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Why My Facebook Ads Are Not Delivering: How To Fix It

Why My Facebook Ads Are Not Delivering: How To Fix It

You’ve created the perfect ad copy, set the parameters, and posted the ad; but after going back to check how it is performing, you discover that your Facebook ads are not delivering.

Every experienced Facebook marketer knows this pain. From our several head-scratching attempts to get a time-sensitive ad to display on Facebook, we’ve figured out ways to troubleshoot ads that are not delivering.

But before we go into detail, we’ll explore what “Facebook ad not delivering” means. Read on to find out how to troubleshoot and fix these issues.

What does “Facebook ads not delivering” mean?

As the sentence suggests, you’ll get the “Facebook ads not delivering” warning message if your audience is not seeing your ads.

Sometimes, this error message appears for newly-posted ads, but in some cases, already running ads could stop delivering.

When using Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll receive a message accompanied by an icon, which displays the delivery status of the ad you posted.

To better understand why this error message appears, let’s discuss delivery statuses.

How many delivery statuses are there?

Facebook has eight delivery statuses, depicted by five warning icons.

Sounds confusing, right? Let’s break it down.

When you view your ad from the Ads Manager dashboard, you’ll always see a color-coded icon next to it. Here is a table showing what these icons mean.

Source: Facebook

Unless your ad is showing “green” (active), you have to address the problem quickly to make it appear to your target audience.

If you see any of the messages above, you need to troubleshoot right away to fix them before you lose potential impressions or conversions.

Although these three status messages show that your ad is running—or has completed its expected cycle—you still need to pay attention to the learning phase.

So what is the learning phase for Facebook ads?

During this period, the ad delivery system works on optimizing the ad by analyzing how it appears and how people react to it. Due to ongoing optimization, the ad performance becomes unstable—which affects the cost per action (CPA).

Most ads are stuck in the learning phase because Facebook expects to gather more data about the ad from users. If the ad set doesn’t generate enough results, it will enter the “Learning Limited” status.

Top 10 reasons why your Facebook ads are not delivering

We’ve talked about ad delivery statuses. Now let’s explore why the Facebook delivery system is not displaying your ad.

Reason #1 The ad was not approved

Facebook has strict advertising rules that border on authoritarianism—you can read them in the company’s Advertising Policies.

So, if you are seeing the “Rejected” status next to your ad on the dashboard, chances are that the ad contains content (written or visual) that breaks Facebook’s advertising policies.

Your ad could get rejected if it contains the following:

  • Unsafe substances
  • Weapons
  • Tobacco and related substances
  • Adult content and profanity
  • Senstalionism
  • Misinformation
  • Spyware and other prohibited activities.


To get rid of the “red flag” on your ad, you must edit the ad to meet Facebook’s guidelines. Consider changing the visual content to a more user-friendly alternative. You can also rewrite the ad’s wording to sound more neutral.

However, the review system could flag your ad unjustly. If this is the case, you can apply for a manual review to prove that the rejection was a mistake.

Reason #2 Your ads are still in the learning phase

As mentioned earlier, ads in the learning phase have limited overall performance. Depending on the leads you get on your ad, this phase could last up to a week. But if the ad doesn’t generate enough leads during this period, it will stop delivering.


The best course of action during the learning phase is to wait for Facebook to perform its magic. Any major changes you make to the app will restart the learning phase.

Reason #3 Your parameters are restrictive

The ad parameters might be the reason it is stuck in limbo; the audience and bid cap are two of these parameters. Other factors that could make your Facebook ads stop delivering include the following:

  • Ad type
  • Objectives
  • Placements
  • Format


If your ads are not delivering, then you need to tweak the parameters to increase the reach and exposure. For instance, you can adjust the desired action from “sales” to “clicks” in order to increase the chances of delivery.

Reason #4 Your bid is too low

When placing a new ad campaign, you must set the bidding parameters based on your budget. Marketers on a limited budget use this low-bid strategy to get the best value for their money when bidding on ads.

But this comes with a catch: the Facebook ad delivery system will automatically select the amount based on the specified bid cap. As a result, the ad will not deliver if your bid is lower than the minimum available pricing.


