What is the Facebook Ads Learning Phase? And Why Does it Matter?

facebook ads learning phase

The Facebook ads learning phase is critical to their campaign optimization process. Here’s how it works:

How the Facebook Ads Learning Phase Works:

When you create an ad set and select an objective, Facebook will optimise your campaign for that objective.

In other words, Facebook will put your ads in front of people that are most likely to take your desired action.

For example, if you select the traffic objective, Facebook will serve your ads to the ‘clickiest’ people in your target audience.

To do this effectively, Facebook needs to experiment early on and show your ads to different types of people within your target audience. That way they can work out who is most likely to take your desired action.

How Long Does the Learning Phase Last?

Facebook’s learning phase usually ends when you have generated 50 optimization events.

What that optimization event is, depends on your objective.

50 optimization events for a lead ad campaign would be 50 leads. Whereas 50 events for a conversions campaign would be 50 conversions.

It’s important to note that if you’re optimizing for conversions, the 50 conversions will need to occur inside your conversion window.

A 7 day conversion window means you need to generate at least 50 conversions per week for your campaigns to be optimized properly.

If you’re running a conversions campaign and generating significantly less than 50 conversions per week, you may want to use another objective such as traffic.

Facebook won’t stop gathering data and optimizing your ad sets after the learning phase has ended.

The longer your ad sets are active and the more optimization events you generate, the easier it will be for Facebook to optimise your campaigns. This should lead to a reduced cost per optimization event and more stable results.

Facebook shows you which ad sets are currently in the learning phase in the Delivery column:

Facebook ads learning phase reporting

Image source: TamiBrehse.com

Facebook also lets you know when the learning phase has been completed:

Facebook ads initial learning complete

Why Does the Learning Phase Matter?

The learning phase is crucial for consistently generating great results from your Facebook ad campaigns.

Facebook’s optimization process can make a big difference to your cost per optimization event, but it can take time.

It’s very important that you don’t make major adjustments to your ad sets during the learning phase. Doing so can reset the learning phase before you’ve had a chance to generate meaningful data.

Not making adjustments early on can be difficult to do, particularly for Facebook advertising beginners.

During the learning phase your Facebook ad campaigns will be at their least effective and results are likely to fluctuate significantly. But it’s best to resist the temptation to tinker with things until the learning phase has been completed.

One of my top Facebook advertising tips, is to not give up on your Facebook ads too early. This is especially true when your ad sets are going through the learning phase.

Don’t judge your ad sets’ performance until the learning phase has finished. You’ll get a much more accurate representation of your ad sets’ performance once they have.

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If you want better results from Facebook Ads - this is a must watch!

When Does the Learning Phase Restart?

You won’t trigger the learning phase to restart every time you make an adjustment to your ad set or the ads within it.

For example, making small adjustments to your Facebook ad budget or setting a bid cap won’t restart the learning phase.

But the majority of edits, and particularly significant ones will restart the learning phase.

Facebook have told us that the following adjustments are likely to restart the learning phase:

  • Any change to targeting
  • Any change to ad creative
  • Pausing your ad set for 7 days or longer
  • Any change to optimization event
  • Adding a new ad to your ad set

If you do need to make significant adjustments to your ad set or ads then by all means do so. Don’t let the learning phase stop you from doing that.

Just make sure that you do so once, and then wait until after the learning phase has been completed again before assessing performance.

What is Learning Limited?

Facebook has recently introduced the “learning limited” warning and you may see something like this in your ad account:

facebook ads learning limited

If you do see learning limited in your ad account, Facebook will most likely give the following the reason:

“This ad set isn’t generating enoughΒ leadsΒ to exit the learning phase. This usually occurs when your ad set is limited by audience size, cost control, budget or other settings. Consider making changes to your ad set to improve performance.”

In my experience, you’re most likely to see learning limited when you are operating with a relatively small budget or targeting a small audience.

However, don’t assume that Facebook ad campaigns can’t operate successfully when you see the learning limited warning.

They absolutely can and we have many ad sets delivering profitable results that are displaying this warning message.

My advice is to ignore the learning limited warning if you are generating great results.

If you are not, then you may want to try making some of the recommended adjustments to your Facebook ad campaigns to see if that will remove the learning limited warning and more importantly, improve your results.

How to Get the Most Out of the Facebook Ads Learning Phase

One of the keys to success with Facebook advertising is to create a full sales funnel, and use the right strategy for YOUR products and services.

If you want to know how to create a Facebook advertising sales funnels, and customize your approach for what you sell, you should check out my free training called: 3 Killer Facebook Ads Strategies To Double (or More!) Your Revenue.

In it, I demonstrate 3 Facebook Ads strategies I’ve used to repeatedly generate 7+ figures for our clients.

As a Facebook advertising agency we've helped hundreds of clients achieve fantastic results through Facebook.

If you would like to find out more about our services, you can book a free 30-minute strategy session.

Conclusion

The Facebook ads learning phase is really a important part of Facebook’s ad set optimization process.

