Hacking Facebook – Structuring Your Ads for Profitable Campaigns!

Facebook Ads Not Delivering? Here Are 20 Solutions To Try

14 mins read

If your Facebook ads aren’t delivering or performing how you want them to, finding out why can be super confusing.

Is it my ads? Maybe something with my campaign settings? Does Facebook just hate me?

Without any direction or notification Facebook, even knowing where to look for a solution can be hard to figure out.

That’s why we sat down and put together a list of the 20 most common reasons your Facebook ads aren’t delivering.


The Top 20 Reasons You’re Facebook Ads Aren’t Delivering (And Their Solutions)


Your Ads Weren’t Approved

This one’s easy enough.

Check in on your ads to make sure they were actually approved.

How To Fix It

Unfortunately, there are many, many reasons why your ads might not be approved.

Here are a few common reasons:

  • Text in your image is larger than 20% (check your ad with Facebook’s Grid Tool)
  • The ad uses inappropriate language
  • Content is not allowed on Facebook

Beyond these, you’ll have to read Facebook’s Advertising Policies to see what’s causing your ads to not be approved.


Your Ads Are “Pending Approval”

Sometimes your ads pass all of Facebook’s policies but still get stuck “Pending Approval”.

This is often referred to as “ad purgatory”.

How To Fix It

As tends to happen in the digital world, sometimes things just don’t work for no reason whatsoever.

If you’ve gone through Facebook’s Advertising Policies and found no issues with your ads, then try one (or both) of these things:

  1. Delete your ad and recreate it.
  2. Download your ads into power editor and change the name so Facebook recognizes it as a new ad.


There’s A Delay In Your Data Reporting

Sometimes there can be a delay between your ads delivering and the connected data getting back to your dashboard.

This means 1,000 people could have seen your ads, but Facebook only reports 100 impressions on your dashboard.

This is called data lag and it’s a super real thing.

How To Fix It

Patience is key. The longer you wait, the more accurate your data will be.

Another possible quick fix is logging out of your Facebook account and then logging back in.


Your Billing Failed

Had an expensive month? It’s entirely possible the reason your ads aren’t delivering is that you’ve simply maxed out your billing method.

How To Fix It

Fortunately, like most businesses, Facebook will promptly let you know if your billing method failed.

All you have to do to get back on track is either pay off/top up your billing method or add a new billing method altogether.


You’re Looking At The Wrong Date-Range

It sounds silly, but we’ve all done it.

If you’re looking at data from October 2019 but didn’t start your ad campaign until November 2019, there obviously won’t be any data to report.

How To Fix It

Simply adjust the data-range to reflect when your campaign was actually active.


You’ve Reached Your Account Spending Limit

Not only can your campaign have a spending limit, but your Facebook ad account as a whole can have a spending limit.

This means that even if you haven’t reached your campaign spend limit, your ads can stop delivering if you’ve reached your account spend limit.

How To Fix It

You can adjust your account spending limit in your Payments section.


Facebook Payment Settings



Your Campaign Budget Is Too Low

If a specific campaign isn’t performing, it could be the result of your campaign budget setting.

Even if you’re letting Facebook automatically optimize the spending of your campaign budget with Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO), too low of a budget to start with can take away from ad performance.

How To Fix It

Experiment with raising your budget until you’re satisfied with your campaign’s performance.



You’re Bidding Is Too Low

Facebook Advertising works on an auction model.

If you bid less than other advertisers targeting the same target audience, then there’s a good chance your ads will not be shown to as many people as your competitors’ ads.

How To Fix It

To be safe, bid within Facebook’s “Suggested Bid” range.

The Suggested Bid tool represents the level of competition for your target audience. Bidding an amount within this range ensures optimal ad delivery.



Of course, bidding an amount closer to the top of the Suggested Bid range will have your ads performing better than bidding an amount closer to the bottom.


Your Target Audience Is Too Small

If you’re targeting a specific, small niche with a low budget, you’re likely going to be out-bid by larger advertisers with bigger budgets.

How To Fix It

Facebook will let you know on the right side of your campaign dashboard if the audience your targeting is too small for the budget and objective of your campaign.



Other than this, experiment with broadening your audience. You can also try increasing your budget and/or bid.


You’re Targeting The Same Audience In Multiple Campaigns

If any of your campaigns contain audience overlap (targeting the same people), so as to not compete with yourself, Facebook delivers only the ad set with better performance history.

