How to Fix The “Ad Set May Get Zero” Error

Oct 25, 2022

So, you’ve just filled out your ad set, ready to launch into the sea of potential customers waiting online. But just as you’re about to make that final click into an ecstatic season of conversions and sales, you get a dreadful response from the system:

“Ad set may get zero purchases”

Ad set may get zero purchases
The infamous “Ad set may get zero” error message

Or Zero Leads or Conversions… What?!

This pop-up is Facebook indirectly telling you that you’re wasting your time with your ads!

How’s that even possible? How can the system be foretelling that your ad set may get zero results? Even when you’re spending good money? How can all the effort you’re putting into creating customer-attracting Facebook ads not yield results?

Relax – these pop-ups could be false alerts because Facebook is not human and may send these alerts if it perceives something is wrong. You may discover that you have absolutely nothing to worry about in the long run.

However, if your ad set isn’t properly done, we may not exactly call this a false alert, and you may need to modify a thing or two with your ad set.

This article will show you in 5 steps what to do when you encounter error messages with your Facebook ads setup – or you can watch our video here on YouTube.

First things first.

1. Why Do You Get The Distressing ‘Ad Set May Get Zero’ Pop-up?

The main reason you’ll likely get the buggy ‘ad set may get zero’ pop-up is that Facebook’s targeting system is continuously changing. With the recent improvement in privacy policies and settings, the precision of social media targeting has also changed drastically.

Unfortunately, these privacy settings changes have also made it pretty difficult for social media to find the right buyers for your products.

So, to deal with the effects of privacy settings setbacks, you’ll need to ensure that your ad set is filled inaccurately.

But let’s guess, you’ll most likely click on ‘learn more’ the moment you get notified that your ‘ad set may get zero’.

Clicking the Learn More button with Adset May Lead To Zero

Nice move. But suppose you want to ‘learn more’ from the system. In that case, you’ll have to go through a long list of troubleshooting and optimization options for different data in your ad.

Honestly, we think the information you’ll find is quite complex, and you may have a hard time using it.

What then do you do to ensure that the ‘ad set may get zero’ does not happen?

Keep reading! You’ll figure out how to address the issue of ‘zero purchases’ on your Facebook ads.

2. Let’s Take a Dive Into Conversion Optimization and the ‘Zero Conversions’

If you’re still new to Facebook ads, Facebook may not want you to select purchase just yet. For the system, that option makes targeting pretty difficult because they are yet to register any previous users or purchasers of your products or services with your Facebook pixel.

The summary of the long optimization text you get from clicking on ‘learn more’ beneath the ‘ad set may get zero’ message is simply Facebook trying to push you to fix your campaign afresh. They want you to select easier-to-target options like traffic, engagement, and brand awareness instead of purchase.

If you prefer the easy way, you can easily select either of the options Facebook wants you to select. However, if you do not optimize your campaign for conversion (by selecting the conversion option). In that case, you’ll only have random people clicking on your ad. No one would be able to buy your product.

Conversions Campaign Setup

So, if your store is new and you’ve optimized your ad set for conversions and purchases, ignore the pop-up. It would be unlikely that your ad set may get zero conversions and purchases.

3. Ensure You’ve Selected the Right Budget for Your Facebook Ads

Speaking of budget, there’s a catch when Facebook sends you this error message. You’ll most likely get this message if you set a small budget like $5 because Facebook wants you to spend more money!

In our opinion, it’s a bad idea to top up your budget when Facebook tells you to do so. Only pump more money into your ad campaigns when you feel like your ads are giving you the results you want, not essentially when Facebook says so.

So, if you get the ‘ad set may get zero’ pop-up because your budget is relatively low, then no need to worry. It is a false alarm.

4. Set Up the Right Audience and Pay Attention to the Error

If this error comes up when your specific targeting is too narrow or too broad, then it is a real cause to worry. Your targeting works around a given age bracket and location and needs to be set to the right size.


Yeah, it’s okay to want the entire world to see your product. But that comes at a cost. If you’re a small business still tying your ends together, it is best to narrow your targeting to a specific location – preferably your country of operation.

Age Bracket

Also, your ideal customers shouldn’t be within a wide age bracket for your target age. Go for an age range of 15 to 20 years, so you can rightly target your ideal customers. But really, is your product ideal for teenagers and seniors at the same time?

Campaign Keywords

In the detailed targeting option, you must enter a relevant keyword for your product or services. This would ensure that the ads system shows you relevant suggestions with which you can reach a viable audience.

Also, ensure that your keyword selection isn’t narrowly niched so that its potential consumer size is within a range of hundreds of thousands or millions. If this size lags around hundreds or a few thousand, then that pop-up isn’t a false alarm, and your ad set may get zero conversions or purchases your product or service.

Contrary to what you may think, you only get about 1% to 2% of your ideal customer size see your ad. Also, remember that your preferred location and age bracket would further narrow your audience size. For example, in the illustrations below, with Educational toys as the keyword, we have an average audience size of around 6 to 7 million.

Facebook Ads Audience Size

But when you set this targeting to an age bracket of 20 – 35 years and location in the United States, you’ll see that the audience size drops to around 1 – 2 million.

Consequently, if your potential audience is around 20,000 during ad campaign setup, and only 2% sees your ad, do the math. How many potential customers would click and eventually make a purchase?

We also have practical tips to help you set the ideal Facebook audience for maximum conversions.

5. The Conclusion On The “Ad Set May Get Zero” Error in Facebook Ads

Undoubtedly, you now know that the ‘ad set may lead to zero’ message you receive on Facebook ad is mainly because of the significant privacy changes currently adopted in the social network ad space. Sometimes, you could get this message as a false alarm, especially if it shows up when you set a low budget or your ad set is fine-tuned for conversions. On the other hand, it would surely not be a false alarm if your targeting is too narrow or too broad; and you would need to touch up things to convert your traffic.

Pro TipHow To Get More Highly-Converting Traffic To Your Online Store

If you strongly desire high-quality traffic gravitating towards your ad campaign, you need this powerful tip.

Do you have available data to help your ad create a cast of audience? If you do, what kind of data is that?

Facebook loves it when you help out in the search for the right audience. So, have you got an email list of returning customers? Can you also obtain the email addresses of your physical store customers?


Then, you can upload this data to Facebook and watch it reward you generously by giving you high-quality traffic at a relatively lower rate!

Still need some help with your Facebook ads? We’ve got ecommerce coaching programs that tell you all you need to know about Facebook ads and ecommerce marketing.

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Silvia Myers

Silvia Myers

Traffic Ninja & eCommerce Coach

Silvia is co-founder of Traffic Ninjas, teaching product makers and brand builders how to sell their incredible products online without having to discount or spend their hard-earned cash on things that don’t work.

Together with her husband and co-founder, Kristen, Traffic Ninjas equip eCommerce stores with an underground Ninja method specifically designed for small business owners, teaching them how to be profitable and sustainable and actually earn an income from selling their products online.

The Traffic Ninjas community has grown from Sydney, Australia to 35+ countries around the world with small business owners achieving amazing results.


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