It usually lasts until 50 optimization events have been generated and is reset when significant edits are made to an ad set or the ads within it.

If you don’t generate enough optimization events you may not exit the learning phase and you will see the learning limited warning.

During the learning phase you are likely to see inconsistent and fluctuating results.

You should not make significant adjustments to your ad sets during the Facebook ads learning phase if they can be helped.

And you should not judge performance until after the learning phase has been completed.

What’s your experience with Facebook’s learning phase been?

Let me know in the comments section.

About The Author

Ben Heath

Ben Heath is a Facebook advertising expert, writer and the Founder of Lead Guru. Alongside creating content for our online community, he works closely with our clients to develop and implement Facebook advertising strategies that deliver industry leading ROIs.

97 Comments

  • Avatar

    Lawrence

    Reply Reply November 13, 2018

    Hi,

    I started a FB conversion ad (for the 1st time) 3 days ago and it’s undergoing the learning phase.

    So far , it has not made any conversions but the adset did about 2k impressions.

    What is you recommendation ? Do I extend my “testing/learning” window for a few more days or would it be best to leave it alone and allow this to come to a gradual end?

    Any recommendation / advise to take this further is appreciated?

    Regards
    Lawrence

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply November 13, 2018

      Hi Lawrence, for a conversion campaign to properly optimise you’re looking for around 50 conversions so you won’t complete the learning phase for a while. Whether you should kill your campaign or not depends on how much you’ve spent and what your willing to pay per conversion?

  • Avatar

    zan

    Reply Reply January 25, 2019

    hi
    why my FB conversion ad Do not show learning phase.
    Do you know what the reason is?

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply January 26, 2019

      Have you just launched the campaign? If it’s been running a few days then it would have completed the initial learning phase.

  • Avatar

    John

    Reply Reply January 30, 2019

    Hi Ben – found your page researching a question regarding that “learning phase”.

    I ran into an issue I cannot figure out: All the ads I run are set for Facebook’s conversion objective and tied to a custom conversion event I set up.

    But for some reason, some of the ad campaigns I run with this objective will show a “learning phase” – but some others (even though they have the identical setup, just different ad content) – will show no learning phase. They will simply be “active”, but without any display of that “learning phase”.

    Maybe coincidentally or maybe not, the ad campaigns WITH the learning phase came in at a lower cost per conversion – the ad campaigns without Facebook showing the learning phase show a higher cost per conversion.

    Have you experienced this? What could I be missing that some ad campaigns seem to have a “learning phase” and some others don’t – even if they have the exact same structure?

    Thanks a lot in advance for your insights!

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply January 31, 2019

      Hi John, that does sound quite strange. The first thing to note is that the Facebook ad platform is buggy so the ad sets may not be showing that they are in the learning phase when they actually are.

      Also are the ad sets that aren’t showing they’re in the learning phase new ad sets? They may have been through the learning phase previously if they’re not.

      • Avatar

        John

        Reply Reply February 2, 2019

        They are are new ad sets inside a new ads campaign – so no prior learning phase. Also, other ad sets with a completed learning course say “learning completed” underneath. These don’t show anything.

        I contacted Facebook’s ad support team but only got generalized answers, something like “our algorithm will determine if a learning phase is actually needed – otherwise the ad will deliver right away without learning phase” … didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

        I appreciate your feedback. I am sure others have experienced this as well. I just couldn’t find any documentation on this topic of “not having a learning phase” πŸ˜‰

        • Avatar

          Ben Heath

          Reply Reply February 4, 2019

          That is very interesting. Thanks for sharing – as you say there may be other cases of this but I haven’t seen it before. One thought is that if you have generated many conversions in that account already, Facebook may already have a lot of data that it can use to optimise for your objective.

          • Avatar

            Brian

            October 1, 2019

            I am having the same issue. My ad is entering the 3rd day and simply says “Active” in the delivery column. It has never had any other information listed (I am looking for learning phase info to be listed)

          • Avatar

            Ben Heath

            October 1, 2019

            Hi Brian, Facebook doesn’t show ad sets going into and finishing the learning phase all the time – I don’t know why. But your ads will still be going through the same process and the same best practices apply.

        • Avatar

          Jeffrey

          Reply Reply August 25, 2019

          John,

          Were you ever able to find a solution to your problem? I have the same problem on my account. At first FB support said that there was a problem. Then after a week they closed the case and said to keep checking back with them to see if it was fixed. When I checked back with them a few weeks later, they said that there was not a problem with entering the learning phase to begin with, only that it would not show on my ad manager for some reason. My Ads don’t seem to be learning at all, so this doesn’t seem right.

  • Avatar

    Gus

    Reply Reply January 31, 2019

    Hi Ben,
    If I want to keep the same creative and targeting but would like to dynamically change the text in the ad, how would you recommend that I go about that without resetting the learning phase?

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply January 31, 2019

      Hi Gus, I don’t think it’s possible to make anything more than slight changes to the text without triggering the learning phase.

