Capture Every Conversion, Part 2: Server Postback Tracking for Affiliate Marketing Campaigns

Capture Every Conversion, Part 2: Server Postback Tracking for Affiliate Marketing Campaigns

How to Become a Track Star: Your Guide to Tracking For Performance Marketing Campaigns
How to Become a Track Star: Your Guide to Tracking For Performance Marketing Campaigns

Time for Half 2 of our Seize Each Conversion weblog collection! On this collection, we’re looking at 4 digital monitoring strategies from our latest white paper, How you can Turn into a Monitor Star: Your Information to Monitoring for Efficiency Advertising and marketing Campaigns. 

In Half 1, we lined the ins and outs of pixel monitoring. We additionally defined the dangers related to this methodology, and why entrepreneurs ought to keep away from pixel monitoring sooner or later. On this publish, we might be exploring the second of our 4 monitoring strategies: postback monitoring. 

What Is Postback Monitoring?

Additionally known as server postback, server-side, server-to-server, and server-based monitoring, postback monitoring is most notable for what it isn't: reliant on cookies and internet browsers. As a substitute, postback monitoring makes use of servers to retailer and ship the data wanted to attribute conversions. No information is saved on a consumer’s pc.

Postback tracking information -- what it is, how it works, and what technology platforms it uses

Postback monitoring works by producing and storing a novel identifier (ID) when a consumer completes a desired motion, like clicking on an advert. When that very same consumer later converts, the distinctive ID is matched again to the consumer. That is carried out via direct communication by two or extra servers, therefore monitoring.

Flow chart of how server postback tracking works
How server postback monitoring works. For extra particulars, see this TUNE Assist article.

Since postback monitoring doesn’t want an internet browser to operate, it really works in environments the place cookies aren’t obtainable — on smartphones, for example. The truth is, postback monitoring was initially developed to be used in cell app set up campaigns, and it’s nonetheless the usual for conversion monitoring on cell. Entrepreneurs on desktop have solely caught on to this methodology in recent times as browsers have began to limit the third-party cookies they want for pixel monitoring. 

With postback monitoring, every social gathering concerned in a marketing campaign should be capable of retailer information on a server and ship it on to the opposite social gathering. This performance is dealt with by monitoring software program, which will be offered by a 3rd social gathering like TUNE, constructed in-house, or accessed via a standard affiliate community.

Postback Monitoring Capabilities

Postback monitoring is probably the most correct, granular, and dependable conversion monitoring methodology obtainable to efficiency entrepreneurs right this moment. Interval. 

To know why, it's important to perceive how postback monitoring works. That is best to do when it’s in comparison with pixel monitoring. We’ll summarize under; for extra particulars, see “Server Postback Monitoring Defined” on TUNE Assist.

Let’s say you’re an advertiser. A consumer visits your affiliate’s website, the place they click on on a hyperlink to your product: 

  1. Your server shops that ID nevertheless you select (in a database, as a variable on an e-commerce website, in an SDK in a cell app, and many others.). 
  2. Upon conversion, your server sends the ID again to the monitoring software program (or “fires a postback”), and a conversion is recorded.

Evaluate that to pixel monitoring:

  1. At this level, the ID just isn't despatched to you — as a substitute, it’s saved in a cookie within the consumer’s browser. 
  2. Upon conversion, the browser masses a conversion pixel, which sends the ID within the consumer’s cookie again to the monitoring server. If it matches, a conversion is recorded.

Postback monitoring, in contrast to pixel monitoring, bypasses browsers and cookies altogether. It may be used to measure any channel the place servers can ship data by way of code. It’s as strong and versatile as you want it to be, since you management how the info is handed, organized, and saved. This additionally makes it straightforward to troubleshoot, and simpler to safe towards fraud. 

Sound too good to be true? Effectively, it's, and it isn’t. All of the perks are there, however they arrive with a worth. As a result of it entails extra advanced processes and know-how — and never only a easy code snippet in a browser — postback monitoring will be tougher to implement than pixel monitoring. It could require engineering experience and growth, or a specialised resolution (like TUNE), each for you and your companions. That mentioned, the payoff can't be overstated.

When to Use Postback Monitoring

After studying the above, isn’t the actual query, when do you have to not use postback monitoring? 

Postback tracking advantages and disadvantages

This methodology can deal with most conditions for almost all of efficiency entrepreneurs. These embody:

  • Monitoring desktop internet campaigns
  • Monitoring cell app campaigns, together with installs and in-app occasions
  • Monitoring throughout channels and platforms

In case you have monitoring wants exterior of those large buckets, supplementing your server-side monitoring with a specialised methodology to deal with simply that use case is inspired. For instance, right here at TUNE, we suggest utilizing postback monitoring as your go-to methodology, and including options or companions to deal with the next conditions:

  • Campaigns utilizing promo codes
  • Monitoring on-line to offline
  • Name monitoring and different specialised channel methods

In all honesty, we haven’t but discovered a scenario the place postback monitoring isn’t attainable. Nevertheless, there could also be occasions the place you will have to make use of pixel monitoring as a result of a companion might require their pixel to be positioned.  

In Conclusion

In our new white paper, How you can Turn into a Monitor Star, we discuss conversion monitoring by way of marketing campaign well being. In case your monitoring is robust, your marketing campaign might be wholesome. In case your monitoring is weak, your marketing campaign is much less efficient and extra vulnerable to hurt. It’s our manner of constructing a dense, technical, usually complicated topic a little bit extra enjoyable — whereas nonetheless getting the essential bits throughout.

Now that we’ve lined postback monitoring, we’re shifting on to a specialised resolution in Half 3: JavaScript SDK monitoring, which is used for measuring conversions in cell internet. Verify again quickly for the subsequent installment!


Obtain TUNE’s latest white paper now:

How to Become a Track Star: Your Guide to Tracking For Performance Marketing Campaigns

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