What is Conversion Tracking?

We want to help you get the most out of your performance campaigns, but we understand that performance advertising can often seem confusing and difficult to set up. How can you see tangible results from your campaigns? What are ways you can set specific goals that you can measure for success?

One great way to do this is with conversion tracking. Conversion tracking enables you to set up specific goals for your campaign that can be logged as events, or milestones that can be easily measured.

Want to drive downloads of your Mobile Application? See every time a potential customer clicks on your ad and submits a web form? Both of these options are available to you today.

Before you get started, though, it may help to have a little background on how conversion tracking works.

What’s different about campaigns utilizing conversion tracking than other campaigns?

Think of it like any other campaign you would set up with Millennial Media, except now you can specify an extra action. Instead of a view or click, now you can select an action that you would like the user to perform after clicking on your ad.

The basic flow of conversion tracking starts with a click and ends with a conversion, or goal achieved. Conversions are achieved by recognizing a unique user when he or she clicks on an ad to begin what we call an “event”. We then track that “event” from the first click on an ad all the way through to your goal, whether it be the user filling out a web form or downloading your mobile application.

How does conversion tracking work, step by step?

Below is a basic scenario to illustrate how conversion tracking works.

Step 1: You create a campaign in mMedia with an App Tracking ID aiming to drive downloads of your application.

In this scenario, you have already integrated our conversion tracking tools into your application and have created an App Tracking ID. Your goal is to drive app downloads.

Step 2: Someone sees and clicks on your ad.

A user navigates to a mobile site on his or her device and sees your banner ad. The user is intrigued, and clicks on the ad.

Step 3: The conversion event begins.

Our system will recognize that click and make a note of that click in our system.

Step 4: The user downloads your mobile application and launches it for the first time.

The user decides to download your app. After they have downloaded the app and it launches for the first time, a trigger in your mobile app will notify us that the app has been launched by the user.

Step 5: We match the click to the conversion.

When we are notified that there has been a download, we will match that download event to the click based on the user ID.

Once the match is made, a “completed event” is recorded in our system.

That seems pretty basic. What’s so hard about that?

The tricky part for conversion tracking is the matching (Steps 4 and 5 in the example above). Think about times that you’ve downloaded an application before. Do you always open it right away? You may wait hours or even days before opening the app for the first time. The process isn’t always as smooth as we’ve listed above.

In addition, matching a user to a conversion can be difficult. We try to match on very specific IDs that give us the highest chance for success. This documentation is focused on giving you the best tools to succeed, and one of the reasons that we encourage you to use our Software Development Kits (SDKs) for application tracking is that our technology has been developed to deliver very effective matching results.

Who is the user in the example above?

We don’t know, and frankly we don’t want to know. Our ID values are solely used to optimize the mobile advertising experience for advertisers, publishers and users.

We want to make it very clear that Millennial Media never collects any Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Privacy is very important to us. See our Privacy Policy for more details.

What types of conversion tracking are available?

Millennial Media currently offers two main types of conversion tracking:

  • Application: Use this to drive more downloads of your application.
  • Mobile Web: This directs traffic to a mobile website to accomplish a goal that you set for the consumer, such as filling out a web form with contact information.

So how do you do this inside applications?

Any time that you create a campaign (whether in mMedia or in coordination with your Account Manager), you will also set a goal for the campaign that is given a unique App Tracking ID. This App Tracking ID (used in the Goal ID parameter) is inserted during the integration of our SDK, and our system will use that id to record conversions for you specific campaign.

When a user clicks on your campaign for App Tracking ID 12345, we are notified that the click came from that campaign. Later, we match the conversion event records for your application to see whether App Tracking ID 12345 is included in any launches of your application. We match the click to the specific conversion using the App Tracking ID.

How about for mobile websites?

We also support mobile web conversion tracking by passing conversion data directly from your server to ours.

We will still utilize a Tracking ID as described above, but will also require a Unique Request ID (URID). The URID is provided upon the first ad call, and must follow the user throughout the conversion process by being appended to the URL. When a successful conversion event occurs, your website will make a Server-to-Server call to our conversion tracking API with the URID included.

Which Operating Systems are supported for conversion tracking?

We currently have SDKs for Android and iOS apps. We also offer APIs and other support for other options. To learn more about all of the available options, contact your Account Manager or contact us to reach a trained support professional.

How should I set up application conversion tracking?

We recommend using our Android and iOS SDKs as the best ways to implement conversion tracking.

Android SDK iOS SDK

SDKs are libraries that we have prepared for you to best integrate with our platform. SDKs have been the most tested, are the most integrated with our system, and give us the best chance for matching conversions accurately.

We have also built the SDKs to be as lightweight and simple to use as possible. SDKs also compile to leave a very small imprint within your application.

What if I don’t use the SDK?

Are you mainly an advertiser, or want a lighter framework and don’t need all of the features available with the SDKs? If so, we recommend that you try our App Tracking SDKs for Android and iOS, which are stripped-down versions of our SDKs that focus on advertiser needs.

Note: The App Tracking SDKs will not provide all of the features available with our SDKs.

What if I want to try server-to-server integration for applications?

Of the three main conversion tracking options we provide, we would recommend them in the following order:

1. SDKs.
2. App Tracking SDKs.
3. Server-to-Server in-app integration.

You may wonder why do we put server-to-server integration so low? This is because server-to-server integration means that you would would have to send us the ID information yourself or through a supported third party using a very specific format to make sure it matches what we have in our system.

In addition to it being easier for you to use our SDK because you don’t have to collect data for us, we also prefer the SDK for matching purposes. The cleaner we can make the data transfer, the better likelihood we have for successful matching.

However, if you evaluate all of the options and are still seriously considering server-to-server integration, please contact your Account Manager or contact us to reach one of our trained support professionals.

It seems like there are a lot of options. Why so many?

We want to give you as many ways as possible for you to integrate into our system and start taking advantage of conversion tracking as soon as possible.

Ok, that makes sense. This really doesn’t seem so hard. What am I missing?

It may seem confusing at first, but it really isn’t that hard for users at all! All you need to do is the following:

1. Download one of our SDKs for application tracking or work with us to set up conversion tracking another way.
2. Follow our simple steps to begin your first conversion tracking event.
3. Test to make sure that everything works.

That’s it! Then you can set your goals, start your campaign and see the results.

This sounds great! So how do I get started?

You can do this in one of two ways:

For More Information

Have any further questions about how conversion tracking works? If so, contact us to reach one of our trained support professionals.

We look forward to helping you achieve all of your mobile advertising goals! Good luck!