  • Avatar

    Kd

    Reply Reply January 31, 2019

    Hi Ben,
    How would I go about periodically adjusting the ad header text without triggering the ad to start the learning phase again? I’m not adjusting the targeting or the creative just the text.

    Thanks

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply January 31, 2019

      Changing the header will automatically restart the learning phase. You could create duplicate the ad and edit the header in the new version. That new ad will go through the learning phase but the existing one won’t.

  • Avatar

    natasha

    Reply Reply March 3, 2019

    Hi Ben,

    Some of my ads are now out of learning phase, what would you advise to do next?

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Avatar

    Jhon

    Reply Reply March 10, 2019

    Hi Ben,

    I am just wonderin’ why my adsets doesn’t show the word “Active Learning”. It only shows “Active”. I ran my ads for a week but nothing showed.

    I already duplicated my adsets into new adset on their 4th day, same interest and same budget. Does this made an effect from the Learning Phase?

    Thanks.

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply March 11, 2019

      Hi Jhon, have you run similar campaigns in the past that are optimizing for the same objective? If that’s the case then Facebook ad campaigns don’t always need to go through a formal learning phase. They will however still be going through an optimization process.

  • Avatar

    Carlos

    Reply Reply May 3, 2019

    Hi Ben, Great content; very great!

    My conversion objective is for leads.

    I’ve collected 50 leads.

    I started running 3 ads on the 2nd of May and have left the campaign for over 24 hours.

    My questions:

    1. Am I out of the learning phase?

    2. Can I now begin to optimize?

    3. If I duplicate adsets with the winning elements I can see from my ads and so on, will that disrupt the ‘optimization’ phase and/ or will that cancel out the learning phase?

    Thanks Ben!

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply May 3, 2019

      Hi Carlos, you might be out of the Facebook ads learning phase. You can tell because your ad set should say initial learning complete when you are.

      If you are out of the learning phase I would start optimizing. That may take an extra day or so.

      Duplicating ad sets will mean those new ad sets need to go through Facebook’s learning phase themselves. But the process will be faster than the first time around. I would only duplicate an ad set if I wanted to test new targeting or delivery options. If you are just adjusting ads, I would do within the ad set that is already running.

      Hopefully that helps!

      • Avatar

        Carlos

        Reply Reply May 3, 2019

        Hi Ben,

        Thank you for the speedy Gonzalez response lol.

        In my adset, I have never seen ‘learning phase’ or anything like that, so I am wondering if it has in fact gone through that process.

        I’m just confused with the whole “you can’t touch the adset” part of the optimisation process.

        Can you begin to start to do tests on the adset now that it has been through the learning phase? Or can you never touch it?

        But thank you again for the response and the content.

        And well done for winning at life!

  • Avatar

    Carlos Ebanks

    Reply Reply May 4, 2019

    Because if you could ‘never’ touch an adset how will I test new variants and discover winning elements to my adset?

    Surely not being able to touch one would leave a myriad of prior adsets (all with their budgets), essentially meaning I’ll have to pay for all those adsets too?

    Thanks Ben

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply May 6, 2019

      Hi Carlos, you can adjust ad sets. You should just wait until after the learning phase has ended.

      If your account is showing when your ad sets are and are not in the learning phase then I would just wait 3 days after it has gone live before you make adjustments.

  • Avatar

    Robert Sugden

    Reply Reply May 21, 2019

    This is an excellent read. I have been doing Facebook ads for a short time. However I NEVER get the learning phase on my ads. This is with a totally new campaign, or when I modify my ads or adset. I was not aware there was a learning phase until someone else pointed it out to me. So I am now concerned that my ad account is not correct.

    Thanks Robert

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply May 21, 2019

      Hi Robert, Thanks a lot. Facebook doesn’t always display the learning phase but it will still be happening. It’s very unlikely that your ad account is set up incorrectly. Also, watch for the learning phase at the ad set level – it doesn’t display at the campaign level.

  • Avatar

    Bob

    Reply Reply June 15, 2019

    Hi Ben,

    I run an ad that given me more than 50 leads in less than 7days but it never undergo the learning phase. When I turn it off due to system update then i turn it on again, that is the time that it undergo the learning phase. Now it never give me a lead anymore.

    Do you have any idea why I’m getting poor results now?

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply June 17, 2019

      Hi Rob, the learning phase isn’t always displayed in your Facebook ad campaigns but it’s something that nearly always take place.

      If your results have dropped off – that’s probably because your audience is too small. I would try increasing the size of your audience and see if results pick up.

  • Avatar

    Maya

    Reply Reply July 3, 2019

    Hi Ben,

    Does changing the budget reset the learning phase? I was able to read 50 view counts with a 5$ campaign, would I be able to jump the budget up to 50$ or do I need to scale slowly?

    Also, does changing the optimization event reset the learning phase? For example, reaching 50 purchases is very difficult, would I be able to reach 50 initiate checkouts with a view count campaign, then move it over to initiate checkout? I’m just not sure how to reach 50 of the more difficult events.

