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Multilogin | How to Rescue an Underperforming Ad Campaign

6 top tips to rescue an underperforming ad campaign

Even a carefully constructed ad campaign can sometimes fall flat. When a campaign fails to get results, you need to quickly find out what’s gone wrong. There’s no time to waste when every wasted click drains your ad budget, whether you're in affiliate marketing, e-commerce, or you're an agency managing client ad runs.

So how do you salvage an underperforming campaign?

That’s what we’re going to explore in this post.

We’ll go beyond basic tips about ad fatigue and quality score. You'll learn the six most overlooked strategies you can use to achieve your campaign objective and generate positive ROI.

1. Keep your offer simple

If you explained your offer to your 9-year-old nephew, would he understand it?

Ad copy fails to make an impact if it’s too complex. 

People like simple things and are drawn to products and experiences that are easy to understand. This psychological principle is known as the Simplicity Theory

If you make your audience think too much, you’ll lose them. 

Let’s take a look at an example pay-per-click (PPC) ad that packs a punch by keeping it simple. 

Image source: Harrys.com (Facebook)

You can quickly understand exactly what the offer is. It shows what’s included and how much it costs. 

Using an image of the checkout process makes it easy for prospects to picture the next step. You can place an order and redeem the offer in a couple of clicks. 

2. Rethink audience targeting

Targeting the right audience with the wrong ad can tank your conversions. 

Let’s say you’re running a Facebook lead generation ads campaign.

At the top of the funnel, you want to reach a large audience of potential customers. So, keeping your ad group targeting broad will help you reach lots of prospects. 

You can target this audience with ads designed to increase brand awareness and drive engagement. 

An example of basic audience targeting on Facebook

At the consideration stage of your funnel, you want to target the people who have already engaged with your brand. 

You can create ad groups with a custom audience of prospects that have engaged with your post or ad. Then, you can create ads promoting a free lead magnet - like a free product trial, ebook, or webinar. 

An example of events to build a custom audience on Facebook

At the bottom of the funnel, it’s all about conversions and retargeting the people that showed high interest in your offer. For example, you can create ads targeting the users that have clicked on your ads but have yet to complete your lead form. 

Targeting the right target audience with the right offer at the right time is key for ad campaign performance.

3. Don’t overlook your ad schedule

Timing can have a significant impact on online advertising performance.

For example, some niches don’t convert well on weekends. The time of day is also important. 

In Sale Cycle’s latest 2022 Ecommerce Stats Report, the worst hours for conversions were between midnight and 7 am. 

Image source: Sale Cycle

This isn’t true for every industry. You’ll need to review your website analytics and ad campaign reports to determine the best and worst times to run ads. 

Once you’ve worked that out, use ad scheduling to choose when your ad campaigns run. You can even make bid adjustments to increase your budget during the hours and days when conversions peak.

Before you make any changes, review your ad campaign data. You may find that your assumptions about ad scheduling don’t match up with reality. 

Whether search ads or Facebook Ads, it’s always better to make decisions based on quantifiable data than intuition and gut feeling.

4. Incentivized urgency

Successful ads get people to stop what they are doing and take action. The best way to do that is through incentivized urgency.

Give people a reason to take action with a big incentive and make it urgent. 

Your offer needs to be something that your audience really wants. But it also has to be time sensitive. If they don’t take action now, they risk missing out.

Here’s an example of this tactic in action by the beauty brand Sephora:

Image source: Sephora

The ad offers a hefty 30% off incentive. And the offer is urgent with a specific deadline. 

If your audience feels there is no rush to buy your product, they’re likely to delay and not take action. In some cases, they will forget about it for good.

Creating urgency and providing a significant incentive can get more potential customers to commit and convert.

5. Increase ROI with negative keywords

Whether you’re running ecommerce or affiliate marketing PPC ads, you need to use negative keywords to maximize your Google Ads budget.

Negative keywords help you exclude specific terms and make your campaigns more targeted.

If irrelevant search queries trigger your ads, your conversion rate will suffer. You can save your budget by only advertising to people interested in your offer. 

The Google Ads Search Terms Report is the best place to find negative keywords you may have overlooked. This report reveals all the searches your campaign audience made before clicking on your ad.

An example of the Search Terms Report

You can identify potential negative keywords by looking for search terms that have a low CTR and conversion rate. In addition, keep an eye out for branded keywords and broad terms that aren’t relevant to your offer.

Regularly check your Search Terms Report and weed out negative keywords. This can boost ROI and help to rescue a failing ads campaign. 

6. Improve your landing page

Your landing page has one job - to convert traffic into leads or sales. 

We’ve already mentioned the importance of simplicity for your ad creative. The same rules apply to your landing pages. 

You can increase conversion rates by keeping landing pages simple and laser-focused on your conversion goal. Get rid of any unnecessary elements that could distract users, and put your offer front and center.

Here’s an example of a great landing page by the luxury watch brand LIV:

Image source: LIV

The top menu is minimized to avoid distracting users. The most noticeable elements on the page are the product name, image, and the “SHOP NOW” call-to-action (CTA) button. In other cases, you will need more explanatory text, but the key is always to make it easy for visitors to convert by keeping your landing page and the path through it simple. The fewer options, the better!

7. Rescue your underperforming ad campaigns

Don’t let a failing ad campaign swallow up your budget without delivering anything in return. If you implement the above tips, you should be able to get your campaign quickly back on track.

Once you’ve optimized your ad campaign, you can scale using a tool like Multilogin. You can check how your ads are displayed to your different audience segments and spy on your competitors’ ads without risking account bans. 

Visit our dedicated advertising use case page to learn how Multilogin can help you reach your goals faster.