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Facebook Ad Not Delivering. Now What?

Facebook advertising is a cutthroat industry.

For every ad that you put out, dozens of other companies are trying to match your energy, reach the same audience – and nab your potential sales.

Learning how to compete on Facebook is a key component of finding success on the platform.

That’s why advertisers constantly tweak their strategies and conduct industry research to optimize your ad campaigns.

But sometimes, when you run ads, they don’t perform because they’re not making it in front of viewers.

Sure, logging into your Facebook Ads Manager that your Facebook ads aren't delivering isn't much fun.

Fortunately, there’s often an easy fix.

What Does “Facebook Ad Not Delivering” Mean?

When your Facebook ads fail to deliver, that simply means the algorithm isn’t showing them to your target audience.

While you may see this status more often on new campaigns, old ads may suddenly stop delivering, too.

And without making it onto your customers’ screens, there’s no way to generate impressions or rake in sales.

If you’re unsure of your ad's status, pop into the Meta Ads Manager and look under the “Delivery” column. There, you can view the status of each ad, ad set, and ad campaign.

If you see the Facebook ads “Not delivering” status, that means there’s work to do.

Facebook Delivery Statuses

Before diving into fixing the problem, let’s quickly review Facebook’s ad delivery statuses.

Facebook utilizes eight delivery statuses, each represented by one of five icons. You can see

Facebook’s icons can be seen on this link, and they also break down the delivery statuses there as well.

Generally, unless your ad has a green status, it’s important to address the problem ASAP so your ads start delivering. (You can also “fix” some of the green statuses if you wish to push up your delivery dates.)

The longer you wait, the more potential impressions, clicks, and sales you lose.

Facebook Ad Not Delivering: 15 Possible Reasons Why

Typically, Facebook sends a message when your ads stop delivering for any reason.

Those messages will outline the reason for the pause and may provide helpful tips for how to restart your campaign.

Below, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons for your Facebook ads to not deliver – and how to correct the problem.

After addressing any issues, the fix is as simple as resubmitting your ad to kickstart your delivery rates.

1. Your Ad is Under Review

To reduce spam, fraud, and just plain bad ads, every submitted advertisement goes under review before Facebook launches it live.

Most ads go through an automated system review, courtesy of Facebook’s algorithms. But some ad copy fall subject to a manual review performed by members of Facebook’s staff.

Since the review process precedes your ad entering the active phase, there’s nothing to worry about here. Still, you might be able to speed things along by acting (or avoiding acting) to get your ads approved.

The Quick Fix

Facebook notes that “most ads are reviewed within 24 hours, although in some cases it may take longer.”

If a full day passes with no results, don’t fret – your ad may just be caught in a backlog. That’s especially true during busy holiday seasons when advertisers launch more ads.

Longer review times are also more common if you’ve recently changed factors like:

  • Audience targeting

  • Your ad creative

  • Optimization goals

  • Billing information

As such, it’s important to triple-check your ad before launch to avoid having to edit it immediately.

Another way to address this “problem” is by scheduling your ads at least a few days in advance.

Pushing your publication dates out gives more time to correct any errors in case your ad undergoes a manual review process.

2. Your Ad Was Rejected

If your ad doesn’t pass Facebook’s review process, you’ll receive a message and email outlining the reason for the rejection. That’s a one-way ticket to failure to deliver, full-stop.

But you shouldn’t panic!

Facebook is a notoriously strict platform for advertisers, and even small details are grounds for rejection, like:

  • Grammar and punctuation mistakes

  • Spyware or illegal products or services

  • Adult content or profanity

  • Weapons, ammo, or explosives

  • Alcohol, tobacco, or drug-related products

  • Discrimination, sensationalism, or misinformation

  • Third-party infringement

When the “Rejected” status inevitably pops up on your dashboard, correcting the issue is as easy as removing the offending content.

The Quick Fix

You can address rejected ads in two basic ways: changing your ad or appealing the rejection.

Ads that are rejected for small reasons – such as improper grammar or profane language – are generally quick fixes. Simply alter the text and resubmit the creative for a second review.

Violating the other ads rules may require a more involved approach.

For example, you may have to pivot away from a certain topic (like alcohol or weapons), even if that’s your brand’s bread and butter. (Note that not all ad types can be edited after submission; in which case, you’ll have to make a whole new ad.)

