Many people work incorrectly with optimization and campaign goals (events). Personally, I run 90% of my campaigns with a Purchase goal, but of course, it depends on the case. We can say that the bottom line is that Facebook knows who are the people that want to buy. These people are the most valuable and have the best results. That’s why they have the highest CPMs (Cost per impression – most advertisers fight over them) and the lowest CTR (Click-through rate). Yet they almost always have the best CPA (Cost per action). 

How it should look like

Fundamentally, if you are targeting for example Purchase vs Traffic within one target audience, you are targeting completely different people. I.e. If I have a 5% lookalike that has let’s say 100 000 people and I target it once to Purchase and a second time to Traffic, most of the people who see that Ad will be different. When optimizing for Purchase, Facebook will select let’s say 20k people that it thinks are most likely to buy and will show them the Ad the most. The frequency will grow faster than reach to new people.

The best way to see this is when you run a new campaign on some stack of lookalikes, say 300 000 people. If you look at the First Time Impression Ratio of the campaign (how many people saw the Ad for the first time on a given day), you’ll see that after a very short time this value drops to 10-30%. For example, after a week there will be only 2 people out of 10 who have not seen the Ad yet. Even though there are still, say, 200k people in the target audience who haven’t seen the ad yet. Facebook knows that these people have a much lower chance of buying, so it doesn’t show it to them.

The question is how to combat this – and if at all.

The best way is with new creatives – especially in a smaller country, creatives are very quickly out of favour. Personally, I tried to exclude Ad engagers from the Adset for the last 2-3 days, but I had a feeling that it made the results worse. The alternative is to retarget – but that almost always works much worse. If we then target the same audience with, for example, a Traffic campaign, it will be seen by completely different people. People who will probably never buy. You will tell Facebook that you want traffic and clicks, so it gives you traffic and clicks.The campaign will be shown to the people most likely to click on it. These are often the people who click on every “piece of crap” on Facebook, they sit behind it all day. The results will almost certainly be worse. 

Another mistake

The CPM will be significantly lower (there are more of them and nobody wants them), the CTR will be significantly higher, but the final CPA will almost certainly be worse. At the same time, traffic campaigns are displayed on worse placements – for example, in News Feed, Purchase often has the first positions, Traffic is lower, Reach is completely down, or on obscure positions where nobody notices them.

An occasional exception can be targeting traffic to a small remarketing segment of qualified people (e.g. unfinished orders) => but even here Purchase always works better. People are already qualified, but they still see ads on worse placements.


So the new creatives are the best tool to scale and fight audience fatigue. Creatives have their own “lookalikes”. Facebook will know who responds to which creative. If you launch a creative that you have used in the past, Facebook will show it first to people it knows will respond better to it. So each creative and each post ID carries its own optimization and learning that carries over into new campaigns.

PS: If some “guru” tells you to run traffic campaigns to feed Pixel data or have more people to remarket to, run away. You’re throwing money up in the air. Even if you have a brand new account and store, don’t be afraid to run Purchase campaigns right away. Facebook really knows who is buying and who is not.

All credits for this series goes to Martin Palsovic, E – commerce consultant with more than 14 years of marketing experience.

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