little known ad mistakes

10 Costly Facebook Ads Mistakes (What You Should Do Instead)

Did you know there are 10 main Facebook Ads mistakes that will kill your results and keep your ads from being incredibly profitable?

There are 10 costly Facebook Ads mistakes that you want to avoid if you would like your ads to be highly profitable:

  1. Using audiences that are too narrow
  2. Not knowing how much you can spend to get a customer
  3. Having a set budget for your Facebook Ads
  4. Not having a Facebook Pixel properly set up
  5. Not capitalizing on warm and hot traffic
  6. No longer showing people ads after they have bought
  7. Caring too much about CPC, CTR, & CPM
  8. Changing or editing a high performing campaign
  9. Bidding using cost cap or bid cap right away
  10. Thinking Low Budget = Low Risk

Mistake #1: Using audiences that are too narrow


Although it might be important to pay money to get in front of a very specific niche audience, the Facebook Ads algorithm is getting really good at finding the right people for your ad.

If you have a small audience (under 10,000), once you spend $100 you’ll reach just about every person in that audience.

If the audience is larger, the algorithm will search for the very best person to deliver your ad to. It will use it’s artificial intelligence to (AI) to find the person that’s most likely to make a purchase and become a lead.

I recommend having a variety of audiences to test, but including multiple audiences that are over 1 million people. When you are trying to run a large and profitable campaign, having those larger audiences will allow you to scale your ads and make more money.

Narrow audiences are difficult to scale and you’ll quickly run out of people in the audience to show your ad to.

If you want to know the best possible way to pick audience sizes, watch the video below:

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Mistake #2: Not knowing how much you can spend to get a customer

advertising sharing message with megaphone

How much can you spend on acquiring a customer for your Facebook Ads to be profitable?

You need to know this number (with an EXACT dollar amount).

That’s the only way that you can know how profitable your campaigns truly are.

If your ads are outperforming your target number, you can spend more money and use your profits to scale the campaign.

If you have no clue if spending $30 or $50 per customer is profitable for your business, then there is no way for you to scale and run effective ads in the future.

All Facebook Ad decisions will be centered around hitting your numbers. It’s the only way that you can know whether to increase or decrease the spending of your ad campaign.

Mistake #3: Having a set budget for your Facebook Ads


You want a general idea for what you’re willing to risk with your Facebook Ads while testing your ad campaigns and getting feedback from the market. And you can have a general idea of how much money you’ll put toward ads.

The problem is that there are a lot of businesses that have a set budget, and spend all of that budget without taking into account if the campaign is performing badly or crushing it. That makes no sense!

If you put in $1000 and get back $2000 in profit, you should spend more. If you put $1000 in and get back $95, you’ll likely want to pause and make some big changes.

But, so often, companies pour in the same $1000 month after month no matter the result. They have their monthly marketing budget and spend that no matter the results.

When you start a new campaign, test aggressively to try to get it to at least break even. If your campaign is getting amazing results, spend some of that profit into your advertising. That way you will get as much profit as you possibly can out of your ads. 

The budget you assign to your ads should be very dependent on the performance of the ads, not on a number you decided beforehand. 

Mistake #4: Not having a Facebook Pixel properly set up

The Facebook pixel is so important that I will not run a Facebook ad campaign if the pixel is not properly set up. If you don’t have a Facebook pixel it is like you are running your ads in the dark. 

The pixel keeps track of your website traffic, lets you retarget people who visit your website. This includes people who found you through a Google search, social media, or clicked on an ad. With the pixel, you can even target people that added something to the cart or initiated the checkout. Even more importantly, Facebook’s algorithm will be able to optimize your audience and show your ads to the people that are more likely to become your customers.

If you don’t have a pixel set up on your website yet, watch the video below on how to set it up on WordPress. If you’re using Shopify, you can view the tutorial on setting it up on Shopify by clicking here.
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Mistake #5: Not capitalizing on warm and hot traffic

Warm traffic is people who have interacted with your website, your social media profile, and have heard of you and your brand.

These people already have a familiarity with you and your brand and are a lot more likely to buy than people that have never heard of you.

With most campaigns that I run, warm and hot traffic is 2-4 times more profitable for new audiences.

When starting a new campaign, you want to make sure your audiences include people who:

  • Visited your checkout page
  • Made it partway through your checkout and then left
  • Visited your homepage or relevant blog post
  • Watched more than 45 seconds of any of your Facebook videos
  • Engaged with your Facebook or Instagram page
  • Like your page on Facebook or Instagram

The best part is, as you show your ads to new people, your warm and hot audiences will grow. People who watch a decent portion of your video ads will be added to the warm traffic audience. If they like the ad or visit the page, they’ll be a part of these new audiences. It’s insanely hard to be successful without setting up these audiences the right way.

Mistake #6: No longer showing people ads after they have made a purchase

You might be wondering why you would want to show ads from someone who has already purchased from you. If they are already your customer, why spend money to get in front of them again?

