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Why You See 'Ad Set May Get Zero' on Facebook and How to Fix It

Why You See 'Ad Set May Get Zero' on Facebook and How to Fix It

If you've come across the message "Ad set may get zero <...>" while setting up your ad campaign on Facebook, you're certainly not alone. Many advertisers are facing this alert in their Facebook Ads Manager more often these days because of the changes in Facebook privacy settings, complicating the process of finding the right target audience for Facebook and Instagram.

“Ad set may get zero purchases” error message on Facebook

This error comes in various forms, with Facebook warning that you might end up with zero conversions, leads, or appointments based on your chosen conversion optimization settings.

Essentially, this notification indicates that Facebook is questioning the effectiveness of your ads. But how significant is this alert, and if so, how can you fix it? Let's explore solutions to address it effectively.

Is it a Real Problem?

When you first see this error, it’s ok to wonder how that makes sense. How can the system predict that your ad might not do well, even though you're spending money on it? Why isn't all the effort you're putting into making attractive Facebook ads paying off?

But let's remember, Facebook’s algorithms are just algorithms, they might send these alerts if they think something's off. Later on, you might realize there's nothing to worry about. This error may be just one of the various "side effects" caused by Facebook's Learning Phase.

Many users across such platforms as Reddit and Quora are also quite skeptical about this pop-up warning. See their comments below:

Reddit user's comment on

Source: original post on Reddit

Facebook might try to convince you to choose more popular optimization events like traffic or engagement, instead of purchases, for example. People often suggest that you should not give in to Facebook recommendations but stick to your initial plan:

Source: original post on Quora

But beware, if your ad set isn't set up right, we can't really say this alert is wrong. You might need to make some changes to your ad set.

There are even cases when you get conversions, purchases, or leads even though this Facebook alert is present, but after a while the Facebook prognosis becomes true and you stop getting results. If that’s the case, let’s see what can be done to overcome this issue.

What’s Worth to Try?

Let’s take a look at the list of possible situations and their solutions:

1. Budget is Too Low

If you receive an error message from Facebook suggesting that your budget is too low, it's often a ploy to encourage you to spend more money.

In our view, it's not wise to increase your budget solely based on Facebook's recommendation. Instead, consider boosting your ad spend when you're satisfied with the performance of your ads and see the opportunity to scale them, not just because Facebook suggests it.

So, if you encounter the 'ad set may get zero' notification due to a low budget, there's typically no cause for concern. In this case, rather check your real settings to make sure that your budget or bid is not too low to be getting any conversions at all.

2. Bid is Set Too Low

If your ads are set up with "Bid Cap," "Cost Cap," or "Minimum ROAS," your bid might be too low and not competitive enough to secure impressions against other advertisers targeting the same audience. This can lead to minimal spending and no purchases or leads. To address this, review your ad account's lifetime Cost Per Purchase or Cost Per Lead to establish a benchmark for setting your minimum bid. Doing so should increase impressions and drive purchases or leads.

Note: in case you’re using "Lowest Cost / Highest Value" without setting a bid cap, this error message won’t probably be caused by your bid strategy settings.

3. Irrelevant Targeting Settings

Sometimes, the alert is a real sign that your targeting might be improperly selected. It's important to find a balance and make sure your target audience size and parameters are relevant to your campaign setup.

“Expand your audience” recommendation on Facebook

“Expand your audience” recommendation on Facebook

Reconsider your targeting strategy, probably you should change location or age filter as it may be too broad or too narrow, or irrelevant to your product or service.

Make sure to thoroughly review all of your targeting settings. There are instances where you might mistakenly select, for example, an incorrect gender filter. Let’s say you're selling women's shoes but accidentally target men. Facebook will find your targeting settings irrelevant and show you this error message.

4. Unfavorable Ad Creative

This problem can occur for ad accounts with a long history of running ads. If you've been using the same pixel for a while in your campaigns, Facebook learns your audience's preferences and knows what kind of ad creative they like.

Take this as a caution that making a big change in your new creative might not appeal to your audience and could turn them off. Stick with what's worked in the past, or use Facebook Ad Relevance Diagnostics to find and fix any issues with your ad's performance.


With constant privacy changes and Facebook algorithm updates it’s crucial to stay informed and be able to deal with any sort of situation on your advertising path.

At times, this Facebook alert might be a false alarm, even if your ad set is set perfectly fine for conversions.

On the other hand, it’s always useful to double-check everything. By constantly monitoring and refining your ad campaigns, you not only avoid potential risks but also maximize opportunities for success.

From fine-tuning targeting parameters to refreshing ad creatives and optimizing bid strategies, each step contributes to overall effectiveness and profitability of your advertising efforts.



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