We’ve seen a major fall in Facebook ad performance since September 2021. Our ad spend has doubled. Really in a fix how to sort this

Garima Sarolia-Narera, Founder, Ecommerce brand

Answered by Sachin Londhe, Digital Marketer, Team THC

Hey Garima,

Sadly there isn’t a single silver bullet for this. You will have to try out multiple things patiently. I’ve created a checklist for you and if you run through it, hopefully you’ll be able to improve campaign performance. Good luck.

Checklist for declining ad performance

1. Build a funnel

Not all audiences are the same and you have to think where a person is vis a vis your brand and set your campaigns and metrics accordingly.

Top of funnel (TOF): This campaign should target people who have never heard of your brand before.

Middle of funnel (MOF): This campaign should target people who have engaged with your content.

Bottom of funnel (BOF): This campaign should aim to convert people to purchase

Analyse where the trouble is and allocate budget accordingly.

Is TOF traffic falling or of poor quality? Then re-examine your campaign.

Are you getting TOF / MOF traffic but they are not converting? Where are the drop-offs?

It is possible the landing page for the campaign needs a relook. Check the creatives, copy, testimonials, trust-building, CTAs. Do this across devices.

Are users adding to cart, but not checking out? Re-examine your check-out process.

2. Audiences

Check if audiences have been overused. Try out various audiences (lookalike / interest-based, etc) and inspect Google Analytics (GA) for changes in traffic or conversions to see which performs best.

3. Creatives

Update ad creatives every two or three weeks. Experiment with various formats: single image, carousel or video.

Do not change ad sets too frequently. Facebook takes at least twenty four hours to adjust the performance of ads after every new edit and requires at least fifty conversions (actions) in seven days to deliver the best results.

Easier said than done, but try and make the creatives interesting and on-brand. Ask yourself, if the logo was switched could this be any e-commerce brand? What will make you stand out in cluttered feeds?

4. Placement

Experiment with placement – do not limit  ads to a single placement like a Facebook feed or Insta feed. Explore Insta stories, Facebook marketplace, etc and analyse results. Find out from where you get the highest AOV or conversions and double down on those.

5. Content Copy

Try out multiple headlines and descriptions to see what is working. A minimum of three creative/copy combinations for each ad set is recommended.

6. Retargeting

A common mistake with retargeting is causing user fatigue by showing the same ad over and over again. This user has been to your website and engaged with your content. How can you convert them? New products? Offers? Try a few things.

7. Multiple channels

Go beyond Facebook and try Google, sms and email marketing.

8. iOS 14+ changes

Check the impact of iOS14 changes by examining the behaviour of your iOS users in GA.

Ensure all top events and conversion api events are correctly configured in the dashboard.

Use UTMs: We are seeing that conversions may not be recorded in the Facebook dashboard due to changes in attribution settings, but can be tracked in GA via UTMs.

Send in a question and we’ll do our best to have it answered.
You can do this anonymously.

Ask a question


  1. Not sure what you’re looking for to assess performance, but Facebook’s attribution has been missing a lot of purchases.

    An alternative metric to use can be MER (All revenues / Total Ad Spend) and see how that has moved to assess whether there is an objective drop, or is it a missed attribution problem.

    If this isn’t the case, best way is to draw out your funnel. I’d track these four metrics:
    a. CPM
    b. Ad CTR
    c. Landing Page conversion rate (broken down into ATC/Views and PUR/ATC). ATC refers to Add-to-cart, and PUR stands for purchase)
    d. AOV
    and see what has changed and do an RCA on why that happened.

  2. Hi Garima,
    I agree with all the points Sachin has mentioned above. In addition, across platforms I am observing this trend. I lead marketing for a mid-sized marketing team and we extensively use Linkedin and to some extent Google for our campaigns. The average CPL in 2020 vs 2021 has risen and the leads have come down drastically. Since we were going after a niche audience, we were told by our agencies that audience fatigue has set in. While I agreed on that reasoning to some extent, I also see that a combination of factors like more people leveraging social media for their campaigns due to covid (other platforms like print, physical and direct marketing have all been not so effective), inorder to stand out – both the message and the creatives has to be really differentiated, too many going after the same audience etc.

    Not sure if my above response makes sense. But thought of sharing my personal experience as I also have the same experience.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated according to our comment policy. Your email address will NOT be published. All fields are required.

Please enter your comment
Please enter your name

The Hard Copy is a resource for building and growing digital–first brands. Sign up to get case studies and advice in your inbox every week.