Dealing with Rejection | Marketing Therapy Blog Series

Fans of romantic comedies know how to deal with rejection: a tub of ice cream, a sad movie, good friends, and occasionally a bonfire fueled with the ex’s belongings. In real life, it might take a bit more time and processing of emotion. The rejected person may not feel like themselves as they go through what is similar to the grieving process before returning to “normal” life. Likewise but with less magnitude, rejection in the marketing world puts everything on hold. 

One of the most common rejections that advertisers experience is from Facebook Ads Manager. The platform is a powerful tool – we find it much more robust than boosting posts. However, in response to backlash regarding potentially discriminatory ads, tracking, and other alleged abuses, Ads Manager has set increasingly stronger boundaries for advertisers. Many of these are good and we believe all are well-intentioned, but they can still be frustrating.

“It’s not you, it’s me” is the dreaded cliche in relationships. The equivalent in Facebook advertising is “your ad has been rejected for violating policy.” It can seem vague and harsh. Instead of taking it personally, reflect upon whether or not it could be true. 

“It’s not me, it’s you.” 

Could it actually be you? Ask these questions to assess whether you actually could be guilty of the most common ad violations:

  • Is my ad in a category that is often misrepresented or misused? For example, weight loss products, multi level marketing offers, loans, personal injury law, and medical services require special attention to make sure that the marketing is above-board. 
  • Is my ad in a category in which people often have experienced discrimination? Employment opportunities, credit offers, and housing are examples; again the right wording and targeting are essential.
  • Is there anything in my wording or on the landing page that could indicate that my ad falls in the above categories (even if it doesn’t)? 
  • Is my image appropriate and/or could it convey a message that gives false promises?
  • Have I unintentionally used wording that seems to target persons in emotional distress? This is surprisingly easy to do; an ad showing that your services could relieve stress for a busy business owner might trigger a rejection at first. (Yes, we speak from experience!)    

“It’s really not you, it’s me.” 

As a company and as advertisers, we appreciate these efforts to protect people. We have a commitment to work with honest companies that exhibit integrity, which means we avoid companies that would seek to take advantage of or discriminate against people. It stings a little to get a rejection that states we aren’t upholding our commitment, and we admit that sometimes it feels personal. But it is not. Remember that Ads Manager relies heavily on artificial intelligence, which doesn’t allow for personal judgement. The good news is that submitting a rejection for review will get human eyes on it. Then if the ad is not truly not in violation, it should begin running after it has been reviewed. Here are a few of the rejection “bots” common triggers:

  • Excessive use of the word “you.” 
  • Use of emotion words: afraid, scared, stressed, depressed, etc.
  • Having multiple ads in a special category like credit, and running one that doesn’t belong in the same category.
  • “Before and after” pictures or wording. 
  • A landing page that uses any of the above.
  • Increased public controversy about ad targeting and discrimination – we often see the “bots” step things up and reject a few ads that quickly pass after human review. 

“Why does this keep happening to me?”

Ad creation is not as simple as coming up with a cute image and catchy tagline and boosting it on Facebook. Audience targeting, attending to all the details of the ad, setting objectives, determining budget, and understanding results is essential. When done properly, it can be very time consuming. 

Can you DIY? Sure. You can also finish your own basement despite having no construction experience, cut and color your own hair, and rebuild your own transmission. You have to ask yourself how much time it will take to accomplish the task and whether your time should be spent elsewhere, such as running your business. You also have to ask whether a professional will produce significantly better results. Often, the answer is yes. 

The team at 100th Monkey has years of experience in building ad campaigns and navigating the nuances of the relationship with Facebook and Ads Manager. We have increased access to Facebook help channels and meet regularly with Facebook Marketing Experts to improve ad performance. We face rejection too, but we have the tools and the perseverance to meet our advertising goals in a way that passes scrutiny. We hope these tips help you navigate Ads Manager, but also would be happy to talk to you about how we can improve your marketing efforts.