Automation

Automated Rules to Keep Ad Costs Low, Boost Performance, and Scale Lead Generation

Ever set your alarm clock during off-work hours to pause campaigns, check up on a new ad, or make sure you’re not exceeding your campaign budget? If you’re a performance marketer, the answer is likely “yes.” And if you run ads across networks, targeting different audiences, and in multiple time zones -- all without any automation -- this, perhaps, happens more often than you like. Luckily, technology can come to rescue.

With automated rules and alerts, you can set criteria for commands that will take action in your ad account automatically. Simple scripts, like the ones we’ll suggest below, help marketers be more creative and productive. And with PPC software, you won’t even have to write a single line of code.

Keep your CPA on target with scheduled alerts

Automated alerts can save you time in monitoring, and keep your cost per acquisition low.

Say, you’re launching new Facebook and LinkedIn campaigns to acquire more webinar registrations, and you want to keep your cost per form-fill below $50. An automated email about low-performing ads can alert you that you need to take action  to keep the CPA under target. Here’s an example of an automated alert you can set up with AdStage:

1. Level: Ads

2. Networks: LinkedIn & Facebook

3. If: - Using Data from the last 30 days

   a. Clicks >1

   b. Impressions >100

   c. CPA > $50

4. Schedule: Daily at 7am

With this simple alert, you will now receive an email every morning with a digest of the ads that you need to focus on. You can pause such ads altogether, or optimize them by looking at trends in images, CTAs, headlines, or descriptions.

2. Decrease bids on ad sets that are above the highest amount you want to pay for a conversion

When you run multiple Facebook campaigns, each with 7-8 ad sets, this rule can help you manage your budgets more efficiently.

Here’s an example. Say, your target CPA goal is between $50 and $75. The rule below will decrease bids on ad sets that are above the highest amount you’d wish to pay for a conversion.

1. Level: Ad Sets

2. Networks: Facebook

a. Select Campaigns

3. If: - Using Data from the last 7 days

   a. Cost per FB Standard Event x > $50

   b. Spend > $500 (enough spend so you have good data)

4. Then:

a. Decrease Bid – 10%

5. Schedule: Every 6 hours

Every 6 hours, this will automatically check each ad set in your campaign. If the cost per conversion is greater than $50, and the ad set has spend at least $500 in the last 7 days, then the rule will decrease the bids. You could also set up a similar rule to pause all ad sets above maximum desired CPA target goal.

3. Only run campaigns during the best time

Get the timing right, and you’ll achieve better results. A simple automated rule can increase your chances of getting the timing right for your campaign conversions.

When you have historical data that tells you which days yield the best results, you can create a rule to run ads only during that time. For example, weekends often bring few and expensive conversions on LinkedIn, so you may decide not to run campaigns during Saturday and Sunday. Here’s how to set this rule in AdStage:

1. Level: Campaigns

2. Networks: LinkedIn

   a. Select Campaigns

3. Action– Daypart Campaigns

4. Schedule:

   a. Start - Monday 12am –- Stop - Saturday 12am

Using AdStage’s reporting software, you can graph out a day of the week performance chart and check the best-performing days and times for each network. In the LinkedIn Ads example above, the campaigns you’ve selected will now pick up this schedule and start on Monday, and stop when Saturday rolls around. (If you set it up in the middle of the week, the campaigns will just stop on Saturday since they are already on, then pick back up Monday).

Check out how a LinkedIn advertising agency, B2Linked, achieved a nearly 40-percent gain in performance with this simple LinkedIn Ads dayparting tactic.

4. Trim the fat across all of your campaigns

For long-term, ongoing campaigns, automated rules can quickly “trim the fat,” pausing ads that don’t deliver results anymore.

Over time, some pieces of the campaign (ads, keywords, and ad sets) start to degrade -- even if they performed really well when you just launched them. You may not even notice it, as other, more successful, aspects of the campaigns may be covering up for the losses. An automated rule can quickly identify and remove low performers. Here’s how:

1. Level: Ads

2. Networks: Facebook

3. If: CPA > $50

4. Then– Pause Ads – Using data from last 30 days

5. Preview (This will show you all the ads we would pause if you choose to run it

now)

6. Save

7. If you want to run the action, hit run now from the menu

With this rule, you can take control over each element of your campaigns, and spend ad money better.

Use automation to optimize paid campaigns faster, smarter

These four simple automated rules will keep your CPA low, optimize your bids, run ads at the best time possible, and help get rid of low-performing ads quickly. With AdStage, you can duplicate any rule or task and apply it to multiple campaigns and accounts. We also have templates for the most popular task types. Check it out for yourself!

 

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Anya Pratskevich

A senior content marketing manager on the AdStage team, Anya writes about paid media and curates a weekly newsletter with top news in ad tech. Send her tips, pitches, and guest post ideas to anya (at) adstage (dot) io. Anya tweets, occasionally, as @pratsaa.