TWO simple iOS 14.5 tweaks in Fb’s ad manager that halved our CPA, 10x our CVR and took one of our businesses from -10k to 100k/month

This following post was only possible thanks to my good friend Mattia Paganelli, who out of the generosity of his heart, shared with us this absolute groundbreaking win during the iOS14.5 nightmare. Enjoy 🙂

Tweak #1: Cutting our CPA in half

Look at the screenshots below…

Those are recent stats from 4 of our campaigns.

One offer is a home fitness program for women (first one) and the other is a home training program for men (the second).

As you can see, the first campaigns’ CPA varies anywhere from €48 to €65. In the second, it ranges from 27 € to 32 €.

And do you know what’s crazy?

Those campaigns are 100% identical EXPECT for one little detail…

This little detail (which I’ll reveal to you in a sec) allowed us the scale back a DEAD offer (the male home training program) to 100 sales per day… Giving us a 2x ROAS

The crazier part… We were about to shut it down since we were losing money for 2 consecutive months.

You won’t believe what this little detail is since it’s THE OPPOSITE of what Facebook recommends.


We changed the conversion event.

In all the red screenshots, we were using the standard purchase event to optimize our campaigns. In all the green screenshots, we are using a custom conversion event.

Custom conversion = is the one you create through Facebook.

You select the URL, and when someone hits the page, the custom conversion triggers (it’s actually very inaccurate, it counts much more conversions than the reality, but whatever. It works!)

Our main female offer has a ROAS of 2x when we are optimizing for custom conversion…

But end up losing money EVERY TIME I try to switch to the “recommended” purchase optimization.

But the weirdest thing happened when I tested switching the conversion event in our dying male offer and the conversion literally EXPLODED.

Now, I don’t know why this happens. Maybe because we hit very different people with our messaging (the gym-goer, the busy guy/gal who wants to train from home, etc.).

Or maybe it’s just because Facebook is so fucked up at the moment.

The point is, I had undeniable proof it works MUCH better than the standard purchase event. 

And, of course, I create a new custom conversion for each offer (which is a pain in the ass since you are limited to 8 events per domain).

Tweak #2: From -10k to 100k/month

So above, I talked about the “​​custom conversions fix.” That’s how we revived one offer that was struggling in the fitness space.

However, that “fix” didn’t work for our company in the pet space (it worked something else).

Here’s the story.

May 2021 was our best month yet for that company. We did about € 100k with approximately 50% of the margin. So we are on a roll.

Unfortunately, that didn’t last much.

In June 2021, we went from a € 20 CPA, to € 80 without changing a thingShit.

We tried with new publics… New creatives… And even with the custom conversion event (we were optimizing for purchase until May), but NOTHING.

The CPA for that was € 200,15.

Nothing was working anymore and we had to stop our campaigns.

Which is insane and the first time that happened in about 3 years.

“What’s wrong?”

So after testing pretty much ANYTHING, a friend gave us a strange advice.

Test the “initiate checkout” conversion event.

So we did that here’s how it went.

In the screenshot below, you can see the performances of the last few days of two campaigns: one optimized for purchase and the other for initiate checkout.

Everything else is the same.

First Campaign:

  • Conversion event: Purchase
  • Cost: € 145,98
  • CPC: € 0,02
  • US: 2
  • CR: 0.03%
  • CPUS: € 72,95

Super cheap clicks BUT brutal conversion rate.

The same pattern we saw in the fitness Business Manager.

The clicks, CTRs, and CPMs are fantastic, but the conversion rate sucks tremendously.

Now, let’s look at the other campaign…

  • Conversion event: Initate Checkout
  • Cost: € 481.25
  • CPC: € 0,05 – 0,06
  • US: 26
  • CR: 0.3% 
  • CPUS: € 18,51

Overnight, our Conversion Rate got 10X better

Those stats are aligned with May, which was our best month to date…

And are holding strong for about 20 days. Basically, the “Initiate checkout” conversion event saved our company.

And we are now scaling it back to € 100k per month…

…just by changing this tiny setting. 

Which is more than crazy if you ask me. So, after looking at these stats…

We decided to try the same optimization in the fitness company.

Look at the stats.

  • Conversion event: Initiate Checkout
  • Investment: € 200.63
  • US: 2
  • CPUP: € 100.32


If we look at an IDENTICAL ad group optimized for custom conversion during the same day:

  • Conversion Event: CP
  • Investment: € 493.99
  • US: 35
  • CPUP: € 14,11

Pretty dramatic difference, right?

So, right now, Facebook is entirely crazy and unpredictable.

One thing we see consistently within all Ad Accounts is that the “purchase event” isn’t working anymore…

It’s like Facebook is optimizing for cheap clicks and NOT purchases.

Look at the stats of the two identical campaigns I attached below:

We were losing an insane amount of money.

But if you look at CPMs, CTRs, and CPCs…

Those are all incredibly good.

So you would think this is an offer / VSL problem… That’s what we thought too.

But then…

Here is the recent performance of an identical campaign optimized for the CC:

• The CTR is half as good;

• The CPM is double;

• The CPC is 4X.

However, the VSL conversion rate exploded.

It’s like 10X better than before.

And in line with our pre-iOs 14.5 stats.

In conclusion, Facebook is now crazy as fuck.

We are now running other tests to see if you can find any other data worth sharing.

Though, the main thing is:

If your offer recently unexplainably died, don’t give up. Instead try another conversion event.

If we hadn’t tried this, we’d now have two dead companies.

Instead, we are having the best months ever with one, and scaling back up the other 🙂

Mattia Paganelli

P.s. Add me to your Facebook friends to connect 🙂