Adding parameters to tracking URLs

The vNative platform supports a wide variety of parameters that you can use in your tracking links and server postbacks to pass information between your system and that of your publishing partners. While some parameters are automatically appended, others are optional and the platform gives you the ability to pick and choose which additional parameters you want to append depending on the values you (or your publishing partners) want to be passed.

 

Parameter Variables & Macros

The passing of values between your own internal system, the vNative and Attribution Analytics platforms, and your publishing partners’ internal systems requires discerning your “parameter variables” from your “macros” and how to use these two pieces of information appropriately.

Both of these terms have various meanings throughout the tech world and as we do not want to create confusion let’s define now how we at vNative use these two terms and their application.

  • Parameter Variable: An attribute in your system that denotes a particular type of variable to be defined; e.g. the ID of a user or some other definitive characteristic of your data.
  • Macro: The value of the parameter it is paired with; can either contain an actual value (e.g. =2345) or can be a placeholder for the value of the parameter (e.g. ={number}) to be dynamically replaced later.

Take the following URL as an example:

http://trackingdomain.com/421jw92933?p1=34587&p2={referer}

After the “?” you can see that a good many parameters have been appended to the URL; e.g. &p1=34587 and &p2={referer}. Parameters – otherwise known as variable-value pairs – are comprised of a parameter variable (e.g. &p1) and a macro (e.g. =34587). Thus, a parameter is simply indicating that the parameter variable equals a macro/value.

 

Placeholder Macros

In the above URL example, the values for some of the macros have already been provided (e.g. &p1=587) while others have the placeholder macro (e.g. &p2={referer}). Placeholder macros enable you to essentially request information from an outside source for an internal parameter you are interested in collecting data on.

For example, you want to collect the referrer website that triggered your ad. To collect this piece of information, you would append the appropriate parameter – i.e. p2 – along with the placeholder macro that corresponds to that parameter – i.e. {referer}. On click of the URL, the keyword that triggered your ad would then dynamically replace the {referer} placeholder macro (&p2= some_other_website) and you could later view the collected referrer website in your reports.

 

Figure: The passing of data between your own internal system and a third party affiliate system through the vNative system. All data passes through the vNative platform and thus ensures consistency of value naming conventions across systems.

 

Third-Party Systems

If you are working with publishing partners or affiliates it is imperative that the integrity of the information being passed between everyone’s platforms remains constant and thus transparent. This is best achieved by maintaining open lines of communication with your publishing partners or affiliates to ensure that everyone is aware of which parameters and macros are supported by each system and subsequently what information is, in fact, being passed back and forth.

Obviously, each third party system you interact with will have its own set of parameters and macros regardless of the fact that the same information is being represented in each system. Thus one of your priorities should be syncing with your collaborative third party systems to understand which values they want to be passed back to them; i.e. what parameter variable you need to append to your pixels and postback URLs.

Let’s look at an example of this in play. A common practice is for affiliates to pass in their unique session ID on the click through the sub1 parameter.

 

So the affiliate will pass in the unique session id to their offer tracking link like this:

http://trackingdomain.com/421jw92933?p1=34587&p2={referer}

As they are passing this value to you unrequested, it is safe to assume that they are doing so because they would like this value passed back to them in the postback URL.

Therefore, you will want to append the sub1 parameter to the postback URL like this:

http://track.theirnetwork.com/path?subid1={p1}&subid={p2}

which the vNative system will replace with the corresponding p1 value

http://track.theirnetwork.com/path?subid1={sub1}&subid2={sub2}

vNative Platform Parameters

vNative supports many of the possible macros that can be passed back to the affiliate to maintain a highly transparent transaction between you and the affiliate’s tracking system. The macros used are always contained between curly brackets “{}” and include underscores. Here is the complete list of macros that vNative supports:

Parameters:

{campaign_id} Id of Campaign {campaign_title} Title of Campaign
{aff_id} ID of Publisher running the Campaign {aff_name}, {aff_username} Name/Username of Publisher running the Campaign
{adv_id} ID of Advertiser for which the campaign is running {tdomain} Tracking domain on which the Campaign Runs
{click_id} Unique ID of Click Event Recorded {click_time} Timestamp for the Click Event
{p1}, {p2}, {p3}, {p4} Tracking Parameter’s which was appended in tracking url {device_id} Device ID For App Installs Campaign
{payout}, {rate} Payout/Sale rate Rate in USD for the Campaign (ONLY in CALLBACKS) {reporting_rate}, {reporting_payout} Payout/Sale rate Rate in Default Currency(ONLY in CALLBACKS)
{agent} Browser on which the Click Event occured {referer} Referring Domian for the Click Event
{country_id} 2 Digit Country ID {ip} Connecting IP of User

 

For help, drop us a  line on info@vnative.com.

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