Facebook Ads Not Delivering - 15 Ways to Fix Them
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facebook ads not delivering

Have you ever setup a campaign, spent hours building the perfect creative, launch your ads, and later notice the Facebook ads not delivering or barely delivering at all? It’s enough to make an advertiser go crazy. Luckily we’ve got your covered.

How to Fix Facebook Ads Not Delivering

In this article, we’ve researched every single possible way your ad might not be running. And the best part? We give you a solution for each one.

And trust us, there’s many reasons why your ads might not be serving.

By the end of this article you’ll be able to:

  • Understand why your ads aren’t working
  • Uncover why ads have low delivery
  • Troubleshoot and fix your ads so they start spending

Your Ads Weren’t Approved

Super frustrating right? You spend hours creating the perfect ads, only to find out Facebook rejected them.

This happens more than you might think, especially when you first start using Facebook ads.

How to fix it

Facebook’s guidelines can be complicated and there are many reasons why your ad wouldn’t be approved. The most common reasons are as follows:

  • Text in your image is larger than 20%
  • The ad uses inappropriate language
  • Content is not allowed on Facebook

For a more detailed analysis of ad approvals, read Jon Loomer and Ad Espresso’s handy guides.

Forgot to Create Ads

Facebook ads not delivering? Nope. You just forgot to create the ads.

No long explanation needed here. It happens to everyone.

How to fix it

Step #1 – Add your ads

Step #2 – Review step #1

Ads Stuck in “Pending Approval”

You’ve spent hours creating multiple ads. You uploaded them and are ready for results. An hour goes by and they are still stuck in pending approval (or ad purgatory).

Another couple hours go by. Same thing. 

24 hours later and your ads are still “pending approval”. Welcome to pending approval purgatory.

How to fix it

Sometimes Facebook glitches out, and there’s no specific reason why. It happens.

The best way to fix this is to download your ads into power editor and change the name so Facebook recognizes it as a new ad.

You can also delete the ad and recreate it. Both should get you out of ad approval purgatory.

Ads Edited Too Many Times

Optimizing is fun. It’s exciting to dig into the data, uncover new insights and execute on them.

But changing Facebook ads too often can result in in poor ad delivery.

Why is this? Facebook ads take up to 24 hours for delivery. It can take even longer for your ads to deliver if you keep editing them.

How to fix it

Don’t edit them right away! Wait at least 24 hours to ensure your ads start delivering. Then go in and make your changes.

Results Are Delayed

We’ve had this happen a few times. You setup your ads, press the blue button, and bam – only 10 people see it!

This could be due to bidding issues. This is addressed later on in the article.

Another common issue is data lag. Sometimes it takes a while for your data to show up.

How to fix it

Sometimes logging out and logging back into your ads will update your data. Most of the time you have to wait.

Hold off for 24 hours and then review your ads again and see if there’s still a problem.

If it’s still not delivering, you likely have a bidding problem.

Spending Limit Reached

campaign spending limit

Facebook allows you to set an account-wide spending limit. That means as soon as you reach that limit, your ads will stop spending.

How to fix it

To fix this, go to billing and check your account spending limit on the right hand side. From there you can increase your account spending limit.

Billing Failed

Sometimes credit cards get maxed out (trust us, this will happen too often if you are a frequent advertiser).

How to fix it

Facebook will let you know if your billing method failed. In order to continue spending money on ads, you’ll need to pay off the card, or add a new one. All of this will be in the billing section.

Throttled Ads

Unbeknownst to many people, the first thousand impressions can make or break your ad’s success.

If you get zero clicks on your first thousand impressions, Facebook will often throttle back impressions for that ad. This is one reason why Facebook reduces spending on certain ads in your ad sets, and favours others.

How to fix it

Include multiple and distinct ad creatives in your ad set. This reduces the chances of low click-through-rate stopping all your ads. Chances are one of your ads will be effective.

If none are effective then you probably have an audience problem. Try a different audience and see if that improves.

Low Bids

facebook audience bidding

Facebook bidding can be complicated. Your Facebook ads not delivering could be because of poor bidding strategy.

Facebook bidding is done through an auction model. Advertisers bid on the amount they are willing to pay per 1000 impressions to the audience they want to reach. In many cases people are trying to reach similar audience. The advertiser who bids the most will have his or her ads served.

Bidding a $10 CPM does not mean you will pay $10. For example:

John bids $0.30 per link click

Jane bids $1 per link click

Adam bids $1.50 per link click

John will get a low amount of impressions, Jane will get many and Adam will get the most. But he will not pay $1.50. You pay the lowest amount you need to win that bid.

With this information, you can see how bad bidding will mean little or no delivery.

Very few people will see John’s ads due to his bid.

How to fix it

Facebook provides a handy tool called suggested bid. You should pick a bid within this range to ensure delivery. Bids on the lower range will get less delivery, while bids on the higher side will get more.

If the bid range is very high, then that means competition is large for those audiences.

Experimenting with bids is an important part of Facebook advertising.

