Take Control Over Your PPC Budget Pacing with AutoPilot Daily

Logo of Shape AutoPilot Pause/Enable Daily tool with plane, two arrows, and the sun

As a digital advertiser, you complete hundreds of campaign management and optimization tasks every day to ensure your ad accounts run optimally.

Working in PPC advertising is a constant mix of complex strategic tasks and repetitive workflows. But, there’s a mundane task that advertising engines make unnecessarily complex: budget pacing.

You set budgets expecting them to be adhered to but each platform’s settings work differently. Google Ads is allowed to overspend your daily campaign budgets by 200%. With Facebook Ads, you can set an ad set daily budget, a campaign daily budget, or a lifetime budget. Microsoft Ads (fka Bing Ads) most closely adheres to daily campaign budgets...for now.

All of these different platform rules make managing a marketing budget across advertising networks and channels tough. Budgeting and pacing shouldn’t be this complex.

We looked to one of the most powerful tools on our platform, AutoPilot, and asked what we could do to make budget pacing less complicated.

That’s why we’re so excited to introduce AutoPilot Daily Pause/Enable. With AutoPilot Daily, your campaigns adhere to strict daily budget targets meaning you won’t be surprised by over-delivery issues. Learn how AutoPilot Daily works, how it’s different from our other modes, and how you can use it to better control your campaign spend.

What is AutoPilot Daily Pause/Enable?

When AutoPilot launched, it transformed the Shape platform from a budget tracking platform to a budget management platform.

AutoPilot was designed to prevent digital advertisers from overspending PPC budgets. It works by monitoring your campaign spend against a budget target and pausing those campaigns when the target is achieved.

But, AutoPilot has never been great at preventing spend from over-pacing. High-traffic campaigns might spend their entire budget in two or three days and then remain paused for the rest of the budget cycle.

AutoPilot Daily Pause/Enable uses the same logic as AutoPilot to pause or enable your advertising campaigns to ensure you hit your budget targets, but it does so on a daily basis.

Graph showing how Shape AutoPilot Pause/Enable Daily enables and pauses campaigns to keep spend on track with ideal daily spend line

AutoPilot Daily Pause/Enable calculates the ideal daily spend your campaigns will need to achieve your overall budget target. If your campaigns hit that daily threshold, AutoPilot Daily pauses your campaigns and won’t reactivate them until the following day.

If your campaigns don’t hit their ideal daily threshold, AutoPilot Daily will allocate that unused spend to the following day.

AutoPilot Daily helps you hit your overall budget target while ensuring you allocate spend as evenly as possible throughout the entirety of your budget cycle.

Should I use AutoPilot Daily Pause/Enable Mode?

AutoPilot Daily Pause/Enable alleviates over-pacing issues outlined in the scenarios below. If you find yourself regularly in these situations (or similar ones), we highly recommend testing it.

Graph showing how PPC camapign spend fluctatues during the first days of a budget cycle but are then $0 after the campaigns hit their budget target mid-budget cycle

Reasons to consider AutoPilot Daily:

  • You manually adjust your daily budgets up or down frequently to keep your campaign spend pacing correctly.

  • Seasonality or other trends cause traffic spikes in available traffic in your account. Ex: A budget that previously took you a month to spend is gone in 15 days.

  • Google is allowed to spend up to 200% of your daily campaign budget. Ex: You hit your budget target midway through your budget cycle and campaigns are paused.

  • Your average cost-per-click exceeds the daily budget you need to set to evenly pace spend. You set your daily budget higher than optimal. Ex: The budget is exhausted a third of the way through the budget cycle.

  • You commonly discuss with stakeholders why their campaigns are paused for large portions of the month.

How Does AutoPilot Daily Pause/Enable Work?

As an account manager at a digital advertising agency, you run search advertising campaigns for a law office with a $3000 budget to advertise legal services. For their specific services, the average CPC bid is $25.

Last month, you set daily budgets totaling $100 across your Google and Bing Ads campaigns. Unfortunately, because Google is allowed to spend two times your daily budget limit, you spent $3000 by the 16th. Your client was furious their campaigns were paused half the month.

Graph showing how PPC camapigns are paused after they hit their budget target early in a budget cycle

This month, you keep the same daily budget settings and implement AutoPilot Daily Pause/Enable. AutoPilot Daily calculates that your ideal spend is $96 in order for you to achieve $3000 in total spend by the end of the month. On day one, your campaigns accumulate $96 in spend and are paused for the rest of the day. Day two, campaigns are reactivated and the process repeats.

Around the middle of the month, there is a Sunday where your campaigns only spend $50. AutoPilot Daily accounts for that underspend, and your ideal daily budget is increased to $142 ($96+$46) the next day. You spent $142 that Monday and your campaigns pause. The following day, your ideal daily budget returns to $96. AutoPilot Daily continues to manage your campaign statuses accordingly until your target budget of $3000 is hit.

Graph showing consistent PPC spend throughout a month adn the campaigns hit their target budget because CruiseControl is enabled

Your client is happy about their pacing and even raises their ad budget after discovering they can spend more each day to increase their traffic while maintaining a positive ROI.

How Do I Set My Campaigns to AutoPilot Daily Pause/Enable Mode?

For a full tutorial on how to implement AutoPilot Daily Pause/Enable on new or existing campaigns, please watch the video below and visit Shape’s knowledge base. You’ll find walkthroughs, videos, and more to guide you through set up.

If you’re looking for more time savings than AutoPilot Pause Only provides, we offer two additional AutoPilot modes that can help more fully automate PPC budgeting and/or pacing. To learn more, use the links below:

Explainer Video

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