If you'd prefer not to use an ad-tracking vendor or an ad network, then you can use Localytics-provided customer redirect URLs. These URLs can directly track the originating source and campaign.
Keep in mind, these URLs won’t be able to communicate with any third-party applications—any tracking data will live in Localytics.
Redirects are a common tool on the internet. They're designed to send an end user to a secondary URL from its original source. They're commonly used to help users wind up where they should (should URLs get edited in updates) and for data tracking.
In the case of Localytics, we'll briefly send your end users to a Localytics page to capture the device ID before the user is redirected to the intended app store destination. Localytics keeps a list of devices that have clicked on the URL and looks for matches every time a new device launches your app for the first time.
One special type of custom redirect URL is a fingerprinted redirect URL. These work almost identically to traditional redirect URLs, except that in the absence of an accessible unique device ID, Localytics collects a number of non-unique device IDs and combines them in a way that the resulting combination—the device fingerprint—is generally unique.
Localytics keeps a list of device fingerprints that have clicked on the URL and looks for matches every time a new device is observed first launching the app. For more on how fingerprinting works and when to use it, click here.
Depending on which app type you're building a URL for (Android or iOS), your setup will be a little different. On iOS, due to Apple's attribution model, customer redirect URLs only work under special circumstances.
The IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) of the URL-clicking device must be known in advance (for example, via cross-app promotions) and must be inserted into the IDFA field in the redirect URL. If the IDFA is not known and not interested into the URL, Localytics can’t know which device clicked the URL and therefore can’t match this to subsequent app activity.
To set up your custom redirect URL for attribution, head into the Attribution section of your Localytics dashboard. Make sure you’ve selected the correct app from the drop-down menu at the top of the page (ie, iOS vs Android).
To create an URL, click the green plus icon on the Attribution dashboard.
Assign a Campaign Name and select or create an integrated source. The source name that you provide will be reported as the Acquisition Source within Localytics. On iOS, enter your app's download location as the Target URL. (This isn’t necessary on Android as this can be inferred in the app's bundle ID.)
On Android, you can also optionally enter additional campaign-specific information like:
- Campaign Medium
- Campaign Term
- Campaign Content
- Redirect Behavior
This will be recorded in raw data but not reportable in the dashboard.
Copy the resulting campaign URL from the Localytics dashboard and serve this to your end users. Users that click will be briefly redirected to a Localytics endpoint, then to the Target URL you specified.
Once you've collected some clicks, it’s a good idea to check on the reporting. For more information on reporting, check out our Attribution Report article.