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Why didn't my rule take action?

What to do if you think your rule didn't take action when it should have

If you think your rule should have taken action on an eligible campaign, ad set or ad - but didn't - it's best to do some checks and (if applicable) gather the right information before getting in touch.

Here's what to do if you think your rule didn't take action when it should have done - or took action when it shouldn't have done:

Check that your rule is active

Go to Rules > Existing Rules and find the rule in question in the list.

You'll know if a rule is active if the toggle is green.

Screenshot 2019-04-18 12.30.03

Check that your rule is set up correctly

The most common cause of a rule either not taking action - or taking action on something you didn't expect - is that the rule was misconfigured. Remember to check the fields below:

1. Check that your rule is set up for the correct platform

If you want your rule to run on your Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network ads, make sure that Platform is set to Facebook.

If you want your rule to run on your Snapchat ads, make sure that Platform is set to Snapchat.

2. Check that your rule is set up for the correct ad account(s)

Your rules will only take action on the ad account(s) you have selected from the Advertising Accounts dropdown. Ensure that the ad account in question is selected in your rule.

3. Check that your rule is set up at the correct ad level

Rules set up to run on your Ad Sets/Ad Squads will not take action on your Campaigns or Ads (and vice versa).

Make sure that the ad level you're looking at is the same as the one selected in your rule.

4. Make sure the time period you're viewing is the same as the one in your rule

As an example, say you think your rule should have increased the budget of an Ad Set with an ROAS of >3 and No. Purchases > 2.

Your rule is set up to carry out this action if an ad set meets this criteria within the Last 3 Days.

In the last 3 days, the ad set has delivered an average of 1.5 purchases and an ROAS of 3, making it ineligible by your rule's criteria (due to the purchases metric).

If in Ads Manager, your ad set's average is showing as 3 purchases and an ROAS of 3.5 - but the time period you have selected is Last 7 Days, that's where the discrepancy is.

It may look eligible over a different time period, so make sure to set your time period in Ads Manager to the same time period as your rule, to ensure you can properly assess whether your rule should have taken action.

Screenshot 2019-04-18 12.21.06

5. Make sure your campaign, ad set/squad or ad fits the metrics in your rule

As with above, across the correct timeline, ensure that you're using the correct metrics to compare your campaign, ad set or ad to the metrics you defined in your rule.

E.g. If your rule is concerned with ROAS and Spend, make sure that these are the metrics you are looking at. Ensure that your campaign, ad set or ad (whichever ad level the rule is related to) fits the criteria for all of the metrics.

6. Make sure your rule status is correct

Ensure your ad level status in your rule is set to the correct status.

E.g. If you think your rule should have taken action on a campaign, ad set or ad that is currently running, make sure your rule has a status of Active.

7. Make sure the operator is correct

Ensure that the operator in your metrics is correct - and suitable - for the action you wish the rule to take.

E.g. if you have set a rule to take action when a figure hits a specific amount, it's best to use Greater than or equal to as your operator. See why in the example below:

Why you should use Less than or Equal to or Greater than or Equal to, instead of Equal to

If your rule is set to take action when 'Spend Equal to $20' then if it runs and your spend is $19.20 - it will rightly not take action. If when it then runs again 15 minutes later, your spend is at $20.02 - it will still not take action, as according to the operator 'Equal to' it is still not eligible.

By using Greater than or Equal to, this ad set would be captured as close to the intended figure as possible, ensuring the chance to take action isn't missed.

8. Make sure your action is correct

For example, if you expected your rule to be paused, ensure that the action in your rule is set to Pause Advertising, instead of another action.

9. Check your rule frequency settings

If you've changed how often your rule runs, this will of course limit how often your rule can take action on eligible ad sets.

Ensure that your frequency isn't at odds with the action you wish to take, e.g. if you want rules to take action as soon as possible, the frequency should be left as: As often as possible.

Tip: Don't set a rule frequency that is longer than your time period setting. E.g. if you have a date preset considering ads over the Last 3 Days but a rule frequency of Once every 2 weeks, there's a strong likelihood that your rule will miss a number of eligible ads between the times it runs.

10. Check your change frequency settings (duplication, bid or budget changes only)

If your action is to duplicate, change bid or change budget, double check your Change Frequency settings.

This is how often an action can be carried out on the same ad set. If for example you've set this to every 1 Week, and the rule has already taken action on an eligible ad set, it won't take action on that same ad set again for 1 week.

It might well be that your ad set has already had action taken - and isn't eligible to take action again just yet.

Tip: You can also check your activity log to see whether action has already been taken.

11. Check your custom schedule settings

Check whether you have set a custom schedule for your rule to run only between specific hours or on specific days.

e.g. If you have your rule set up to only run between 00:00 - 05:00 Tues - Sat, and you've spotted an eligible ad set on a Sunday, then no action would be taken until midnight on Tuesday at the earliest, because you've asked your rule not to run on Sundays.

13. Check your custom date range settings

If you've set a custom date range, ensure that your rule hasn't got a start date that's after the date you're looking at - or an end date that's already passed.

14. Check your run count limit settings

If you've set a run count limit, make sure that this hasn't already been reached. See how you can check how many times your rule has run here.

Check there are no rule clashes

Ensure that there are no other rules that might be clashing with the rule in question.

If for example you expected an ad to be turned off - but it's still live - check whether it might have been activated again by another rule.

Use your Activity Log and the Existing Rules sections to check this.

Can't find the issue? Get in touch!

If you've checked all of the troubleshooting options above, the best thing to do is to submit a ticket straight to us, making sure to include the below information:

  • The name and settings of the rule
  • The ad account(s) the rule is applied to
  • Screenshot of ads manager showing the Campaign(s), ad set(s) or ad(s) that you believe the rule should (or should not have) taken action on, across the correct time period.

Please remember that whilst we can view your rule settings, we do not have access to your Ad Accounts, and cannot see your Business or Ads Manager - so please provide screenshots.

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