Home Affiliate Marketing & Advertising Adsterra S2S Tracking: Take Control Over Your Conversions

Adsterra S2S Tracking: Take Control Over Your Conversions

by Adsterra Team
a blog cover for Adsterra S2S tracking guide

When you need to report conversions that happen while your CPA campaign is running, the most up-to-date solution is using Adsterra S2S tracking. Server-to-server (S2S) tracking helps report conversions by sending requests to the Adsterra postback URL. A postback URL is a URL with specific parameters that are called every time a conversion fires. This guide will walk you through the main steps of the S2S tracking setup while explaining some common sticking points of the whole process:

  1. generating a postback URL on Adsterra;
  2. setting up a correct postback URL in the tracking system or affiliate network;
  3. matching macros data between Adsterra and your tracking system or affiliate network; 
  4. testing your offer link.

How does Adsterra S2S tracking work?

You create a connector between your Adsterra campaigns and the tracking system when you generate a postback URL. When a conversion fires, the postback URL will detect it within Adsterra and pass the data to your tracker or affiliate network. As you can send lots of data about conversions, several parameters should be matched. We will examine the most vital ones as well as walk you through the main steps of the Adsterra S2S tracking setup.

A step-by-step postback tracking setup

Please log in to your Adsterra account. Click the hamburger menu from your Advertiser’s account and then hit Tracking → Conversion tracking. You’re now on the postback URL setup page. Let’s break down the flow into simpler steps.

Adsterra S2S tracking setup page
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STEP 1. Choose the postback type

To begin with, you will need to choose one of the postback types.

  • Simple postback sends the conversion event to your tracker;
  • Simple postback with payout variable adds the cost of conversion;
  • Complex postback is mainly used for dealing with non-USD payouts to convert currency.
In step one, you choose the postback type
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STEP 2. Choose your tracking system

Adsterra holds several built-in integrations with the most robust trackers. If you see the one you use, please pick it and move to STEP 3. Or, choose Custom if you’re using another platform.

In step 2, you choose a tracking system
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After choosing the tracker from the list (or picking Custom,) click the GENERATE POSTBACK button. You will need this URL later, so please copy it to the clipboard.

Generate the postback link on Adsterra

Parameters inside the postback URL

Depending on the Postback type you picked in STEP 1, the URL can look like:

http://www.pbterra.com/name/username/at?subid_short={clickid} 
  • Instead of a username, you see your Adsterra login.
  • subid_short is a token that needs to be matched with its analog on your affiliate network or tracker. 
  • clickid is a dynamic set of characters that Adsterra generates. After the conversion is complete, it is sent through an offer URL and returned through the Postback URL. clickid must be replaced by the corresponding parameter from your tracker or affiliate network and matched with the subid_short.

For the built-in integrations (e.g., Cake, Keitaro, Binom), you see the clickid already replaced by tokens from these platforms.

Example for Binom: http://www.pbterra.com/name/username/at?subid_short={externalid}
Here you have the login username and the {externalid} token taken from Binom, which matches the Adsterra’s subid_short token.

When you generate a postback link, you see tokens you need to match

Examples of Custom postback URLs depending on the postback type

Simple postback URL
http://www.pbterra.com/name/username/at?subid_short={clickid}

Simple postback URL with payout variable
http://www.pbterra.com/name/username/at?subid_short={clickid}&atpay={payout}

Complex postback URL with currency conversion
http://www.pbterra.com/code/EUR/username/at?subid_short={clickid}&atpay={payout}

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STEP 3.1 Paste the Adsterra postback to your tracker (affiliate network)

After you have generated and copied the Postback URL please open your tracker/affiliate network’s account and paste the postback from Adsterra as required by their instructions.

STEP 3.2. Match macros/tokens

That’s the most important part of Adsterra S2S tracking setup. You need to match macros or tokens between your tracker and Adsterra. This will enable Adsterra to report data you require.

Look for the clickid analog on your tracker / affiliate network. It may be sub1/externalid/clickid/cid/ref_id or other. Remember that you already have the clue if you chose the ready-made integration in STEP 2.

Paste the ##SUB_ID_SHORT(action)## near the clickid field.

See how it works with RedTrack. Here clickid is named as ref_id, so we placed the ##SUB_ID_SHORT(action)## right near this parameter.

An example of how to match tokens between Adsterra and your tracker
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After matching macros/tokens between Adsterra and your tracker or affiliate network, please generate a test link.

You will first need to choose an offer URL to carry out a test. Choosing offers with fast and simple conversions is better as you will have to complete this conversion to make sure the integration works.

Go back to your Adsterra account and paste the newly generated offer’s link right in the field under the Clause 4. Click the CHECK URL button and complete the conversion as if you were a user. 

How to check if Adsterra started tracking conversions
Pricing tokens enhance campaign tracking

Keep your spending under control! With this guide, you easily set up CPM, CPC, and CPA price tracking.

See Adsterra’s clues on how the link works

VALID. You have successfully integrated Adsterra and your tracker or affiliate network and now will get all conversions controlled.

INVALID. If you see this status, please return to your tracker and check if you placed the ##SUB_ID_SHORT(action)##  properly. On your Adsterra account, you will also see the alarming clue if some obligatory tokens are missing.

Invalid postback alert

PENDING status means you will need to wait about 5 to 10 minutes till the conversion fires. The status will change to VALID if everything is done correctly.

You can update the status state by refreshing the browser page or by clicking Check status next to each URL.

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Congrats! You’re all set up

Adsterra S2S tracking tracking is important yet pretty difficult to learn from the start. The major part of the success comes from your affiliate network or tracking system settings. So please read the tutorials they provide. Postback URLs will help you a lot in attributing conversions and analyzing campaigns’ performance. 

You can learn more about traffic sources and allocate budgets between them. In other words, you apply more comprehensive strategies supported by facts and figures.

Accurate tracking leads to wise spending and even more profitable advertising. Ready to start?

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