Insights From $3M+ worth of Account Audits (Campaign Level)

Forum White Hat SEO PPC Insights From $3M+ worth of Account Audits (Campaign Level)

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    Over the past 1-2 years, I’ve gotten access to a few dozen Direct-to-Consumer brand ad accounts with various spend levels. Sometimes the founders themselves were doing the ads, and some were even successful in scaling their accounts up above the $1K/d mark (Mad respect for that). Sometimes agencies were running the accounts.

    However, there are some common mistakes I saw across most of these accounts, and I want to go over these mistakes today and give you a quick fix for each of these mistakes:

    *Today we’re covering the Campaign Level. Originally I wanted to create one post for all of the mistakes I’ve seen, but there are too many points, so I’ll divide this into a 3-parts. The next post will be about Ad Set mistakes and the last one about Ad Mistakes.*

    # Campaign Level


    1. **Campaign Setup**

    Most brands were running way too many campaigns, at least for the spend level that they are at.

    Sometimes even up to 10 Campaigns at $500/d. That is simply too much. The general rule of thumb is to combine as much ad spend as possible in as few campaigns as necessary. Of course, this depends on the size of your product catalog and how many different products you want to advertise, but for example, if you have one pair of shoes you advertise, you don’t need three different campaigns for that.

    **Ideas:** Try to have as a few campaigns as possible and consolidate if you have multiple campaigns for the same product with the same goal and are trying to scale those.

    2. **No Real Creative Testing Campaign**

    While this could also be in the Ad Set Level, what I’ve noticed is that most brands just put new creatives/headlines/ad copies into their Scaling campaign without proper testing before. This is bad because you don’t know whether your new creatives are good or not. Therefore always test it before!

    **Ideas:** Create a separate testing campaign for your creatives/audiences.

    3. **ABO vs. CBO**

    Most brands just use a mix of ABO and CBO without knowing why they should use either of the two. I usually try to use CBO for scaling and use ABO in testing setups (so that I can test each variable I want to test)

    **Ideas:** Try CBO for scaling if you’re currently using ABO.

    4. **Duplicating Campaigns**

    *This is by far one of the worst things you can do for several different reasons. Before I get into those reasons, real quick, this will be a bit more advanced so if you don’t know how the Facebook Algorithm works here’s an*[ *explanation*]( *(Officially from Facebook)*

    **Reasons why duplicating your campaigns is bad:**


    1. **Harder to get out of the learning phase**

    This may be one of the more obvious reasons. Especially at lower Budgets, it can be hard to get out of the learning phase. If you now duplicate your best-performing campaign to scale, it goes back into the Learning Phase and needs to get out of it again – You need 50 Conversions per week per ad set to get out of the learning phase, so this usually needs a lot of budget.

    **2. Your ROAS will get worse over time**

    *(Disclaimer: I’m talking about e-commerce ads optimized for Purchases in this example)*

    Most people are concerned with audience overlap if they duplicate Campaigns, though this is usually not an issue (Unless you have small/niche audiences).

    Therefore for the purpose of this example, let’s say we’re using Broad Targeting (No Interest Groups/No-Look A Likes, 18-65+ Targeting, Male/Female) – So we have the broadest audience possible.

    Now, if you run ads to that Broad Audience, Facebook will never target that audience as a whole; They’ll target the people which they think are most likely to convert (those people who have the highest Estimated Action Rate)

    *If you don’t know what the Estimated Action Rate is please read the article from above*

    This alone should tell you that Facebook (usually and even after iOS 14.5) is smart enough to find people for you who convert)

    **So, why is duplicating campaigns even more of an issue?**

    Facebook is smart. If you duplicate, Facebook will go after a different subset of your targeted audience.

    If we go back to the broad example from above, Facebook will not target the same person twice. They’ll go after different people.

    Why is that bad?

    That is bad because there are FAR more NEGATIVE impressions (People that just keep scrolling) than GREAT Impressions (People that end up purchasing after seeing your ads for the first time)

    Now that you’ve duplicated your campaign, Facebook goes after people that tend to have a lower Estimated Action Rate, which over time, lowers your Outbound CTR, therefore, gets you a higher CPA and higher CPM as well.

    **3. You prevent any campaign from being great & depend on luck.**

    On Day 1, your original campaign may perform great. On day 2, your new duplicate may perform great. This will constantly happen because you’re preventing any campaign from being great, which will not help you in the long run at all.

    This happens because there are only so many people that convert per day.

    Let’s say there are ten people out there that convert @$10 for you.

    So now, on Day 1, the OG Campaign might get all of these people for $10, and the other campaign might get none of them. On the following day, however, that switches. By duplicating, you’re only making your system dumber in exchange for a short-term win.

    The only instance where you can duplicate campaigns might be for certain occasions where you might want to scale fast, e.g., Black Friday.

    **Other than that, never duplicate campaigns! You’ll never get stability in your account.**

    **4. Running anything but Conversion Campaigns.**

    This is what I’ve mainly seen with very beginners. They tend to run traffic campaigns, engagement campaigns, basically everything but Purchase campaigns.

