9 Common Reasons Why Your Facebook Ads Aren’t Delivering

Your Facebook ads aren’t delivering? Not spending at all? Or they’re spending a small chunk (10–15%) of the daily budget? If your company advertises on Facebook, you’ve en [...]

May 25, 2018

10 min reading time

Your Facebook ads aren’t delivering? Not spending at all? Or they’re spending a small chunk (10–15%) of the daily budget?

If your company advertises on Facebook, you’ve encountered this problem at least once (that’s why you’re reading this). Ads aren’t running, sales aren’t coming in…

Facebook’s support is giving you lousy solutions. Your rep can’t explain what’s happening. Maybe you don’t even have a rep yet.

Here are the 9 most common reasons why your Facebook ads aren’t delivering (and how to fix them).

Facebook ads aren’t delivering – Diagnosis

We’ll start the diagnosis process by pointing out the simplest (and most absurd) problems first.

1 — Payment method

Have you recently changed the payment method on the ad account? Your ads started spending less than 50% of the daily budget?

The reason could be the limit on your new payment method, which is decided by the bank or company which provides it.

Because of the limit, Facebook charges you for every $20–30 spent. These small bills may stop ads from running normally. If that’s the case, try switching back to your old payment method or add a different one.

Note: Facebook sometimes doesn’t offer an option to manage the billing threshold if you’re using online banking on non-US ad accounts.

2 — Billing threshold too low

On most payment methods, Facebook offers an option to manage your billing threshold. The usual starting threshold is $25 (for US-based accounts).

Facebook Ads Aren't Delivering treshold

If your Facebook ads aren’t delivering or spending up to the daily budget, try to increase the billing threshold. Facebook will offer you to increase the billing threshold to $250 to $750.

For higher billing thresholds, you’ll need to manually submit a request to Facebook. This is usually resolved within 1 business day.

When to increase the billing threshold? The best practice is to increase it when the daily ad spend comes close to 50% of the billing threshold.

3 — Account spending limit

You might see that Facebook ads aren’t delivering because you have reached the account spending limit. Facebook will notify you when you’re about to cap the account spending limit. Although, this notification often gets overlooked.

Facebook Ads Aren't Delivering limit

Fixing this can’t be more simple — adjust the account spending limit or completely remove it.

4 — Disapproved ads

Getting your ads approved on Facebook can sometimes be a nightmare, even if your ads are 100% compliant.

Most of the ad reviews on Facebook are automatic (done by FB’s AI ). They scan your ads to see if you’re breaking the FB’s ad policy (like adult content, drugs, weapons, violence, etc…).

Users play a big role as well. If many users report your ad FB is going to take it down without a review.

You can make an appeal and ask for a manual (human review).

The manual review usually takes 24–72 hours before they make a decision.

If your Facebook ads aren’t delivering for that reason, time after time, your account is going to be marked as “suspicious”. Facebook then conducts a manual review of every ad that you launch. This means that you’ll have to wait for 6–48 hours before your ads start running. Delivery will be slow.

In a case like this, the best practice is to reach out to Facebook support and ask for the manual review for every ad. Once you get them approved, start small and be careful not to get disapproved again. It will take some time, but your ad account can recover from this.

5 — Low relevance score

Facebook introduced the Relevance Score back in 2015.

The relevance score is calculated based on the positive and negative feedback that an ad receives from its target audience.

Ads receive a relevance score between 1 and 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest grade.

“The more positive interactions we expect an ad to receive, the higher the ad’s relevance score will be.”

Relevance score wasn’t that important back in 2015 or 2016. We’ve seen many campaigns with the relevance score of 1 or 2 delivering normally, with good or great CPAs. No matter if the campaign is optimized for conversions, leads or app installs…

In 2018 we’re seeing a big change in this, as the relevance score becomes more and more relevant.

Facebook Ads Aren't Delivering relevance score

Everything above 7 is good, above 5 is OK, but if you have a relevance score of 1 or 2, you have a problem. Try changing the video, image, and copy (or the audience) until it’s relevant to your audience.

Note: Ads which received HIGH positive feedback & HIGH negative feedback can get disapproved as well.

6 — Too much text in the image

Facebook partially removed the 20% text rule back in the spring of 2016.

This means that you’re allowed to have more than 20% of the text in the image, but some restrictions on delivery may apply.

Facebook should notify you if the ad has more text than it should — so try to adjust until it delivers normally.

Facebook Ads Aren't Delivering note

7 — Deduping problem

“Deduping problem” is described as having your ads in competition with each other. This problem occurs when you have multiple ad sets aimed at a small audience.

The answer is to turn off every ad set which targets that audience.

Then duplicate few of the best-performing ad sets and let them run.

8 — Bid too low

Since Facebook’s ad exchange runs as an auction, you’re in a constant competition with 1000s of different ads.

Facebook takes 3 major factors into the count:

  • Bid price
  • Estimated action rates*
  • Relevance score

Then it decides which ads will be shown and which won’t.

Facebook offers 2 major bidding options — automatic and manual.

Automatic bidding (Lowest cost) is the default option, by which you’re allowing Facebook to bid for you. Most advertisers go with this option because it ensures your bid price will never be too low.

Manual bidding (Target cost) tells Facebook how much you’re willing to pay per the desired action.

That has a downside as well. You might find that Facebook ads aren’t delivering if the bid is too low.

Facebook Ads Aren't Delivering manual bidding

The solution to this problem is simple — Switch to automatic bidding or increase the manual bid.

*Estimated Action Rates — How likely is your audience to take the desired action (by historical data of previous actions taken)

9 — Optimization goal can’t be reached

The first step to creating a campaign on FB is to choose the optimization goal. Optimization goal tells Facebook what type of action you’re looking to get from the audience.

This helps Facebook to serve your ads more precisely towards your desired audience.

Facebook Ads Aren't Delivering optimization goal

The most popular optimization is definitely conversions. This option allows advertisers to go straight for the sale. But sometimes going straight for conversions might cause the “Facebook ads aren’t delivering” message.

This problem usually occurs with new ad accounts (new pixels) which didn’t collect much data yet. In this scenario, Facebook usually isn’t delivering because it doesn’t yet know who is the right person to see it.

Facebook Ads Aren't Delivering ad delivery

A good way to handle this is to optimize for link clicks until you get a few hundred conversions. No matter if we’re talking about sales, leads or acquiring users, same principles apply.

Option number 2 is to settle for another optimization goal. Like video views or traffic — until you get the critical amount of data through the pixel.

Have Anything To Add?

Was this useful for you? Did this solve your problem? Let me know in the comment section below 👇or connect with me ➡ Facebook!

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Udonis Inc. conducts 300+ split tests every day. We share top insights only on our monthly newsletter.


Mihovil Grguric

Managing director of Udonis Inc. Results-driven & tech savvy. Startup enthusiast. "In God we trust, all others bring data."

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