| 8 min read

Card Failure is Catastrophic to Winning Ad Campaigns

The mantra of every digital advertiser is probably, “Spend when you find profit”. It seems logical enough, right? What happens when your credit card—and the very algorithm on the platform you're advertising on, conspire against you so you can’t spend where you find profit?

If you’re new to digital advertising or have been at it a while and are frustrated by the catastrophic impact of card failure on your profitability, keep reading. There is a solution.

Your current card provider doesn’t understand what you need

Traditional credit card providers aren’t set up to accommodate the volume and amount of transactions the average advertiser or affiliate marketer needs to run a campaign on Google, Facebook, or one of the other social networks. They’re used to working with businesses, large and small, who generally aren’t spending hundreds of thousands of dollars every month (or every day) and can’t accommodate an advertiser who might drop $500,000 on a weekend.

For example, if you have a credit card with a $100,000 spending limit, the bank considers you an exceptionally good credit risk, but as an advertiser, you could exceed that limit in an afternoon. Then what happens? 

They will shut down your card.

When that happens Google, Facebook, or any other social media platform you might have ads on will shut down your ad and boot you from the auction. If you’re an advertiser, you’ve probably experienced this already.

If you’re in the middle of a campaign that is generating traffic, the offer is converting, and has become profitable, you want to ramp it up to make as much profit as you can—instead, you're shut down and losing money.

Getting booted from the auction is very expensive

Algorithm-based platforms like Google or Facebook are weighted for the most recent data. In other words, when a campaign stops in the middle because of a card failure (or any reason), the algorithm stops. Even if you successfully get the card activated again so you can rejoin the ad auction, it won’t continue the same way it was before. 

What’s more, you may even need to pay more to rejoin the auction. And, if Facebook shuts down your ad account because your credit card fails, and you have one payment method shared with other ad accounts, it can shut down all your ads.

This is such a prevalent problem that a lot of advertisers go by the rule, “If it’s working, don’t touch it. Don’t up the budget. Don’t play with the ads. Just let it work.”

Kind of counterintuitive, isn’t it? Especially if you want to spend when you find profit.

Banks and traditional credit card providers just don’t understand advertisers, advertising, or how they unwittingly make it difficult (if not impossible) for eCommerce brands to successfully advertise online.

How do you solve card failure when paying for advertising?

There are a handful of things you should look for in a card designed for ad spend.

  • Can the card accommodate your ad spend? Traditional credit models won’t work for advertisers. It makes sense though, would you offer a spending limit of $500,000 or $1 million dollars on a credit card for 30 days to pay for online advertising? They won’t either. The monthly repayment cycle won’t work for the average bank. That’s why many advertisers are using multiple cards, running up to a limit, activating an additional card, and doing the same thing with it. The mechanics of this in many companies basically requires  a full-time employee managing credit cards instead of capitalizing on spending where they find profit. To maintain fluid, uninterrupted access to capital to keep ads running requires a partner that can be flexible in repayment cycles. Is willing to accommodate for the seasonal nature of ecommerce brands, and keep ads running 24/7 with a card failure.

  • Does your provider offer virtual cards? Advertisers spending millions of dollars run up against the standard terms of service networks like Google and Facebook require when advertising on their platforms. When a network shuts down an ad account because of a card failure, they also ban the payment source for that account. Of course you can dispute a wrongful termination, but you’ll also need to request a new card from the card issuer, which could take anywhere between a few days to several weeks. Quick access to new virtual cards is something a merchant can do to protect themselves in this situation. What’s more…

  • Does your card provider offer virtual cards for each ad account? Many brands leverage multiple credit card accounts for each product line to optimize network algorithms at the product level. It can be a good strategy, but ad networks sometimes decline cards on file with another ad account or if the card authorization data doesn’t match up perfectly with the brand (company name, address, zip code, card number, etc.). For example, if the ad account is generated from a different address than the company’s home address (by an agency, for example) it could be declined. If you are running multiple ads for multiple products, you need a provider who can offer virtual cards for each ad account, network, agency, and product line.

The Solution?

Not all credit cards are created equal when considering the best credit card to meet your advertising needs. If you need a credit card to advertise online, you need a card provider that offers:

  1. Multiple paths to approval/appropriate spending limits: They need to look beyond your credit profile and consider a number of other factors into a full credit review—your anticipated ad spend is just one of them.

  2. An understanding of the unique needs of digital advertisers: A credit card provider that understands the advertising business will help you capitalize on seasonal opportunities with spending limits designed to maximize revenue-producing opportunities during those busy times of the year.

  3. Competitive cash back: A card provider that is able to offer more than the typical 1% to 1-½% cash back without caps on spend is optimal.

If you’re interested in learning how dash.fi can help your business optimize digital ad spend with the world’s first card designed for advertisers, visit www.dash.fi to schedule a demo.

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