Jun 15 2018
10 minute read

How to Group Automated Rules For A Better Facebook Advertising Strategy

TL;DR Automated rules are a time-saving tool. However, there are 42 possible conditions and several changes that can be made to each one resulting in over 600 available permutations, it can be dizzying to know how to apply every condition to your ad or ad sets efficiently. This article will show you how to apply the stages an ad goes through to the different classifications I have developed for automated rules.

If you want to succeed, thrive and scale on Facebook then you have to be prepared to create tens or even hundreds of ad sets every week. The alternative is to prospect and retarget one ad set at a time, but unique ad creations usually result in delays in meeting your bottom line. Automated rules are significant for marketers who take their performance marketing seriously because it helps them to optimize their ads’ performance. As with any great tool, it takes a skilled craftsman (performance marketer) to yield superb results. That’s why I have put together a list of the types of automated rule strategies as well as the typical stage that an ad set experiences. Classifying will help you to understand how automated rules work and how you can use them to reach your goals better.

Phases of Ad Sets

It is essential to define the stages of an ad/ad set because Facebook’s optimization algorithm needs time to collect data and knowing what stage your ads are in will help you to create smart automated rules and deliver the right results. I separate the phases as follows:

  • New ad/ad set infancy phase - ads you ignore
  • Ad/ ad set in learning phase - ads you give lower goals
  • Optimized ad/ad set in mature phase - expected to reach 90%+ of the goal or has potential to grow

Facebook automated rules - Phases of Ad Sets

You should not expect new ads to start delivering results that are equal to 100% of your goal from the first dollar spent. Even if the first clicks bring transactions, you might not notice because there is usually a time delay in the flow of data. Another example of a delay can occur when a consumer finishes a purchase after a couple of hours because, for instance, they were at work or busy when they saw the ad. Therefore, each ad needs some space to learn how to reach the right people who will convert and become your customer. Here are two simple things you can do to provide this “space”:

  • Ignore ads that spent less than 20 USD in the last two days (unless your daily budget is 10 USD)
  • Ignore ads with impressions lower than 8000 ( Facebook’s recommendation) during the lifetime of the ad

Types of Automated Rules

One of the best ways to understand a complicated system is to break it down according to the sum of its parts. That’s what I have done with automated rules. Classifying the Automated Rules will help you to build a successful structure of which will then help you to scale with excellent results.


  • Automated rules that are used to monitor all active ads
  • Triggered once per day in the morning and pause the advertisement if it doesn’t perform well.
  • Operates mainly at the ad level

Watchmen example:

Type of Automated Rules


  • Automated rules that monitor all the ad sets that meet your goal
  • Increase the daily budget based on performance
  • Operates only at the ad set level

Booster example:

Types of automated rules


  • Automated rules that monitor paused ads and reactivates them if they deliver transactions after a delay that is due to attribution

Activator example:

Types of Facebook automated rules

Tying It All Together

Account Stats

Average cost per transaction = 20 USD

Goal = ROI 5

The following shows how we would set up the watchmen rules according to stages we defined earlier:

Phase one - Infancy:

Types of automated rules

In this stage, you don't need to make any rule. Simply make sure that you exclude it from your rules, by setting examples of the following conditions:

- as impressions > 8000,

- or ad spend > 20 USD

These conditions tell Facebook to “ignore young ads”)

TIP for ROI Clients:

Of course, these might not represent how your business operates, perhaps 8000 is too little.  You can use the condition: Ad create date = TODAY in our command section.

Phase two - Learning:

Types of automated rules

Ads spent between 20 and 50 USD, and you expect this ad to start generating some ROI, but since it is still early days you can tolerate, e.g., 60% of the goal (ROI 3 in our case).

Learning phase example:

types of Facebook automated rules

Phase three - Mature phase:

types of Facebook automated rules

Ad spend is more than 50 USD. Moreover, we expect it to reach at least 90% of the goal (in our case ROI 4.5 and more) otherwise we will decrease the budget by 25%. If it drops even lower to 80% of the goal (in our case ROI 4), then pause it.

Mature phase examples:


types of Facebook automated rules


As you can see in the examples above, we are setting up only Watchmen, not Boosters. The explanation is simple: if any ad set has good results, then we can boost it at any stage.

Example of booster:

types of Facebook automated rules

Of course, these are just examples. However, classifications like the ones I just showed can be applied to businesses like yours. No more having multiple rules that counteract each other. If you know what stage your ad is in, you can set the correct type of rule that is needed to meet your goals.

If you would like to see how to apply these rules in real-life applications on ROI Hunter, then contact us or check out my article on the topic. 

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