Server Postback Tracking
Cookie-Less, Server-Side Conversion Tracking
Server-side tracking or postback tracking allows you to get accurate conversion data from third party websites, without depending on cookies.
Some affiliate networks allow you to use postback tracking for getting conversion data onto third-party tracking services like LinkTrackr. This method is also referred to as callback URL, postback URL, server side tracking, S2S pixel, or server postback, depending on who you talk to. (The term “S2S pixel” is misleading, since no actual pixel or image is needed in postback tracking) Clearly, server postback tracking is a new way of doing things, and therefore no standard term exists for it yet. In the near future though, postback tracking will exclipse pixel tracking and other traditional conversion tracking. But why?
Advantages of Server Postback Tracking
The primary advantage of server-side postback tracking is that it does not depend on cookies. This is a major advantage in today’s marketing landscape where several third parties may be involved (in the case of affiliate marketing) or when you want to track conversions for mobile applications.
In both cases, postback tracking is more accurate than pixel tracking. Cookies may get lost, overwritten, or fail to work when several devices are involved, since the cookie is only placed one time on one device.
With sever postback tracking however, a unique transaction ID or click ID is generated by the platform on the initial click, and this unique ID is passed on from one page to another, until the conversion page, where the same ID is passed back to the merchant or tracking system to record the referrer and other details of the conversion.
Technically, this means that the conversion tracking is possible across multiple domains, multiple devices and OS, and can be tracked for an indefinite period of time.
With postback tracking also, the advertiser can pass along the unique click ID to recurring purchases or additional promotions, making it possible for them to track the lifetime value of a customer and reward affiliates accordingly.
With server postback tracking, the “thank you” page is irrelevant since the information is sent by the server or application used by the advertiser or merchant.
Postback Tracking with LinkTrackr
With LinkTrackr you can easily take advantage of postback tracking, and start tracking conversions with any affiliate network or merchant that allows the postback tracking feature.
It’s a bit more complicated than simple conversion pixels, but once you’ve set it up, it works like a charm and you can use a single “global postback” to track all offers or products you promote within the affiliate network. Using this postback URLis a 2-step process:
- You have to create the postback URL in LinkTrackr using parameters given by the affiliate network or merchant.
- You have to copy the postback URL you’ve built in LinkTrackr, and place it into the network or merchant’s postback tracking fields.
As you can see from the screenshot below, you wil not enter any actual value in the postback URL. You will only enter parameters that track those values, while the actual values will be inserted dynamically by the merchant’s server when a conversion happens.
No pixel or image is needed, this is a pure server-to-server communication.
When you’ve built your server postback URL correctly, you can copy it and paste it into your affiliate network. Not all affiliate networks support postback tracking though, so for the ones that don’t, you can still use Sub ID affiliate tracking or pixel tracking.
LinkTrackr’s postback tracking features are one of the best in the industry, and perfect for advanced affiliate marketers who work with CPA offers. It’s accuracy and ease of use (once you get the hang of it) make it the preferred conversion tracking choice.
Pixel tracking and postback tracking in enabled in all our advanced plans, so go ahead and give us a try now.