The Ultimate Guide To Automated Rules

If you've never heard or used automated rules, prepare to have your mind blown. I'm going to walk through the rule systems we deploy to optimize ads 24/7 to increase ROAS and scale.

Ever heard of automated rules? Do you use them when running ads?

If not, chances are you are spending way too long managing your ads. If you’re checking your accounts every couple hours, turning ads on/off based on their CPA or ROAS – you are wasting time. ‘Nuff said. You should be using that time to build new product lines and offers, working on your business (not in), or spending it with your friends and loved ones.

Let us show you how we automate the donkey work with ad buying and focus our mental bandwidth on the higher-level activities, such as strategy, offers, copy, and angles, etc. We use reveal bot for this, but native Facebook rules can suffice if you’re just starting out.

I’ll outline the process below. We first need to do some number crunching:

Step 1: Calculate your target ROAS for prospecting and remarketing across different collections For this brand and ruleset, I’m going to show below, our target ROAS on prospecting on this collection is 1.6.

Step 2: If you have a product with AOV > $50, it’s advisable to calculate a proxy that you can cut your ads at without spending too much. For this brand, Cost Per Unique Initiate Checkout correlates the most with ROAS and is thus the best leading indicator to cut ads early at. For all ads above 1.6 on prospecting – we average a CPUIC of €20.5 on a 1-day attribution and €14.6 on a full attribution, so if CPUIC is greater than these – we can use them as cut off points.

Step 3: Calculate attribution lift and the ROAS you need to hit on a 1-day and 7-day period to hit your 28-day target. For the example provided below, to hit my target ROAS of 1.6 on prospecting on a 28 day click 1-day view attribution, I’ll be averaging around 1.14 on day 1, 1.26 on day 3 and 1.36 on day 7. With the maths aside – here are the main categories of rules I use. Again, the example below shows the rules I’m running for a brand with a target prospecting ROAS of 1.60 and AOV of €50.

– HARDPAUSE

– SOFTPAUSE

– RESTART

– SAFETY NET

– BUDGET INCREASE

– BUDGET DECREASE

HARDPAUSE

This rule permanently turns off any ADSET/AD that:

– has 0 sales and therefore unprofitable
– has sales but ROAS < Target ROAS

PAUSE ADSET IF:

ROAS, Last 3 Days < 1.26
ROAS, Lifetime < 1.6
Spend, Last 3 Days > €1
Spent, Lifetime > €100 (2X AOV)

OR

PAUSE ADSET IF:

SPEND, Lifetime > €100 (2X AOV) AND
Unique Initiate Checkout, Lifetime = 0 OR CPUIC, Lifetime > €14.6 AND
ROAS, Lifetime < 1.6
Spend, Last 3 Days > €1
ROAS, Last 3 Days < 1.26

On the ad level:

PAUSE AD IF:

SPEND, Lifetime > €50 (1X AOV) AND
Unique Initiate Checkout, Lifetime = 0 OR CPUIC, Lifetime > €14.6 AND
ROAS, Lifetime < 1.6
Spend, Last 3 Days > €1
ROAS, Last 3 Days < 1.26

OR

SPEND, Lifetime > €100 (2X AOV) AND
ROAS, Lifetime < 1.6
Spend, Last 3 Days > €1
ROAS, Last 3 Days < 1.26

SOFTPAUSE

This rule temporarily pauses ad sets/ads based on in-day performance. This is great to use if you notice that ads start badly in the morning and afternoon and thus don’t perform well in the evening during peak traffic.

PAUSE ADSET IF:

(SPEND, Today > 1X AOV AND Purchases, Today = 0) AND
Unique initiate checkouts, Today = 0 OR CPUIC, Today > €20.5

OR

PAUSE ADSET IF:

(Spend, Today > €100 AND ROAS, Today < 1.6 AND Purchases, Today > 0) AND
Unique Initiate Checkouts, Today = 0 OR CPUIC, Today > €20.5

The rule is the exact same on the ad level. I like to add a name tag on the end to identify ad sets/ads that have been temporarily paused.