But if you think Facebook made a mistake, you don’t have to take your rejection lying down.

Under “Account Quality” in your dashboard, select the account or catalog containing the rejected ad.

From there, choose the ad campaign, ad set, or ad you’re having issues with and click “Request review” to contact Facebook.

You’ll know you were successful when your ad automatically starts delivering post-review. Bear in mind that if your ad is rejected again, you don’t get a second appeal for that ad.

3. You’re Experiencing Scheduling Problems

Advertisers have the option to delay campaign start dates or even the time of day. Paused or completed campaigns, restricted delivery windows, and delayed start times can all prevent ads from delivering.

The Quick Fix

This might be the quickest fix of all: Just adjust your schedule. You might move up your start date, restart a paused campaign, or set a new end date.

4. Your Landing Page Has Been Rejected

Assuming your ad itself complies with Meta’s guidelines, it can still be rejected due to your landing page violating the rules.

As with ads, Facebook’s bots crawl your post-click landing page to ensure compliance with their terms.

Generally, Facebook doesn’t permit landing pages that:

  • Violate their terms of service (including promoting banned topics)

  • Have broken links

  • Don’t contain a product or service related to your ad

  • Promote misleading headlines

Additionally, if your ad falls into a “unique category” classification, Facebook may limit your targeting, stunting your delivery.

The Quick Fix

You can usually fix a rejected landing page by editing headers, body, or images to comply with Facebook’s advertising guidelines.

But violating some of the “harder” rules means you might have to scrap your draft and design a new landing page. Then, you can resubmit your ad for a second opinion.

5. Your Designed a Low-Quality Post-Click Landing Page

Your landing page doesn’t have to be outright rejected to impact your ad delivery status. Poor landing page designs can drive customers away and result in Facebook refusing to deliver your “low-quality” ad.

The Quick Fix

Double-check that your landing pages are high-quality by:

  • Using only original content

  • Matching your message to the ad

  • Removing pop-up and on-page ads that detract from a pleasant experience

  • Ensuring users don’t have to click around extensively

  • Optimizing your website and landing page for lower load times and smaller bounce rates

6. The Post Associated with Your Ad Isn’t Available

Sometimes, Facebook prevents your ad from reaching the masses because it links to a post you can’t use. This may happen when a post is removed, prevented from being used in ads, or contains expired offers or events.

Additionally, you must have permission to view the post to promote it via ad.

The Quick Fix

The exact fix for a broken post varies depending on the underlying cause.

You might choose a new post or redesign your ad or campaign entirely.

Publishing the Page containing the post is also effective.

And of course, you should always get permission to share posts from a Page Admin or Editor.

7. Your Ads are Still in the Learning Phase

When you launch ads, Facebook puts them through a “learning phase” to gather preliminary information about their performance.

During the learning phase – which lasts around a week – Facebook ads tend to see higher costs and more turbulent performance. Once your ad exits the learning phase, both should stabilize.

However, if your ad doesn’t gather enough data, it will enter “Learning Limited” status and stunt your delivery.

The Quick Fix

The best way to avoid lingering in Learning Limited is to design a high-quality ad and avoid making changes post-submission. Anytime you make a “major” change to your creative or messaging, your ad may re-enter the learning phase.

8. Your Budget or Daily Bid Caps Could Be Too Low

Setting an insufficient ad budget or bid level can also result or poor or no delivery rates. For instance, if you set a daily account's spending limit of $1, Facebook’s algorithm can’t determine if your ads are effective – so it just doesn’t send them out.

The Quick Fix

The best fix is to set your bid and budget high enough that Facebook can optimize delivery at a reasonable price.

Setting a lifetime budget lets Facebook spend your budget as necessary without blowing your total budget overnight.

Meanwhile, the Automatic Bidding strategy also lets Facebook drive the best results at the lowest possible cost.

For those concerned about Facebook spending your budget too quickly, you can always readjust your bid caps to a more reasonable range.

9. You’ve Hit Your Account Spending Limit

When your campaign or ad runs out of money, Facebook stops delivering your ad entirely. Even if you set a fairly high account spending limit, it’s easy to forget it’s there in the first place.

The Quick Fix

Resetting, removing, or altering your spending limit is the only fix to this problem. Once you’ve refunded the campaign, ad delivery should resume.

