Postback Conversion Tracking

With postback conversion tracking, you can see conversion reporting in Basis DSP without having to rely on browser cookies. This lets you track conversions even when you cannot place a conversion pixel or when the conversion happens outside of a browser. Examples include an affiliate network tracking platform like HasOffers, or an app tracking platform like AppsFlyer.

When you use postbacks, you configure Basis DSP and your tracking platform to send the right information to each other:

  • The Basis DSP campaign's click URL sends the postback ID to the tracking platform.
  • The tracking platform sends the postback ID to Basis DSP when a conversion takes place.

How It Works

Postback conversion tracking uses server-to-server calls to pass information between two systems: Basis and a tracking platform.

As an example, let's say we want to track app installations as our conversion. Since app installs don't happen in a web browser, we can't use a conversion pixel. Instead, we need an app tracking platform, which can determine when the conversion takes place, attribute the conversion to a click, and then report the conversion to Basis DSP using a postback.

Before the campaign runs:

  • The app developer chooses a tracking vendor and install its SDK when she designs the app. She writes the app so that it makes a call to the tracking vendor when it first opens.
  • The Basis DSP user creates a conversion and notes the details.
  • In the tracking vendor's UI, someone configures the postback. Usually, this is done by simply selecting Basis DSP from a list and entering the details from the previous step. The tracking vendor will supply a click URL to be used for the campaign.
  • The Basis DSP user uses this click URL as the destination URL for the ads. It is populated with macros that cause Basis DSP to pass important values including the postback ID to the tracking vendor on click.

When the campaign goes live, here's what happens:

The "postback" happens in step 7, when the tracking vendor sends the postback ID to Basis DSP.

Setup Overview

The setup steps on both the tracking vendor side and DSP side are all essential for postback tracking to work: essential information must flow in both directions from one system to the other. The following steps are written from the perspective of the DSP user.

1. Determine which tracking vendor will be used for the campaign.

You need to inquire with the agency or app publisher that you are running the campaign for. If you are also the app publisher, then you or a colleague should know what tracking vendor you use.

Setup is simplified for many tracking vendors, as they provide templates for ease of implementation. If a tracking vendor does not offer a template for Basis DSP, you can request this by contacting DSP support and introducing us to an appropriate person at the tracking vendor – most vendors are happy to do this. You will find support pre-configured in these tracking vendors:

  • Tune Attribution Analytics (formerly MobileAppTracking by Tune)
  • Kochava
  • AppsFlyer
  • Adjust
  • Flurry
  • Apsalar
  • Lithient

Visit the pages linked above for more details.

The DSP may be labeled "Centro" or "SiteScout" in the tracking vendor's UI. The Centro or SiteScout options work even if you are on Basis DSP.

2. In Basis DSP: Select a conversion and collect the conversion code or URL as appropriate.

In Basis DSP, select the Brand and open the Conversions tab from the left rail.

From here, open the conversion that you want to use (create a new conversion if you haven't already). Click the conversion's Actions button and select Get Tags. From the Tag Type dropdown menu, select Postback.


Depending on the tracking platform, you will collect either the code or the URL. For the URL, replace the text "POSTBACK_GOES_HERE" with the variable from your tracking platform. The example below uses the variable "clickId" to pass postback:

3. In the tracking platform: Configure the postback and create a campaign/click URL.

Unless you are also the app publisher, this step will be done by the agency or app publisher that you are running the campaign for. You can find details to share with the agency or app publisher on the pages for each tracking platform above.

4. In Basis DSP: Upload your ad(s).

Use the URL that is provided by the tracking platform as the click URL. Test your ads on the preview page. They should click through to the app store.

5. In Basis DSP: Configure your campaign(s).

From here out, proceed as normal with configuring your campaign(s). Be sure to track conversions on the conversion event that you created earlier. The only special consideration may be that some platforms require the presence of a mobile advertising identifier (IFA) to successfully attribute a conversion. If that is the case, in the devices section of the campaign editor, target only phone and tablet and select "Only target mobile app impressions that contain an IFA."

Postback Tracking with Dynamic Values

Postback conversions also support dynamic revenue tracking. Depending on the tracking platform, this may be handled automatically. If you will handle this manually, pattern this on the example below. The insertions are highlighted in red.[INSERT-REVENUE-HERE]?pb=POSTBACK_GOES_HERE

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