How do I set up server-to-server and mobile app integrations?

Looking to track conversions on a 3rd-party server? No problem! Whether you want to store conversion data without using our pixel code, or you want to track mobile app engagement using one of Outbrain’s mobile attribution partners, we’ve got an option for you.

To get started, you’ll need a few things:

Event-Based Conversion with Unique Name
Unique Click ID Tracked via UTM Parameter
Postback URL

We’ll begin with setting up server-to-server integration, as many of the steps included will apply to mobile app tracking. However, feel free to skip right to mobile app tracking if you’re currently using one of our mobile attribution partners (AppsFlyer, Kochava, Adjust, or TUNE).

Server-to-Server Tracking

Server-to-server integration allows you to keep track of user actions when you can’t place our pixel code on site. Instead, when a user clicks on your Outbrain recommendation, our server will generate a unique click ID. If that same user then converts, the unique click ID will need to be matched back to the user through your server. Your server should post that same unique ID back to the Outbrain server so our dashboard can show the conversion. Note: You will need to have access to your own server in order to implement server-to-server integration.

Let’s get started!

Create a Unique Event Name

Click on the “Pixels” tab and select “Conversions.”

Click “Add Conversion” to open up the “Create Conversion” screen. Select “Event-Based Conversion” (not “URL-Based Conversion”), then create a unique event “Name”, set a “Window” (the time it takes from click to conversion) and “Value” (such as average order value), and then click “Save.”

A snippet of code will pop up, prompting you to install. To set up either server-to-server integration or mobile app tracking, you are not required to install this code on your site.

If you’re having trouble setting up the Event-Based conversion, click here.

Add a Click Parameter to Your Campaign’s Tracking Code

You can access the targeting section when setting up a new campaign or by clicking the pencil icon next to an existing campaign. Scroll down to the “Tracking Code” box and add the following parameter:

OutbrainClickId={{ob_click_id}}

Make sure to leave “{{ob_click_id}}” as is, since this parameter is dynamic and will populate the user’s unique click ID.

On every click on your content, we will append a unique click ID to the Ad URL as a query string parameter. Your server needs to store this unique ID with matching user Id on your system to use it later when the user converts.

Implementing the Postback URL

Once the above steps have been completed, your server needs to report back the click ID when the conversion event takes place. It should do so in the form of a postback URL, which you can define using the following template:

https://tr.outbrain.com/pixel?ob_click_id=UNIQUE_CLICK_ID_VALUE&name=EVENT_BASED_CONVERSION_NAME

The “UNIQUE_CLICK_ID_VALUE” placeholder needs to be replaced with matching user’s actual click id value which you stored in the previous step.

Also,  the “EVENT_BASED_CONVERSION_NAME” placeholder needs to be updated to your actual Event-Based conversion name. Make sure to leave the key “ob_click_id” and “name” as is, since those are the reserved names.

Now, every time a user clicks on a recommendation in your campaign, we will add the click ID to your landing page URL. When a conversion occurs, your server will report back this information, and you will see it reflected in the dashboard.

Tracking Mobile App Engagement

Currently, Outbrain is integrated with AppsFlyer, Kochava, TUNE, and Adjust, some of the leading mobile attribution partners around. In a snap, you can integrate these platforms with your Outbrain data to better track mobile engagement and conversions. Setting this up follows almost exactly the same steps as above, so jump back to the relevant sections if you’re not sure how to proceed.

First, you will want to locate your marketer ID, and copy it to later send to your mobile app partner. Note: if you use Appsflyer or Kochava, you do not need your marketer ID. This is only required if you use TUNE or Adjust. To locate your marketer ID, head to your Amplify dashboard and copy the entire string of letters and numbers in the URL bar.

Next, create an Event-Based conversion, although don’t worry about placing the event code on your page. Once you have defined the conversion, add a click parameter to the tracking field of your campaign settings. Note: the name “OutbrainClickID” can be altered depending on the name you create for you and your app partner.

Finally, implement the attribution with your mobile app partner. For further information, feel free to check out the set-up guides for each of our app partners below:

And that’s it! You should now be able to monitor mobile engagement in your dashboard. Your dashboard will populate with data once customers begin to complete the event you set up.

 

Important to Note

  • Just like the the  Outbrain Pixel, server to server integration does not include all conversions. It will only include conversions that came from Outbrain.
  • Make sure to leave {{ob_click_id}} as is, since this parameter is dynamic and will populate the user’s unique click ID.
  • Due to the fact that server to server integrations are reliant on an external system, Support is unable to troubleshoot issues that may arise from their implementation.
  • It is recommended to target Android or iOS devices separately per campaign. To set up this targeting, please contact our Support team.
  • If you need help troubleshooting, please use one of the implementation guides above or contact your mobile partner account manager.
  • Event names are case-sensitive.

If you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to our expert Support team.

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