When you work with HasOffers, you're connecting to a user's journey—from their first experience in your advertising funnel to their last. Below, you'll explore the basics of that connection while building on offers, attribution, and other concepts introduced in our Intro to Performance Marketing.
This article is part of our Background & Setup series.
Setting the Stage
Let's set the stage with a story: An online retailer called Outletforce decides to buy traffic for their holiday ad campaign. They put together an offer their network contacts can forward to publishers.
Outletforce's offer includes a brief description, some pre-approved banner images, and the payment structure. The payment structure defines conversions as holiday decor sales, and pays out a commission on each conversion.
One of Outletforce’s networks contacts takes interest in the offer and decides on a price they're willing to pay publishers per conversion. The network looks for publishers to promote the offer, and publishers interested in that network's offer choose to post the ads. User traffic starts flowing, and some users who entered the advertising funnel convert on the offer.
At the same time, the network uses HasOffers both to measure the traffic of its publisher contacts and to link that traffic with conversions reported by Outletforce. This process of attribution gives an objective account of offer performance to advertisers, networks, and publishers alike.
In the story above and in practice, data comes to HasOffers from both the publisher and the advertiser. When a user clicks on a publisher's ad or converts on an advertiser's offer, HasOffers stores data from those interactions in a session—the collection of a user’s measured actions and information.
HasOffers uses sessions to connect a user's clicks with their conversions. Sessions contain identifiers for aspects of a user’s journey and for the session itself. Each session is unique and associates users and their conversions with specific offers, publishers, and networks.
HasOffers automatically manages user session information for you—a process we call session tracking. You just need to prepare your publishers and advertisers to pass information to HasOffers. To do that, you generate and distribute both tracking links and conversion links.
Tracking links are used by publishers to send you information about a user. When a publisher promotes one of your offers, they embed your tracking link in the accompanying ad. Then when a user clicks on that ad, your tracking link:
- Creates a session and starts session tracking in HasOffers
- Optionally requests and stores additional information from the publisher
- Redirects that user to the offer's landing page
Conversion links are used by advertisers to send you information about a conversion. When you run an advertiser’s offer, they report conversions by using your conversion link for that offer. Then when a user converts on that offer, your conversion link:
- Identifies the user's session in HasOffers
- Optionally requests and stores additional information from the advertiser
- Records a conversion for that user in the session
As you work with HasOffers, you’ll generate, customize, and provide these links to your publishers and advertisers.
A Little More Detail on Sessions
We mentioned that sessions keep track of various identifiers necessary for attribution. In HasOffers, you can also request and store other pieces of information from publishers and advertisers, like a user's geographic region, mobile device type, or web browser.
Such information can be extremely valuable to your business, especially when you're looking to better match offers with ad space. Using session information in HasOffers, you can also:
- Selectively modify and deliver offers
- Adjust offer payments and revenue
- Filter session data and create reports
By taking the time to understand session tracking and tracking links, you’re familiarizing yourself with how HasOffers works.