New "AutoPilot Modes" Offer More Flexible PPC Budget Automation

As a digital advertiser, you’ll likely manage thousands of campaigns (or more) over your career.

No matter how many campaigns knock their performance goals out of the park, it’s inevitable you will make a few major mistakes along the way.

These mistakes—massively overspending an ad budget or sending ads to a broken landing page for weeks—may shatter your confidence and break your stakeholders’ trust in you.

It’s why we created AutoPilot. Our goal: eliminate budget overspends.

And while more than half of all budgets managed on Shape use AutoPilot, we still hear two common pieces of feedback from our customers:

  • - Why is AutoPilot activating some paused campaigns?
  • - AutoPilot can’t pace spend well

We listened, argued, reworked, and now, we’re excited to release AutoPilot Modes! With AutoPilot Modes, you set the level of control AutoPilot has to change your campaign statuses.

AutoPilot Pause Only

AutoPilot is one of Shape’s most powerful tools, but it can also be dangerous when implemented incorrectly. More than one customer has told us that Shape activated a campaign they wanted to remain paused.

Why? Implementing AutoPilot takes time and careful consideration. It shouldn’t necessarily be applied wholesale to all of your campaigns and budgets. When you implement or edit campaigns with AutoPilot, we provide a list of all the campaigns it will be applied to along with the campaigns’ statuses. If a campaign is paused and should remain paused, we recommend setting AutoPilot to off. If you don’t, AutoPilot will reenable paused campaigns to help you hit your budget target.

To help alleviate this issue, we’ve added AutoPilot Pause Only as an AutoPilot Mode.

In AutoPilot Pause Only mode, when your campaigns hit their spend goal, they’re paused. WARNING: AutoPilot will not reenable these campaigns at the start of the next budget cycle. You’ll need to go in and manually reactivate campaigns in Shape.

AutoPilot Daily Pause/Enable

AutoPilot is great at preventing campaigns from overspending. But until now, it couldn’t help reduce over-pacing. For example, it wouldn’t stop high-traffic campaigns from spending their entire budget in two or three days and then remaining paused for the rest of the budget cycle.

AutoPilot Daily Pause/Enable addresses over-pacing issues by spreading spend more evenly across the entirety of a budget cycle.

AutoPilot calculates your ideal daily spend each day of a cycle. If you hit that threshold during the day, AutoPilot Daily pauses your campaigns and won’t reactivate them until the following day. Didn’t hit the ideal daily threshold? Don’t worry! Shape will pass the unused spend onto the next day.

AutoPilot Pause/Enable

Our “classic” AutoPilot mode is still available. We’ve renamed it to AutoPilot Pause/Enable and it works exactly as before.

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.

Explainer Video

For more information on AutoPilot Modes watch the video below and find in-depth guides on how to set up or change AutoPilot Modes in Shape’s knowledge base.

We’ve also released two additional blog posts that dive deeper into the two new modes with examples and more!