For you, this can mean reduced deliverability and an increase in costs.

How To Fix It

For Custom Audiences, Saved Audiences, and Lookalike Audiences, you can use Facebook’s Audience Overlap tool to see if your audiences overlap.

Find the Audience Overlap tool through the following steps:

  1. Go to your Audiences section (find it at the top left of your ad account dashboard)
  2. Check the boxes next to the audiences you want to compare (up to 5)
  3. Click Actions > Show Audience Overlap



You can then use this information to adjust your audience targeting.


You’re Using Discriminatory Targeting

If you use any kind of discriminatory targeting, you will experience very low to no ad delivery.

Facebook defines discriminatory as any ads that “deny opportunities to individuals or groups of people based on certain personal attributes such as race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family/marital status, a disability or a medical or genetic condition.”

How To Fix It

Look through your targeting and remove anything that could be considered by Facebook’s Terms of Service to be discriminatory.


Your First 1,000 Impressions Didn’t Make A Splash

The first thousand impressions your ad makes affects its performance going forward.

If only one person out of the thousand people your ad is shown to actually clicks on it, Facebook will pull back the impressions for that ad to avoid spamming people with ads that don’t relate to them.

How To Fix It

Don’t rely on one ad creative.

Even if it’s just a small difference, using multiple ad creatives in your ad set improves your chances of positive ad reception (and therefore, more impressions going forward) for at least one of your ads.

You can create the different ad creatives yourself, or use a service like needls. to create hundreds of ad variations for free.



If your ads continue to underperform no matter how much you change your ad creative, then it might be a problem with your audience targeting.

Your Ads Have A Low Relevance Score

Nobody wants to be spammed with irrelevant ads. This is why Facebook incorporates a Relevancy score into its ads.

An ad’s Relevancy score can range from 1-10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. As people engage (or don’t engage) with your ad through video views, conversions and other metrics, your ad’s Relevancy score changes.



A high Relevancy score can result in your ad reaching more people for less money. Conversely, a low Relevancy score can result in your ad reaching fewer people for more money.

How To Fix It

How to improve your Relevancy score will be different depending on your ad’s objectives.

Regardless, starting out with a high Relevancy score requires a strong understanding of your audience.

Try using multiple ads and see which ones get the best Relevancy scores. You can then copy elements of that ad (creative, copy, etc.) into your other ads.

It’s also important to monitor your Relevancy scores over time. If you notice a dip for a specific ad, it might be time to change up that ad.


You’re Using Too Many Ads

NOTICE: Facebook plans to replace manual ad set budgeting with automated Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO). This means you will no longer have manual control over how you distribute your campaign budget at an ad-set level.

Regardless, for the time being, it’s still important to understand manual ad set budgeting.

Using too many ads, especially with a low budget, can delay the delivery of all of your ads.

Also, the longer your ads take to deliver, the longer it takes to get performance data back. This makes it more difficult to know what’s working on an individual ad basis – essential information you can use to optimize other ads.

How To Fix It

Start out by creating as many individual ads as you want, but only have two ads turned on at one time.

This way, you can see within a day or two which ad is performing better. You can then turn off the ad that’s performing worse and replace it with another ad in your ad set.

You can then repeat this until you have no more ads to test.

This is an easy way to know which ads to prioritize in your ad sets and what ad characteristics (creative, copy, etc.) lend to an effective ad.


You’re Editing Your Ads Too Often

Editing your ads too often can result in poor ad delivery.

This is due to the fact that Facebook ads take up to 24 hours to start delivering.

How To Fix It

Resist the urge to edit your ads until at least 24 hours after you submit them.

After 24 hours, go crazy!


You’re Delivering Ads At A Pace That Don’t Fit Your Goals

Most of the time, blowing your entire campaign budget as quickly as possible isn’t a popular pursuit.

However, there are situations where it actually makes sense (promoting a timely event, for example).

In these situations, Facebook natural inclination to make your budget last the duration of your campaign isn’t helpful.

How To Fix It

Accelerated Delivery is the name of the game.

It’s an option offered by Facebook that spends your budget and delivers your ads as quickly as possible.

To turn on Accelerated Delivery, all you have to do is select the Accelerated Delivery button in your campaign dashboard.



