As a Facebook ad marketer, you love seeing your ads producing real results — so it can be super frustrating when you log into Facebook Ads Manager only to see that your ads are not delivering at all.
Below are 10 common reasons why your Facebook ads are not delivering and how you can fix them immediately.
“Facebook ads are not delivering” means that active ads are not being served to the target audience you specified — and, consequently, they’re not generating any impressions. This can happen to new ads or existing ads that have been active in the past.
To check if your ads are delivering or not, head to Ads Manager and look at the Delivery column.
The “Not delivering” status can appear for many reasons. If a technical issue is preventing the ad from being sent out, the sub-status will be “Update required”.
Whatever the reason for this, there is always an easy fix.
Below are the 10 most common reasons your Facebook ads are not delivering — and how you can fix it.
If the post associated with your ad isn’t available, here are some reasons why:
- The post may have been removed
- You may no longer have permission to view the post
- You may be using a post that can’t be used in an ad
- The ad might contain an expired offer/event
- The product you’re promoting can’t be found because the product ID is missing or the product set is out of stock (or deleted).
- The post is a shared post. Shared posts can’t be promoted by anyone other than the owner of the original post.
The best way to fix this is to choose a different post or adjust permissions.
Depending on the reason for this, you can:
- Choose a different post
- Create a new offer and ad in a different ad set
- Get permission from the page Admin or Editor
- Review your catalog to see if the product you want to promote is available
After making the necessary changes, toggle the ad set back to active. If it worked, the “Update required” sub-status would no longer show.
As mentioned earlier, Facebook’s team reviews every ad before it goes live to ensure that it complies with its ad policies and terms of service. There are two kinds of ad review: the automated system review and a manual review done by actual members of Facebook’s support staff.
Per Facebook’s Business Help Centre, “most ads are reviewed within 24 hours, although in some cases it may take longer”. This means that sometimes, it takes longer than 24 hours to review an ad — especially during holidays when most brands are running Facebook ads.
To ensure that you don’t run into this problem, plan and schedule your ads in advance. In the Budget and Schedule section of the ad creation process, select a start and end date. This allows you a few more days just in case your ad needs to be manually approved by Facebook’s team.
There are, however, some changes to previously scheduled or current ads that can trigger a new review process:
- Ad creatives (text, images, videos, or links)
- Audience targeting
- Billing event
Since these changes force the review process to start again, don’t edit your ads until they’ve been approved (or rejected).
If your ad doesn’t meet Facebook advertising policies, it will be rejected — and won’t deliver it to audiences.
This is fairly common with Facebook ads, and when it happens, you’ll receive an email with the reason for the rejection. You can also confirm by checking your ad’s status in Ad Manager.
There are many reasons why Facebook rejects ads, such as:
- Grammar/punctuation issues
- Discriminatory practices
- Illegal products or services
- Adult content, products, or services
- Alcohol and drug-related products
- Weapons and explosives
- Third-party infringement
There are two ways to solve this issue: make some changes to your ad or submit an appeal.
If Facebook says that they disapproved of your ad because of the use of profanity, change the ad copy to something without profanity. Save the ad and resubmit. Hopefully, Facebook will approve it.
However, if you feel that Facebook made a mistake and your ad has been wrongfully disapproved, you can submit an appeal in Account Quality.
Note: Facebook also reviews the landing page associated with your ad. So make sure your ad’s landing page works, contains a product/service that matches the one in the ad and doesn’t have a misleading headline.
Also, if your ad falls into a unique category, such as employment opportunities and social issues, your targeting will be limited (by age, gender, or location). So make sure you choose the category that best describes your ads so that your reach would not be reduced unnecessarily.
This usually happens when you set a spending limit and forget about it. Your account spending limit is the budget threshold for all the ad campaigns run with your account. Once you hit that threshold, Facebook will stop showing your ads.
Fix this problem by changing, resetting, or removing your limit.
To do this, go to Ads Manager > Settings > Billing and Payment Methods
On the right side of the screen, you’ll find the account spending limit box, as well as the amount you’ve spent out of the total limit.
When you increase, reset or completely remove the limit, your ads should resume delivery.
When you set your audience targeting, you’re telling Facebook’s ad algorithm the kind of people they should deliver your ads to. But when you’re too restrictive with your budget, Facebook will reduce your ads’ delivery to an audience that is so tiny that the algorithm can’t gather any significant data from it.
For example, if you set $3 — which is very small —to be your daily budget, Facebook’s algorithm won’t be able to determine if your ads are effective, so it will stop delivering your ads totally.
