This is something that none of us want to experience but is somewhat inevitable if you’re running Facebook ads consistently.
The hard roads are the ones worth choosing and whether you’re new to running Facebook ads or have got them working great at scale, I’m sure you’ll find value in this blog/article.
To be super transparent I’m going to share:
I want to preface this article by saying, these methods will only work if you actually want to follow Facebook’s policies, if you are hell bent on skirting the rules or trying to get one over on Facebook, this article isn’t for you.
If you use advertising to grow your business in an ethical way but you’ve been victim of Facebook’s algorithm, I’m sure the following tips will help you to stay sane. To live up to that promise, I’ve tried to make these tips as pragmatic/practical as possible.
I won’t go into some long winded credibility building spiel but I think that given how many people give Facebook ads advice without being ‘in the trenches’ day in day out, it’s important to say.
I have owned my own agency where I ran ads, built sales funnels and spent over £20,000 monthly on Facebook ads and some youtube ads for clients.
The offers were webinars (recorded and live), free + shipping offers and live events.
To bring you up to date, I now work for both Expert Empires and Elite Closing Academy running paid traffic and building funnels.
We profitably sell between 150 and 200 copies of Matt Elwell’s ‘Open With A Close’ book every week (it will probably be more by the time you read this).
Our main ad account got banned last week so we went from 200 a week to 0, so I know the stress and disruption it causes first hand, which is what compelled me to share my lessons and hopefully help you avoid the same despair.
With that out the way I hope you’ll heed my advice.
Like I said this isn’t purely philosophical but pragmatic and practical advice
Let’s handle the reason you are probably reading this blog, to learn what you can do to get your account back.
The 3 Things You Need To Do To Get Your Ad Account Back If It’s Disabled
#1 – Request A Review On The Account Quality Section Of Ads Manager
This might be teaching you to suck eggs but I know plenty of people who were lost when they found out their account was disabled and never took this step.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you are on ads manager, not ad centre as ads manager is the place you need to be, here is a link to make sure you’re in the right place – https://www.facebook.com/business/tools/ads-manager.
Second, you need to click the 9 dots on the left hand side of the menu and navigate to ‘account quality’ this is where you can request a review.
The screenshot below shows you how to request the review, my best advice for the review is to be as polite as possible and use whatever leverage you have to make your case, whether it’s a massive disruption in your lead flow, making you spend on youtube ads instead or that have a big campaign coming up that you can’t run.
Give Facebook a compelling reason to reply and don’t let your anger get the better of you.
Once you have requested a review which is normally a simple tick box exercise with a comment box for you to make your case and in some rare cases it’s a request for ID verification to prove your identity.
As painful or tedious as it may be, you do need to play ball as much as you can to get this resolved.
I’ll save my Zuckerberg hate and conspiracy theories for another blog.
That’s pretty much all there is to say about the review process, if you do nothing else it will probably take between 3 days and 10 days for your account to be reinstated from my experience.
The next one is the real ‘meat and potatoes’ and what made the biggest difference to getting my ads back running.
#2 – Contact Your Ad Accounts Assigned Facebook Marketing ‘Expert’
This one really challenged my thinking as my experiences with Facebook’s marketing experts had always been that the word ‘expert’ was a loose term.
However on a couple of occasions they have got my account back live within a couple of hours of speaking to them which is why this is so powerful.
There is normally a link to contact them under the resources section of your ads manager dashboard, or they will have emailed you in the past.
There are a spectrum of competencies when it comes to these advisors but they all generally want to do a good job and help in any way they can.
I’m pretty sure their performance is exclusively based on feedback.
I’m not super clear on the qualifying criteria but this is the website I found to request/book a call if you don’t already have access to a ‘facebook marketing expert’ or haven’t been assigned one yet.
I can take or leave their marketing advice but they have been instrumental in helping to save me stress and save me from missing my targets.
Put any preconceived ideas about their abilities aside and use them as the valuable resource they truly are.
#3 – Contact Facebook’s Business Support Chat Function
As far as I know this is either a new feature or not always available, but it’s probably the quickest way to get a response from Facebook.
Be warned, there is no substitute for speaking to a real human on the phone, it’s the quickest and most effective way to get the result every single time.
With that said, this is another avenue to use to contact Facebook, raise a support ticket and to get your account back.
This screenshot shows where to access it, you first need to click the help button on the bottom left of your ads manager dashboard to bring up the side bar where this is located.
That’s all she wrote on that, you will be taken to a messenger chat on Facebook and then a support agent will join the chat and help you out, remember to have your ad account number ready as this will speed things up, especially if you have multiple accounts.