Ad Set Budget Too Low

We get it – you are cost conscious. Not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend online. And small budgets can be incredibly effective. But proper budgeting principles apply to all advertisers, big or small.

Improper budget settings can result in Facebook ads not delivering, or running at a very low rate.

Budgeting is set at the ad set level. Your minimum budget depends largely on two things –

  • The bidding type – automatic or manual
  • The time-frame – daily or lifetime

For ad sets with automatic bidding, the minimum daily budget is $1.00 USD and must be at least 2 times your cost per click (CPC) bid. For example, if you have a $1.00 CPC, your daily budget must be at least $2.00.

For ad sets with manual bidding, the minimum daily budget is $1.00 USD and must be at least 5 times your cost per click (CPC) bid. For example, if you have a $1.00 CPC, your daily budget must be at least $5.00.

Keep in mind that this is different from your account spending limit, which allows you to set an overall spending limit for an entire ad account and helps ensure that all ads in your account stop running once your account spends the amount you’ve set.

How to fix it

You’ll need to raise your budget. If you’ve set your bod low enough, you shouldn’t have to worry about spending the entire budget.

Audience Too Small

small audience size

For Facebook ads, size does matter.

Facebook ads not delivering is sometimes caused by targeting super-niche audiences. Why is that?

Larger advertisers are bidding for the same audience. Low budgets make it hard for ads to compete against others who are spending more money to reach the same audience.

If you are targeting a small audience, and you have a low bid, there’s a good chance your ad delivery will suffer.

How to fix it

The simplest way is to increase your audience size. You can also increase your bid and/or budget to try and spend more.

In some cases, not enough people will be online. Give it a day or two to see if that’s an issue.

Low Relevance Score

Relevance score is a little known feature in Facebook.

Facebook wants to show people the most relevant ads. Relevance scores helps determine which people see your ads. The score is calculated on the expected positive and negative feedback an ad could receive from the target audience.

An ad’s relevancy is based on a scale from 1-10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. The score is updated as people interact with your ad. Video views, conversions and other metrics can all impact a relevance score.

You may be asking how this affects Facebook ads not delivering.

It’s very important. Facebook wants people to see ads that are of interest to them. If your ad has a higher relevancy score, Facebook will charge you less to reach people. If you have a low relevancy score, your ad will cost more and be served to fewer people.

In an early-stage campaign, a relevancy score that starts low will be seen by fewer people at a higher cost. So while your ads may deliver, you will be paying more and getting lower results.

In a later-stage campaign, a falling relevancy score can indicate that an ad creative needs to be refreshed.

How to fix it

Relevancy score should not be used as the sole benchmark of an ad performance. Instead, relevancy score is another tool to analyze ad performance. It gives you a leading indicator of how you can improve delivery.

When starting an ad campaign, review the relevancy score. Facebook ads not delivering can be caused by a very low relevancy score, or will cause your costs to increase.

You can fix this by changing your targeting to find a more relevant audience, or altering your creative.

Too Many Ads

too many facebook ads

Low budgets + high number of ads = delivery problems.

Let’s use an example. Say I have a daily ad set budget of $10, and I have 10 ads in my ad set. Assuming I receive $10 CPM ($10 per 1000 ad impressions), I will only get 100 impressions per ad.

That means you’ll need to wait up to 10 days before each ad gets sufficient delivery.

Facebook ads not delivering can be because you have too many ads within your ad set.

How to fix it

If you are starting with a small budget, upload all your ads and turn all but two off. That way you’ll know within a day which one is working. You can then sub out each poor performing ad with a new one.

Overlapping Audiences

overlapping facebook audience

Similar audience targeting can reduce deliverability and increase your costs.

This happens very often when you run multiple ad sets targeting similar audiences.

How to fix it

There are a few different way to fix your ad sets.

1) Use audience overlap

Facebook launched a cool new tool called audience overlap. Audience overlap allows you to see whether certain audiences share the same people.

Unfortunately this is limited to only Saved Audiences, Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences.

If you primarily use Interests or Demographics, you can review audience overlap by saving them to a saved audience.

To see the overlap, first go to audiences.

Then select two audiences.

Then go to show audience overlap under actions.

The first audience you select will be the one the other audience is compared against.

2) Exclude similar audiences

If you’re targeting two audiences in two different ad sets, you can exclude the audiences from each other.

Go to your audience and select your interests.

Then use exclude to exclude that other audience.

Slow Delivery

This is less of a delivery issue and more of a timing issue.

There are situations where you want your ads to deliver as quickly as possible.

Maybe there’s an event taking place and you want to target that group during a certain window.

Spending your money that quickly is hard. Luckily Facebook has a solution.

How to fix it

Facebook’s ad platform naturally spreads out budget and impressions throughout the length of the campaign. This ensures all your ads aren’t shown at once.

To solve this, you can select accelerated delivery.

Accelerated delivery tells Facebook to spend the budget and deliver the ads as quickly as possible, while staying within your budget.
To select accelerated delivery, go to targeting and select the accelerated delivery button.

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