You’re Not Advertising To The Right Stage Of The Funnel

While it may not directly affect the delivery of your ads, optimizing your copy and creative to reflect your audience’s funnel stage can ensure your ads actually resonate and convert.

Other than the obvious, having your ads resonate and engage is a good thing because it improves your ads’ Relevancy scores.

The higher your ads’ Relevancy scores, the more people your ads will be delivered to for less money.

How To Fix It

There are different things to consider when optimizing for an Awareness campaign compared to a Consideration or Conversion campaign.

For example, if the goal of your campaign is Awareness, you want to create ads that focus on catching your audience’s attention as opposed to instantly converting them. This means asking questions, educating, entertaining, and generally connecting your product or service in the minds of your audience with something fun and memorable.

Here’s why: if the objective of your Awareness campaign is to get people to share your ad, an uninspired, salesy ad with no entertainment value isn’t going to accomplish that. People are just going scroll right by your ad without a second thought, which will negatively affect that ad’s Relevancy score, which will result in you paying more money to reach fewer people.


creating Facebook awareness campaigns that catch attention
AdZombies’ successful Clown awareness ad is a great example of playing to the right stage of the funnel. It’s been viewed 1.3 million times, shared 500 times, and has received hundreds of comments.


However, if the goal of your campaign is Conversion in the form of website clicks, then a more salesy ad with clear CTAs right inside the ad itself might make sense.

Generally speaking, think about the goal you want to accomplish with your ads and make sure your ad creative and copy contributes to that goal.

If you’re having trouble with getting your ads in front of the right people, let needls. help you out.

Just answer a few questions and we’ll create a campaign for you for free in 24 hours or less.



Your Ads Are Low Quality

  • Engagement Bait
  • Withholding Information
  • Sensationalized Language

If any one of these three things describes your ads, there’s a good chance Facebook is throttling their performance on account of being “low quality”.

Not sure if your ads meet the criteria? We got you covered (definitions are from Facebook):

Engagement Bait

“Ads with spammy content asking people to engage with it in specific ways, such as requesting likes, comments, and shares.”


Example of Engagement bait low quality ad


Withholding Information

“Ads that purposefully withhold information to entice people to click in order to understand the full context.”


Example of Engagement bait low quality ad


Sensationalized Language

“Ads that use exaggerated headlines or command a reaction from people but don’t deliver on the landing page.”


Example of Engagement bait low quality ad

How To Fix It

De-spam your ads.

Comb over your ads and fix any that fit the descriptions above.


Your Ads Are Too Political

Received this notification from Facebook?



It’s because your ad was considered to be ‘political content’.

When your ad is considered to be too political by Facebook, your ad’s deliverability is negatively affected.

How To Fix It

This one can be tricky to solve.

One because what is considered political is different from country-to-country, and two because Facebook has stated that they ‘expect these issues to change over time’, which basically means that something that’s not considered political right now could be considered political next week.

As boring as it sounds, the best thing to do to avoid having your ads tagged as political content is staying up-to-date with Facebook’s Terms of Services.


Your Ads Still Aren’t Delivering…

If you’ve tried everything above and still your Facebook ads are not delivering, then you can look to Facebook’s Delivery Insights for a possible solution.

Before we go any further, though, to use Facebook’s Delivery Insights, your ad set must be running for at least 5 consecutive days and have over 500 impressions.

When you hover over an ad set that meets these requirements inside of Ad Manager, you get a box that looks like this:


Facebook delivery insights hover box


After clicking the link, you’re brought to your Delivery Insights dashboard.


Facebook Delivery Insight dashboard


Here you can analyze Account Spend, Cost per Result, Results, and Impressions.

You can break down each of these into the following:

Audience Saturation

This view shows you when your ads stop reaching new people (or at least when they stop responding to your ad).

Activity History

Want to see if a specific change you made to your ad set had a positive or negative effect? Here’s where you can easily see that.

Auction Overlap

Remember how we talked about Audience Overlap negatively affecting ad delivery? Here you can actually see the effects of Audience Overlap over time.

Auction Competition

Here you can see how your ads perform compared to your competitors over time. This view can help you understand if you are spending enough on your ads to be visible to your target audience.


Over To You!

Have any other solutions to Facebook ads not delivering? Share them in the comments below!

If you’re still confused, having trouble, or just want someone to optimize your Facebook ads for you, just sign up with needls. for free and schedule a chat with one of our Facebook experts.



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