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply July 4, 2019

      Hi Maya, provided you increase the budget by more than 10% it does usually restart the learning phase. The campaign doesn’t ‘forget’ everything it has learnt but it does take a bit of time to adjust to the new budget level.

      I would go from $5 to about $20 first and then look to go to $50 – your CPA is likely to increase as you scale.

      Yes, changing the optimisation event does restart the learning phase. I think it’s best to stick with one. If you are generating more than 20 purchases per week – that’s what I would go with – you don’t need 50 for it to the best option.

    • Avatar

      Marie

      Reply Reply October 24, 2019

      Hello,
      Thank you, great article.
      It looks like my ad is in the learning phase but it is not spending the budget (still at 0 spend) or delivering and it has been 4 days since I submitted it. What should I do?
      Thank you!
      Marie

      • Avatar

        Ben Heath

        Reply Reply October 25, 2019

        Hi Marie, thanks a lot. I would try recreating the ad. It sounds like it might have gotten stuck, which does happen. If that doesn’t work, check your audience size to make sure it isn’t too small and remove or increase any bid caps you have set.

        • Avatar

          Marie

          Reply Reply October 25, 2019

          Thank you for your reply, it is greatly appreciated.
          Marie

          • Avatar

            Ben Heath

            October 26, 2019

            No problem at all. Best of luck with everything.

  • Avatar

    Jessica

    Reply Reply September 4, 2019

    Hi Ben,
    Thank you for this article! For all my Fb campaigns, the traffic is slower at the beginning (learning phase) – but the traffic is also slower towards the end of the campaigns – why? Is it because there is less and less budget? Thank you!

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply September 5, 2019

      Hi Jessica, thanks for commenting and getting involved. That sounds like you are using lifetime budgets with your campaigns. With lifetime budgets, the end of the campaign often performs poorly. You would be better off using daily budgets and then you shouldn’t see that drop off.

  • Avatar

    Magda

    Reply Reply October 14, 2019

    Hi, I Put my ad for conversions for link clicks and it had completed within a day. What do i do from there?

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply October 14, 2019

      Hi Magda, I’m not sure what you mean by it completed within a day? Are you talking about the learning phase? If so then I would go about optimizing your campaign. I created a video about it here:https://youtu.be/biP_LsgwSlU

  • Avatar

    vani

    Reply Reply November 13, 2019

    Hi Ben,

    we underwent a restructure so we have less campaigns and adsets running therefore moving away from micro targeting we previously did. The previous structure was great for us we has great conversion. We were advised in order to scale we need to move to a streamlined new campaigns for prospecting and retargeting with minimal adsets. We just can not get the same number of conversions on cost cap, it seems to constantly underdelivering and staying in the learning phase in the new structure. What could be the reason ?

    Also regarding budget – if we set a rule for the budget to change each day would that push us back into the learning phase?

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply November 13, 2019

      Hi Vani, if the rule increases the budget by more than 10%, then yes, you will re-enter the learning phase. I would recommend you scale less frequently than every day. I’ve actually got a couple of videos that I think you’ll find really useful. The first shows you how I structure my Facebook ad campaigns: https://youtu.be/NsOrb6D0-HI

      The second shows you how I go about scaling a Facebook ad campaign: https://youtu.be/nDtRj7xzZco

  • Avatar

    WengKitt

    Reply Reply November 20, 2019

    Hi Ben,

    I initially run an October Campaign with the “Page Like” objective. The results was satisfying & I have not seen the Learning Phase text and all.

    However, when i duplicate that campaign for the month November with changes made to the adset Visual and Copy, it started going into learning phase. You mentioned that even if it does not show learning phase, all adsets will go through that process but when i compared the results of October and November, there is a HUGE difference.

    Not to mentioned that my campaign for November skyrocketed to RM2+ cost per result, something that should not occur. I’m wondering it’s there some sort of mechanics that can cause these discrepancy even when i duplicate the Campaign with the same targeting to the adset

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply November 29, 2019

      Hi Weng great question. In your case I would not duplicate the campaign. I would keep the same running if you are generating great results. When you duplicate the campaign, the new version won’t benefit from all the learning and optimisation that has taken place in the first campaign. That should help you achieve more stable results.

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply November 29, 2019

      Hi Weng great question. In your case I would not duplicate the campaign. I would keep the same running if you are generating great results. When you duplicate the campaign, the new version won’t benefit from all the learning and optimisation that has taken place in the first campaign. That should help you achieve more stable results.

  • Avatar

    Gloria

    Reply Reply January 2, 2020

    This is about my 20th article and still don’t know how long this phase is going to be. It’s been 12 hours and no change. This is my first fb ad and thinking of just cancelling it and trying another marketing strategy. They can at least give a range of how long it will take.