Right after they’ve bought, it’s a great opportunity to show them a “thank you” ad and get some engagement or testimonials. There is a chance they will want to share it with friends or talk about how great your product or service is.  These ads can boost the performance of your advertising quite a bit.

If you are selling something that they could buy over and over again, like for example a granola bar, then there is no better person to purchase from you again than a previous customer. You want to change the creatives for these ads to prevent fatigue, but definitely keep showing them your ads.

Post purchase ads have been insanely profitable AND they build a lot of trust and good will. Plus, you don’t have to spend much. Often a few dollars a day can get you in front of all your customers again.

Mistake #7: Caring too much about CPC, CTR, & CPM

The Cost Per Click (CPC), Click Through Rate (CTR), Cost Per Impression (CPM), are good metrics to keep an eye on.

But, the actual amount of profit you are bringing in and the cost of getting someone to purchase from you are much more important.

Our company certainly looks at Cost Per Click, Cost Click Through Rate, and Cost Per Impression when we test the performance of different ads, different headlines, and landing pages.

But, it’s not our main focus. The problem is that you don’t always want a super low CPC or CPM. I’ve gotten insanely low clicks and impressions but sometimes those campaigns aren’t profitable.

Facebook ads work by auction, so you are paying money to get in front of certain people. We could divide all people on Facebook into three big groups:

Targeting clients who are likely to buy has a higher CPC

  • Likely to buy

  • Somewhat likely to buy

  • People that click, but are not likely to buy

It’s definitely cheaper to get in front of a person who tends to click but not actually buy.

It’s worth paying more to get in front of a person who is likely to buy.

Often campaigns that are optimized for a low cost per click will not perform well. The price you’re getting for your clicks, clickthrough rate, and the cost per impression will give you clues on how to improve your performance, it’s just not nearly as important as optimizing for purchase or leads.

Mistake #8: Changing or editing a high performing campaign

lock don't change ad campaign

If you have a campaign that is performing really well the only thing you want to do is either turn up the spending, turn down the spending, or pause that campaign depending on how it is performing at the time.

However, you definitely want to be testing new ads and ideas. The best thing to do is to create a new campaign or series of campaigns to test your new creative. If you start adding new ads to the same campaign it really messes with the performance.

Something I like to do is to take the winners from all the test campaigns and include them in a big campaign, with a high budget. You can turn off underperforming ad sets, just don’t keep editing or adding in new ads, since that will mess with the campaigns optimization.

Mistake #9: Bidding using cost cap or bid cap right away

Bid caps can be useful, but only once you have some information.

I always start campaigns using “lowest cost” so I can see some data which helps me choose future bids.

If you’re unfamiliar with manual bidding, you’re basically bidding a certain amount for a purchase and only entering certain auctions.

That means if you do a bid cap of $20 (trying to get purchases under $20) Facebook will only enter auctions under that amount.

So, you could set your daily budget at $1000 and have it only spend $49, since it only had $49 worth of auctions to enter within your range.

It’s challenging starting off with these caps since you don’t know what price range to bid and it can be challenging to get it to spend your full budget.

The process I use is:

  • Run initial test campaigns using lowest cost
  • Run a bidding test campaign where I test different manual bids
  • I always use Cost Cap, I’ve found the best performance using Cost Cap
  • I keep 80% of campaigns at lowest cost so it can hit the right spend. But I do some manual bidding to capitalize on a day where the prices are low. Some days the Cost Cap campaigns get a ton of spend and other days it’s close to 0.

Setting up bid caps in this way help with scaling and capitalizing on great days in the market.

Mistake #10: Thinking Low Budget = Low Risk

budget facebook ads

If you have a really small budget it will be much much harder to make money off your advertising. I’m considering a small budget under $1000 or spending under $100 a day.

There is so little you can test with a small budget.  We generally test at least 10-20 ads to find a winner. You don’t have the budget to effectively test more than few ads at small budgets.

It also takes ad campaigns some time to optimize properly.

You need to have enough budget to play the long game. If you have a very limited budget you might not even know if a campaign would have worked because it will run for too little time. So you risk not making sales because your budget was too small.

We generally are comfortable losing $1000-$2000. This is different than having a $1000 budget.

If we put in $1000 and get back $700, we’re down $300. The goal is to get to breakeven as quickly as possible.

You now know the top 10 most costly Facebook Advertising mistakes…what’s next?

Now that you understand the top 10 costly ad mistakes to avoid, it’s time to learn advanced Facebook Ad strategies that will help you boost your profits and boost your ad performance.

There are 3 resources that will help you do this.

1st: I recommend downloading my free checklist which outlines 9 powerful strategies that we’ve used to optimize and improve 6-figure Ad campaigns. Access it for free by clicking here and entering your email.

2nd: I wrote another article which outlines 6 powerful Facebook Advertising strategies to implement today.

3rd: I did a full campaign audit which outlines 19 strategies you can use to boost your ad performance. Watch it below.
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