Getting started—onboarding for advertisers

At a glance: Get everything set up to make the most of your AppsFlyer account. Understand the steps, timelines, and dependencies for getting your apps and your team on board.

Introduction

This document helps advertiser (app owner) product managers plan and execute their onboarding with AppsFlyer. For every item, the owner and approximate implementation time are provided.

Note that:

  • Step 1 (account setup) is done once by the account admin.
  • Steps 2-4 are mandatory for every app added to AppsFlyer (except where stated as optional).
  • Certain items from step 5 may be mandatory to meet your business goals.
  • The time estimates in this article are intended as general guidance only. They are based on our experience working with many new customers, but we recognize that every app owner, app, and implementation is different. Your actual time requirements may vary.

Step 1: Account setup

Item Owner Time Comments
Sign up with AppsFlyer Account admin 5 mins Ideally, the account admin is a real AppsFlyer user who can receive important messages when needed.
Add team members who will use the AppsFlyer dashboard, and set their permissions Account admin 1 min per team member If adding a team member fails, it's often because their email address was added to a different account. To add them to the new account, either use a different email address or delete them from the other account.

Result: Welcome! You now have an active AppsFlyer account and team members who can access it.

 Tip

New to AppsFlyer and wonder what it can do for you? Watch this 6-minute video.

Step 2: App setup

Complete these items for every app you want to work with in AppsFlyer
Item Owner Time Comments

Add your app to the AppsFlyer account

Account admin 1 min

If adding an app fails, it's often because it was previously defined in a different account (typically an ad agency that your marketers work with). Contact your CSM or hello@appsflyer.com to transfer the app to your account

See additional troubleshooting steps for adding apps.

Set the app time zone and currency Account admin 1 min   
Set the app's
re-attribution window (on the App settings page)
Account admin 1 min  The re-attribution window is the period, starting from the date of the first install, during which re-installs from the same device are not attributed as new installs. The default value is 90 days, which you can customize as needed.
[Optional] Migrate existing user devices into AppsFlyer

Account admin
(with the assistance of your AppsFlyer CSM or the support team at hello@appsflyer.com)

2 hours If your app already has a substantial user base, consider migrating them into AppsFlyer to avoid double charges.

Result: Your apps are now defined in the AppsFlyer dashboard.

Step 3: SDK integration

Complete these items for every app you've defined in AppsFlyer (step 2)
Item Owner Time Comments

Consider the available options and select the SDK functionalities you want your app to use

Product manager 1 hour

Some considerations beyond basic attribution:

Select which in-app events to record Product manager 1 hour 

Recording the post-installation events your users perform in the app helps you better understand the quality of your users.

Save yourself some time by using our comprehensive list of recommended in-app events and parameters for your vertical. Save your developers time (and make them happy) with ready-made code snippets for each event.

Select methods for retrieving attribution /deep-linking data Product manager 30 mins

Learn more about the available methods:

Implementation by developer Mobile developer 3 hours

AppsFlyer resources for your developers:

Integration testing  Product manager/
Mobile developer
1 hour

You can test your SDK integration before or after your app is live in the app store. You can use debug apps to keep your app data clean.

Be sure to register your test devices.

Release new app version Product manager 1 hour Prepare for iOS App Store review.

Result: Your apps are ready for install attribution, in-app event measurement, and other AppsFlyer functionalities that won’t require additional dev resources.

Step 4: Attribution setup

Complete these items for every app you've defined in AppsFlyer (step 2)
Item Owner Time Comments

Set up paid media sources for attribution in AppsFlyer

Product manager/
Marketer
15 mins per media source

Learn about attributing Self Reporting Networks (SRNs), specifically:

Learn about attributing non-SRN ad networks:

Use OneLink to attribute owned media sources: mobile websites, social media, user invites, and more Product manager 1 hour Learn about OneLink-based solutions for your owned-media use cases
Owned media developer implementation Mobile developer 0-6.5 hours (depending on the implemented solutions)

For developers: Getting started with Deep linking

Set up attribution windows Product manager 2 mins per media source

Learn more: Click and view-through lookback windows explained

[Optional] Enable retargeting campaigns Product manager 2 mins

Activate Retargeting on the App Settings page.

Learn more: Retargeting guide

Result: All media sources bringing traffic into your apps are attributed whenever new or returning users engage with them.

Step 5: Additional setup

Complete relevant items for every app you've defined in AppsFlyer (step 2)
Item Owner Additional resources

Optimize user acquisition campaigns by recording revenue

Product manager/
Developers

Learn about methods to aggregate and view marketing cost data

Product manager

Xpend—cost aggregation overview

Set up other 3rd-party platforms your app works with

Product manager/
Developers
Check out these AppsFlyer premium features that can save you time and money. Product manager
Protect your campaigns from fraud and mistargeting Product manager
Implement Server-to-Server API for in-app events reported outside the app Product manager/
Developers

S2S REST API

Measure uninstall rates for your media sources 

Product manager/
Developers
Uninstall measurement
Gain a unified view of customer journeys across channels, platforms, and devices Product manager/
Developers

People-Based Attribution (PBA)

Ensure compliance with privacy regulations: GDPR, CCPA, etc.

Product manager/
Developers
Allowing users to opt-out of attribution.

Enrich your knowledge

Recommended for all AppsFlyer users
Item Time

Get to know the AppsFlyer overview dashboard

15 mins

Explore the difference between Lifetime Value (LTV) data and activity data in AppsFlyer (solving the mystery of why the in-app events summary differs between the Overview and Activity dashboards)

15 mins
Understand the AppsFlyer attribution model 30 mins

Learn about aggregate reporting tools and analytics

30 mins

Learn about raw data reporting

30 mins

Getting started Webinar

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Related

 Tip

New to UA (user acquisition)? Learn all about the biggest challenges and critical elements of planning, executing, and continuously optimizing your user acquisition efforts.

 Note

New to AppsFlyer but not an advertiser? No worries!
Choose the guide for you below and get started:

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