Facebook Ads Learning Limited – How You Can Fix It
So learning limited, what is it and most of all, how can you fix it?
Facebook recently introduced a new alert called learning limited.
This alert is designed to give you feedback with your ads during the learning phase. The message ‘Learning Limited’ will show up on your Facebook ad campaigns so that you know Facebook still requires some adjustment in order to get the best results from your Facebook ad campaigns.
I often get this question: “I keep getting learning limited alerts in my ad campaigns. What can I do about it?”
So today I wanted to share with you a few things about the ‘learning limited’ alert.
What is the learning phase and how does that work?
The learning limited alert always shows up while Facebook ads are in the learning phase. The learning phase is simply where Facebook goes out and it checks on how your ads are performing.
Facebook records how your audiences interact with your ads based on the actions they take. This includes what happens when they view the ad, how they interact with the ad (clicks/scrolls) as well as the actual experience after someone clicks on the ad. Finally, it checks how they convert after taking an action based on what conversion you chose when you created your campaign.
What does it actually class as a conversion or an event that Facebook can track?
So let me explain this with a little more information. You can also watch the video below if you prefer that instead of reading further.
Example #1: Let’s say you’re an eCommerce store and your optimizing for purchases.
- A woman who sees your amazing ad clicks on it and visit your website.
- The next step she takes is she browses through the website and finds this beautiful dress that she wants to buy.
- So she adds the dress to her shopping cart.
- Then she might look at the cart and complete the checkout by adding her payment information and completing the purchase.
So in that sequence of events, if you are optimizing your campaigns for purchases, Facebook would see all the events that led to that purchase.
This includes where the woman saw the ad in the first place. If you’re using all placements that might’ve been an Instagram story. Facebook would then see where that woman clicked on the ad, visited the website, and then actually ran through the whole process to visit the purchases page where she completed the purchase.
This then means that this woman has completed this optimization cycle from beginning to end.
From the time she saw the ad to the time that she completed the conversion event that you’d set up in your campaign called ‘makes a purchase’.
With all of that information, Facebook then stores that and says “we know a little bit more about the audience that clicked on the ad, where they clicked on the ad and actually that they fulfilled this optimization that this particular advertiser wanted.”
So if Facebook gets about 50 of those events in a week, the algorithm and the machine behind Facebook can say “We’ve learned enough information about your ads, your audiences and the checkout process to know that we should show more of these ads to these kinds of people.”
If that happens successfully, you’ll move out of the learning phase.
This is what you want.
Facebook learns through the entire phase. That’s why it is called the ‘Learning Phase’.
You want the machine of Facebook advertising working for you to your advantage.
Example #2: So let’s just assume that that same woman did everything we said, except after adding the item to her cart, she never actually completed the purchase.
What does that mean?
Facebook was looking for people who completed the full purchase cycle. Because the woman didn’t purchase anything, Facebook doesn’t have complete data over that woman’s activity and will disregard it.
So Facebook effectively won’t use any of that information towards that conversion event.
If this happens often enough and not enough people make a purchase, Facebook will never get the information it needs to fully optimize your campaigns.
When this happens, your campaigns may get flagged as learning limited.
So what is learning limited?
Learning limited is simply a warning message that means Facebook hasn’t received enough signals so that it knows what to optimize your campaigns for.
So now that you know a little bit more about the learning phase and what learning limited is and why that alert shows up against your ad sets in your campaigns, let’s look at how you can fix it.
How to fix learning limited.
Facebook actually provides six good reasons as to why learning limited may appear in your campaigns. However, these can be confusing so I’m going to give you the best way to fix learning limited.
The number one reason you’re probably seeing learning limited is Facebook just isn’t getting enough of the optimization events happening in a single week.
Facebook actually recommends that you get 50 optimisation events happening every week.
So what do I mean by that?
Well, in the example of the woman buying the dress, she completed a purchase.
If you were optimizing for purchases and you got 50 purchases in a week, then Facebook would have enough information and you wouldn’t get the alert of learning limited.
However, if you only got 10 or 20 conversions or purchases in a week, Facebook just wouldn’t have enough information to really optimize your campaigns.
So in order to address the learning limited alert that might be coming up in your account, we recommend that you look for conversion events that occur more frequently (at least 50 times or more).
In the case of e-commerce, as an example, instead of optimizing your campaigns for purchases, you might start to optimize your campaigns for adds to cart.
You might get a hundred adds to cart, but only 30 or 40 purchases.
If that is the case, optimising your campaigns for adds to cart will be a better choice. Facebook will see a pattern of purchasing behaviour where people click on your ad, arrive on your website and add something to their cart.
Facebook then understands the data that this type of person, shown this kind of ad, on this placement, convert as an add to cart.
If you’re not getting enough adds to cart, another option might be that you optimize for page views.
Your ad campaigns might get a thousand page views or a hundred page views, or 200 page views. Facebook can optimize for that because it starts to understand who clicked on what ad completed the cycle to view a page on your website, and actually then optimize your ads and your campaigns around that.
The best campaigns always optimise for purchases.
So if you don’t want to change your optimisation to ‘add to cart’ or ‘views a page’, there’s another option.
You can increase your advertising budget in your campaign so that your campaign has enough money to get 50 conversions (purchases) every week.
Testing Ad Campaigns
Often when you’re in the learning phase most people don’t like to increase their budgets. This is because they’re trying to work out which ads work and which ads are most profitable before they start spending a lot of money.
So I would recommend in that case, you just bring it back to the adds to cart, or perhaps visits a page on the website. That way you’ll have more than 50 conversion events so that Facebook can start to manage your campaigns more successfully.
I hope this has helped you understand a little bit more about the learning phase on Facebook and how to address the learning limited alert that you might have against one or two of your ad sets.
In simple terms, you’ll get rid of the ‘Learning Limited’ alert if you can achieve 50 or more conversions each week.