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4 Steps for Troubleshooting a CPA-based Campaign (+ Tips)

Written by: Allison Fecteau, Account Manager

There are several components to running a successful advertising campaign. Here a few of the major ones:

  • Creative variations on images, calls to action and copy
  • Relevant ad units, targeting and bid types
  • An ability to analyze reporting and optimize toward future campaigns

Remove one element from the picture, and your ads may very well fall flat. But the beauty of marketing is that there’s always room for testing and improvement. If you’re not hitting your KPIs, don’t panic — there are simple steps you can take to reboot your social media efforts. As an example, let’s say you’re running a CPA campaign to acquire purchasing customers, but your CTRs are low.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Assess the situation

  • Look at your creative; is there an image or CTA that’s doing better than the rest?
  • Look at the CTR, especially if your ads are in the newsfeed; it is indicative of how high your bid may have to be to get traffic.
  • Check out your targeting; what segments are performing best?
  • Which bid type is performing better – oCPM or CPC?

2. Reduce the number of ads you’re running

Cut out ads that are greatly above your CPA (or KPI) goal. Approach this step not just at the ad level, but also the creative (images, copy) and targeting levels (gender, age). For a structured guide to running only your best ads, consult Nanigans Account Manager Bryant Roche-Bernard’s “5 Steps to an Ad Campaign Optimization Audit.”

3. Use Optimized Budgeting

Nanigans Optimized Budget







Ad Engine can automatically add more budget to your top-performing ads, and reduce spend on ads that aren’t doing as well. The Optimized Budgeting feature may help you skip the next step, which is:

4. Let the campaign run its course

With a CPA goal in mind, it’s an understandable impulse to pull ads with minimal downstream action; but don’t make the mistake of removing ads before they’ve had a chance to gather statistically significant information. Sixty clicks may not be enough to determine whether your campaign is effective, so consult your average conversion rate before you pull the trigger.

Troubleshooting tips

1. Compare retargeting segments to pure acquisitional retargeting segments. If the CPA for acquisitional retargeting isn’t a lot lower, it’s possible, not likely, that your lookback window is too wide. Shortening the lookback window or separating the lookback windows (1-3 days, 4-7 days, etc) to bid differently could help.
2. If your conversion rate is low but your CTR is high, try to figure the following out:

  • What is it about the creative that’s pulling people in?
  • What is it about your landing page that’s not encouraging conversions?

3. Test multiple bid types.

If you find that the following scenarios happen often, you may also benefit from Senior Product Specialist Collen Slyne’s A Day in the Life of a Facebook Marketer:

  • Volume is low, but the campaign is meeting its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Volume is high, but the campaign is not meeting its KPIs
  • Performance is great; how can I get more of it and scale the campaign?
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