Web campaign-to-app attribution

At a glance: Advertisers and ad networks can run campaigns that send users to a brand's mobile website. Using AppsFlyer Smart Banners, website visitors can be effectively converted into attributed mobile app users, by using incoming AppsFlyer attribution links, or UTM parameters. 

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Overview

Web campaign-to-app attribution:

  • Enables accurate mobile attribution for ALL media sources, including SRNs.
  • Uses Smart Banners in the brand's mobile websites to increase conversion rates for high-intent users.
  • Ensures user privacy (no IDFA collection needed).

The flow works as follows:

  1. A user clicks on an ad and is directed to the advertiser’s mobile website.
  2. A Smart Banner displays on the advertiser’s mobile website.
  3. The user clicks on the Smart Banner and:
    • If the app is not installed, the user is directed to the app store to install the app.
    • If the app is installed, and Universal Links, App Links, and/or URI links are configured, the app is directly launched.
  4. The user reaches in-app content, in the context of the promotion.
  5. The user is attributed to the media source that showed the original ad.

Note: We offer another script, that enables the attribution of users coming to your mobile web site landing pages. The script solution does not use Smart Banners and requires some web development to set up.
For ease of setup and better user experience, we recommend using the Web campaign-to-app attribution solution instead of the landing pages script

Setup

Web campaign-to-app attribution can either be accomplished using attribution parameters in the incoming link (leading to the mobile site), or by using UTM parameters. 

Prerequisites: 

Who is involved: Marketer

Incoming link parameters setup

Use this option for links incoming from any media source, including SRNs, click ad networks, and owned media.

To set up Web campaign-to-app attribution with a link:  

  1. Create or designate a mobile website page/landing page for your visitors. The URL should contain a part that indicates which Smart Banner is activated for the page.
    For example: http://feedme.com/plums_link
  2. Set up or edit a Banner Group, making sure to set the Attributed sources to Use incoming attribution link parameters.
  3. Prepare the URL leading to your mobile site for the campaign:

    SRNs and owned media Click ad networks
    1. In the incoming link to your mobile site, add AppsFlyer attribution parameters.
      • [Mandatory] The pid parameter, that specifies the media source.
        For example: http://feedme.com/plums_link?pid=sms
      • [Optional] Other parameters, such as campaign.
    2.  Use this link that includes the AppsFlyer attribution parameters in your campaign. 

 Note

  • All available parameters from the incoming AppsFlyer attribution link are added to the Smart Banner link.
  • When the user is directed to the mobile site and clicks the Smart Banner, if an attribution parameter exists in both the incoming link (to the mobile site) and the Smart Banner link, the incoming parameter takes precedence.
  • Since in the Banner Group, Attributed sources value is set to Use incoming attribution link parameters, attribution link parameters take precedence over other parameters, such as UTM params.

UTM parameters setup

Use this option for links incoming from Google Ads or other media sources that use UTM parameters. Note that the incoming link parameters option described in the earlier section also works for these sources, instead of the UTM parameters option that follows. 

To set up Web campaign-to-app attribution with UTMs:

  1. Create or designate a mobile website page for your visitors, coming from media sources with UTM parameters. The URL should contain a part that indicates which Smart Banner is activated for the page. For example: http://feedme.com/plums_utm
  2. Set up or edit a Banner Group, making sure to set the Attributed sources to Use UTM parameters.
  3. Set the web page unique URL part as the Smart Banner's activating page.

 Note

Since in the Banner Group, Attributed sources is set to Use UTM parameters, the UTM parameters take precedence over other parameters, such as attribution link parameters. Therefore, the utm_source and utm_campaign params will be used, even if the attribution link params pid and c are present. 

Congratulations! You have set up Web campaign-to-app attribution (either using an attribution link or UTMs). Now when a campaign leads users to your mobile website, any Smart Banners displayed on the website that gets clicked will be attributed to the source that led the users to the mobile site.

Next step: In the Banner Group you created, create individual banners to display on your mobile website.

Example

 Time for plums

Mark is the marketer for a food delivery service called "Feed Me". He decides to create a campaign for the app’s plum sale. Mark decides to use an SMS blast, as well as ad networks and Google for the campaign.

In preparation for the campaign using SMS, Mark:

  • Adds unique attribution params to use in the campaign link to drive users to the plum sale page on the Feed Me mobile site. The link includes the pid parameter, with the URL to the plum sale page: http://feedme.com/plums_link?pid=sms&c=plums.
  • Creates a Smart Banner (banner group and banner) with Attributed sources set to Use incoming attribution link parametersthat activates for users visiting pages in the mobile web containing "plums_link".

In preparation for the campaign using an ad network, Mark:

  • Gives the ad network a unique attribution link to use in the campaign to drive users to the plum sale page on the Feed Me mobile site. The link includes the Redirection URL (af_r) parameter, with the URL to the plum sale page: http://feedme.com/plums_link. No additional parameters needed
  • Uses the Smart Banner already created for the SMS campaign.

In preparation for the campaign using Google Ads, Mark:

  • Creates a duplicate of the plum sale page on the Feed Me mobile site: https://www.feedme.com/plums_utm?utm_source=google&utm_campaign=plums.
  • Creates a duplicate of the Smart Banner (banner group and banner) with Attributed sources set to Use UTM parametersthat activates for users visiting pages in the mobile web containing "plums_utm".

The campaigns start running.

The users:

  • See the ad for the plum sale and click through to the Feed Me mobile site.
  • Google Ads clicks arrive to the UTM landing page, while all other clicks arrive to the incoming link landing page. The matching Smart Banner is activated per page.
  • See the Smart Banner on the mobile site and click it. 
  • Arrive at the Feed Me app, download, and install. 
  • Get directed upon app launch to the plum sale.
  • Are attributed to the correct media sources that led them to the Feed Me mobile site.
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