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Facebook has had automated rules for a little over a year, but a recent update has helped them become even more powerful and useful. With automated rules, you can create rules in Ads Manager that will automatically update or notify you of changes to your campaigns, ad sets, or ads. Automated rules can help you save time and energy by running checks for you and performing the actions you’d normally do manually. They can also let you know when something isn’t quite right with your ads, ad sets, or campaigns.

How to Create a Rule

To create a rule, simply select the rules drop-down and click “Create A New Rule.” You can also hover over the hamburger menu in the top left of Ads Manager and click “Automated Rules.” To apply rules to specific campaigns, ad sets, or ads, select them first, and then click “Create A New Rule.”

When the rules dialog box pops, up you’ll see 7 parts you’ll need to adjust to create the rule.

First, be sure you’re applying the rule to the correct components. For instance, rather than applying a rule to the currently live acquisition campaign, it may be smart to apply the rule to all campaigns that contain  “Acquisition” so that you don’t have to update it every time you create a new campaign.

Actions and Conditions

Next, up we have Condition and Actions (e.g. if/then statements). These make up the bulk of the rule and are important to understand so you can implement the rules in a useful way.

Actions

There are currently 6 actions (“if” statements) available:

  • Turn off campaigns / ad sets / ads
  • Send notification only: Sends a notification to yourself or other people on your ad account when your rule makes changes to your ads.
  • Adjust budget: Increases or decreases the daily or lifetime budget of your ad set.
  • Adjust manual bid: Increases or decreases the bid of your ad set. Note: this action only works on ads with manual bids.
  • Unpause: Unpauses your ad based on a rule you set. You also have the option to pause ads this way.
  • Scale budget/bid: Adjusts your budget based on a rule you set. For example, if CPI is $1 and you would like $2, we will double your budget. Note that the ROAS metric is inverse, so if CPI is $2 and you want $1, we’ll double your budget.

Most of the actions are fairly straightforward. Choose the action that makes the most sense for you. In many cases, I’ve simply set up a notification so that I can take an action quickly.

Conditions

Next, we have conditions. There are currently 42 conditions you can choose from (21 were just recently added!).

One important thing to note about conditions: You cannot set up an “or” condition. This means I can’t set up a rule that states “The name of my Campaign is ‘Campaign 1 “or” ‘Campaign 2.’” You can have as many conditions as you want, but for the rule to be applied, it must meet all the conditions. This may mean you have to set up several rules.

After you’ve outlined your condition, you’ll want to add a timeframe. If you want to be notified if CPA is too high on a given day, you’d set up a rule to identify the CPA of your event, select “Today” for the time frame, and then select “Run Continuously.” (This option runs the rules approximately every 30 min).

You’re also given the option to choose a different attribution window. This is helpful if your Ads Manager default is different from what you report on or view on a daily basis.

Below, you’ll find a few helpful rules to get you started; if you’d like to see a list of all available Conditions and Actions, follow the links below. I strongly suggest you keep the list of conditions handy. It’s a great reference tool.

List of all actions: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/192277077825914?helpref=page_content#

List of all conditions: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/975877422460996?helpref=page_content#

Schedule, Notify, and Run

Finally, you’ll choose your schedule. I’d guess that 90% of the time you’ll just choose to run them continuously, but Facebook does give you more options if you need them.

Secondly, you can select whether or not you get an email from Facebook with the results. If you’ve selected “Notify me” as the action, it’s important to check that box. You can also select who gets the notification. If you want a few extra bonus points, you can create labels and filter actions in Gmail to sort these emails quickly based on the rules name.

Lastly, you’ll title the rule. Don’t be fooled – the name is very important. You may end up having quite a number of rules in your Ads Manager. Organizing them well from the start will set you up for success and save you time in the long run.

There are three primary categories your rules will fall in: Notification, Action, or Event. Notifications are for rules where you simply want to be notified. For instance, you may want to know when you’ve hit 90% of your budget for an ad set. Actions are for rules that perform a specific action to campaigns, ad sets, or ads. Lastly, Events are for rules that are only used once or a limited number of times. For example, you may have ads you want to turn on for the 4th of July to promote a sale. These rules would only exist for that one event. So the name would be formatted as:

[Category]: [Quick description or Notification]: When ad set spend reaches 90% of budget.

This will help you quickly identify rules, their purpose, and why you created them.

Example Rules

Here are a few example rules to get you started working smarter in Facebook ads.

Notification

Name: Notification: Daily CPA is too high

Apply to: All active ad sets under campaigns that contain “Acquisition”

Action: Notify only

Conditions: Cost per Purchase is greater than $35

Schedule: Continually

Action

Name: Action: Increase budget if ROAS is high

Apply to: All active ad sets under campaigns that contain “Retargeting”

Action: Increase budget by %15

Conditions: Website Purchase ROAS > 1.15 Today

Schedule: Continually

Event

Name: Event: Turn on ads for sale

Apply to: All ads whose name contains “Sale”

Action: Turn on

Conditions: Time: If time is greater than August 1st, 2018 12am

Schedule: Custom: August 1st, 2018 @ 12:01am

All in all, we’ve found Facebook Rules to be an immense time-saver that frees us up to think more strategically about our accounts. Put them into play now and thank yourself down the road.