10. Your Audience is Too Narrow

Narrowing your audience lets you target with granular precision. Unfortunately, there’s such a thing as narrowing to such a small audience that your ad stops delivering. That’s true whether the culprit is super-specific parameters or simply too small a geographical area.

The Quick Fix

The best way to treat a narrow audience problem is by widening your audience.

You might edit geographic, behavior, or interest restrictions or add more users to any imported lists.

For even better results, you might switch to Lookalike Audiences to target similar – but not repeat – customers.

You can also take advantage of the Facebook Pixel to collect more audience data before launching or relaunching your campaign.

11. You’re Overlapping Your Own Audiences

A key component of the Facebook advertising process is the ad auction, where your ads compete against others for the right to be displayed.

But if you set multiple ads targeting the same key demographics, your may inadvertently see your ads competing against each other for the same audience. Though Facebook attempts to prevent overlapping audiences, it may pause your campaigns in the process, causing ads to underperform or fail delivery.

The Quick Fix

You can use Facebook's Audience Overlap tool to examine which ad(s) overlap each other in your dashboard or other advertisers. With these insights, you can expand your target audience or combine similar ads or ad sets.

12. Your Ad Has Too Much Text

Formerly, Facebook instituted a 20% rule to prevent Meta ads from running if they contained more than 20% text. (Facebook includes some exceptions to text rules, including games, product images, charts, and entertainment posts and covers.)

Then in 2021, Facebook adjusted the rules to prevent these ads from being automatically failed.

Now, Facebook ads with substantial text may see reduced reach – but unless you have “High” text levels according to internal standards, they will still run.

The Quick Fix

After removing the 20% text limit, Facebook discontinued the Text Overlay tool that helped determine proper text ratios. Instead, the platform suggests sticking to recommended aspect ratios, focusing on your message, and ensuring your color palette and filters fit your ad and audience. And don’t forget the power of testing when you create ads!

13. Your Ad Has a Low Relevance Score

Facebook aims to keep ads relevant and engaging for its users. If you put out ads that don’t perform, Facebook won’t deliver them as often as more relevant competitor ads. Factors that impact ad relevance include its overall quality, user engagement rates, and conversion rates.

The Quick Fix

When ads fail to resonate with your audience, you might feel at a loss on how to address the issue. That’s why Facebook put out a comprehensive ad relevance diagnostics chart to troubleshoot your ad engagement woes with ease.

Possible solutions include adjusting your existing ad, creating new ads with better visuals and messaging, tweaking your landing pages, and targeting high-intent audiences. Facebook may also suggest specific recommendations to improve your relevance score.

For a more thorough breakdown, you can access Facebook’s diagnostic chart here.

14. You’ve Published a Low-Quality Ad

If your ad is active but still not delivering, it’s possible that Facebook (or your customers) have deemed the ad's perceived quality as low. Generally, low-quality ranking ads include at least one of the following:

  • Engagement or rage bait designed to pressure users into interacting with your ad

  • Withholding essential details to encourage click-throughs

  • Sensationalist language, including exaggerated headlines or unrealistic expectations

The Quick Fix

The solution here is simple: avoid the problems mentioned earlier. But if an existing ads have these issues, you can easily edit it into compliance.

Remember that major edits will trigger a new review process, so it’s best to design a compliant ad from the get-go.

15. You’ve Set a Lofty Optimization Goal

Your optimization goal tells Facebook which actions you’d prefer your ad to generate, such as liking, clicking, or buying. Facebook uses this information to send your ad to members of your target audience most likely to complete those actions.

Unfortunately, the highest-value optimizations (such as sales and lead generation) aren’t always as easy to reach as link clicks.

If your optimized audience pool is too small, you risk the ads not delivering at all, since Facebook can’t gather the data it needs about your performance.

The Quick Fix

Updating your optimization goal to something more attainable (like link clicks over sales) can help you achieve your goals and see your ad's delivery continue. Better yet, the change doesn’t have to be permanent. Once your ad starts delivering and performing again, you can switch back to your preferred optimization event.

Key Takeaways: Facebook Ad Not Delivering

There are few things more frustrating than your creative genius going unrecognized due to a technical error or missing comma.

Fortunately, Facebook makes editing your ads into compliance quick and easy.

The key is determining why your ads are not delivering in the first place, then applying a solution-oriented strategy to fix the problem. (And ensure it doesn’t occur again, if possible!)

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