Apphud – integrate, analyze and improve in-app purchases and subscriptions in your iOS/Android apps

Marketing

Optimize Web-to-App Facebook ads using Conversions API

With the release of iOS 14.5, more marketers are trying to find a way to advertise their apps and track campaign effectiveness in real-time. SKAdNetwork’s 3 days delay is just too much for anyone to want to use it. Facebook, as a leader in mobile advertising, has a solution, which came from web marketing and became very popular among app developers – Conversions API. We are happy to introduce Facebook Conversions API integration in Apphud which can help you to optimize for purchase events in your web-to-app advertising campaigns, view attribution and measure data in real-time without SKAdNetwork.

What is web-to-app campaign? It’s when you target to your app’s web landing page followed by redirection to the App Store.

What is Facebook Conversions API?

Facebook Conversions API (or shortly CAPI), previously known as Server-Side Events – is an API to send web events from your own server to a Facebook pixel. As you know, Apple made significant privacy changes in iOS 14, which limits ad tracking for both apps (via App Tracking Transparency framework) and websites (via ITP). However using Conversions API you can get out of the situation – you can track campaign effectiveness by sending events from your own server. In other words, you can treat a server as a cookie storage – you will need to send to Facebook the same parameters: fbc, fbp, user_agent, IP address, etc. Facebook receives this data and matches with an initial pixel event.

Benefits of using web-to-app advertising:

  • Real time attribution for matched users. The difficult part here is to correctly match website visitors with app users. Apphud can handle this.
  • Lower CPA. Web acquisition costs in most cases are less then app acquisition costs.
  • Ability to test web payments before app install. Some app owners may want to test web payments instead of In-App purchases.
  • Optimize for purchase events. Facebook will need to learn from scratch though.
  • Web onboardings. You can test different onboardings and other user journeys on-the-fly, without the need of the app resubmission.

Optimize for purchase events

To not target just to app installs, Facebook lets you to target and optimize for specific pixel events, like purchase events. In order to be complaint with iOS 14 changes Facebook made their own protocol – Aggregated Event Measurement, which allows measuring web events from iOS 14 users with some limitations:

First, different event kinds are limited to 8 maximum, per domain. Events must be configured and prioritized from highest to lowest, and only one event with the highest priority will be saved per user. Facebook allows to merge several events funnel into a single slot and allows for value optimization, which can make a life bit easier though.

Event Configuration in Facebook for campaigns optimization
Event Configuration in Facebook for campaigns optimization

Second, your domain must be verified. Steps for domain verification are written in Business settings. You may only use one domain for conversion tracking.

And third, custom and non-prioritized events optimization is not currently supported. That means you have to choose from one of those 8 events for campaign optimization, otherwise ads won’t be delivered.

Event Match Quality

As being said before, the more parameters you send to Facebook, the more accurate attribution will be. Facebook has a number of parameters, each of which has its own weight. The total score varies from 1 to 10.

For example, email has the greatest weight of 2.2 points. Unfortunately, its not so easy to get user’s email address when advertising mobile apps so this parameter is very rare. There are some apps, however, which request email addresses during complex web interfaces, like fitness apps.

The next parameter with high weight is IP address. In most cases user’s IP address is the same if user downloads and launches the app within an hour.

Customer information parameters priority for Conversions API
Customer information parameters priority for Facebook Conversions API

Facebook recommends total score to be at least 6.0 points. It can also affect cost per action, so always try send as many parameters as you can.

Event Match Quality in Events Manager
Event Match Quality in Facebook Events Manager

Set up web-to-app advertising campaign in Facebook

The idea is simple. When creating a campaign in Ads Manager choose conversions as a target instead of app installs, so that traffic will go into your website. Again, domain must be verified in Business settings. Your webpage should contain a pixel. Next, when editing Ad set choose iOS devices and optionally iOS version. Choose Purchase event as your conversion event.

Set up Web-to-App ads in Facebook Ads Manager
Set up Web-to-App ads in Facebook Ads Manager

When Facebook or Instagram users click on an ad, they are being navigated to a webpage and then to the App Store. After user installs and launches the app, developer must match a website visitor with the app user. If user makes a purchase or other target action, then your server should send a web event to Facebook, making Facebook think that the purchase was made on the website. The more web purchase events Facebook receives, the more accurately it optimizes.

The hardest part is to send Facebook pixel parameters to your server and match them with app user. Correct user matching is the key to accurate attribution.

Facebook Conversions API implementation in Apphud

Using Apphud you can set up Facebook Conversions API for purchase events optimization in your advertising campaigns in a few minutes. All you need is verified domain and a landing page with installed pixel. After you configure and prioritize your events in Events Manager you can go to Apphud and create integration as per our documentation:

Configure events mapping for Facebook Conversions API integration in Apphud
Configure events mapping for Facebook Conversions API integration in Apphud

After creating an integration a text area with a JS code will show up, which needs to be added at the bottom of webpage. This JS code helps to match website visitors with app users.

Apphud will send subscription events for matched users to Facebook as web events via Conversions API. That’s it!

Viewing real time attribution in Apphud for web-to-app campaigns

Apphud can also retrieve attribution and show it in our charts. In order to do this you will need to add the following URL parameters to advertised link:

  • ad_name={{ad.name}}
  • adset_name={{adset.name}}
  • campaign_name={{campaign.name}}
  • network=facebook
View web-to-app attribution from Facebook in Apphud in real time
View attribution from Facebook in Apphud in real time

All charts are shown in real time and will show numbers across ad campaigns.

Summarize

In order to run and optimize for purchase events in Facebook Web-to-App campaigns you need:

  1. Verify your webpage’s domain in Facebook business settings.
  2. Create and install a pixel to your page.
  3. Configure and prioritize events in Events Manager of your pixel.
  4. Integrate Apphud SDK to your app if you haven’t done yet.
  5. Create Facebook Conversions API integration in Apphud dashboard and follow our documentation regarding Apphud JS script installation.

Have a good day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *