What is the S2S Postback?
The S2S postback also referred to as a server-side, server call, server 2 server, and sometimes mistakenly as server pixel tracking (Learn the difference between postbacks and pixels) is one of the most essential components to affiliate marketing. Unfortunately, it is often the most confusing and troublesome part of setting up your first campaign. In this article, we will break down the S2S postback and how to properly use it to track conversions.
The Postback is the signal from the advertiser’s servers back to the Pushground servers signifying that there has been a conversion. This method is independent of the user’s browser. Postback tracking can be thought of as two separate processes: what happens when a user clicks on an offer and what happens upon conversion.
How does a postback work?
Leading up to the conversion
- User sees an offer.
- User clicks on the offer.
- Click goes to a Pushground server. The server records the click, then generates and records the ID for that session (in this case the click_id).
- Pushground immediately directs the user to the offer’s landing page, including ID for that session in the offer URL (click_id)
- If you are using a tracker (if your not, you probably should) the user is sent to your tracking URL so they can be recorded through your tracker the immediately redirected to your tracker.
- User sees the offer’s page on the advertiser’s site.
When the user converts
- The advertiser’s server sends a signal to Pushground (a.k.a. fires a postback) that includes the click_id that Pushground initially supplied and amount or the payout of the offer. The user is not directed back to Pushground in any way.
- Pushground records the conversion for that session.
The S2S Postback is important so we can display the health of your campaigns and help to optimize your revenue. The click_id tells us which user converted so you can optimize towards that supply source and towards the creative they saw. The amount (payout) allows us to show you the profitability of your campaigns so you can quickly and effectively manage your campaigns.
How to implement it
So how can I properly set up the postback for my pushground campaign so I can track my conversions?
Your tracking offer URL would then look something like this:
After Pushground fills in values for the macros, the user is directed to a URL that looks similar to this:
When a user completes a conversion on an advertiser’s site, the advertiser needs to tell Pushground about the conversion. We call this “firing a postback”. The advertiser’s site does this by sending a signal to our servers that uses three elements:
3 Elements of the postback
- Postback URL:
- The click_id for that session
- The amount of the payout
The postback URL is: (REPLACE WITH PARAMETER YOU ARE USING FOR CLICK_ID AND THE PAYOUT FOR THE PAYOUT OF THE OFFER)
In the above URL, the advertiser replaces click_id with the click_id that they stored for that session and the amount of the payout.
If the advertiser had earlier received a click_id of “push_71872t38713891u12u0313” from Pushground and the payout of the offer was $5.00, then the postback URL becomes:
Important: You will receive a “200 OK” HTTP response code if we attempt to process the postback, even if unsuccessful. This lets you know Pushground received the request, and to not resubmit it as you might for a 4xx or 5xx response code.