Monitor your ad over a few days and raise the bid cap in small increments. Let’s say your initial bid is $1; you can bid $1.25 in the next round, and $1.5 after that.

Alternatively, you could remove the bid cap to allow Facebook to place better bids for your ad. To eliminate all doubt, increase your spending budget.

Reason #5 You’ve exceeded the spending budget

Sometimes, Facebook stops delivering your ad when you reach the spending limit. Although it sounds easy to spot, you could spend days trying to decipher the source of the problem.


This problem is easy to fix. You just need to go to your account settings and click on “Billing and Payment Methods.” From there, you can change the current account spending limit. After confirming the changes, the ad will start delivering again.

Reason #6 Your target audience intersects

In an attempt to capture a unique audience and avoid competition, most marketers end up niching down a little too much. Although this is a good strategy for one ad, you will run into delivery issues when placing subsequent ads.

Why? Your target audience will overlap because you are focusing on similar demographics. And since Facebook cannot tell if both ads belong to the same brand, the delivery system will only favor the ad with a higher relevance score.


To avoid this problem, expand your target audience. You can combine ad sets that have a similar audience—this will save you money as well. Alternatively, you can turn off low-performing ads that target the same audience.

You can use the Audience Overlap tool to see if your audiences intersect. You can also add more audience behaviors and interests in order to widen the target pool.

Reason #7 Your ad post is not available

The reason your ad is not delivering might stem from the original post used in the ad. For instance, if you (or Facebook) remove the content from your page, the ad attached to it will stop delivering.

Besides, Facebook could restrict the post attached to the ad if it is low quality: it contains sensationalist language, clickbait title, or misleading content.


If the ad post is no longer available, you can choose a different post—or request access from the page admin. Also, you need to check if the item you are promoting is still in the catalog. Once you make these changes, set the ad back to active.

To avoid this hassle, don’t use misleading visual or written information in your ad copy. Keep it relevant and simple.

Reason #8 Your ads have low engagement rates/ad relevance

As part of Facebook’s dedication to providing top-notch content to users, the ad delivery system prioritizes high-quality content. So if your ad has low engagement—say below 500 impressions—Facebook will stop delivering it because it has a low relevance score.

Here are factors that affect your ad’s relevance:

  • Your ad’s quality vs. your competitors’ ads.
  • Your ad’s expected engagement rate vs. competitors’ ads.
  • Your ad’s expected conversion rate vs. your competitors’ ads (using the same optimization goal).


The best way to fix this issue is by creating better ad copies to outperform your competition. Use Facebook’s Ad Relevance Diagnostics chart to see how you measure up with the competition and spot ways to improve.

With ad automation tools like AdBraze, you can also carry out A/B testing for your ad creatives to find the version that generates the best leads.

Reason #9 Poor scheduling is hindering your progress

Facebook will only start delivering your ad during the specified schedule. With that in mind, your ad might not be delivering because you set it to run in the future—or you input a past date.


Always confirm the schedule to make sure the end date has not passed. When using the Budget and Schedule parameter, always choose valid dates to make sure your ad doesn’t linger in obscurity.

Although these are easy fixes, they can still be frustrating when you discover that something this trivial is stopping your ads from running.

Reason #10 You have unrealistic optimization goals

When creating an ad, you have to set the optimization goal to help Facebook understand how you want your audience to interact with it. But if you set unrealistic goals, Facebook will struggle to deliver your ads to your target audience.

Facebook factors in user value signals (as well as both engagement and relevance scores) when displaying your ads to those who want to interact with it.


Adjust the optimization goal to focus on a realistic, attainable target. For instance, if you are not getting enough conversions from your ad, you can change the target to clicks. When you have enough hits, Facebook will start delivering your ads. Subsequently, you can switch the target back to conversions.


Your Facebook ad is not delivering because it hasn’t been approved or because your settings are too restrictive. Another reason why your ad might not be delivering is that your bid cap is too low. Other times, poor scheduling and limited budgets can keep your ads inactive. But by troubleshooting the source of the problem, you can get your ad running to reach your target audience. Use ad automation tools to determine the best ad copies for your Facebook campaigns.

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