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Setting a monthly spend limit for the account?

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 1
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Hello,

 

I'm about to start managing a few accounts for some local businesses that want to set a monthly budget.  For example, one business has allocated $300 monthly for clicks.  We're setting it up so their credit card is linked to the account, and I would love to be able to guarantee them that their cost won't go over $300 in any given month. 

 

I know I can set monthly budgets at the campaign level (both through daily spend limits and automation).  Is there any way to manage an account organized into multiple campaigns and essentially set an account-level budget? 

 

If not, would it be crazy to organize all the AdGroups into a single campaign and manage everything at the AdGroup level - so I can guarantee a max monthly spend?

 

(FYI: We're not using conversion tracking or acquisition bidding, as the businesses rely on phone calls, and the GA integrated phone tracking systems are cost-prohibitive for them.)

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Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Setting a monthly spend limit for the account?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi cotton9,

 

Are you using an MCC account to manage your clients' accounts? If not, you really should be. If you have your own AdWords account, you'll need to use a different email address for the MCC.

 

I don't have an MCC, but I understand you can set a limit on the monthly spend on accounts that are managed by your MCC.

 

Maybe someone with an MCC can verify this. In any case, using an MCC will make your life much simpler!

 

Best of Luck!

 

Pete

 

 

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords
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Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Setting a monthly spend limit for the account?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hi Cotton9,

 

Pete is correct, using an MCC is very needed and highly recommended to manage multiple accounts.  

 

I do not use the MCC budget process, I just select the individual accounts from within the MCC and manage budget that way.  I happen to manage multiple accounts (dozens not hundreds) but I perhaps use a different method than some folks do.  Because of my experience and desire to provide complete transparency I use this method.

 

1. I have an MCC created with an email address that I never use and invite my regular email addresses as admins for access to manage the accounts within the MCC.

 

2.  For each client, I either ask them for a gmail account or create one for them to establish their own individual AdWords account and once it is set up, either I can or they can add the billing information. 

 

3.  I will then link each account to the MCC for management purposes and make sure the clients still have their login information handy for immediate and unlimited access to the accounts.

 

I use this method so if in fact the client decides to manage on their own or move on for whatever reason, it's a simple process to detach.  This also is the most transparent you can possibly be with an AdWords account; giving your client Admin access.

 

With individual accounts, if their spend is 10/day, you should not over build the accounts.  You should be able to set the daily budget to 9-10/day and maintain one campaign without too much issue and keep the spend where you need to.

 

This is just my 2 cents; hope this helps!

 

-Tom

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Setting a monthly spend limit for the account?

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi Cotton9,

If you will use MCC then you can use Manager Defined Spend (MDS) to control managed accounts' budgets.

Manager Defined Spend (MDS) is a simple way for My Client Center (MCC) account-users to control their managed accounts' budgets. If you decide to move some or all of your managed accounts to MDS, you'll be able to create and modify these accounts' budgets instantaneously via your MCC dashboard. Additionally, you'll be billed for these accounts via one Manager Order-level monthly invoice.

For more info visit what is MDS?

Hope it helps!

Thanks
Brijesh

Re: Setting a monthly spend limit for the account?

Google Employee
# 5
Google Employee

Again some great thoughts from the Community here! Thanks for the contributions here. 

 

Having a MDS that you use in conjunction with your MCC account is probably the easiest way to manage the monthly spend on any one child account, as has already been suggested. 

 

However, if you do not want to create a MCC account and use a MDS, the only way to ensure your monthly spend does not exceed $300.00 on any one account is to make sure that the sum of your daily budgets multiplied by 30 does not exceed $300.00. 

 

Hope this helps!

 

A.

Re: Setting a monthly spend limit for the account?

[ Edited ]
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 6
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Thanks for all the comments guys!  Sorry about the delay, for some reason, the thread update emails never made it to my inbox.

 

I am using MCC, but I'm not using MDS.  I've been avoiding MDS, since I have my clients' credit cards attached to their accounts.  My understanding is that MDS would require me to pay the bill myself - instead of Google charging their credit card directly for the clicks.  (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

 

PPCBossman: What you described is exactly what I've set up.  I like the transparency and having the clients pay Google directly for the actual clicks.

 

The problem is that I'm working with local (geotargeted) healthcare practices who have a CPC between $2-$4.  They might go a couple days with no clicks, and then get several in one day.  Campaign-level daily budgeting causes two major issues:  

 

Let's say I want to cap monthly spend at $300, so I specify a $10 daily budget.  That's probably 3-4 clicks a day.  An average of 3-4 clicks is fine, but I don't want to go 3 days with no clicks, and then get 3 clicks one morning shutting everything down for the day.  

 

Plus, if I use an account structure with 6 campaigns, and I want a $300 max spend for the entire account per month, I'd have to set each daily campaign budget to $2 per day.  That would limit each campaign to a single click per day. 

 

At this point, the best I've come up with is setting up alerts to trigger pausing campaigns manually or with the API to make sure I don't go over budget for each client.  It seems very difficult to budget for a local, specialized business with lower volume and higher CPC.  Am I missing something?   

 

 

Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author cotton9
September 2015

Re: Setting a monthly spend limit for the account?

Google Employee
# 7
Google Employee

From the situation you've described cotton9, it seems like using alerts and closely monitoring your spend will help you the most in terms of meeting and keeping to your monthly budget. There isn't really a way to avoid the daily budget in favour of an account level budget (unless you are using a MDS).

 

So in this example you gave above, if you did not receive any clicks on a given day, the system would not roll over your daily budget for the previous day to the next day.

 

The strategy you have at the moment seems like it may the most effective for your needs (alerts and manual changes etc). 

 

A. 

Re: Setting a monthly spend limit for the account?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
This thread is old, but I thought I'd put an update in as this does now seem possible without an MCC account. Under Shared Library (on right of my main screen, under the Campaign list), click on Budgets. Create a new daily budget and then add the campaigns into it. That looks like ti will cap the daily budget for all of those campaigns to that new budget amount.