Attribution Campaign Types


There are several types of attribution campaigns as we have seen in the Attribution Analytics documentation. In this page, we will explain how to configure them in detail.


The Attribution Analytics plugin is available only in Countly Enterprise.

Web Campaigns

This the default campaign type. You would use it by placing a clickthrough (tracking) URL on the web, like on your website, or using Ads networks.

The setup is easy: simply copy the URL from your campaign page and use it on your website or Advertising campaign to direct users to this URL. If you want to see and copy this link, go to your campaign and then click on Campaign link.

Countly will record all the clicks coming through this UR, store their digital fingerprint, and will match it with users who started using your application. Countly will then redirect incoming clicks and point them towards a specific landing page or appstore link of your application.

Additionally you can use query string parameters to append to a tracking URL in order to track additional segments of the same campaign, such as the placement on the link on your website or used banner or wording, for A/B testing your campaign.

Using Attribution for Web Analytics

When using campaign links for Web Analytics purposes, you also need to report conversion from the SDK, so Attribution Analytics would know when the user converted and could track their sessions and revenues. More information available here.

Email Campaigns

Sometimes you may want to send an email or a newsletter to a group of users who have not installed your application yet. When the users open their emails and click on the link to Google Play or App Store, then they will be able to install the application.

In this scenario, you should also use a web campaign when creating email campaigns, as it will generate a link and that you will use in the email.

Since your target users probably check their emails not only on phones but also on computers, it is recommended to disable fingerprint matching and match solely based on IP address. That way if both phone and computer are on the same local network, even if your user clicks on the link in the email from the computer and then installs the app on the mobile device, it will still count an attribution.

Server to Server

Server to Server attribution is mostly meant when third party providers do the actual attribution matching, usually on some data they have internally, and then send this data to your Countly server to let you know which user was attributed to which campaign.

Implementation really differs based on what the third party provides, but it should mainly contain these steps:

  1. You create a campaign and generate a link for the campaign on Countly.
  2. Find out what identifier the third party server will track (usually Advertising ID for Android or IDFA for iOS) and include it in your Countly campaign link.
  3. The Countly server tracks clicks and records this identifier.
  4. If the third party server will not notify you regarding install attributions, you need to setup a postback URL to Countly inside the third party's server settings.
  5. If the third party server will not notify you about install attributions, then Countly can determine this itself when a new user appears (and the SDK provides Advertising ID for Android or IDFA for iOS).

So, let's go through these steps and look how it would work.

Creating a Campaign

So we click Create New Campaign, provide Campaign name and then select Campaign type as Server to Server.

After that, you can provide a cost, just like with any other campaign type.

The next step is to select how attribution will be resolved:

  • If the third party server will only provide the identifier with the click but not provide information on attribution itself, then select resolve ourselves using Advertising Id. This way Countly will try to match the provided identifier with the one we receive from the SDK (not a device_id, but an Advertising ID sent separately).
  • If the third party server will also provide attribution information, then select resolve only when provider notifies us and that way, the attribution will only be recorded if and when the third party server notifies us about it

Providing Advertising ID in the Tracking Link

This step depends on if the third party server provides the Advertising ID, as well as in what format they expect to have placeholders in the campaign or tracking link.

Using the screenshoot from the sections above as an example, this is the campaign/tracking link:

And we will use the URL parameters just like with custom segmenting to record provided identifier.

Here is a list of possible identifiers and keys you should use for them in Campaign URL:

  • Android Advertising id - aid_adid
  • MD5 hash of Android Advertising id - aid_md5_adid
  • SHA1 hash of Android Advertising id - aid_sha1_adid
  • iOS IDFA - aid_idfa
  • MD5 hash of iOS IDFA - aid_md5_idfa
  • SHA1 hash of iOS IDFA - aid_sha1_idfa

So for example, if the third party server provides an MD5 hash of Android Advertising id as identifier, and they provide it in placeholder named {android_id}, then you need to add it to your campaign link as{android_id}  and set this URL as campaign/tracking URL in third party server.

Providing Postback to a Third Party Server

If the third party server does not send information about attribution, and you set Resolve attribution ourselves using Advertising Id in the campaign settings, then we are done with setting up the tracking campaign.