So, that wraps up my top tips on what to do, now for what not to do!
This stuff is really important, as important if not more so than the previous 3, especially when it comes to ensuring your account isn’t banned for good!
Something that none of us need.
The 3 Things Not To Do When You’re FB Ad Account Gets Disabled
#1 – Don’t try to set-up another ad account
As tempting as this may be and as logically as it may sound…
You can’t outsmart Facebook, they will know as soon as you do this and the new account will most likely be banned soon too.
As well as delaying the review of your current ad account it may even end up in you being permanently banned.
To hammer this home, a friend of mine was banned on Facebook, I told him to stop posting the content that Facebook was probably flagging (Covid-19 stuff).
He didn’t stop so he ended up having his account permanently banned, he then tried to create a new account with a fake middle name.
Well you can probably guess what happened next…
His new account was banned too.
It may sound scary but Facebook has your IP address, it knows what credit card you used to pay for ads on the account that got banned.
So there is little to no use in trying to outsmart the system with VPN’s and the like.
At the least you will get flagged for ‘circumventing systems’ and at worst you will no longer be able to advertise on Facebook.
Neither eventuality will get you any closer to getting your account back and you will often end up further away from it.
Facebook also has an algorithm that knows the content of photos so even if you make a new account with a similar name or different picture of you, Facebook will know it’s the same person.
I hate rules but in this case it’s best to follow them, Facebook has little time for outlaws on it’s platform.
#2 – Don’t assign your business page to a different ad account
This one may seem like a logical resort if you know how to do it.
As the business page isn’t banned just the ad account, you might think “I’ll just transfer it to my other ad account!”
And whilst I’ve nearly been driven to this on a few occasions, I’m glad I didn’t go through with it.
This is another one that comes under the ‘circumventing systems’ policy, I want to restate that the solution to getting your account back will almost never be by skirting the rules.
Which leads into my next point.
#3 – Don’t give up
At the core of Facebook’s business model is capturing and holding attention for as long as possible and then monetising it by advertising to these engaged people.
Facebook wants you to spend money with them and they know you can’t do that with a blocked ad account.
It may not seem like it or they may be extremely slow in changing their decision or getting back to you.
But they are ultimately pulling for you.
If you’ll allow me to get a bit woo woo, challenges like a blocked ad account are the price you pay for a life of growth and winning, use every resource you have (the above board ones of course) at your disposal to solve this challenge.
No person who has ever won big with Facebook ads has been immune to disabled accounts, rejected ads or campaigns that tanked.
The only way you lose is if you give up!
The next section deals with prevention not cure, which I hope is more applicable than the above at the time you’re reading this article.
3 Things You Can Do To Prevent Future Bans/Disables
#1 – Don’t keep getting ads rejected on any of your accounts
I won’t apologise for how simple all my solutions are, in the words of Leonardo Da Vinci “Simplicity is the true sophistication”.
This one basically comes down to the fact that Facebook tracks the percentage of ads you run that have been rejected.
I’m pretty straight edge and I have about a 2%-3% rejection rate on my ads, most of the time it’s a mistake and I win the appeal but sometimes it’s not.
A good friend of mine who isn’t as well versed with Facebook ads, used to run boosts and some quickly put together ads, most of them used to be rejected and he created a pattern of ad rejections.
Now every ad he runs gets rejected, regardless of how strictly he follows the Facebook policies and guidelines.
I’m surprised he hasn’t been banned completely, all of this is to say that you shouldn’t build up a habit of continuing to get ads rejected.
It’s ok to walk the line but don’t keep crossing it.
#2 – Have a second back-up ad account
This is something that I would do within a couple of weeks of getting your account back live.
It has saved me some stress as I can still run ads while the other account is in review so I only have a small break in service.
Something that is important to know is that a new account won’t have as much pixel data so I would expect you to have lower results in the first few weeks as it will take a while for Facebook to optimise for your chosen campaign objective.
Please don’t do this while your other account is banned, you either won’t be able to or you will be punished for you trying to circumvent your ban.
This isn’t a fix-all but it will ensure when you get restricted you don’t go from 200 leads a week to 0.
The screenshot below shows you how to create a new account, you can do it from the ads manager ‘business settings’.
#3 – Diversify your ad strategy
This isn’t really a prevention strategy but it will ensure that your account being banned won’t be quite as much of a disaster for you.
This is my latest strategy and one that has been the biggest lesson I’ve taken away from my continued challenges with Facebook ads.
It was once taught to me that having one of anything in your business is a liability.
All these leave you at risk, if your salesperson gets sick, your product isn’t right for a customer who’s a good fit, or your Facebook ads are shut down.
