Struggling with getting your ad sets to exit Learning Phase? Well, you're not alone, so hang in there! Optimizing campaigns manually is a time consuming task, tell me about it ( well, that is pretty much why Zalster exists).

If you are not familiar with what Learning Phase is maybe you've noticed that in the delivery column next to your Ad Set where it sometimes says "Learning"? This is an important part to understand about your Facebook Ads delivery and performance. It's called " Learning Phase".

Facebook works best when it has a significant amount of data to work with. Facebook is constantly learning about your audience as more as it shows your ads.  It take learnings on how people engage and interact with your ads, both negatively and positively. This is to better understand who to actually serve your ads too.

When Facebook has learned your account you can go more broad in your targeting and Facebook will find you customers more easily. It will know more of what type of people that convert or ones that doesn't, yeah Facebook is basically collecting this data to make smart decisions for you, based on your pixel and the behaviour of your target audience.

Facebooks algorithm need about 50 optimization events per ad set per week to understand what is going on in your account and to get out of "Learning Phase". So you need to understand that depending on which action or event you are after will affect how quickly you'll get out of Learning Phase. Also, how often these events occur plays a HUUUUGE role in how fast this takes.

For example, if you are an ecommerce and optimizing towards Purchases in the Conversion Objective, you will need about 50 purchases a week to get through Learning Phase. So, ask yourself is that possible? If not, keep on reading!

What will affects the Learning Phase to make it start over again?

If you make drastic changes to your ad sets this will cause them to re-enter Learning Phase. Well then you might ask yourself, what does affect Learning Phase and what changes will make my ad sets re-enter this? I will break this down for you;

  • Drastic changes to target audience ( note that not all ad sets within the same campaign wont reenter Learning Phase, just the one that you made drastic changes to).
  • Changing your ads, adding new creatives.
  • Pausing your ad sets for over 7 days.
  • Large change in budget, this is depending on what size change we're talking about.

Also, note that Facebooks Campaign Budget Optimization, will not affect your ad sets to reenter Learning Phase as the budget is distributed within the Campaign.

QUICK TIP! If you do have changes that you need to make to your ad sets or ads, make sure you do them at once to avoid Learning Phase being reset multiple times.

To get out of Learning Phase we first of all tell clients to have patience. Facebook need to learn about your account to be able to optimize at its best. But you also need to give Facebook the right conditions. But if 7 days has passed and you have still not left the learning phase,  a yellow triangle with the Learning Limited message will show up in the delivery column at ad set level.

What does Learning Limited mean?

Facebook implemented a change which makes the Learning Phase more understandable in the Ads Manager and you can now see Learning Limited. Learning Limited is there to make it easier for advertisers to understand that it is hard for Facebook to exit Learning Phase. Learning Limited basically means that Facebook can't collect enough data to fully start optimizing your campaigns.

Why does it occur?

  • You have put a too low bid control or cost cap.
  • You don't have enough budget to reach 50 conversions in 7 days.
  • Your optimization event doesn't occur that frequently.
  • There are too many ad sets which makes it harder for the ad sets to exist Learning Phase.
  • Your audiences are overlapping.
  • Your audience is to small.

What to do about it?

  • Raise your budget and yeah spend more money to get those conversions. Look into what you pay per conversion and calculate how much you would have to spend to afford 50 conversions per ad set per day to get out of learning phase in 7 days.
  • Remove bid constraints or raise them. Having a too low bid can cause the delivery to slow down drastically.
  • Optimize towards a lower funnel event that occurs more frequently. Investigate what event would be best for you to still be able to get those qualitative conversion and not just quantity. For example if you don't normally get 50 purchases a week, then optimizing for add to cart might be a better idea.
  • Broaden your target audiences. Have a look if you can consolidate your ad sets to make bigger target audiences. Having higher volume in your ad sets audience probably will make it easier to exit Learning Phase.

To sum it up;

Basically try to leave it alone for at least 7 days and then if you see " Learning Limited" then start to think about what would be best for you to change to provide your ad sets with the right circumstances to exit Learning Phase.

Make sure the event or action that you are optimizing towards occurs frequently. You need to get 50 optimization events per ad set per week to exit the Learning Phase. Try some of the tips and tricks mentioned above to understand and exit Learning Phase quicker.

To take your Facebook Ads game to the next level, sign up for a 14-day free trial with Zalster.