But if the third party server also controls attribution and will notify Countly server about it, then we need to provide a link to the third party server, which it can use to notify Countly.

Based on previous example of campaign link, postback URL would look similarly, like this:{android_id}

Set this link in your third party server as postback URL to report attribution and that server will be able to notify Countly about new attributions for specific identifiers.

Adwords Campaign Universal (Deprecated)

Discontinuation of Google Adwords support

Google has blocked third parties to access its Adwords data. For this reason, Countly can no longer support this feature. This section is here for historical reference and will be deleted in the future.

Adwords Campaign is basically the same as Web Campaign, the only difference is that it comes with prefilled segments that could be tracked through Adwords, and as well, that there is no need to provide end URL, because you will already provide it in your Adwords account and it will be passed to this tracking URL through {lpurl} parameter.

The only thing you need to do, is to set up your Countly tracking URL as tracking URL in your Google Adwords account's campaign settings.

When creating new campaign in your Adwords account, do the following:

  1. Scroll down to Show additional settings.
  2. Click on Campaign URL options (advanced).
  3. Enter Countly tracking URL in Tracking template field.

Or, as an alternative, you can also edit your tracking options under Campaigns > Ads > Edit ad.

Google Adwords App Installs (Deprecated)

This is a specific campaign type that you can create in your Adwords account. Instead of digital fingerprint matching, it uses other tracking techniques to determine attribution.

Countly uses Server to Server first open approach to get attribution data for this campaign type, and because of that the setup is a little bit more difficult and there are also some limitations.

To create such campaign in Google Adwords, you must select Drive action > Install your mobile app settings when creating a campaign.

On the bottom of the same page, similarly like in Countly Adwords Campaign type, you need to set up tracking template by scrolling down to Advanced settings and click on Campaign URL options (advanced) and enter Countly tracking url in Tracking template field.

Creating conversions

For Android campaign, Adwords will automatically create First Install Conversion. You need to create additional First Open conversion in that case.

For iOS, Adwords will offer to create a Conversion after creating a campaign.

The next step is creating a conversion. Go to Tools -> Conversions. Select App and select platform (the same platform as your Adwords App Install campaign has).

As action select App installs (first open)

After that press Continue and fill out the required fields on the next page.

In the bottom there will be Postback URL field. Go to your Countly campaign page and click Edit. In that form you will find two Postback URLs, one for Android and other for iOS.

Copy the url for the platform that you have your Adwords campaign for and paste it as a Postback URL

After that click Done and then Save and continue.

On the next page select Set up a server-to-server conversion feed from an app analytics package to Adwords. There you will see Conversion ID and Conversion label (see picture below).

Set them up in your Countly campaign settings under the same platform that you created conversion for. Also, set your app's Bundle/Package ID. And click Update.

After that you are ready to start tracking your conversion from Adwords App Install campaign.

Google Adwords App Install Campaign Limitations

Data discrepancies

There are some limitations to Adwords App Install campaign that could lead to unavoidable data discrepancies, some of them being (explained here).

Multiple Adwords App Install campaigns for the same app in Countly

You can only have one Countly Adwords App Install campaign for the same app per platform (Android and iOS) or have a single campaign for both platforms.

If you create more Countly campaigns with Adwords App Install type for the same app, then conversion data could be duplicated between them. This means some conversions will count towards all campaigns with Adwords App Install type.

SDK usage limitations

You need to ensure that Countly SDK uses the following:

Baidu App Ads

If you want to promote your Android Apps with Baidu App Ads, you are requested to upload the Android APK with the Countly SDK to Baidu App Developer Platform, and then send the IMEI to Countly.

To configure a campaign with Baidu App Ads, follow the steps below:

  1. Once you have registered your app with Countly, you must set up a campaign in the Dashboard.
  2. To do this, click the app that you want to promote, click on Attribution > Create a New Campaign, followed by Affiliate Marketing in drop down menu under Campaign type.
  3. Generate the Tracking URL.
  4. Set up your Baidu App Ads campaign with Countly Tracking Link. Separately, configure Click Tracking Link and Conversion Tracking Link in Baidu Ad platform based on requirements.
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