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply January 2, 2020

      Hi Gloria, it will almost certainly be longer than 12 hours. About 48 hours in the average but it can really vary depending on how much you’re spending and how many conversions you are generating. Hope that helps πŸ™‚

  • Avatar

    Ashwani kumar

    Reply Reply January 3, 2020

    Hello Ben,

    Thank you for sharing such a knowledgeable article.I want to ask you about my FB ads in my camping i already got around 50+ sales and i am running LLA purchase pixel it was running very good but recently i got this massage “This ad set isn’t generating enough purchases to exit the learning phase. This usually occurs when your ad set is limited by audience size, cost control, budget or other settings. Consider making changes to your ad set to improve performance.”
    Can you help me out what should i do i afraid if i increases budget ad might be go to learning phase again kindly check

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply January 10, 2020

      Hi Ashwani,

      I wouldn’t worry about increasing the budget and re-entering the learning phase here because your ad set is stuck in the learning phase anyway. If you can, the first thing I would do is increase the budget. Increasing the number of conversions generated should help.

  • Avatar

    Ronak

    Reply Reply January 6, 2020

    Hi Ben,

    If i duplicate a campaign with different banners, Will let generate the same result

    If I change End date and budget will it again go to learning phase?

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply January 7, 2020

      Hi Ronak, changing a Facebook ad is likely to affect your results. And yes, changing the budget is likely to restart the learning phase.

  • Avatar

    Guruchand Guru

    Reply Reply January 10, 2020

    Hey Ben,
    Why the learning phase is a optimization help offered by Facebook when they have a common goal (50 conversions in a week) for all ads? Let’s say I run 2 different Campaigns with same objective – Lead Generation
    1. Recruitment Campaign
    2. An ERP Software solution

    I will definitely get 50 results for the first campaign as it easily attracts audience and the target will be achieve in no time.
    Whereas the second ad will not definitely get the 50 results as ERP solutions leads are not easy to come and I do not need the same number of leads for both the campaigns as my target in a week is not the same for both the campaigns.

    Awaiting your reply

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply January 10, 2020

      So the first campaign you listed there will take less time to optimise because of the increased conversion volume. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore the other campaign if that produces higher quality leads for you. You can run a successful conversion or lead generation campaign with less than 50 conversions per week. We do it all the time πŸ™‚

  • Avatar

    Kyle

    Reply Reply January 15, 2020

    Hi Ben,

    Your site is a tremendous help. I believe this article and the 30-day plan are the best on the respective topics. Thank you.

    My question is, ‘How do I choose the best objective?’

    I sell upmarket travel shirts and my customers routinely plan their purchases with me as they plan their travel. This means they visit my site (and my competitor’s) multiple times over weeks and months until they are ready to get on a plane. During this time, they don’t add-to-cart, sign up for the newsletter, etc. When they are ready, they buy.

    However, for my first campaign (6-days in), I set the objective as “add-to-cart” because I thought I might have some luck with a very narrow, customer-only lookalike audience (and I didn’t want FB to target click-happy, low-converting people).

    So far, there have been ‘0’ add-to-carts, but the cost/click is low in this highly targeted group.

    I believe I’m getting quality, albeit low, traffic. But, conversions pay the bills. How do I maximize FB learning? Should I change the objective to “clicks” and keep the audience tight? And/or, loosen up the parameters?

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply January 15, 2020

      Hi Kyle,

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I prefer to optimize for the event I want people to take. If that is purchase then that’s what I would use in your case. However, you may need to have another campaign operating in front of your conversion campaign given your industry and average customer value – as you say, your sales cycle is likely to be relatively long. Either a lead magnet first or omnipresence content is what I would recommend. If you’re not familiar with those I would strongly recommend you check out my Facebook Ads Insiders course as all the details are explained: https://www.leadguru.co.uk/facebook-ads-insiders/

  • Avatar

    Ranjeet

    Reply Reply January 28, 2020

    Hi Ben,
    I am running multiple ad campaigns with goal type conversion. Some of them are delivering good conversions and some of are not but all are under “learning phase”. If I am going with broad audience, I is showing “Learning Limited” after 4-5 days.

    Does Facebook have bug or why all my ads are under “learning”? Please provide me exact reason and also a solution to outcome from this phase to deliver better results.

    Thanks in advance.
    Ranjeet

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply January 28, 2020

      Hi Ranjeet, Facebook have recently updated their system to show learning limited in a lot of different ad sets. It doesn’t actually seem to be affecting performance in our campaigns so it’s not something I’m worried about right now. I think Facebook need to re-calibrate this feature which is something they often do when they release something new.

  • Avatar

    Jane

    Reply Reply February 12, 2020

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks so much for a great article!
    I’m running ads for 2 specific events per week, so my ads only run for 1 week at a time and hence are always in the learning phase. Is there anything you would recommend for shorter campaigns? I really can’t run them for longer otherwise they’ll clash with last weeks events, but the results fluctuate greatly. I could just change the text and link, but from what I understand, that would trigger the learning phrase to reset?

    Really appreciate your help!

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply February 14, 2020

      Thanks a lot Jane.

      That’s a great question. In your case I would keep the campaign and ad sets consistent. I would just create a new ad every time you need to advertise a new event.

      Creating a new ad will make the campaign re-enter the learning phase but it won’t be as significant as creating a new campaign. You’ll probably find the learning phase takes a lot less time to complete.