I have run youtube ads successfully in the past and I’ve started utilising them in my current role, I’m not getting storming results yet but it is always good to hedge and I’m confident that before long they will outperform my Facebook ad campaigns.
I mentioned youtube ads as that is what I’m doing, but this principle can be applied to any other platform, google adwords, pinterest ads, amazon ads, the list goes on and they are all ways to hedge against your main traffic source being restricted.
That’s all the doom and gloom done, the next section is some actionable information on what has been working for me and I hope it serves as the cherry on top of what I’ve covered so far.
My Top 5 Tips Based On What’s Getting Me Great Results With Facebook Ads Right Now
#1 – Smaller budgets, more campaigns
This one is counterintuitive and the unique thing about marketing is that the opposite of a good idea can still be a good idea.
When it comes to campaigns budgets, the bigger the better right?
That’s not always the case.
I’ve spent up to £1000 a day profitably but what’s been working recently to get a great cost per acquisition (CPA) is £30-£50 a day campaigns.
Now obviously to get the volume I need, I need lots more campaigns but the extra work is paying off.
I don’t like my ad sets not exiting the learning phase as once you get past the volatile performance in the beginning there is normally sustained good performance on the other side.
This said, you can’t argue with what’s working, and if there is anything I’ve learned from the best in the marketing biz, it’s to double down on what’s working and not mess with a system that’s working to generate leads and sales.
As with any advice you get from me, don’t take my word as gospel, go and try it yourself and report back.
Not everything I say will work for you, I can only report on what’s working for me and share the principles that have served me well.
The next tip is something that is a pretty universal marketing principle but I’ll elaborate on how it applies to FB ads.
#2 – Research, research, research
This one is something I’ve only really adopted seriously in the past few months, it’s something I’ve always done but as with most things in life, new focus and intention yields spectacular results.
I have a couple of tools I use that I will mention, I’m in no way an affiliate and they just serve as examples, there are plenty of choices available to you that don’t cost any money.
When it comes to marketing you either spend time or money to get leads and results.
I’ve used Facebook organic strategies and got great results after an initial 3 months of graft with little to no results.
The same can be said for research, in the early days of my Facebook ads career I used to stalk the profiles of my target audience.
I would pick 3-5 people and look for:
It would take a while to put this all in a spreadsheet manually, but after I did all that and started to review what I found, it didn’t take long to start seeing patterns.
Nowadays I use a piece of software called ‘interest explorer’ for my FB ads research, given how clunky Facebook’s native interest/demographic search is, this is a great solution.
It basically uses Facebook’s API to pull all the interests available to target and also any similar ones, it’s great for finding new audiences.
My time is worth more than the money this software costs so it makes sense.
The other one I have used more recently for google/youtube ads is ‘Adzoola’ which essentially does the same thing on the youtube side, pulling video url’s and suggested videos/keywords to enable you to speed up your targeting/audience research and campaign building.
Audiences and ad creative are the two biggest levers to increase your results from fb ads so anything that helps you test and optimise both is a great idea.
I want to keep this brief so to conclude, the software is arbitrary, what really matters is finding out who your audience is following on Facebook and Instagram, what they are searching for on youtube and google and meeting them where they hang out.
#3 – Feedback from customer service team
I’m moving away from ads into a bit of funnel building and optimisation with this one but it really made a difference so I wanted to share it with you.
We had some feedback by way of comments on my ads and also some inbound emails too.
They were two main questions and feedback that were of interest to me.
A few customers asked whether there was any further subscription or payments to make other than the initial cost of P&P on our ‘Open With A Close’ free book offer.
There were 2 reasons for this, as identified by the customers, the order form I used had the wording ‘Due Today’ right next to the order total, and also a lot of these customers had been stung by other forced continuity type offers.
(For context forced continuity is very scammy and involves heavily selling a low-end or low priced product which is the focus of the entire webpage with the exception of some small print detailing the subscription you are signing up to).
It took some custom html and the help of the ‘GoSpiffy’ customer support but I managed to change the text to ‘Amount Due’ instead of ‘Due Today’ which has already made a difference along with the second change I’ll detail below.
I added an FAQ to the bottom of the ones already featured on the page to handle this ‘objection’ or concern.
Essentially saying ‘Is there any subscription or additional payments’ and then answering it with a resounding no!
Sometime a relatively simple change like this is all it takes to optimise and put your prospects mind at ease.
Another smaller change was actually taking off a money back guarantee from the page as this again made some people think that there was more of a charge than the £2.80 to get the book.
All this makes the point that there is no substitute for real data and responses from ‘non-buyers’.
