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How Rules Engine Saves Time for Ecom Businesses
Last Updated:  
January 4, 2023

How Rules Engine Saves Time for Ecom Businesses

The following is a transcribed conversation between Logan Brown, a Product Manager here at Triple Whale, and Colin Dougherty, Head of Content at Triple Whale.

How Rules Engine helps DTC businesses

Colin Dougherty: So I guess the first question is, why should the average customer be excited for the rules engine?

Logan Brown: The average customer should be excited about the rules engine, because it's going to save them time point blank. The average customer probably spends several hours per week combing through the data and their Facebook ads, trying to determine what's working and what's not. And most of them have in their head kind of a hard and fast rule on how much they're willing to acquire a customer for, or what would designate a good or bad ROAS in their heads. And so those customers can take what's in their head as the hard and fast rule and apply those conditions. So that automatically once per day or every 15 minutes, we’ll automatically adjust their campaign budget, ad set budget, or turn ads on and off based on the criteria they set. So this should save time for the average customer regardless of where they stand on Facebook.

Colin Dougherty: Love that, that's super, super important. I guess going off of that: Do you have a rule that everyone should start with as their first rule?

Logan Brown: Well, we have the Triple Whale strategy, which is made up of six rules. So, I would suggest looking at that first, if you haven't, but if let's say, you just wanted to launch one rule to just understand how it's going to work, I would suggest using our ad stop loss rule.

A stylized photo of a city crosswalk sign that has a red hand lit up to denote "STOP"

The Ad Stop Rule explained

Logan Brown: And so, essentially what the ad stop loss rule does is ensure you don't spend money on an ad that's not performing for you, or that you’re losing money on. And so, the way this works is we're going to spend at least three times your AOV.

Logan Brown: We've chosen AOV because that's how much your average order value is, and at a 3x AOV, you would need at least a one ROAS to make your money back (and that feels like enough). Three times your AOV feels like enough. Spend to give that ad a chance. And if it's not returning what you want, then it's probably time to cut bait. So you want to make sure that in the last three days, you've spent at least three times your average order value. And in that same time period, the last three days or 72 hours, if your ROAS for that ad is less than 75% of your account average. So let's say,…

Logan Brown: Facebook in general,  is doing a 2X ROAS as if you're at 75% or less than two.

Logan Brown: You shut it off. And so we just automatically turn those off, which should save you money. But it also ensures that you're never operating an ad that's dragging your average down. So you should always be pushing new ads into the mix and then driving return from that platform up.

Colin Dougherty: Got it. Okay. Follow up question: could you give me a breakdown on what the Triple Whale strategy is in regards to the rules engine?

Triple Whale Rules Engine Strategy

Logan Brown: Yeah, so that we built this strategy for customers who aren't sure where to start. So what we did is we polled and discussed rules with about five different marketers. And then we built these rules that are all in the Triple Whale strategy. So to back up, just one moment, apologies. The Triple Whale strategy is made up of six rules, okay? And all those rules work together in tandem to create an automation that should improve your account.

Logan Brown: By making sure that there's no wasted spend, by making sure that the best ads are being served, and the best campaigns and ad sets are being improved through increased spend (or they're being turned off). So that way, you don't lose money on the ones that are poor-performing.

Logan Brown: So, yeah, we worked with four or five different marketers in determining what the best types of rules would be. That could be turned on for anybody and work in that way. So the first four rules are inverses of each other. So if you set budgets up on the campaign level, what we have is a campaign scaler and a campaign stop loss.

Logan Brown: If it's underperforming, we'll turn down the spend. If it's overperforming or performing at the level you want, we'll start pushing the spend up incrementally. And then the ad set is the exact same way. So if you said budgets on the ad set, we'll do the same thing there. And so by turning both on it can just ensure that anytime you go through your Facebook ads manager, and you create a new campaign, if you set it up as a campaign budget, we've got you taken care of. If you set it up on the budget at the ad set level, you're also taking care of it so it's no harm, no foul.

A photo of a chess board at the end of a game.

Logan Brown: And then we have two different ad stop losses. One we call the sinking ship. That's the one I just described, where we've spent at least three times your average order value, but they add as operating below the average threshold of the account or just below the average. And so, we're going to turn it off because it's operating below that average and dragging the account down.

Logan Brown: The other one is what we call the leaky bucket. So what this one's done is, we have an ad that actually has spent three times your average order value and has a zero ROAS.

Logan Brown: These rules are specifically good for someone who has existing ads running right now. All you need to do is turn on the Triple Whale strategy, and scan your ads once per day. And if any of them have spent more than three times your average order value in the last three days, and they're operating at a zero pixel ROAS, they’ll get shut down. And so imagine if you had five of those and they've all spent $300 a piece. We've saved you potentially an extra $1,500 dollars.

Who can use Rules Engine?

Colin Dougherty: Okay. Yeah, that's great. So should any level of e-commerce store use the rules engine? If it's a hundred-thousand-a-month store, if it's a million-a-month store, if it's a 10-million-a-month store, should all these stores use the Rules Engine?

Logan Brown: Well, you have to be spending on Facebook, number one. But if you're spending money on Facebook, I think it'll save you a lot of time. Think back to anyone who has this hard-set idea in their head of what CPA or ROAS they want to achieve. It'll save them time in getting there. As you scale up your Facebook account, the more powerful and important Rules Engine becomes.

Logan Brown: We have some of our most experienced customers and large customers running 10 campaigns at once, right? If every campaign has five ad sets and every ad set has five ads, imagine how much time it takes human beings to scroll through all of those various levels to check, and they're doing these checks every 30 minutes, every hour. And so it helps them even more because it just saves them more time. It's just like a compounding interest type of feature.

Colin Dougherty: Got it. Okay. Is there anything on the roadmap for the Rules Engine that you can share with people publicly that's coming out soon?

Logan Brown: I think one really cool thing that we're doing that is worth announcing: We have a feature coming out called Lighthouse.

A composite image of a lighthouse on a cliffside, but the sky is a Triple Whale analytics dashboard.

Using Rule Engine to optimize your paid media

Logan Brown: What Lighthouse is going to do is kind of shed light on the important things that are happening in your store. It's one of the first times where Triple Whale is going to analyze the information happening in your store and then prescribe you solutions, or we're going to give you recommendations on what you could do. So as that pertains to the rules, what's going to happen is we're going to simulate rules on your behalf.

Logan Brown: So even if you haven't used rules before, we're gonna simulate what our rule would have done for your account and then populate the recommendations.. So you'll have these great recommendations and pop-ups. If you're not using rules, we'll tell you how rules can help you if you are using rules. We're going to be delivering the actions and executions we're taking and explaining what impact that's had to your Facebook account and then overall, with your business.

Logan Brown: We're also going to be adding heavier audit logs to the rules. So you can see everything we've checked. Even right now, you can go through in the activity feed and you can see any actions that we took, if we turn it off, if we reduced the spend. But if you really want to get nerdy about it, you can also soon look through the audit logs and understand every time we evaluated a rule, what our system found, what Facebook was operating at, etc.. And that way, it'll help you build trust over time with what the system's doing for you in the automated world. And then we'll likely be expanding rules to other channels.

Logan Brown: So, if you're reading this blog post, let us know what channels would be most important for you to automate!

About the Author

Colin Dougherty

Colin is Head of Content at Triple Whale. He enjoys long walks on the beach, tequila sunrises, and a quick dip in the ocean.


Colin Dougherty

Colin is Head of Content at Triple Whale. He enjoys long walks on the beach, tequila sunrises, and a quick dip in the ocean.

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