Conversion & Budget Caps for Offers

Need to tailor budgetary limits on your offers? TUNE has you covered with offer caps.

This article is part of our Platform Basics series.

How Offer Caps Work

The offer caps feature lets you limit the number of conversions publishers can drive to an offer. You can set caps on offers for:

  • Maximum number of conversions…
    • Per day
    • Per month
    • Over the offer’s lifetime
  • Maximum amount of payout/revenue…
    • Per day
    • Per month
    • Over the offer’s lifetime

Daily and monthly caps can be set for all traffic on an offer, on a per-publisher basis for an offer, or both. Lifetime caps can be set for all traffic on an offer. You can use any combination of these settings to fit your individual needs.

Types of Caps

There are three types for caps—conversions, payout, and revenue—and they all work in a similar fashion:

  • Conversion-based caps count based on completed conversions from one or all publishers for that offer. Useful when working with advertisers who limit on how many new users are acquired through a new network.
  • Payout- and revenue-based caps are based on either the total payout or revenue generated from one or all publishers for that offer. Useful when working with strictly-defined advertiser budgets.

Caps & Time

Day-based caps are counted for the 24-hour day based on your network’s time zone. Those caps reset at 12:00 am each day. Month-based caps are counted for the calendar month, and reset on the first day of each month. For lifetime caps, all conversions, payouts, or revenues are counted regardless of time.

However, there is sometimes a delay between when a cap is reached and when redirects are enforced. See Potential Delays on Triggering Caps below.

Note: When an offer with goals has a conversion cap, only conversions on the default goal count toward the cap. This is so you can continue receiving data on goals after reaching the cap.

When a Cap is Reached: Redirects

When an offer’s cap is reached, traffic for that offer redirect to another specified offer. Here’s how TUNE determines which offer to redirect to, stopping at the first valid step:

  1. If the offer has an entry for its Redirect Offer setting, the user is redirected to that offer.
  2. If the offer is in an offer group, the offer group’s settings take over.
  3. If your network has an entry for Default Redirect URL, the user is redirected to that URL.
  4. If none of those are valid, the user is redirected to a white page.

This redirect happens once the system detects that any of that offer’s cap is reached. For example, let’s say a publisher has a daily cap of 50 conversions and a monthly cap of 500 conversions for a given offer. If that publisher exceeds 50 conversions in a single day, the offer then redirects until the following day when that daily cap resets. If that publisher exceeds 500 conversions in the month, the offer then redirects until the first day of the following month. For further details, see Potential Delays on Triggering Caps below.

Setting Offer-Wide Caps

To add or change an offer’s caps, first go to the offer’s page. Then in the Settings panel, click Edit. On the page that appears, set Caps to “Enabled”. Enter values for any conversion, payout, and revenue caps you’d like to enforce for this offer. To avoid using a cap setting, set it to 0 or leave it blank.

Once you have the settings you want in place, click Save at the bottom.

Adding Partner-Specific Offer Caps

To set caps for a specific offer-partner pair, you can either go from the offer’s page or the partner’s page.

From the Offer Page

  1. Click Partner Payouts at the top of the Payout panel.
  2. Click Add at the top of the following page.
  3. On the Offer Account Settings page, select the partner you want to apply caps to for this offer.
  4. Wait for the page to reload.
  5. Enter values for caps you want to enforce—leave the rest blank.
  6. Click Add at the bottom.

From the Partner Page

  1. Click Add at the top of the Offer Payouts panel.
  2. On the Offer Account Settings page, select the offer you want to apply caps to for this partner.
  3. Wait for the page to reload.
  4. Enter values for caps you want to enforce—leave the rest blank.
  5. Click Add at the bottom.

Editing Partner-Specific Offer Caps

To edit caps for a specific offer-publisher combination, either…

  • Go to the offer’s page, then in the Payout panel click Partner Payouts.
  • Go to the partner’s page, then in the Offer Payouts panel click View.

Then on the settings page that appears, enter values for caps you want to update. Caps set to 0 or left blank are not enforced. Click the Save button below the table once you’re finished.

Note: Lifetime caps aren’t available on these pages, as they apply to all partners on an offer.

Potential Delays on Triggering Caps

Because TUNE is built to process thousands of conversions per second, conversion data is collected and applied to our caps-monitoring system in short batches rather than in real-time. What does this mean for you and your offers? It means you might occasionally experience a short delay of up to 5 minutes between when a cap hits and when an offer starts to redirect.

This is a rare occurrence, but it can happen, so it’s good for network owners to be aware of this potential limitation. There are two main reasons this might happen:

  • A user clicks on the offer while it’s active, and converts on the offer at the same time the offer cap is reached.
  • There’s a sudden spike in traffic.

Using the example above, your publisher has a daily cap of 50 conversions. They’re at 48 conversion for the day, and they get a small surge of traffic resulting in 3 more conversions within the same minute. Because the offer cap hasn’t taken effect yet, all 3 conversions are recorded.

While this doesn’t happen often, if this occurrence is a concern for you, you may want to reduce your cap by 10% to account for a potential overage.

In rare cases of significantly high traffic volume, you may experience delays of up to 15 minutes.