Obviously don’t submit to the every whim of customers but when it starts to become a pattern of data it’s important to test out solutions, there is always something more you can do to optimise your funnel however good it already is!
#4 – Video psychology
My recent foray into YouTube advertising has hammered home again something I’ve known inherently for a long time.
The power of video in advertising.
Since the beginning of my business and personal development journey I have made videos both as a content strategy and to provide value to my audience.
There have been plenty of examples where people have come up to me at an event and started talking like they know me already before I realise we have never met, they have just watched my videos.
The reason for this is because the brain can’t tell the difference between a video of you and seeing you in real life.
Whilst I’m writing this I’m aware it won’t have as much impact as a video of me, but I prefer to read than watch (and I hope some of you do too).
Marketing is all built on communication and establishing know, like and trust with your prospective customers.
Like I said before, the most important principles are the least sexy ones!
So why would you not utilise the next best thing to being face to face.
Whether you use video for content or Facebook/Youtube ads I implore you to give it a go and see the improvement in your results.
#5 – Objection handling retargeting
If you‘ve got this far you’re obviously committed to getting great results from FB ads, or you skipped ahead, either way I’ve saved the best ‘till last.
When I was taught this, I rushed to implement it and instantly started seeing great results.
My retargeting campaigns continue to get a CPA of half that of my cold traffic campaigns and I cite this as the primary reason.
The approach is to be a bit more creative with your retargeting and think about the objections your customers have and the reasons your first ad didn’t convert.
I broke them down into 4 different categories with ads which handle each.
Boring or not special (why are you different?) – There are a few options for this, my two favourites are ‘Us vs. Them’ where you position yourself against the competition and expose your own weaknesses and strengths as well as those of your competitors.
The next option is to introduce urgency or FOMO, this often takes the form of a limited time offer which will overcome their ‘I’ll just do it later…’ attitude and compel them to take action.
Don’t trust you (How can you prove who you are?) – In the words of Leonardo Dicaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street “And why should they trust you? I mean, look at you. You’re a bunch of f****** sleazy salesmen, right?
On average people see between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day.
So why should those people trust your ad?
This is where one of my best performing ads comes in, instead of my normal headline I substituted it for a testimonial.
The best way to overcome the lack of trust is a flurry of testimonials or introducing your unique selling proposition, you need to give people something tangible to latch on to that proves who you are and the results you get for your clients.
Don’t believe your claims (How can you prove what you say?) – This one can be solved with either a testimonial or by introducing a mechanism.
We’ve already covered the testimonial one, so let me give you a synopsis of what a mechanism is.
It’s what makes your product or service unique, in the case of our book funnel there are a couple of examples with the name of the book being one, ‘Open With A Close’ instantly implies a different way of doing sales and creates intrigue.
A more overt example of a mechanism is the title ‘Twelve Point Guide To Closing More Sales’ which also features on the book’s cover.
It makes it clear that we have a structure for them to follow to get from their current level of sales skills to being an elite closer.
Not sold (How can you say it in a new way?) – This final one is an interesting one, the solutions reference the book ‘Breakthrough advertising’ by Eugene Schwartz in which he talks about the stages of customer and market awareness.
To explain it succinctly, one ad you can try is introducing what’s known as a stage 4 mechanism, in the sales training niche ‘How to close more sales without being a sleazy salesperson’ would be a great example.
You’re essentially explaining how they can get the result (what they want) without doing or getting the bad stuff (what they don’t want).
The second is stage 5 on the graphic below. It involves creating a new appeal, as crude an example as it may be, yoga pants are the one I always turn to.
When yoga pants were first marketed and sold, the main selling point was their function and comfort whilst doing yoga. Where the stage 5 appeal comes in is their recent shift to being marketed as something that will make you (or your bum) look more sexy rather than just being comfortable for yoga.
That pretty much concludes this article, the last 2 things I want to leave you with is a summary of what I’ve covered and a quote for you to remember.
Ultimately if your FB ad account gets disabled, the two things to consider before you let emotion rule your decisions is that you need to follow the rules and policies Facebook outlines.
Skirting or straight up ignoring them will never pay off in the long run, I’m not telling you to kneel to the Facebook gods but do everything you reasonably can to play ball!
The quote I want to bring your attention to is a great way to reframe the obstacles in your life such as Facebook being less than helpful.
“Let a man rejoice when he is confronted with obstacles, for it means that he has reached the end of some particular line of indifference or folly, and is now called upon to summon up all his energy and intelligence in order to extricate himself, and to find a better way; that the powers within him are crying out for greater freedom, for enlarged exercise and scope.” – James Allen
As always I hope you found this valuable and I’m always open to feedback on how I can be better and serve you better.