This postback tracking protocol uses the publisher’s ID (a.k.a. “partner ID”)—the number the network assigned to them—to track potential conversions. This identifier is sent to the advertisers along with click parameters relevant to that offer, including the offer ID.
The advertiser’s server stores the partner ID, offer ID, and other information passed to it from TUNE. If that user converts on the offer, the advertiser’s server indicates this event to TUNE by calling the offer’s postback URL, passing in it the partner ID, offer ID, and any desired conversion parameters. TUNE checks if that publisher is permitted to use that offer, and records the conversion if so.
Limitations with Partner ID Tracking
Due to the nature of partner ID postback tracking, there are a couple of issues and shortcomings that might deter from using this tracking method. Since a transaction ID isn’t passed on the click, some issues and shortcomings exist with this protocol.
There’s no single value that helps the ad server locate which click the conversion is associated with, which limits your reporting capabilities. If you look at a report that shows stats for a partner ID conversion, you can see metrics attributed to the click (partner sub IDs, mobile parameters, creative files, and so on), but not which conversion is linked to that click. Conversions show up on separate lines with advertiser metrics, so the overall information isn’t lost, but you won’t be able to easily tell which campaigns are performing better or worse through comparing clicks and conversions.
In nearly all cases, we recommend using transaction IDs over partner IDs. They provide the best defense against fraud and give you the clearest reporting data.
Primary Use Cases for Partner ID Tracking
The main reason for networks to use partner ID tracking is to handle offers with conversions that fire on a recurring basis, such as with a publisher is credited for each rebill of a consumer they brought to the advertiser. In that case, you must use the partner ID protocol because transaction IDs have a limited lifespan (defaulting to 30 days), and by default, multiple conversions cannot take place for the same transaction ID. (Multiple conversions can be enabled on an offer-by-offer basis.)
Additionally, some advertisers’ systems may not have the capability to use transaction IDs. This is uncommon today, but still, a potential issue that requires the use of partner IDs in tracking.