Lowering Facebook CPL: Advantage+ vs Manual Audiences
1 February, 2024
Paid Ads

Lowering Facebook CPL: Advantage+ vs Manual Audiences

You would agree with me that finding the right balance between cost and lead quality is a constant challenge for Facebook Ads. Recently, I conducted a Facebook advertising experiment for a real estate project, testing the waters with Advantage+ Audiences and Manual Audiences. The results were a delicate trade-off between Cost Per Lead (CPL) and lead quality. For the Advantage+ Audience, I opted for basic targeting details, leveraging Facebook's machine learning algorithms to fine-tune the audience over time. I set up the Manual Audience ad set with detailed targeting to attract a more refined audience.

Initial 3 Weeks of the Facebook Ads Campaign

The initial weeks of the campaign revealed a fascinating trend: Advantage+ Audiences boasted a lower CPL, providing a seemingly cost-effective solution. However, the quality of leads was sporadic and inconsistent. This prompted a closer look at the Manual Audience, where the CPL was notably higher but accompanied by a surge in lead quality.


Post 3 Weeks of the Facebook Ads Campaign in Active Stage

  • After three weeks post the learning phase, the Advantage+ Audience were in Active stage; and the Manual Audience in the Learning Limited phase. Both audiences had comparable CPLs. While the Manual Audience generated fewer leads (quantity) in comparison, these leads had a higher brand recall of my project.

When to Choose: Facebook Advantage+ or Manual Audiences

The Advantage+ Audience strategy seemed ideal for marketers with the luxury of time. By allowing Facebook's machine learning algorithms to optimize and refine the audience gradually, one can obtain quality leads at a lower cost. This approach aligns with a long-term vision, where patience is rewarded with a more finely tuned target audience. On the other hand, the Manual Audience, with its detailed targeting parameters, proved to be the go-to choice for those in need of immediate and high-quality leads. The precision of manual curation in targeting outweighed the higher CPL, making it a strategic move for time-sensitive campaigns.


In conclusion, the choice between Advantage+ and Manual Audiences boils down to your campaign objectives and timeline. If time is on your side and you are willing to allow the algorithms to work their magic gradually, Advantage+ Audiences offer a cost-effective solution. However, for urgent campaigns where lead quality cannot be compromised, investing in a Manual Audience with detailed targeting is the key to success. Ultimately, this experiment highlighted the dynamic nature of Facebook advertising, where striking the right balance between CPL and lead quality depends on a marketer's strategic goals and the urgency of the campaign.