What is a postback?

Glossary What is a postback?

What is the meaning of postback?

In mobile marketing, a postback, also known as a callback, is the communication of data between one server and another.

Why do we need a postback?

A postback allows app developers and marketers to attribute installs and track a user’s activity within an app. Marketers who have the valuable information a postback provides client-side can:

How does a postback work?

Firstly, it’s important to distinguish between the two types of postback data:

Install postback: Triggered when a user installs an app for the first time. Additional parameters like media source, cost per install, click ID, device type, and search query can be included to maximize the analysis potential for marketers to determine which campaigns are bringing in the highest volume of users, or the highest quality users.

In-app postback event: Triggered when a user performs a specified event in-app.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how a postback actually works.

A postback is the AdTech equivalent of communication. When you send a letter you write an address on the envelope so the letter gets sent to the correct location. Similarly, a network needs to add its server address (callback URL) to the Adjust tracker URL so we can send them a message when an install or event is attributed.

Adjust then calls this URL every time there is a conversion attributed to that network in order to tell the network that their ad successfully resulted in this conversion (and thus received the attribution).

Callback URL example

A SKAdNetwork postback works a little differently. At a very high level, the differences between these postbacks are:

  • Apple sends them and anonymizes the data, which is contained within a conversion value.
  • Install and event data are combined into one postback.
  • Since the release of SKAN 4, three postbacks are available to marketers if there are enough installs to protect user anonymity.

Dive deeper into SKAdNetwork postbacks.

Adjust and postbacks: How do you set up a postback?

With Adjust, you can set up postbacks to receive advertising IDs, attribution details, app data, and more directly to your servers in real-time as raw data. Adjust provides postbacks for a(n):

To set up a callback, you must specify:

  1. The server endpoint URL where you want to receive data. This should be tied to your own business intelligence solution or data warehouse, which is a prerequisite to process callbacks.
  2. Callback parameters and Adjust placeholders for the data points that you want to track.
  3. Whether you want to set up a single activity postback or multiple postbacks for the same activity.

Learn more about setting up postbacks with Adjust.

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