  • Avatar

    Aaron Collier

    Reply Reply May 2, 2020

    Amazing article, Ben!

    I’m certainly in the learning phase of FB ads. Recently I started a single 4 day campaign testing 3 different adsets (each with only 1 ad). My total daily budget was $15, so approx $5 per each ad). One of the ads was successful, and so I decided to run it again for yet another 4 days. At this point, I went into the campaign and changed the budget to $5 while turning off the other two ads. I did this because I figured that it was appropriate to allot only $5 for a single ad, considering that’s how I had the campaign set up. This was apparently a terrible idea, because my ad went from several conversions per day to hardly any likes or shares. What did I do wrong here exactly? Should I have kept it at $15 per day?

    I appreciate your help and the incredibly enlightening article!

    -A

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply May 4, 2020

      Thanks a lot Aaron, that’s much appreciated.

      I would recommend using daily budgets instead of lifetime budgets. By running a campaign for 4 days and then running another one you are going to be in the learning phase a lot of the time. By running one campaign continuously you avoid that issue and you should see more consistent results. I hope that helps πŸ™‚

  • Avatar

    Paul

    Reply Reply May 4, 2020

    Hi Ben!

    I have set up a campaign with 5 ads. After being approved they are showing the learning phase for some time. Then automatically the ads are going off one after one without a single impression. Again I started them but facing same issue. It is 4th day and still no impression is there.

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply May 5, 2020

      Hi Paul, that’s odd and sounds like your targeting might not be set up properly if you aren’t seeing impressions. I would try making your target audience larger.

  • Avatar

    Egzy

    Reply Reply May 25, 2020

    Hey Ben,
    I hope you’re doing fine!

    Could you please help me with lead campaign ads?
    My ads are unable to leave the learning stage as they’re not able to generate 50 leads. I’ve tried with the open audience and specified one as well.

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply May 26, 2020

      Hi Egzy, I am indeed, I hope you are too.

      Sure, the best way for me to help you with something like that is during a consulting session. That way I can take a look at your current set up and make real time adjustments and recommendations. You can book a consulting session here: https://www.leadguru.co.uk/consulting-sessions/

  • Avatar

    Moises

    Reply Reply May 30, 2020

    I have two conversion campaigns on Facebook; when I do, the campaigns never have the learning mode, always was active. Today I duplicate my Ad Sets, and after the review, now it’s in learning and one that I don’t do anything now appear in learning limited; This is new for me. I don’t know if it’s good or not; what I have to do?

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply May 31, 2020

      Hi Moises, if your campaigns are delivering good results then I wouldn’t worry about any learning limited warnings. If they aren’t then there are certain steps you can take to mitigate this issue. The most obvious being to increase your budget and your audience size.

  • Avatar

    Meeri

    Reply Reply June 5, 2020

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for writing this up, the intro to “learning phase” was helpful for my sanity! πŸ™‚ I do have one quick question though – I am running 4 versions of the same ad to test some of the creative, and am currently seeing one version with over 2,000 impressions and nearly 100 conversions, while the other versions have barely 10 impressions and no conversions.

    Is this still due to learning phase (I launched the campaign less than 24 hours ago) or has FB somehow allocated my whole budget to the ad that got through the review process first (i.e. the one with all the impressions basically)? Any insight appreciated!

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply June 8, 2020

      Hi Meeir, you are very welcome πŸ™‚

      Yes that is relatively common. I would give your campaign some more time – usually around 7 days and see how the other ads perform. Facebook is likely to give those more budget over the next few days.

  • Avatar

    charlie Thurley

    Reply Reply June 5, 2020

    Hi Ben,

    I’m Currently running 5 ad sets at Β£10 per day and have been for around a week now. for the first 48-72 hours results were non-existent they then started to generate around 2-3 sales a day between them and actually became slightly profitable on the 4,5 and 6th day. Now for the past two days, they’ve not made any sales at all and have gone back to being unprofitable.

    do you think I should just let them run in hopes they’ll pick back up? I want to increase the budgets but don’t want to do that now until they start to get conversions again.

    All the best!
    Charlie.

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply June 8, 2020

      Hi Charlie, yes I think you probably need to give that campaigns longer. As you are using a fairly small budget, it is going to take a while before you generate statistically significant data. You want to reach a point at which your campaign is performing consistently before making adjustments and assessing results.

  • Avatar

    Daniel

    Reply Reply June 11, 2020

    Hi Ben, great artice!

    I have a couple of questions I am having issues with and hope you can help.

    The first is a general question into your thoughts on optimizing for “Purchase”, “ATC” OR “IC” for best results based on current conversions. Reaching 50 purchase conversions is possible with few adsets but no so much when you have many adsets running. What is your advice for this? Is it best to optimize for purchase even if you don’t reach those numbers or will you get better “purchase” conversions if you settle for a different optimization event if it is able to complete its learning phase?

