Attribution Analytics


Countly Attribution Analytics allows you to measure your marketing campaign performance by attributing installs from specific campaigns.

In addition to that, you can target users from different platforms differently, by providing a specific end URL for each platform, and Countly will automatically redirect visitors to the specific URL based on what platform the visitor is using.

For example, you can manage a single campaign with a single Countly generated URL for both Android and iOS users each pointing to their own app market link.

Countly Enterprise Feature

Attribution Analytics is only available in Countly Enterprise.

How Attribution Analytics Works

How Countly Tracks Installs

By default, Countly creates a unique URL link that points to Countly server when you create a campaign. This unique clickthrough link then can be used to integrate with your campaign so you first forward your users to Countly server, and Countly server forwards this request to your provided address (for example, corresponding application store, as you can provide different links for different platforms in the same campaign).

Inbetween these actions, Countly keeps a record of fingerprint of the user device. When the user opens the app first time, this fingerprint information is matched with the record that was previously saved. If there's a match, then the user is set as "acquired".

Specifically for Google Play, campaign information is simply passed to the device when user first installs the app. Upon initial launch, this information is sent to Countly servers, and user is counted as "acquired".

Different Segmentation Features Tracked for the End User

The features tracked for each end user include:

  • Total clicks
  • Unique clicks
  • Installs
  • Click conversion percentage
  • User conversion percentage
  • Total campaign cost (for campaign, per click or per install)
  • Revenue from acquired users
  • Acquired users' sessions

Device Identifiers for Attribution

If use digital fingerprint is checked, then Countly will use all information it can gather from device, which usually includes IP address, platform, paltform version, and screen resolution.

If digital fingerprint is not used, Countly only uses the IP address to match device, which will allow tracking across multiple platforms, as click on Windows and installation on Android. But this may also result in more false positives.

Note: digital fingerprint or IP address is stored for 7 days after the click. If, during that hour, user does not install your app, matching information expires, until the next assist click.

Attribution Analytics and Campaign Management

The below video details how you can define campaigns in your Attribution Analytics plugin.


Creating a New Campaign

The first thing to do is to create a campaign, which will provide you with a Countly generated URL to use in your marketing promos. For this, go to the Attribution Analytics page and click on Create new Campaign.

Once you click, the following popup will appear:

Below are some of the most important parts of this popup:

  • Click-through link - This is the tracking link you will be using in your marketing campaigns to point visitors to. This link is automatically generated. You can track additional segments by providing query string parameters to the url.
  • Campaign name - This will help you identify your campaign in Countly dashboard. Give it an easy and unique name.
  • Campaign type - This can be a Web campaign, an Email campaign, or a Server campaign. We'll talk about all different campaign types in Attribution campaign types.
  • Cost - You can specify the cost of the campaign as amount per click or per install or the amount you paid for whole campaign, to calculate the end balance compared with the revenue that acquired users brought you. Cost is helpful when you try to understand how different campaigns cost you and compare installations and clicks by costs so you can rethink about your ad spending.
  • Use digital fingerprint - If digital fingerprint is not selected, attribution will be made solely based on IP address, which means allowing tracking clicks through different platforms, for example click on Windows and then install on Android, but it also may result in more false positive attributions. Therefore we suggest that you use digital fingerprint option.
  • Redirect URLs - Redirect URL is where the end user will be redirected to. You must provide at least a Default URL. Additionally you can provide separate URLs for each platform, but if platform can't be determined or does not have a URL, user will be redirected to Default URL.
  • Default URL - Default URL will be used if you have not specified a URL for the platform used by current visitor or the platform can't be determined.
  • Custom scheme - You can also target users that already have your app installed by implementing custom URL scheme in your app and providing a deeplink URL with all the parameters you want to pass to your app, so that you would know that existing user came from this campaign.
  • Postback URL - This URL lets you notify third-party services about new installs that came from your campaign. This is explained in more detail in later sections.

Using Multiple Links

You may use multiple links in a campaign; in this case, Countly detects an install from a campaign through the following steps:

  1. We get a click on the device and we try to determine the platform of the user from where the click came (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, etc).
  2. If we cannot determine platform due to (any) privacy settings, or you have not provided a link for such a platform, we use whatever URL is provided in Default section.
  3. If we can determine the platform and there is a corresponding link for this platform, we check if custom scheme is provided.
  4. If no custom scheme is provided, we use the platform link.
  5. If a custom scheme is provided, then we try to detect (in browser) if app is installed, and based on that, either use custom scheme or platform link.

