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Troubleshooting Tips For Ad Campaigns With Low Volume or Poor Performance

Written by: Laurie Bloom and Bryant Roche-Bernard, Nanigans Account Managers

Direct response marketing involves many moving parts. No matter how carefully you set a campaign up, odds are you will hit a snag in ad spend or performance from time to time. With plenty of hands-on experience in the ecommerce and gaming verticals, Nanigans account managers are well-versed in auditing and improving campaign results. Here are troubleshooting tips from two of our seasoned team members.

Laurie Bloom

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is, “How do I increase volume?” Whether clients are referring to volume of spend, traffic or conversions – the question of how to scale is always top of mind. While each campaign will require different adjustment and optimization, there are a few basic items I always ask (either myself or the client) when approaching this topic, namely:

  • “How much scale are we talking?” and,
  • “How important is scale in relation to maintaining key performance indicators (KPIs)?”

First, I look at bids, budgets and the number of ads. These simple metrics usually hold the key to scale (or inability to scale) apart from anything technical. Here are four questions that can help bring volume obstacles to light:

  • Are our bids competitive for the ad and bid type?
  • Are ad set budgets too conservative?
  • Are strategy group or budget pool spend caps limiting daily spend?
  • Do we have enough ads live to support the spend goal?

These common factors that limit spend are fortunately easy to fix. After running through the checklist above:

  • It may turn out that we need a more aggressive burn in boost percentage, which inflates bids at launch to help them gain traction.
  • Maybe we’re hitting a bid or spend limit that was set along the way that may be outdated.
  • Or it’s possible that we just need more ads. Iterating on copy and images or testing best-performing creative combinations in new targeting segments can be easy ways to increase ad count.

An added bonus of testing creative is a possible boost in relevancy score – which can also impact ability to scale. In most cases, running through this short list can help identify multiple opportunities to scale.

Bryant Roche-Bernard

When trying to determine the root cause of poor campaign performance, there are several questions that can assist with investigation of the problem. First, look at the scope of the issue.

Has the issue arisen in the past few days, or has performance of the campaign been declining consistently for a week or more?

If this issue seems to have arisen within the past 24 hours, make sure that no new updates have been made to the landing page that your ads are driving to. This should include auditing that pixels are still properly placed on relevant pages.

If performance continues to deteriorate over the course of a week or more, explore additional targeting options. Also consider altering the ad itself in terms of creative and copy. Users may be bored with seeing the same creative and copy over and over. A fresh look may turn around performance, especially in a well-defined targeting segment.

Are there particular targeting segments or creative components dragging down performance?

It is possible that a particular creative or targeting segment is pulling down overall campaign performance. Investigate which particular ads that are leveraging this creative or targeting segment are performing poorly and only pause down particular ads rather than all the ads using these assets. There may be winning ads that are using these assets effectively, and these performing ads should be left live.

Are top-performing ads still live?

Check to make sure that your most efficient ads are still active. Having a top performing ad paused down can be detrimental to both scale and overall campaign performance. If a particular ad was performing well but has deteriorated in performance, attempt to exploit a particular aspect of the ad like the creative or targeting. Look to use this performing aspect with a new set of copy, creative or targeting segment.


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