[KEY SALES DATES CRISIS AHEAD‼]
Some businesses are going to suffer from Facebook Ads on Key Sales Dates. No one is immune😱
I’ve compiled up a list of things that CAN GO WRONG below – and I need your help too.
By being aware, let’s ensure we’re planning ahead as much as we can…
🏆Please add your own tips below👇
1. SCALING SO HARD THAT FACEBOOK BLOCKS YOUR ACCOUNT
Don’t launch a brand new account the same week expecting to scale up heavily on the Key Sales Dates.
Do use an account with a good history/spend behind it.
Tim Burd recommends maxing spend fast if you want to scale fast, get it into review state, send them what they need then get caps removed. You might not have time for this ahead of FB but holiday sales will still continue beyond that.
Increase your account spend limit ahead of time (via your rep or Facebook’s online chat)
2. SCALING SO HARD YOUR PAYMENT GETS BLOCKED
Do have a backup payment method in place.
Ensure you have the funds.
Check and potentially increase your billing threshold – this is the point your card gets charged. If scaling hard and getting billed let’s say at every $500 (and you plan to spend $10K+) your card provider might flag it as a fraud because of unexpected spending behaviour.
Contact your payment provider ahead of time, remove anti-fraud blocks if possible.
Have a backup account with spend in place just in case.
Export your campaigns so in the case you need to upload to a new account it will be at hand.
I use Supermetrics in Google Sheets to track all my accounts HOWEVER I will be keeping Ads Manager screens open to tracking spend closer during the day, hitting the little refresh icon periodically! Check-in often!
Use RULES to avoid issues where possible. Facebook’s built-in tool checks every 30 minutes, I use Revealbot which checks every 15. But if you’re scaling high then even 15 minutes is a long time so don’t rely on this.
I use Reveal’s Slack alert to give me daily performance updates… if you use this, consider creating a dedicated Key Sales Dates channel and push Key Sales Dates specific alerts here.
Ensure rules are working as you expect to catch bad performance whichever tool you’re using. If new to rules, set this up in advance and properly test.
I had one rule I set up very early on that said if CPA was below my target $25 then continue scaling… forgetting that computers are dumb and $0 is also below $25 and the ad set went WILD.
4. CREATIVE DEATH
Test ads in advance and know which are working, either using the Graduation Framework (for those on my course) or Facebook’s Split Test tool so you know in advance.
Have lots of back up creativity. When scaling it’s often the ads that fail not the audience (assuming you’ve found a good audience). Play on different angles.
Dupe ads and run them together. No 2 ads will have the same performance, even if the campaign, ad set, and everything else remains the same. It’s just how Facebook works so do dupe ads.
Do use PPE alongside your main objective to bulk up social proof early. If running Video I prefer PPE but no harm in also pushing a VV campaign too.
I don’t think the negative of this needs explaining, but DO ensure you get ads APPROVED well in advance of Key Sales Dates. But don’t think just because it’s approved that it won’t hit a manual review and become disapproved.
One hack to (temporarily) overcome this is to create multiple versions of the same ad once approved so that if disapproved you can push the same, approved ad back in the ad set.
Audit your funnel, from ads to lander, and ensure you’re policy-compliant especially if launching ads or landers you’ve never used before. Test with a small closed audience, run some traffic see if Facebook flags anything.
For those in my private Mastermind, DO post issues in the private group and I’ll do my best through my rep to resolve any issues.
I advocate having more than one Account just in case, but ensure the pixel is shared from your main account and/or the pixel for the new account is installed on your site.
If the extreme happens and you lose your BM, again have a back up ready.
6. SCALING ISSUES
Do ensure you’ve tested scaling strategies ahead of Key Sales Dates.
Don’t think that simply pushing more spend will get you better results.
Do have strategies at hand. My preferred scaling strategies include: dupe to higher budget, manual bid, segmentation as well as a modified version of Tim’s Shotgun/Surf called Burst & Breathe.
For those on my Mastermind if you’re interested I’ll drop the full planning for this there.
If using manual bid, do consider accelerated delivery IF performance is off the scale with an ad set. But know that accelerated delivery tells Facebook to simply spend your budget as fast as possible (as opposed to pacing it through the day) so be careful when and where you use this.
Don’t use lifetime budgets on Key Sales Dates and expect to scale hard, because if Facebook doesn’t think it can spend and meet your spend target it won’t.
Don’t rely on Target cost (average bid) as Facebook will only spend if it feels it can reach that target, which on Key Sales Dates probably will lead to underspend.
7. STALLING REACH
Do keep a close eye on delivery insights as to whether your audience is/becomes saturated and your audience overlap. General practice is to keep overlap below 25-30%. If over then reach will be stalled.
Keep an eye on relevance scores. Whilst I NEVER optimize for this it’s a useful gauge as to what’s causing your high CPMs (ie auction, competitors, or your own ads).
A super low relevance score could suggest your ads are being poorly received, sometimes because they are genuinely poor, sometimes because you’ve maxed out frequency.
Figure it out and in most cases, a low relevance score, stalled reach, high frequency, and drop in performance mean the ad set is long due to a creative refresh
Do consider the manual bid. If you’ve tested audiences ahead of time and your ads are not getting enough reach with auto bid consider manual. I usually test up to 4X my target CPA in bands (1x, 2x,3x,4x) to find the best performance then hone it down from there.
It usually falls around 3X CPA give or take and I might adjust for the best ROAS/CPA. It’s similar to how Companion Labs works except I do it manually.
Do consider duplicating ad sets and ads to counter stalled performance as it could be that the ad set score in the auction is too low to get good results. Resetting this can help.
Do keep a close eye on customer feedback. If you’re running an Ecom store and your customer feedback score is below 2.2 you will lose reach (and be heading towards an ad account ban too).
Don’t expect to scale hard if your score is very low
8. EXPECTING THE UNPLANNED
Do keep a close eye on stock levels. If you have limited stock and run variants, keep an eye on the popular variants selling out fast. I’ve been caught out thinking my campaign had sunk in the past to only find out it wasn’t traffic but a merchandising issue.
Do be prepared for a spike in site traffic. Have you stressed tested your website? I recall a few years ago we drove a huge spike of traffic through a 3rd party email promotion which brought an ecom site to a halt.
Big lesson learned early on not just preparing but ensuring your team is aware of spikes. Especially if you’re not a one-man-band. Let your tech AND customer service teams know they could both expect spikes due to the Key Sales Date.
Do ensure you’re resourced up for additional customer support enquiries – prioritise NEW enquiries pre-purchase if you have to but don’t leave tickets waiting.
Do have traffic cover over the weekend too in case something needs scaling/pulling back.
WHEN FACEBOOK IS DOWN
Don’t waste spend.
Consider capping your account spend limited to $5 to pause all ads at the tap of one single button until the coast is clear (thanks Andrew Dunn & Ray ‘Rampage’ Smith for this tip).
Do remember to undo the Account Spend Limit change.
Do grab your beverage of choice, rock in your chair, and tell yourself everything will be ok (it will).
WHEN FACEBOOK IS WOBBLING
If you’re building an account, EXPORT the entire new setup into a CSV. If Facebook fails and clears all your recent campaign build, you can QUICKLY reupload the entire campaign.
Don’t work on extensive builds in one go. Setup each part section by section if possible.
Consider using a tool via API to build out larger campaigns like Qwaya.
Bookmark this post and keep it handy!
Over to you… add your tips below