In order to achieve this, one should do the following. Note that we used iOS and Android as example platforms. If you use other platforms (e.g web), the flow is still the same.

  1. Create a campaign under Attribution Analytics.
  2. Provide landing pages as Default URLs for any rare edge cases.
  3. Provide app link to Google Play for Android.
  4. Provide app link to Appstore for iOS.
  5. Provide deeplinks for Android custom scheme and iOS custom scheme.

Sending data to a server when a conversion occurs

Countly Attribution Analytics has a webhook mechanism where you can send any device related data to another 3rd party server when a convergence happens. You can add any amount of postback URLs and provide available parameters by using placeholders.

For this webhook, Countly has several predefined placeholders for you to use and send data to a 3rd party server, as mentioned below:

  • {deviceID}: ID of device
  • {platform}: Platform of device (e.g Android, iOS)
  • {l}: Locale of the device
  • {b}: Browser used
  • {cnty}: Country of the user
  • {c}: Campaign ID you defined in Countly dashboard
  • {any_segment}: Any custom segment key you added to campaign URL

Once you have completed creating your campaign, click on the Create button. The campaign with your provided name should appear in your campaign table.

Below is a sample webhook that you can use to send locale and device ID information to a 3rd party server. You need to have API endpoints that you control on that server to retrieve this data, and use it appropriately.{l}&device_id={deviceID}

Sending Callbacks to an Advertiser/Agency

Yes. When there's a successful acquisition of the user, you can send a callback to a provider to let them know about this. Callback can pass DeviceID and platform to the service. Contact us if you need a custom development solution.

Viewing Campaign Details

Now that you have defined your campaign, you can click on a specific campaign row on the table to view campaign details. Initially, right after a campaign is defined, this table may be empty but will be filled once you start acquiring users.

You will find a click-through link on the campaigns details page to use in your advertising campaigns, at the very top of the page. On this page, you can also view timelines of total clicks, unique clicks, installs, revenue, and sessions, as well as overall statistics of Balance (acquired users' generated revenue minus calculated campaign costs) and User and Click conversions.

You can also view breakdowns of cost, revenue, and acquired user sessions by total and per user.

At the bottom, you will see tabular data, where the same metrics (total clicks, unique clicks, installs, revenue, and acquired user sessions) can be broken down by Platforms, Browser, Country, and Locale. Also you can also Edit and Delete campaigns using the buttons in the top right corner.

Comparing Campaigns

At some point when you have created multiple campaigns, like one for promoting your app or game on a web page, another on Admob, and any other promotional campaign you might have, you would want to compare them. You will ask questions like:

  • Which campaign delivered more users for a lesser amount of money?
  • Which campaign's users are more engaged and have more sessions?
  • Which campaign's users have earned you more money?

You will be able to compare your campaign performances by these and more metrics on the main Attribution Analytics page, where you have a list of all your campaigns for a specific app.

Custom Schemes

While you can set custom schemes to your attribution campaign, Countly does not provide custom scheme implementation in the app; that is something you will need to implement in your app yourself. There are many resources available for Android and for iOS.

However, the basic idea is that you register a custom URL scheme for your app. These are the main points you need to know when defining a custom scheme:

  • If your app is named MyApp, you could register scheme myapp://
  • Any app could open myapp:// url in the browser, and OS would detect it and open up your app.
  • Then, in Countly Attribution Analytics, you could provide a custom scheme like myapp://campaign=mycampaign
  • When a user opens your app with URL myapp://campaign=mycampaign it would pass campaign=mycampaign to your app (again, it is platform specific and this part is not supported by Countly, but something that you need to implement in your app).

In the end, you receive the value campaign=mycampaign and you know that this user clicked that specific mycampaign link and it opened your app. This gives you the ability to display any specific message or give a reward to your user.

Timeline Notes

Countly provides a way to add a note to the timeline on main dashboard, so all timeline graphics would also show it.

This is a great feature that you can use together with your attribution campaigns. For example, when you launch a great, worldwide marketing campaign, you can create a note on that specific date when you launch it. This note will be displayed on all timeline graphs, so you could tell that this spike of new users is due to this marketing campaign.

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