Escaping the Learning Limited Phase in Facebook Ads
If you’re familiar with Facebook ads, you know about its incredible targeting capabilities and reach.
Facebook keeps rolling out new updates, strict privacy guidelines, and enhanced optimization features regularly.
But behind the scenes, there’s a lot of trial and error involved in Facebook ad targeting.
When you launch an ad set, Meta’s ads delivery system experiments with various combinations of creatives, placements, audiences, posting times, and more to find the best way to deliver your ad.
During this phase, your analytics might not look great, but once the system figures it out, your ad’s status will become “active,” and your cost per action will improve significantly.
This foundational but challenging phase is called the Facebook learning phase. In this post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about it — what it is, why it matters, and how to escape it more swiftly.
Let’s dive in!
Understanding the Learning Phase in Facebook Ads
The Facebook Learning Phase is when Facebook uses machine learning to optimize your results. It achieves this by displaying your ads to different audiences, at various times, and in different ad placements to determine the best delivery system.
During this phase, Facebook’s performance is not stable. It’s recommended that advertisers allocate no more than 20% of their budget to this phase because ads here usually have a higher cost per action (CPA).
When Will Your Ad Set Leave the Learning Phase in Facebook Ads?
Your ad set exits the Learning Phase when its performance becomes stable. Stability usually means your ad set has received around 50 optimization events within a 7-day period. These events depend on your ad set’s goals, such as 50 purchases, 50 leads, 50 landing page views, or 50 add-to-carts, whichever aligns with your performance objectives.
If your ad sets don’t reach enough optimization events in that 7-day period, they enter the dreaded Learning Limited phase.
What’s It Like to Be Stuck in Facebook Ads’ Learning Limited?
Being stuck in Learning Limited means your ad sets haven’t gathered enough optimization events to exit the Learning Phase and go Active.
This situation leads to higher CPAs and prevents your ads from fully optimizing toward the best-performing audiences and placements.
Without enough data, Facebook can’t accurately predict the ideal ad placements and positioning, potentially harming your performance.
How to Escape Learning Limited in Facebook Ads?
While escaping the Learning Limited phase can be challenging, it’s not impossible. Facebook has provided some tips to help move your ad sets into the active phase.
1. Avoid Excessive Edits
Making constant changes to your Facebook Ads campaigns is a common mistake. Each edit essentially resets the system. Balancing optimization and letting your campaigns run is key.
2. Combine Ad Sets
Running too many ad sets simultaneously can hinder your progress. Combining similar ad sets with larger budgets and audiences can speed up your exit from the Learning Phase.
3. Increase Budget
If possible, increasing your Facebook ad campaign budget by at least 25% can help you exit the Learning Limited phase.
4. Change Optimization Event
Consider changing the event you are optimizing for. If 50 purchases are hard to achieve, try higher-funnel events like initiates check-out or add-to-cart to gather more events.
Is Exiting the Learning Phase Necessary?
While Meta encourages completing the learning phase, it’s essential to consider your specific situation. If your ad set isn’t driving conversions or has a high cost per purchase, don’t assume it will miraculously improve when it goes active.
Evaluate your ad’s performance based on your key performance indicators (KPIs). If you’re satisfied with the results, the official status is less important.
Managing the Facebook Learning Phase and Learning Limited can be overwhelming. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to success with Facebook campaigns. Define success based on your campaign performance and take these phases with a grain of salt.
You might be in Learning Limited, but if your performance is excellent, it’s possible to maintain successful campaigns without full optimization.
Let Zavops’ experts help elevate your Facebook advertising to the next level.
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