goal is to grow, not to stay stagnant.
If you want to gradually decrease your cost per lead, you'll need to experiment with new audiences regularly.
If you want to generate more purchases in a given week, you'll need to update your visuals at least once a month.
However, Automated Rules will still make sure that you're not the guy that wastes $15,000 on Facebook Ads without him knowing. Instead, you'll sleep well every single night, confident that you're only spending your budget for campaigns that work.