    Let me just cover Traffic campaigns here because the main argument for Traffic campaigns is that you get cheap traffic that you can retarget.

    While it is true that you get lots of cheap traffic, this is definitely not what you want for several different reasons.

    **Your Retargeting Audiences Doesn’t Increase Proportionally To Your TOF Traffic.**

    Just because you got 100,000 people to your website, that doesn’t mean that those 100,000 people will be in your retargeting pool.

    Facebook knows which people tend to purchase (this is why you should always run conversion campaigns with a purchase objective), and they also know who doesn’t purchase. The vast vast majority of your Traffic campaign traffic WILL NOT be in a thousand years’ purchase.

    This is why your retargeting audience size will stay way way way smaller than your original to the website, and you can never proportionally increase your retargeting budget to your TOF budget even if you optimize for purchase.

    So while you may think it’s essentially free “higher intent” retargeting traffic, it is not. Facebook would only retarget a super small portion of that audience.

    If you enjoyed this post, please leave an upvote, and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!


    Interesting read.. thanks! It’s such a dynamic shift in how the Facebook algorithm works and changes RAPIDLY without warning. This time last year, duplicating campaigns that performed well was the go-to strategy for any brand/agency that wanted to scale – and it worked so well. I am too seeing this as a huge decline in performance. *Curious* – have you ever seen benefit to running ads out of 2 separate ad accounts with similar creative/ad copy/audiences/geo/objective? I’m currently auditing a few accounts and the first time I’ve seen this done (without there being vast differences in targeting, etc) and concerned with obvious overlap, driving up overall CPA and competing against themselves.


    Thanks for sharing


    Great post! I have one question..

    With my main retargeting campaign, why is it that I get better results optimizing for Initiate Checkout rather than Purchase? My TOF is optimized for Purchases, my MOF for LPV, and BOF is IC. Most of our cold traffic starts with a Purchase-optimized TOF ad via Facebook OR from Google which is already high intent, so I figure it’s not as wasteful to use LPV or IC for lower funnel traffic (cost is always much lower too)


    u/Freddy27 Thank you! Would something like this work:


    -Use ABO to test audiences and/or creatives

    – Once you find winners, throw into a larger budget CBO

    – The CBO would have winning audiences (which would now be an ad set in CBO) and over time add new winners as new ad sets



    – We test out 20 ad sets this week and find 5 are good. We create a CBO with a large budget and ad those 5 winning ad sets in, each as it’s own ad set

    – Let that CBO run but also create 10 new ad sets at ABO just to test

    – We find 3 new winners

    – Take those 3 new winners and place as new ad sets in the existing CBO campaign (so now have 8 total ad sets in that CBO)

    – Increase CBO overall budget over time


    It should be noted that we only run purchase conversion campaigns for one single product.



    Looking forward for someone to share related information for Google Ads as well.


    As a business we spend ~$8mm/year. ~$3.6-4mm on Facebook…
    And this is spot on.


    Very interesting you mentioned that you shouldn’t duplicate campaigns, I feel this is a no brained as you shouldn’t even optimise your ads as at the campaign level. But does this still stay true for ad set levels?

    If this is true. How do you scale fast without duplication? I have had some experiences where I duplicated ad sets and increased budget to the original ad set by about 20%-25% which is what was recommended to me.

    In addition, in my experience, CBO scaling can only happen when your pixel gets enough data. So if your ad account is new, you should definitely try scaling by both ABO+CBO but chances are that ABO will do much better. I tend to revisit CBO after I have 500 purchases.


    Nice Read! Good to see


    First of all, thanks for your post! Really helpful.


    So I have about 3 clients, with minimal budgets (between 15 and 100$) p/d. I try to break down the audiences to about +-100.000 persons per adset and spend 10$ per day on it. Would you recommend to broaden the audience, since you’re saying that FB knows who to target and won’t try to target the entire audience.

    Also, I’m recently started new campaign for a client with a pretty niche product. Handmade Cribs for babies. She has minimal budgets for now, as she wants to see results first. What would you recommend. Currently running 1 conversion campaign with 2 audiences (retargeting & interest), and one traffic campaign (2 different interets audiences). The current daily budget is only 15$, but there’s a lot of room to grow once we proved that it works.


    Thanks for your time!


    Hi u/freddy27! First of all, thanks for these posts man. I often check on r/PPC just to see if you summited something new.

    I have a quick question about scaling campaigns for Lead Generation.. Right now I’m running a ABO campaign for a Roofing company based in Canada, the target audience is mostly Home-improvement related interests and has been running for a month, I already have a couple of clear champions.

    Would turning off the bad performers and increasing the budget be the right way to do it? Split that audience and delivery the best performers to find the best one?

    Any idea would be appreciated, as you may guess I’m a bit of a noob.. I’ve been running ads for about 2 years now with some degree of success for small businesses, but can’t really do a lot of testing.

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