On the other hand, if you set $50 as your daily ad budget, and you set $2 as your bid cap — which is tight — the algorithm may not have enough opportunities to reach the right people. And if people aren’t seeing the ads, the algorithm will stop delivering the ads.
The best fix is to keep your bid and budget high enough to give the algorithm time to optimize your ads.
Instead of setting daily limits, set a lifetime budget. This way, Facebook will spend your budget as necessary and spread the amount over the entire run time of the ad campaign.
Another tip is to start with the lowest cost bid strategy (automatic bidding) as it drives the best results at the lowest possible cost. This ensures that your bid price will never be too low. Then, you can adjust with daily bid caps based on initial performance.
Narrowing down the kinds of people that should see your ads can help you get better results. However, restricting your ads to a very small audience might cause Facebook to stop delivering your ads.
Facebook requires at least 1,000 users in a given target audience. So if your targeting parameters don’t have as many people or if your customer list doesn’t match the number of people expected, your ads might not deliver.
The best way to fix this is to expand your target audience. Here are some ways to do that:
- Add more behaviors and/or interests
- Edit your geographical restrictions
- Add more users to your customer list
- Allow Facebook Pixel to collect more data before you launch retargeting campaigns
- Use Lookalike Audiences to help Facebook use a source audience (email list, site visitors, etc.) to find similar prospects based on demographic and interests.
When you run an ad campaign on Facebook, your ads compete against other advertisers to reach a specific target audience. However, when you have multiple ads targeting the same audience, you may start competing against yourself — which can harm your ads’ delivery.
When several of your ad sets have similar targeting, Facebook tries to prevent your ads from competing against each other during the auction process. Here, the ads that have the highest total value will win the auction. Ads that have lesser value will be paused. This reduces costs and maximizes the use of your budget.
While this is a great preventative feature, it can cause your ad sets to underperform or not deliver at all.
You can fix this with Facebook’s Audience Overlap tool.
Go to Ads Manager and navigate to the Audiences tab. Choose the audiences you think are overlapping and click Show Audience Overlap under Actions. Here, you’ll see a chart that shows the percentage of ads that are not being delivered due to the auction overlap.
If the percentage of undelivered ads is high, you can either:
- Cancel ad sets that target the same audience but are yielding poor results
- Combine ad sets that have near-identical audiences
Facebook constantly works to show relevant and engaging ads to its users. So if your ads are not relevant to your target audience, Facebook will not deliver them as often as ads that are relevant and drive more engagement.
Facebook’s ad relevance diagnostics include:
- Quality ranking: How your ad’s quality compares to other ads competing for the same audience.
- Engagement rate ranking: How your ad’s expected engagement rate compares to other ads competing for the same audience.
- Conversion rate ranking: How your ad’s expected conversion rate compares to ads with the same conversion goal competing for the same audience.
One way to solve this problem is to create a new ad with better visuals and messaging. You can also try tweaking your post-click landing page and targeting a high-intent audience. Here’s a chart that shows Facebook’s recommendations for fixing this:
Facebook also says that it’s more effective to move a ranking from low to average than to move from average to above average. So you should focus first on improving low rankings.
Facebook will only show your ads during the time you set. So if you have one (or more) of these scheduling issues, your ad might not deliver:
- Your ad, ad set, or campaign is paused
- Your campaign is set to run at a later date
- The end date has already passed
The fix for this is to update your scheduling. If your end date has passed, set a new end date. If your campaign is paused, restart it. And if your campaign is set to run at a later date but you want it to start now, edit the start and end dates.
When you pick an optimization goal, you’re telling Facebook the exact action you want your target audience to take. This helps Facebook target your audience better.
Say, you choose to optimize your ad for product sign-ups. What you’re telling Facebook is that you want to target people who are likely to sign up for your products based on how they’ve engaged with similar ads.
Facebook analyzes user value signals to determine the best audience for your optimization goal:
For your ad to perform well, you need to choose the right optimization goal. Optimizing your ads for conversions, in itself, is not a bad thing, but it can be negative because if your ads don’t convert, you won’t be able to gather enough data to convince Facebook that people want to see your ad. And when Facebook can’t decide if people would be interested in your ad, it may stop delivering the ad totally.
You can fix this problem by updating your optimization goal. Switch to a kind of conversion that is more likely to happen, like “Adding to cart” rather than “Purchase”.
Or you can change the optimization goal from conversions to link clicks. This way, Facebook will track conversions, but also figure out who’d like to see your ads based on who has clicked on them. Then it can optimize your ad’s delivery to reach your target audience.
When you start getting conversations consistently, you can change your optimization goal back to conversions.
Do this by navigating to Ads Manager, selecting the ad set you want to edit, and choosing Link Clicks as the new optimization goal.