This guide provides initial instructions for marketing agencies interested in joining AppsFlyer to start measuring the campaigns they run on behalf of their clients – app owners.
AppsFlyer attribution model
Before you proceed, it’s essential to understand how AppsFlyer’s attribution works. This section explains what happens along the way from the first click or impression to the attribution of an install or an event — and beyond.
- An advertiser, or an agency on behalf of the advertiser, configure a campaign with a certain ad network, using AppsFlyer's attribution links.
- A user clicks on one of their ads – for example, a banner or an offer link.
- AppsFlyer's attribution link behind the ad is then populated with information collected during the click. We gather the information from the attribution link and store it in our database.
- The user is redirected to an app store.
- The user installs the app and opens it for the first time. The AppsFlyer SDK inside the app calls our servers with the information about the device that the app is installed on.
- We match this data to our click database using our Attribution methods.
- If we find a match, we attribute the install to the click. If not, we attribute the install to an organic download.
- Once the install is attributed, we show it on advertiser's and agency's dashboards and reports (except Facebook and Twitter).
- Then, we send a postback with the conversion details to the ad network, who can use this information for further optimization.
Agency role in mobile attribution chain
An advertiser, who owns the app, integrates AppsFlyer SDK inside it in order to quantify their marketing effort.
Some app owners choose to hire marketing agencies to run advertising campaigns on their behalf. To do so, the agency should have an AppsFlyer account, and advertisers should give the agency access to their apps.
Agency, therefore, doesn’t technically own the apps but only promotes them on the marketing channels it works with, without the technical involvement, such an SDK integration. Depending on the set of permissions given by an advertiser, an agency can have control over a range of functions.
When an install is attributed to an ad placed by an agency, it is displayed on agency's dashboard. The app owner will see it too, and will know that it's attributed to the agency.
Note: if your organization owns the app, or handles its development as well as marketing, you should open an advertiser account.
The scope of an agency account functionality depends on the permissions provided by the app owner for each app. Therefore, agency accounts are offered for free, and only app owners are charged for attribution. App owners and agencies can use AppsFlyer's attribution data for compensation purposes.
To set up a new agency account:
- Complete the registration form.
- Use your company email domain for registration.
- Use an email address that is not associated with an existing AppsFlyer account.
- A member of AppsFlyer's agency team may contact you with further information required to complete the registration.
- Once your account is activated, you get notified and can start using AppsFlyer.
Adding team members
When your account is up and running, the account admin (the person who opened the account) can add more team members, who can get access to some or all of the apps managed by the agency. For the details of how to add new team members, click here.
Adding apps to your account
When you first create your account, it has no apps associated with it:
Any agency individual or team requires permission from the app owner to:
- gain access to the app dashboard
- make configuration changes
- run campaigns
Advertisers provide access to any agency directly through the platform.
What it means to get permission from an advertiser
When you get permission from advertiser:
- The app appears in your account.
- You can set up integrations with ad networks for the app (with the exception of some networks that require configuration by the app owner).
- You can create attribution links to use in your campaigns.
- You can set up cost integrations with partners (that allow it).
- You can grant ad networks and their team members permission to view basic information about the app.
- If you work with an ad network, and so does your client, both of you can edit the ad network team members' permission to view the app dashboard.
- If you see new ad network team members or missing team members that you didn’t add or remove, it’s possible that your client added or removed them.
- You can see the app data.
Additional permissions include access to Cohort report, Protect360 dashboard, and aggregate organic data.
Once you got permission from the advertiser, the app appears on the apps page.
The apps page in your account lists up to 1000 apps. If the list of apps you have permissions for exceeds 1000, some apps are not shown on the list. You can still find them using the search.
Searching for apps
To search for apps,
- In your account, click My Apps in the top menu
- In the search field, enter the search term, for example:
- App Name
- App ID
- App Owner Email
Depending on your agreement with the app owner, you may prefer to disclose media sources of the conversions coming from you, or conceal them.
The transparency should be configured for each app separately. By default, your traffic is non-transparent, except for Facebook and Twitter, whose data is always transparent. Go to App Settings to allow transparency:
Note: Only the account admins of agencies are able to change the transparency setting.
Once your account is set up and you have received access to the apps, you can start running campaigns using AppsFlyer features.
Click any app in the list of apps to access its dashboard. When you start running campaigns, the aggregate data attributed to you is displayed here.
The Agency account dashboard includes default access to:
- Lifetime value overview dashboard
- In-app events dashboard
- Retargeting dashboard
Self-reporting networks (SRNs)
SRNs, also knows as Self-attributing networks (SANs), are networks that don’t require AppsFlyer’s attribution link in order to report clicks and other data, and use direct integration with AppsFlyer instead. Among these networks are Facebook, Twitter, Google Ads, Snapchat, DoubleClick, Apple Ads Search, Verizon Media, Yahoo! JAPAN, and Tencent.
A majority of these networks require special setup for agencies. For example, since Facebook and Twitter integration can only be configured by an app owner, the agency campaign names MUST begin with the agency's name to make sure that the installs are eventually correctly attributed to the agency.
Click the links above to read network guides and specific instructions for agency settings.
Most ad networks need attribution links that are placed behind an ad. Read more about running campaigns with them here.
Owned media: Custom links and OneLink™
If you run campaigns on media other than ad networks (social media, emails, blogs, SMS), you can use custom links for them.
OneLink™ is a type of a custom link, that allows you to use the same link for multiple platforms or send the users to specific content inside the app.
Note: agencies cannot create OneLink or single-platform link templates, but they can use templates created by advertisers.
What else you can do
- Measure user retention
- Use in-app events to optimize your campaigns
- Run retargeting campaigns
- Export your data
- Whitelist your test device
- and more.
You can find more information about advanced Agency account use here.
Stumbled upon an unfamiliar term? Find it in our Glossary.
Got an urgent technical question? Search our Help Center: we probably have an answer. If we don't, contact our support team via the bottom right corner of your dashboard.