What is a conversions API?
Conversions API (conversions application programming interface) – a method to send conversions to ad platforms such as Facebook Ads using a server-to-server integration that solves tracking and attribution issues, allowing to increase percentage of conversions attributed in ad platforms correctly.
In recent years, ad platforms such as Facebook Ads (Meta) and Google Ads began to introduce and promote use of conversions APIs, allowing advertisers to send more details about their conversions. Conversion APIs were rolled out by these platforms to overcome limitations of online browser tracking. They work by supplementing tracking done by pixels and tags with server-side data integrations.
Ad platforms offer tracking pixels such as Facebook Pixel and Google Tag. These pixels track events that happen on the pages and send these events to the ad platform. They associate page click identifier (when available) and browser details, setting a first-party cookie to track visitor throughout the path of the website.
After Apple’s iOS 14 update and evolution of privacy controls in browsers in recent years, it became harder for advertisers to collect accurate data from pixels as the update allows users to opt-out of sites like Facebook collecting their data. To solve this problem, ad platforms implemented conversion APIs that enable advertisers to send additional customer data for conversions that happen offline or don't have unique identifiers to improve chances of ad platform understanding which of its users and clicks has converted. While the pixel collects information from a user’s browser, Facebook Conversions API, Google Ads API and similar conversions APIs collect server-side information meaning a user’s settings such as cookie-blocking don’t affect the data collection capabilities of the API. The pixel and API should be used in conjunction with one another, the API is not a replacement.
Why should you use conversions APIs?
According to Facebook, use of Facebook Conversions API can improve CPA by 13% across multiple verticals when setting up the Conversions API with the Facebook (Meta) Pixel. It can also increase lead to sale conversion rate by 20% by better optimizing ads and audience for your customer base. While other ad platforms haven't publicized the impact of implementing conversion APIs, it is expected to be in a similar range and also reflects the average - in some funnels improvement from using conversions APIs is significantly larger. Connecting Able CDP to your Facebook Conversions API will ensure this helpful data is efficiently transferred to other analytics platforms you may be using, allowing for even better analysis of your marketing campaigns and customer journey.
Conversions APIs also allow for tracking conversions that happen offline. Tracking offline conversions is the most essential use case for supplementing online tracking with a server-to-server integration. While many advertisers solely rely on tracking of conversions that happen online, such as sign ups, lead form completions and check outs, offline conversion data such as completed payments and subscriptions provides much better insights into understanding performance of ads precisely.
By using tracking pixels/tags and APIs together, you can maximize data collection and attribution. Ad platforms receive API events to link conversions with browsers or profile personal data and, indirectly, ad clicks, to model conversions that can't be tracked otherwise. This requires use of both browser pixel and API to process page view and conversion event; however, sending the same event from two and use of deduplication may result in loss of the tracking data as ad platforms discard duplicate events instead of merging them.
How Able can help consolidate API and Pixel data
Able tracks customers from the first visit to the website, recording UTM parameters, ad click and browser identifiers used by ad platforms and analytics services and then associates them with customer details entered in lead and sign-up forms. Able also receives conversion events directly from the server, relying on first-party data rather than tracking cookies and pixels to record conversions.
Facebook, Google Ads, and TikTok API integrations combined with Able CDP tracking and attribution provide powerful tools to understand how your ad spending drives sales and purchases. Able attributes conversions at all stages of the funnel such as successful payments, won CRM deals and starting Stripe subscriptions to the original Google Ads, Facebook and TikTok ad clicks as well as identifiers set by tracking pixels and tags and sends conversions to the APIs. In lieu of click identifier, Able sends browser identifiers and user identifiers such as email and phone to allow the platforms to attribute and report conversions from iOS traffic.
Using individual platforms' APIs on their own can be less reliable. For example, using only Facebook CAPI makes it difficult to track conversions: it's not uncommon to see inaccurate statistics - higher or lower click numbers in Facebook Ad manager than in Google Analytics or duplicates in Shopify Analytics. This is why having a platform like Able CDP to integrate the data is especially useful.
While Facebook uses deduplication to try and ensure events aren’t duplicated through pixel and API data, sending the same conversion to Facebook Pixel and then sending customer details to Conversions API with deduplication parameters will result in the Conversions API event being dropped by Facebook Conversions API from processing as a duplicate. Able CDP solves this limitation by merging in-browser customer identifiers, such as Facebook Browser and Click Ids (fbp/fbclid), with the customer details that are available on the back-end and can be used by Facebook to attribute the conversion such as customer email, name and address. It then sends it to Facebook Conversions API as a single event, combining the details that would normally be sent to Pixel and API separately allowing Facebook to use both for attribution.
Using Google Ads API directly presents a similar challenge. It accepts either unique click id, non-unique IOS click id, or customer's personal details. Using an integration that sends conversions with only one of those identifiers will result in large number of conversions missing from the reports and not available for Google Ads audience optimization. Able solves this by storing all data that can be sent to Google Ads API and intelligently chooses the most appropriate identifiers to ensure highest chances that the conversion will be recognized by the API.
Able's ability to connect to Facebook, Google Ads and TikTok APIs helps you to see more details about your conversions and send events from your website back to ad platforms to properly attribute conversions. This is important because you can get a much better value from online ads by making sure that conversion APIs are used correctly to convey details of your converting audience to ad platforms' AI.
Facebook Conversions API
Facebook Conversions API (formerly known as the “server-side pixel”, also known as the “CAPI”) allows you to create custom actions and events and pass them directly from a site’s servers into Facebook for attribution. Using this information to adjust your marketing strategy, you can optimize your advertising and decrease costs. As mentioned, this API can bypass the need to rely on cookies, making sure that you can get all relevant data even when a customer may have an ad or cookie blocker on their browser - or if cookies are not available at a time of the conversion for another reason.
Able CDP offers built-in tracking to capture Facebook ad click and browser ids
, associate them with customer details, and store them in its customer data platform. Able then attributes conversions to these customers sources using customer identifiers such as email and sends conversions
with complete match parameters to Facebook Pixel of Offline Event Set using Facebook Conversions API.Learn more
about Facebook's CAPI and how Able CDP can help with integration or read more about Facebook Conversions API integration implementation
in our docs.
Google Ads API
Using Google Ads API can help you to increase the efficiency of your Google ad campaigns. The API also allows you to automate tasks so you can focus your time on other parts of your strategy.
Able attributes conversions to user identifiers, IOS-friendly click identifiers and GCLIDs of the original clicks regardless of where the conversions happen in your funnel and sends full conversion details to Google Ads API including user identifiers. Able's Google Ads API integration intelligently chooses the most appropriate identifiers to report conversion with, making sure the maximum percentage of the conversions are recognized by Google Ads. This allows you to use Google Ads optimization and Customer Match audiences can then be set up to use these conversions and their values to refine audience targeting.Learn more
about Google Ads API and integration with Able CDP or read more about Google Ads API integration setup
process in our docs.
TikTok Events API
TikTok Events API allows you to install a pixel on your site to track videos' performance on the platform, providing data on impressions and clicks. Ads on TikTok can help raise your brand awareness and increase online sales, but only using TikTok Ads makes it difficult to track conversions reliably. Similar to with Facebook CAPI, Able offers built-in tracking to capture TikTok ad click and browser ids and properly attribute them to customer details.
Able CDP already knows how to track TikTok Events API click IDs, associate sign ups with them, attribute conversions happening elsewhere and send them back to TikTok Events API to facilitate platform's AI/ML ad delivery optimization.Learn more
about TikTok Events API and integration with Able CDP or read more about TikTok Events API integration setup
in our docs.