Table of contents

    Automatic rules within Facebook Ads Manager perform a similar function to their counterparts, automatic rules in Google Ads Their main purpose is to make repetitive changes based on specified conditions, at specified intervals, to facilitate the work of the specialist.

    Rules in Facebook Ads

    Before we undertake the implementation of individual rules, it is worth keeping in mind the specific KPIs of a given campaign and the target values we expect. It is from these that optimizations and recurring actions should be derived, which only in the next step can we try to automate effectively.

    Practical examples of Facebook Ads rules application

    By automating specific account changes, pausing less effective ads, or scaling campaigns depending on results, can happen without your involvement.

    Regulations can also be informative – notifying you when a condition is met via email. Which will be beneficial in a situation when spending or another campaign parameter drops significantly, and you will find out without even going into your account.

    Regulations can also be informative.

    Regulations can also prove useful if you are using a daily budget, yet would like to modify the schedule, for example by pausing activities for specific days of the week. Editing the display schedule is only available for total budgets, but with the creation of appropriate rules for pausing and re-enabling given elements of an ad campaign, we will still be able to automate this, despite the aforementioned limitation.

    Regulations can also be useful if we want to modify the schedule by pausing and re-enabling given elements of an ad campaign.

    Using a rule will also allow us to introduce a specific schedule not only at the level of a set of ads, but of a specific ad, which would not normally be available. 

    What activities, therefore, can we implement with the help of rules?

    Examples can be multiplied. By basing rules on campaign data, we can exclude campaign segments that have not recorded any conversions in the expected range. Similarly, we can exclude from impressions those ads that have a much lower CTR compared to others, thus avoiding the display of a low-engagement ad. Even such a metric as display frequency for the entire impression period can protect us from ad material fatigue among our audience and/or unfavorable rates. However, if we are talking about campaigns for effect, such a rule is worth further reinforcing with a criterion as to effectiveness, such as the achieved cost per conversion. If a given element of the campaign meets our business objectives, then even despite the relatively weaker reception, it is not worth withholding such an element.

    As we’re already on effect-oriented campaigns, based on the results we can scale the campaign budget, depending on whether the ROI or cost per conversion we’re getting is satisfactory. And if, in addition, we use manual rates, such a rule will also modify the bid itself.

    A major disadvantage of rules within Facebook Ads is that they operate on max-weekly schedules, without the ability to set a specific date. Sometimes the situation requires us to set a one-time rule, for example, to turn on seasonal ads for the holidays while we happen to be with our loved ones. If the rule is to run only once, after it is executed, you should still remember to disable it in the list of all active rules.

    Automatic rules are just one of the many tools we use

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    How to configure a rule in Facebook Ads

    You can create a rule in two ways. The first – if in the Facebook Ads manager you check the boxes next to the elements you want it to apply to (depending on whether you’re talking about a campaign, a set of ads, or an ad), after selecting the “Create a new rule” option in the Rules drop-down menu, you’ll be able to refine the conditions.

    The second way is to select Automatic Rules from the list of tools on the left. This will allow us to manage rules for the entire account, but at the same time it will require us to do an additional filter of items if we do not plan a rule for all activities.

    The second way is to select “Create new rule” from the Rules drop-down menu.

    In the editor that opens, Facebook Ads Manager provides four options to choose from:

    • Custom rules – where we define ourselves what and when to perform
    • reduction of overlap in the auction – a rule that adjusts the sets of ads to prevent them from competing with each other.
    • optimization of advertising material – automatically enable enhancements to standard advertising material in places that qualify.
    • reduce audience group fragmentation – rule combining audience groups for better budget management.

    Reduction rules and advertising material have fairly limited setting options, but importantly – they do not have to make changes without our participation. They can also be run in notification-only mode, so that Facebook informs us of the recommended changes, but leaves the final decision to the specialist.

    To create a custom rule, we need the following components:

    • Elements of the account to which the rule applies

    If we have selected specific elements in the Facebook Ads manager, e.g. a selected campaign, we can create a rule covering that campaign, or the ad sets or ads within it.

    • Action that the rule should perform

    Depending on the level and settings of the item for which we want to save a rule, we will have particular options available. For campaigns, it will be to enable/disable the campaign or adjust the budget. For ad sets to enable the ad set, disable the ad set or modify the bid. For ads, we can only change the display status. For bid modification, we can additionally protect campaigns with a minimum or maximum bid/budget, so that we will not go beyond these values as a result of executing the rule. This type of rule will also allow us to limit the number of modifications made by specifying the frequency of execution – whether the rate change is to occur once an hour or once a week, set here.

    • Conditions required to run the rule

    The logical condition when the rule should execute, such as the aforementioned lack of conversions for a given item recently. If we want to filter the affected campaigns by name, for example, it should be done here.

    • Time range

    The interval that is taken into account when checking conditions. If we want to take into account the current results, it is worth choosing a slightly longer interval – day-by-day analysis may not be entirely reliable. We can also indicate whether the analyzed statistics take into account the day of execution of the rule, or should be up to the previous day. We can also define the time range for individual rule conditions.

    • Timeline

    The default option is to execute the rule in 30-minute intervals, but we can change this parameter to once a day at a specific time or in a specific custom schedule. If our schedule on a given day starts and ends at the same time, the rule will execute only once. At the same time, you can set several of these intervals for each day of the week.

    The name of the rule is for our information, no less a good practice is to describe it in detail, so that without going into the details of a rule, we will be able to tell what it is responsible for.

    If we have rules with respect to performance, for example, increasing conversion cost rates, it might be a good idea to make a second, opposite rule that handles edge cases on the other side of the spectrum. This way, we can not only amplify the impressions of those campaign elements that are effective, but also reduce the impressions of elements that do not meet our expectations.

    The already created rules can be found in the aforementioned Automatic Rules section, which can be accessed both from the tools list and from the drop-down menu above the campaigns.

    Directly in the list of rules we will learn their names, statuses, elements on which they are to be applied, types of action and possible additional conditions. If there is a custom schedule imposed on a rule, we will see it already in the edition of a specific rule.

    The rule’s name will be displayed.

    A very useful section in rules is Activity, thanks to which we will see what is happening with our rules and what historical changes they have made to the account – especially if we check the “Hide rule results without changes” option.


    The fact that Facebook Ads campaigns are becoming increasingly automated means that the rules themselves may be less applicable. With the use of dynamic materials, optimization for a target, or campaign-level budgets, Facebook can quite efficiently choose on its own which ad materials are shown to which audiences, and how often. However, if we care about controlling the budget, effect and rates, our own automation through rules will significantly improve our work. Of course, you can always entrust the activities to a proven digital marketing agency, which in its scope will tailor the actions of the rules to the requirements of a particular business.

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    Joanna Sopiela
    Joanna Sopiela

    Certified specialist with many years of experience, with Up&More since 2016. Her campaigns have been awarded many times in prestigious industry plebiscites. He has experience with clients from the development, automotive and mobile application industries.