    My other question is related to sudden drops in conversions even though frequency, ad fatigue, audience size etc seem fine. Went from an average of 7-15 sales per day to 0-2 overnight and can’t seem to find a reason. The only thing I can think of is doing a few changes to some adsets and feel like I may have messed up the algorithm. If this is the case, can you get back to normal by just leaving it and letting FB do its thing?

    Thanks again for your advice and great articles!
    Daniel

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply June 12, 2020

      Thanks Daniel, I would optimise for purchases even if you are generating far less than 50 per week. We’ve tested this a number of times and it delivers the best results.

      Those sorts of drops do happen from time to time – it could be to do with everything that is occupying the news cycles right now. It could just be statistical variation. I don’t like to assess performance on a daily basis and think it’s much better to assess things on a weekly or monthly basis – that way you make decision based on much larger trends instead of temporary dips and fluctuations.

      Hope that helps πŸ™‚

      • Avatar

        Daniel

        Reply Reply June 12, 2020

        Thanks, Ben great help! It isn’t easy when you are first starting out and things just change suddenly and you have nobody to tell you why, so your experience really helps us out while testing and is very much appreciated.

        If you could give your last piece of advice on this it would help me lots:

        After spending close to 2k over the last month I have quite a lot of data and approx 150 sales. I have created all best lookalikes, custom, retargeting etc and tested the best performing ads that were working on interest testing and let them run on these better audiences with not much luck, the opposite of what was expected considering all the advice out there.

        My plan is to consolidate under one CBO all best performing interest audiences into 1 adset, all lookalikes in a separate adsete and another for retargeting and put a higher budget into this rather than 5-6 smaller campaigns all mixed up. Then just let it run for a couple of weeks without touching it to let it optimize.

        Would your experience say this is a good strategy?

        Thanks again!
        Daniel

        • Avatar

          Ben Heath

          Reply Reply June 12, 2020

          You are very welcome.

          That’s interesting that your lookalike didn’t perform as well as other cold audience targeting option. It may be that your source audience for your lookalike audience hasn’t got enough people in it yet to be really effective – I would try again in a month’s time.

          That’s not exactly how I would structure your campaign. I think it’s best to use 1 targeting option per ad set. But I would include all those ad sets in one CBO campaign. I think you will find this video really helpful, where I demonstrate my ideal Facebook ad campaign structure: https://youtu.be/TBSuxR_Qa90

  • Avatar

    Denit Thomas

    Reply Reply June 12, 2020

    Hi Ben,
    Thanks for the details! I have a new pixel with not many visitors, maybe around 250. Now am trying to run a conversion campaign optimized for purchase. I managed to make 1 sale in 2 days but I think it was just luck πŸ™‚ As since then, it’s been running for 3 days with no sale. My adsets don’t show anywhere whether it is in the learning phase or not. In the last couple of days, the cost/click increased 2x times…(it started from around $0.26 on the day the sale happened and today after 3 days its around $1.09. I have spent around $100 on this campaign. Do you think these are stats I should stick with?

    The flow am using:-
    Ad -> Landing Page -> Affiliate Offer

    Impressions – 3,062; Clicks – 302 ; CTR(All) – 8.85%; CTR(Link-Click) – 5.54%, Content Views – 107; Purchase – 1

    Thanks a lot!
    Denit

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply June 12, 2020

      You are very welcome Denit.

      That depends what you’re break even cost per purchase is? If it’s anything over $30 then I think you need to give this campaign some more time to get statistically significant data.

      • Avatar

        Denit Thomas

        Reply Reply June 12, 2020

        Thanks Ben!
        The average sale is $80. Also, the content view is the VSL page of the affiliate product.
        So I will stick with this campaign for few more days πŸ™‚

        • Avatar

          Ben Heath

          Reply Reply June 13, 2020

          Awesome – glad to hear it πŸ™‚

  • Avatar

    AADIL AMEZEAN

    Reply Reply June 13, 2020

    Hello
    I have been using Facebook Ads for a long time but yesterday I launched the CBO campaign, but all adset Show her ‘learning’ is she good for adsets? It always appears’active’

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply June 13, 2020

      That’s nothing to worry about and to be expected πŸ™‚

  • Avatar

    Mohamed Abdelhameed

    Reply Reply July 6, 2020

    Hello,

    Recently I created my second Facebook Business account. When I started advertising on the new account, I noticed something unusual. I learned from my first ad account that when you create an ad set and/or ad, and publish it, the status becomes ‘in review’. Then, typically it takes at least 20 minutes, or up to a day to get approved. Once approved the status become ‘learning’. However, When I started advertising on my new account, it never goes into learning status. The new ad sets and ad I create become active right away. Also, they get approved strangely quickly, unlike my first account. It only takes about 2-3 minutes for my ad sets and ads to get approved, then they switch to active. I did extensive research to find people who have experienced this issue or for a troubleshoot to it, but it seems like I am the only one who is experiencing this issue. I also tried to contact Facebook Business but it seems like there is no way of reaching them. Have you experienced this before and do you have any tips on how I can troubleshoot this?

