The ultimate guide to Snapchat Ads automation

The ultimate guide to Snapchat Ads automation

Snapchat might be the most underrated digital advertising channel right now, with Facebook + Instagram taking all the attention.

Ever since Snapchat has launched their self-serve advertising platform, cost per impression and engagement has largely been on the decline.

With all the competition on Facebook and Instagram, now is the perfect time to bring some of your budget over to Snapchat and see if you can capture some of this untapped market for yourself.

Still need convincing? Snapchat just launched its own version of Dynamic Ads, typically the highest performing ad type right now on Facebook for ecommerce brands and clients.

Plus the Snapchat Ads Manager has been improving ever since its launch and now has a lot of critical features you’ve been relying on with Facebook Ads.

The only thing that’s missing is automated rules.

But don’t worry, we just added support for Snapchat in Revealbot - now the first Snapchat Ads automation tools.

Because the Snapchat Ads Manager doesn’t have automated rules yet (and we’ll update this article when they do), I’ll show you how you can automate Snapchat Ads management to save time and improve ROI with Revealbot

What are Snapchat automated rules?

As of right now, Snapchat doesn’t offer any native automation tools such as Facebook does with automated rules. However, you can use Revealbot to bring automated rule functionality to Snapchat Ads. Here’s how it works.

Automated rules are similar to “if this then that” statements. There are conditions (the ifs) and an action (that). While the actions consist of pausing/starting ads, adjusting budgets, or changing ad names, the conditions are nearly limitless.

Once an automated rule is set up, a “bot” continuously checks your campaigns and whenever those conditions are met, the action you chose is executed.

Here’s an example:

Spend ≥ $50 AND
Swipe Ups > 0 AND
Swipe Ups < 15

Pause Ad

This rule will automatically pause ads with more than $50 in spend and less than fifteen swipe ups

Unfortunately, the Snapchat Ads Manager doesn’t yet have automated rules natively. You’ll need to use Revealbot to get automated rules for Snapchat Ads.

Now that you know what Snapchat Ads are, let’s talk about why they’re such a big deal to use.

Why automate Snapchat Ads?

Media buyers who know how to take advantage of automated rules will use them extensively to help them manage their accounts and budgets.

With automated rules, you can protect yourself from spending too much on a losing campaign. You can automatically increase budgets on winning campaigns. Yes, these are all things you can do manually, but with automation, these actions are always performed 24/7 as soon as the conditions are met. This means actions are taken quicker than any human could do, saves time, and relieve a lot of anxiety knowing you’re always protected.

Who should use Snapchat Automated Rules?

You need to take advantage of automated rules if you’re a media buyer who manages lots of ad accounts (an agency or freelancer), you manage a high budget with lots of campaigns for a single brand, or you want to squeeze out the best ROI no matter how many accounts you’re managing or their budgets. In other words, if you’re looking to save time and get better results, you should try automation.

How automating Snapchat Ads can grow your business

Automated rules are just one piece of the automation puzzle - campaign management. The other piece is ad creation. While Revealbot can’t help you create ads automatically, Snapchat did release a new feature recently called Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs), which are perfect for ecommerce campaigns.

You can integrate an ecommerce store’s inventory feed to Snapchat, use DPAs to automatically create several ads that are always updated to your inventory, and let automated rules manage the day-to-day operations.

This is a game-changer for agencies. Agencies will be able to take on more clients without having to hire as many account managers.

It’s also a game-changer for ecommerce brands because automated rules work around the clock 24/7. Automation can take action long before a human can come to a conclusion after analyzing campaigns. It frees up advertisers’ time to create more ads, find new audiences, work on landing pages, etc.

Best Snapchat automated rules with examples

There are five critical automated rules you should set up if you want to bring automation to your campaigns. They each revolve around an essential action to help you manage your Snapchat Ads campaigns.

Pause underperformers

The most valuable rule type you can set up first is to automatically pause underperforming campaigns, ad sets, or ads. Let’s look again at the earlier example in this article, but built in Revealbot:

This rule will automatically pause ads with more than $50 in spend today and less than fifteen swipe ups.

When creating a condition, there are three parts: 1) the initial metric, 2) the timeframe, and 3) the value. In the first condition, spend is the initial metric, today is the timeframe and $50 is the value.

By using a timeframe of today, this rule is checking the ad’s performance in a daily window of time to make a decision. You can change this timeframe to be yesterday, the last three days including today, the last 7 days including today, and so on. The timeframe is a key part of how micro or macro you want to manage your campaigns.

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Restart underperformers

Continuing with our example, our first pause rule will turn ads off that are not performing well that day. It’s entirely possible this same ad could perform well tomorrow.

Combing the pause rule with a restart rule, we can set up our ads to pause on days when performance is low, then turn them back on the following day to try again. That way, the ad will only run on days it’s doing well.

To set up a restart rule, we can set up a filter to only apply this rule to ads with a status of pause.

For the rule, we need to choose “start” for the action and “spent more than $0 yesterday” as the condition.

This condition will ensure we’re only turning ads back on that were recently running, not ads that have been paused for a while that we don’t want running again. But there’s still one problem that we have so far. Do you see it?

Let’s say an ad is continually a bad performer. With the way our rules are set up, it will turn on every day, spend budget without meeting our performance threshold, then pause. And it will repeat this process every day unless we do something.

