What is a tracking parameter?

Glossary What is a tracking parameter?

The definition of tracking parameter

A tracking parameter is a defined piece of code that is added to the end of a URL. It can then be parsed by a system backend to share information contained by that URL. The parameters in these URLs/links are foundational to campaign measurement and can be used to send users to your app in the appropriate store, record engagement with ads, segment users by attribution source, and redirect users based on device type.

The parameters (tracking parameters) appended to the links pass custom data directly to your servers to record and transfer information about an ad view or click. At Adjust, we have three distinct groups of parameters that we work with; campaign parameters, redirect parameters (including deep links and fallback links), and additional parameters such as cost parameters, referrer parameters, and server-to-server parameters.

All Adjust links contain an endpoint and a links token, and many contain additional parameters to provide more insight into the campaign itself or the user engagement.

Adjust link with tracking parameters example


This link contains the endpoint, the link token, and additional information.

Why are tracking parameters important?

When a user views or clicks an ad, advertisers want to know information about that click or view. If there wasn’t any way to record and transfer the information about that interaction, it would be impossible to accurately measure the performance of that ad. With the use of tracking parameters, it’s possible to capture a snapshot at the time of click or impression and share information regarding which campaign sparked the click, which network served the ad, and more.

Note: Since iOS 14.5 and as we move into a privacy-centric, post-device ID measurement future, tracking without easy access to data or granular campaign information, it’s essential to work with tools that can extract insights from aggregated data (such as what is provided in SKAdNetwork (SKAN) postbacks) and make predictions for fast and effective campaign optimization. Learn more about next-gen measurement Adjust’s Recommend.

What are the benefits of tracking parameters?

Parameters enable an enhanced level of specificity in reporting, providing a space to add levels of granularity to the information that’s captured. Each parameter creates a place for a label to be attached to data, enabling that information to be shared between systems, and allowing that information to be parsed in such a way that humans can understand it. Whether you’re focusing on paid or organic marketing, tracking parameters play a big role in giving you the full overview of campaign performance.

What are the types of tracking parameters?

There are three main types of tracking parameters: campaign parameters, redirect parameters, and additional parameters.

Campaign parameters

You can use the campaign tracking parameter to uncover four levels of granularity with Adjust: network, campaign, ad group, and creative. The network level corresponds with the name you give your link and the following three values are captured using the campaign parameters on the link URLs. With these four spaces to store information, you can drill down into your data for more context, impactful segmentation, and the granularity you need for effective campaign optimization.

campaign parameters

Redirect parameters

These specify where a user should end up after they click the ad. In the default tracking behavior, the user will end up at the app store page for your app. But perhaps you want the user to arrive at a landing page outlining a promotion, or you may like them to be deep linked directly to a product page within your app. These user journeys can be achieved using redirect parameters.

Redirect, fallback, and deeplink are all types of redirect parameters that are powerful tools to improve user experience (UX) and drive conversions.

Redirect links can be universal, meaning all users will be sent to the same location, or they can be platform specific, meaning users on different devices will be sent to different locations.

  • Deep links: The deeplink parameter will redirect users to a specific page within your app, overriding the default redirect and superseding all other parameters.
  • Fallback links: The fallback parameter redirects off-platform users to a specific landing page, e.g. if an Android user clicks an iOS link, they’ll be redirected to a specified URL instead of the App Store.

Additional parameters

As suggested by the name, additional parameters, also referred to as dynamic parameters, are varied. Adjust’s label parameter field allows you to affix any additional information you might like to transfer that doesn’t fit into a defined space. You can also think of additional parameters as a way to define custom data points. Key examples are cost parameters that track ad spend, referrer parameters that allow information about referrer programs to be stored, and server-to-server parameters that enable ad networks to handle the redirect to a store directly.

Note that there are also connected TV (CTV) links and parameters that are built solely for use with CTV campaigns, where CTV ads are used to promote mobile apps. Find out more about this (and leveraging CTV/OTT advertising in general) by looking at our CTV solution, AdVision.

For more information on tracking parameters and using trackers, see our Campaign Lab setup information or request a demo today.

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