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply July 6, 2020

      Hi Mohamed, good question but there is nothing to worry about. A lot of people experience the same thing and I get questions about this often. Sometimes Facebook doesn’t display learning but your campaigns will be going through the learning phase and your campaign performance will not be affected.

  • Avatar

    RON

    Reply Reply July 7, 2020

    Where can I check what I am spending on learning phase?

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply July 8, 2020

      Hi Ron, you can’t really see what you have spent during the learning phase but you can see what you have spent on the campaign. When it exits the learning phase, you’ll be able to see how much you have spent so far at that time. That’s the best you can do.

  • Avatar

    K

    Reply Reply July 20, 2020

    Hey Ben

    I have started one campaign to target US customers basically handmade fashion accessories from India.

    Have been running single campaign and single adset it’s been more than a week now getting clicks and impressions but no sales at all. Image is well created on the Conversion AD.

    Can you suggest me some Ideas to scale it May be because I am running just one product ad?

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply July 21, 2020

      Hi K,

      So I wouldn’t be looking to scale yet if your campaign isn’t performing at your current ad spend level. How much are you spending and what is your target cost per purchase?

      A top tip is to try incentivising the offer. Perhaps offer 25% for the next 50 customers only – something like that.

  • Avatar

    Abhi

    Reply Reply July 26, 2020

    Hi Ben,

    My ad sets started to show learning phase right when I had enough lookalike audience data. I have more than 3000+ sales from facebook ads. Started off with regular interests and right when I had enough data to start lookalike audience adsets and scale the learning phase. Which sounds weird because learning phase should in beginning of advertising phase. Mine happened right when I have lot of pixel data. Not sure what is wrong.

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply August 10, 2020

      Hi Abhi, your ad sets will go through the learning phase whenever you make a significant adjustment. That’s the case no matter how many conversions you have.

  • Avatar

    Ranjit Singh

    Reply Reply August 1, 2020

    how to resolve learning limited wen we have small audience size. any suggestions?

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply August 10, 2020

      Can you make the audience larger?

  • Avatar

    Matt

    Reply Reply August 8, 2020

    Hi Ben,

    Great article. If using CBO and targeting conversions, does Facebook require around 50 conversion events in your conversion window per ad set to optimise, or will it still do this effectively if you get those conversion events across multiple ad sets within the CBO campaign?

    Thanks

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply August 10, 2020

      Thanks Matt. Facebook can optimise your campaigns with less conversions than that. But 50+ is ideal as that allows Facebook to fully optimise. Achieving that within one ad set or multiple ad sets in a CBO campaign is fine.

      • Avatar

        Dave

        Reply Reply August 23, 2020

        Hi Ben! Ive had an ad account running now for atleast a week or so and I changed my budget recently from 300 to 400 to 500 every 2 days now I decided to stay on 500. will that reset my learning phase? I also have a campaign budget optimisation and i change my budget there like that too.

        My other concern is everytime I create new ads set or ads. The delivery status doesnt indicate if its learnning. It only says active.

        My CBO with 1 ad set has 11 conversion now

        my other ad set normal campaign has 12

        • Avatar

          Ben Heath

          Reply Reply August 28, 2020

          Hi Dave, it sounds like you are adjusting your budget too frequently and yes budget adjustments can reset the learning phase. I’d recommend checking out this video: https://youtu.be/f-Rzow-qhh4

  • Avatar

    Joyce

    Reply Reply August 25, 2020

    Hi Ben,

    really appreciate your article. its so helpful.
    I am experiencing very difficult time now on my facebook ads. one conversion campaign of one winning product was running quite good: ROAS above 2 and CTR above 2.%. I have budget $200 on it, it usually converted more than 20 order a day before.
    however, I changed some setting on this campaign days ago, and triggered facebook learning phase. and since it starts the learning phase, everything down to the bottom: only very few conversions a day. and after days, it says learning limit.
    so i had to change the goal to add-to-cart or even clicks, but the result is, even less purchase generated.

    currently the leaning phase end up with the conversion goal of add-to-cart and clicks. so now very few orders these days(like only 1 or 2 orders). Can you suggest me some ideas to adjust the campaign because I am running it for purchase only.

    Thank you so much.

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply August 28, 2020

      Thanks Joyce.

      It sounds like your campaign may have gotten a bit stuck with all the adjustments. I’d recommend duplicating it and changing the settings on the new back to what was working and running that only. That should help πŸ™‚

  • Avatar

    Stuart Cytron

    Reply Reply August 25, 2020

    Ben, if you’re new to this and have, say, $50 per week to spend on ads, is there an optimal # of ads to run? I’m guessing 1 is too few and 100 too many right? I’m also guessing that optimization and learning have a are maximized somehow. ??? Is there a rule of thumb on how many ads for every so many dollars? Thanks! Stuart

    • Avatar

      Ben Heath

      Reply Reply August 28, 2020

      Hi Stuart, great question. I like to limit campaigns to 3-4 ads per ad set. With your budget I may use less than that. You’ll probably just want 2 or 3.

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