Why Is My Line Item Not Spending? A DV360 Troubleshooting Guide

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As Display & Video 360 (DV360) specialists who support programmatic clients, we commonly help identify barriers that prevent Line Items from spending at their full potential.

If you’ve noticed your Line Items aren’t performing—either spending very little or possibly not spending at all—you can use this helpful guide we fondly refer to as WIMLINS: “Why Is My Line Item Not Spending?”

Pro tip: Remember there could be multiple issues, so make sure to work through the entire list while troubleshooting. 

Does your Line Item have less than 20k cookies in reach? If so, this is likely restricting your Line Item from spending. Generally, when we see Line Items with less than 20k in reach they will struggle to spend their budget in full and often won’t spend at all. If your reach is low, you will want to consider expanding your targeting.

Some examples of targeting changes that may help your Line Item spend include:
Geo-targeting - expand the geographic radius
Audience Lists - add additional lists if the cookie pool is too low 
Viewability - lower the viewability percentage 
Frequency Cap - loosen the frequency cap or in some cases remove it altogether
Creative dimensions - add more creative sizes to increase the inventory pool

Please refer to Forecasting the Reach of a Line Item for more information.

Budget & Pacing
Have your Line Items exhausted their budget? Did you recently add budget to your Insertion Order and forget to add it to your Line Item? If your Line Item has an assigned budget (anything other than “unlimited”) you’ll want to be sure that you’ve added that additional budget to your Line Item as well. If you didn’t add budget to your Line Item, you’ll want to double-check that there is still budget left to spend for your Line Item in the pacing view of the UI.

Please refer to Setting Budgets and Controlling your Pacing for more information. 

Is there an active budget segment in your IO with a date range that includes today? Does the date range for your Line Item include today as well? Data in the UI can also be delayed up to 12 hours so you’ll want to keep that in mind.

Creative & Status
Do you have creatives assigned? DV360 needs something to serve, so make sure every Line Item has creatives assigned in order to spend. To assign creatives, check the box next to each creative to be assigned within the “Creatives” tab of your Line Item then click “Apply.”

Please refer to Assigning Creatives to a Line Item for more information.

Auctions Lost
Are you losing impressions to competition in the marketplace? If so, you may need to raise your bid or update your bid strategy. When using automated bid strategies, we advise you to start with a fixed bid for the first 14 days so the line item can apply machine learning in order to effectively optimize. If you’re starting out with an Automated Bid Strategy, we recommend that you switch to a Fixed Bid for two weeks to get the Line Item spending. 

Additional Troubleshooting Resources

  • Impressions Lost Widget - Diagnose impression loss for an entire Insertion Order, multiple Line Items at once or individual Line Items
  • Troubleshooter - Analyze problems with private auctions, guaranteed deals, non-guaranteed fixed deals and open auction Line Items

If you’ve walked through the WIMLINS steps listed above and you’re still having trouble getting Line Items to spend, please reach out to us at support@adswerve.com. We have a team of experts ready to help!