GUIDE: How To Use Facebook Automated Rules To Manage Ad Costs

Written by Charles Ngo
Written by Charles Ngo

Running Facebook ad campaigns is stressful.
It kinda reminds me of back when I played Starcraft. In the midst of the battle, you have to manage a hundred different things at once. You need to make sure your economy’s going, defend against a random medivac drop, make sure all your technology is upgrading, all at the SAME TIME.
When you’re managing a bunch of Facebook ads, you have to stay on top of CTR, relevancy score, frequency, cost-per-conversion, and twenty other variables.
If you don’t stay on top of them all, you can end up wasting money on ads that aren’t generating results.
And that’s one of the problems with scaling.
The more campaigns you’re running, the more complicated things get and the harder it is to stay on top of everything.
In a perfect world, you would have amazing media buyers that can manage everything for you, but they’re hard to find and expensive.
What if you could have software manage everything instead? They make objective decisions and don’t call in sick on Mondays!
Well now there is such a software…and it’s built right into Facebook.
Facebook automated rules let you create a set of automated rules that help you automatically manage your costs.
When you manage your costs, your ROI goes up.
In this post, I’m gonna walk you through how to use the automated rules to cut your stress levels, manage your costs, and put your ROI on steroids.

Wait, What Exactly Are Automated Rules?

First, let’s make sure we all know what we’re talking about.
Facebook Automated Rules allow you to automatically be notified of changes in your campaigns. Because the notifications are triggered automatically, you don’t need to be constantly monitoring your ads.
You can also set rules that will automatically optimize your ad sets so that they perform better.
Really, the whole process is about creating relatively simple, “If this, then that,” commands.
I have a few “If this, then that” commands in my life.
For example, if it’s 5:30am, then my alarm automatically wakes me up.
If it’s sunset, my Hue light will automatically turn on at night.
Does this make sense so far?
Lets take this concept to automated rules.
If costs rise above a certain amount, take this action. If your CTR starts to fall, automatically do this.
You’re already doing this to some degree. All we’re doing is “defining” the formulas, and making them autopilot.
Think of these rules as a kind of “cruise control” for Facebook advertising.
Set them up and let Facebook handle the rest.

Creating Automated Rules In The Ads Manager

Now let’s get down to business.
To create the rules, you need to work in the Facebook Ads Manager. In other words, you can’t boost a post or anything like that. So the first step is to enter the Ads Manager, and then click on “Automated Rules”.
Ads Manager Manage Ads Accounts 2018 10 10 09 41 23
Then click “Create Rule” in the top right corner.
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Once you’re in the “laboratory”, you can start mixing up the rules that will help your campaigns most. But before you create a rule, you need to decide which ad sets or campaigns it will apply to. The default is all ad sets, so unless you’re creating a global rule that will always apply no matter what the offer or campaign, you’re going to want to specify.
The next step is to select which action you want Facebook to automatically take. In other words, once a campaign or ad set hits a certain condition, Facebook will automatically take action.
You can:

  • Turn off ad sets
  • Turn on ad sets
  • Send a notification
  • Adjust your budget
  • Adjust your manual bid

Once you’ve selected your action, you choose your condition. This is what will trigger the rule. Whenever one of your ad sets or campaigns hits the condition, the action will happen.
This is the “if” part of the equation. For example, if the Cost-Per-Result is greater than $1.00, or if a certain number of mobile app sessions happen, the action kicks in.
4 Ads Manager 2018 10 10 10 17 20
Next, you set the schedule for your rule. This is how often Facebook “runs” your rule. If you choose “Continuously,” it will run your rule approximately every 30 minutes and make changes based on the rule.
You can also run the rule once per day or on a custom schedule.
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Last, you need to choose what type of notification you want (email, Facebook, etc.) and name your rule.

What Types Of Rules Should You Create?

First of all, I understand how scary it can be to have campaigns run by an algorithm.
It’s kinda like the first time you’ll hop into a self-driving car.
You think to yourself, Holy crap, what happens if this thing goes haywire?
You imagine the car speeding up to 100 mph as you’re stuck helplessly in the passenger seat.
But just like most driverless cars let you step in and take control, you can do the same with Facebook automated rules.
You can simply have Facebook send you a notification, and then you can manually make changes yourself.
So don’t get too freaked out. If you’re nervous about letting Facebook do stuff automatically, just set up notifications.
The main thing is to KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Here are three simple rules to get you started.

#1 – Schedule Rules

If you know your campaigns are more profitable on the weekends, but you’re not getting as much traffic, create a rule to increase your bids on the weekends only.
If you want to get even more granular, you can create custom rules based on the time of day. For example, if you know that a campaign is more profitable at night, create a rule to up your bids by 10% after 6:00 pm.

#2 – CTR Rules

Over time, your CTR will lower as people become blind to your banners. Lower CTR means higher CPC which means lower ROI.
You can easily set a condition that if CTR drops below X, and CPC rises above X, just pause the ad. Then you can manually refresh the creative (images, copy, landing pages, etc.) and see if you can get the CTR back up.
You can also stay ahead of banner blindness by paying attention to the ad frequency. The frequency is, essentially, how often a user sees a particular ad.
You can set a rule that if the frequency goes above 4, you’re sent a notification. Then you can evaluate the effectiveness of the ad.

#3 – Performance Rules

If you have the Facebook pixel installed on your website or landing page, you can measure your cost per conversion. Create a rule that if your cost per conversion rises too high, you’ll automatically pause the ad.
So, for example.

  • Lifetime impressions > 10000
  • Spend > $100
  • Conversions > 10
  • Cost per Lead via FB Pixel > $20

Pause the ad.
This kind of rule ensures that your cost per conversion doesn’t get too high.

Follow The Rules, Make The $$

Even though it can feel kinda freaky to let Facebook automatically handle some of your campaigns, it’s actually really helpful if you’re running numerous campaigns at once. At a minimum, you can set up the rules so that you at least get notified of changes. This ensures you always know what’s happening.
And if you’re worried about spending too much, the rules can act as a safety net.
Set up the three simple rules I talked about above and experiment with them. Once you have a good feel for how they work, set up a few more. You’ll get more and more comfortable and be able to create even more complex rules.
That’s when you can really optimize your campaigns to the max.
Featured image by Khakimullin

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                The posts published by Charles are prepared and analyzed, including the author’s own experience…

The posts published by Charles are prepared and analyzed, including the author’s own experience…

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