How And When Should You Pause Facebook Ads & Campaigns?

Written by: Emily Anderson
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When a Facebook ad campaign or an ad is no longer performing according to your expectation, it makes sense to pause the Facebook ad or campaign temporarily or permanently.

In this Facebook ads optimization tutorial, we are going to explain everything you need to know related to pausing and restarting Facebook ads, ad sets, and campaigns.

If you prefer to watch a video tutorial on pausing Facebook ads campaigns, check out this video tutorial:

Is it bad to pause Facebook Ads?

No, it is actually part of running Facebook ads and maybe one of the most important elements of effective Facebook ads optimization.

If you can pause Facebook ads, ad sets or campaigns that are not delivering your expected ROAS, you can significantly increase the return of your Facebook advertising.

However, you can also harm your Facebook ads ROAS if you pause a Facebook campaign or ad at the wrong time as you might pause ads that would bring you expected ROAS if you didn’t touch them.

When should you pause Facebook Ads?

You should pause Facebook ads basically in two cases.

First, when you see that the ad, campaign or ad set is performing terribly, and there is no way its performance will improve.

Secondly, if you have a generally well-performing Facebook ad or campaign, but the performance on a particular day has become pretty bad and it seems like it won’t get better that day. This can happen a lot of times, as the competitive bidding landscape can change. In this case, you could stop the ad on that day but you would restart the ad delivery in the next day.

Also, here are some considerations you should keep in mind when you want to pause Facebook ads, ad sets or campaigns.

First, in the majority of the cases, you should always evaluate the performance of an ad or campaign based on the cost of acquisition whatever is that in your business (leads, purchase, email signup, etc.).

So don’t get carried away with vanity metrics like Facebook ads CPM or CPC. These are important Facebook ads metrics to understand the bigger picture, but when you want to stop a Facebook ad, you should always do that on a CPA basis.

Next, make sure you are tracking these macro conversions the right way. With the iOS 14 update, the Facebook Pixel has some measurement issues you should know about. If you can, implement Facebook CAPI so your conversion measurement will be more accurate.

Double-check the campaign performance in Google Analytics as well. By using Facebook UTM parameters, you can see the performance of all campaigns, ad sets, and ads in Google Analytics.

And actually, with the iOS 14 update, the Analytics data has become more credible as even iOS users who didn’t allow Facebook Pixel tracking, should be measured in Google Analytics as well.

Learn more about this here:

Last but not least, you should get statistically significant data before you would jump in and pause certain ads, ad sets, or an entire campaign.

The performance of Facebook ad campaigns can fluctuate during the day and the more patient you are, the more data the Facebook algorithm gets, and the more likely the performance will improve over time as the ad, ad sets are coming out of the learning phase.

Pausing vs deleting Facebook Ads

It is important to highlight the difference between pausing vs deleting Facebook ads, ad sets, or campaigns as they are completely different things.

When you delete (or cancel) a Facebook ad, it will not only be paused and stop delivering, you will never be able to turn a deleted Facebook ad back on.

However, when you pause a Facebook ad, you will always be able to restart that specific ad or campaign, or you can duplicate it to a new ad or campaign as well.

Two ways to pause Facebook ads

You can pause Facebook ad campaigns and ads manually or automatically using Facebook ads rules

How to pause a Facebook ad manually?

Here is how you to pause a Facebook campaign, ad or ad sets:

  1. Open the Facebook Ads Manager
  2. Select the Facebook ad, ad set or campaign you want to pause
  3. Click on the down arrow next to the ‘Edit’ button.
  4. Select ‘Turn off’.how to pause a Facebook ad campaign
  5. Or you can also turn off the toggle of the campaign.

Now, the Facebook ad campaign or the ad has been paused until you don’t restart it.

How to automatically pause ads?

If you want to automatically pause underperforming Facebook ads, then you have to use the automated ad rules feature in your Facebook Ads Manager.

We have written a tutorial on how to pause ads with Facebook automated ad rules here:

  • Facebook Automated Rules Explained (to be published)

How to see all paused ads in your Facebook Ads Manager?

If you want to see all your stopped Facebook campaigns:

  1. Open the Facebook ads manager
  2. Click into the Filter area
  3. Select ‘Delivery’
  4. Select Campaign, Ad Set or Ad Delivery.
  5. Select ‘Off’
  6. Click ‘Apply’.

Related tutorials  – Pausing Facebook campaigns, ad sets and ads

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