Let’s add some more conditions to our restart rule to make sure we’re only turning on ads that are doing well over a longer period of time.

The first group of conditions is applicable to new ads we enter into this process (less than $350 spend in the last 7 days) where it’s too early to take performance into account. The second group of conditions is applicable to ads that have been running for a while and performance matters (more than $350 spend in the last 7 days with at least 60 swipe ups).

As long as one of these two groups of conditions are met, our ad will turn back on to try again.

Increase budgets for high performing ad sets

Now that we have a “stop/loss rule” to pause underperforming ads and we have a restart rule to keep ads running as long as they’re performing well, we can now set up an automation to increase the budget on our best performing campaigns. This is how we start to scale our campaigns!

Since budgets are set on the ad set level, we need to make sure our next rule is being applied to ad sets. For the conditions, we can set the performance threshold to a level we’d be really happy with achieving. And if our ad set hits that level, increase the budgets.

I decided to set my performance target to an average of $20 cost per purchase after $160 in spend. Since we’re targeting the ad set, these conditions apply to the total/average of all ads in the ad set.

In other words, if the ads in ad set reach $160 in spend while maintaining a cos per purchase below $20, it will raise the budget on the ad set affecting all the ads.

Make sure the bid cap on the campaign allows room for your ad sets’ budgets to increase.

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Advanced strategies

Depending on your scale, you can have multiple increase budget rules on the same day. For example, I could create multiple increase budget rules with performance target ranges to make to scale the budget increase. For example:

Cost per Purchase > $18 AND
Cost per Purchase < $20 AND
Purchases > 1 AND
Spend > $160

Increase budget 10%
Cost per Purchase > $16 AND
Cost per Purchase < $18 AND
Purchases > 1 AND
Spend > $160

Increase budget 20%

This method has the highest control of the budget increase amount. An alternative method is to set one increase budget rule and change the rule frequency from once per day to something more frequent, like every two hours.

If you have high enough budgets, you could combine both of these methods.

Resetting the ad set budget

In our budget strategy so far, we’re scaling the budget based on today’s performances. On a great day, we’ll be increasing our budget by 20%, but I know every day this isn’t going to happen. So after a good day and the budget does increase 20%, we’ll want to reset the budget to normal.

Although there isn’t a “reset budget” action, you can use the “set budget” action to set it back to its original budget, which in my example here $400/day.

Further down in the settings, you can schedule this action to happen once per day at midnight.

Advanced strategies

What if our ads are frequently doing well every day and we want to increase our baseline foundation? For example, my baseline budget is $400/day in ad sets. If my ad set has been doing really well in the last seven days, it no longer makes sense to reset the budget back down, but to keep it higher.

To do this, we can an additional rule. First, we’ll create the increase budget rule for ad sets that have been performing well for the last seven days.

So if an ad set has spent more than $700 in the last seven days and a cost per purchase between $18-$20, we’ll increase the budget. Further down in the rule settings, you can customize when this rule runs from every day or only once every Sunday, for example.

Now in order to ensure our reset budget rule won’t reset this ad set’s budget to the baseline of $400, we’ll add another task to this rule that adds a tag to the ad set’s name to distinguish these ad sets from the others.

Using the same conditions, this means whenever an ad set meets these conditions, we’re doing two things: 1) increasing the budget by 10%, and 2) adding the text “#good” to the ad set name.

Back in our original reset budget ad, we can then adjust our filters for our rule to only apply to ad sets without “#good” in the ad set name, meaning they won’t have their budgets reset.

How all the automated rules come together

We’ve covered a variety of different rules and it helps to recap what we’ve set up to see how powerful this system is. Here’s what we’ve setup:

  1. Pause underperforming ads after spending $50
  2. Restart paused as the next day to try again
  3. Increase budget 10% for ads doing well
  4. Increase budget 20% for ads doing great
  5. Reset budget increases the next day to try again
  6. Increase budget permanently if ads continue to do well

We’ve built a very nice system to automate Snapchat Ad management. This frees up our time to focus on finding better audiences and creating better ads.

But wait, there’s more!

Notifications when automations fire

To make your Snapchat Ad automation system complete is to set up notifications so you know what’s going on. At Revealbot, we prefer Slack notifications, but you also have the option of email notifications.

In each rule, you can customize the notifications settings.

You can have email notifications go to multiple email addresses and send Slack messages to multiple channels and people.

Now you can have all your automations running without worrying about managing performance. And you’ll be notified of what’s going on so you don’t have to keep checking into your ad account to stay on top of it.

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Troubleshooting Snapchat Automated Rules

The last thing you’ll want to be aware of is Revealbot’s automated rule log. When starting off with automated rules, it can be confusing and it’s likely all the conditions of your system won’t work perfectly the first time.

So when you think a rule should have fired but didn’t, or did fire and shouldn’t have, you can check that rule’s log to see when the rule was checked if the conditions were met, why it was/wasn’t triggered, and errors.

Click the “Details” button next to a log item to see exactly what happened.

What do you think about automation?

You’re now fully equipped to set up a complete automation system for Snapchat Ads. Paired with Snapchat’s Dynamic Product Ads, you can automate a large part of the ad creation process, too.

I’d love to hear what you think! Was this helpful? Will you be using automation in your Snapchat strategy? Let me know in the comments below.

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