RESTART

This rule pauses ad sets/ads at midnight that have done poorly yesterday to restart them for the next day.

START ADSET/AD IF (name contains SOFTPAUSE)

Time, Greater Than 12:00 AM AND
Less Than 1:00 AM

Use this combined with name tagging to restart the ad sets/ads that were temporarily paused.

SAFETY NET:

The safety net rule turns ad sets and ads back on if they are profitable again.

START ADSET/AD IF: (run every 4 hours)

ROAS, Last 3 Days > 1.6 Spend, Last 3 Days > €1

Either delayed attribution kicks in or delayed reporting from Facebook. (Facebook attributes conversions around 15 minutes after spend. Ads can pause before then)

That means your rules may shut off early before conversions get attributed, so this rule ensures ad sets and ads that are now profitable switch back on.

BUDGET INCREASE

This rule increases the budget by 20% on an ad set that was profitable in the last 3 days. I only do this on low spends and scale manually as well on higher daily spends

On the adset level:

ROAS > 1.6 Spend, Lifetime > €100 Spend, Last 3 Days > €1

BUDGET DECREASE

This rule decreases the budget by 20% on an ad set that’s profitable in its lifetime but in the last 3 days it’s been unprofitable

On the ad set level: ROAS, Last 3 Days 1.6 Spend, Lifetime > €100 Spend, Last 3 Days > €1

BONUS RULES:

Surfing:

This rule allows you to capitalize on profitable days before traffic surges in the day.

Blueprint Eyewear Traffic Curve

If you compare how traffic distributed on your account, you may notice a trend where it follows a curve and increases in the morning, increases again around mid-day and increases past 4/5 pm. If ad sets do well in the morning, we want to ensure there’s budget behind them during peak hours in the evening.

Double Daily Budget If:

Time, less than 8:00 AM Time, greater than 7:00 AM AND
Purchases, Today > 8 ROAS, Today > 2

OR

Time, less than 12:00 PM Time, greater than 1:00 PM AND
Purchases, Today > 8 AND ROAS, Today > 2 ROAS, AND ROAS Last 5 Hours > 2

OR

Time, less than 5:00 PM Time, greater than 6:00 PM AND
Purchases, Today > 8 AND ROAS, Today > 2 AND ROAS, Last 5 Hours > 2

High CPM Rule:

This will cut ads quickly that have hit expensive audiences that won’t back out and be profitable. Usually, this will trigger after a new audience or creative test and the audience is expensive or there are compliance issues in the ad causing high CPMs

Spend > €20
CPC > €3.50
ROAS, Last 3 Days < 1.26

Broken Link Checker:

Outbound Clicks > 10, Today
Landing Page Views = 0

This one will save wasted ad spend if you accidentally use a broken link or one of your landing pages goes down. We’ve all been there 😆

Caveats + Notes

This ruleset above only applies to prospecting for a single collection. You’ll need different rule sets for remarketing and different rules for different collections if they have different margins/price points. If you have trends/restrictions in your account (like ads perform best on certain time frames or days), then you’ll have to build custom ones on top of the default ones.

If you are running an offer like a discount, BOGOFs, bundle, etc, you must adjust the ROAS target to compensate for the change in AOV / COGS. Set rules based on ROAS (not CPA), as it takes into account the extra revenue and ROAS if the customer orders more than 1 product.

If you run ads in different countries where shipping costs or tax is different – then adjust ROAS targets. For example, if you’re based in the EU and sell outside of the EU, your targets will change since you don’t pay VAT, but the shipping may be higher. If your account under-reports conversions, then factor that in.

Conclusion

Hope this overview helps! Get stuck into the maths, calculations, and conditions. It will take time to wrap your head around everything – but it will save you a lot of money and time in the future. The less time spent doing manual donkey work = more time spent on what moves the needle to drive revenue.

If you want to spend even LESS time in the day to day ad buying, free up your and your internal team’s bandwidth whilst achieving even better results with your Facebook advertising…

Why not book a time in our calendar to have a chat? We can explain how to implement these rules for you, and if it makes sense, walk you through what it’s like to become a client of our agency. Interested? Click the button below to book a call with us.