Understanding the specifications of tracking protocols is critical for making an informed decision about which tracking method to use for campaign tracking and optimisation. Let's look at the differences between pixels and postback and determine which tracking system is best for you.
What is Postback URL Tracking?
Postback tracking, also known as server-to-server (S2S), server-side, or server call.
Postback events occur when a web page is sent to retrieve requested information from the server and return it to the source of the request to indicate the completion of an event or activity.
To sum it up, servers exchange and track information on the user’s actions on the server or web.
There are two types of postbacks:
Install Postback: This postback will be triggered when the install attribution is achieved.
In-App Postback: This postback will be triggered when the user performs an in-app action or event post-installation.
What is Pixel Tracking?
Pixel tracking is also known as client-base, cookie-base, or in-browser tracking. Pixels, or tracking pixels, are a form of HTML code that needs to be added to the conversion page, which gives us information about user actions like webpage visits, ad impressions, and conversion data, along with other similar attributes.
What is the difference between Pixel and Postback Tracking?
Both tracking methods have pros and cons, but postback URL tracking is the most reliable method of tracking. Here are some differences between postback and pixel tracking.
Simplicity and Easy Implementation: Pixel tracking is straight forward and easy to set, just a set of HTML codes to be placed on the Thank You Page (Conversion Page), while in Postback, the parameters are passed through the URL, and hence it is extremely important to pass and note the correct parameters and macros.
Landing Page Complexity: For pixels, every code has to be unique for every affiliate partner, which will make the landing page heavier, whereas for postback, just a URL is appended with the necessary parameters on the network platform that your advertiser is using.
Accurate Tracking: Pixel tracking can be inaccurate sometimes because they are saved as cookies on the user end, and the user can clear cookies as and when they like. With the cookies stored in the local cache, once deleted, the tracked data is no longer available, while on the other hand, postback tracking is more reliable as it is transferred from one network to another.
Reports: Postback debug reports are available to check the discrepancies, but on the other hand, the same cannot be done for pixel tracking. Although we do have pixel logs to check for the possible errors, but if the issue is with pixel placement, we can not check the same without advertiser's intervention.
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