How to Get Started with Singular Attribution

New to Singular's attribution service? Read this guide for an overview of everything you have to do to get up and running.

  Guide for Admins
  Prerequisites Singular's attribution service has been enabled for your organization.

Note: If this is your first time using an attribution provider (tracker), or you want to be clear on Singular's offering and definitions, we recommend reviewing the Mobile App Attribution guide, particularly the section about Singular's attribution process.

1

Plan your SDK integration:

The first step in setting up Singular attribution is integrating the Singular SDK into all of your apps. But before you or your development team starts tackling the integration, take a minute to think about what user actions and events you want Singular to measure.

Simply put, the SDK's job is to notify the Singular servers when any of the following occur in your app, so that Singular can track and measure it:

  • User sessions: Whenever a user opens your app. If this is a new user, this will trigger the attribution process. If this is an existing user, Singular saves the information to track user retention for you.
  • Revenue events: In-app purchases are reported to Singular, allowing Singular to track and measure your revenue from different groups of users.
  • Other in-app events: You can set up the SDK to notify Singular about any user actions inside your app that can signify user quality.

While sessions and purchases are relevant to all apps, the choice of other in-app events you want to measure depends on your market segment and KPIs. You may want to measure how many users registered to your platform, completed a tutorial, or leveled up in your game app - any data that can help your marketing team optimize campaigns based on user quality.

For more details and examples, see Defining In-App Events.
2

[DEVELOPERS] Integrate the SDK/S2S:

Singular has SDK versions for iOS, Android, Unity, and React, as well as for websites, and a server-to-server integration option. The developers' documentation at Getting Started with the Singular SDK/S2S to point you to:

  • A step-by-step integration guide for your chosen version
  • Instructions for testing your integration after each step of development
  • Sample apps for Unity, iOS, and Android that you can review to see a full implementation of the SDK using best practices.
3

[DEVELOPERS] Test your SDK/S2S integration:

For some customers and implementations, it's easier to test the SDK integration after every step of development (i.e., implement sessions and test them, then revenue events and test them). Other customers prefer to test the integration after it's done.

Regardless, to test your integration, you will be running your app on a test device and triggering sessions, purchases, and other user events. You will use Singular's SDK Console (a testing tool available inside the Singular web app) to make sure the SDK is reporting events to the Singular servers properly. For full instructions, see our SDK integration testing guides.
4

Configure your app settings in Singular:

After you integrate the Singular SDK and send events to Singular, your app should be added automatically to the Apps page in the Singular web app. This is where Singular keeps an up-to-date list of all your apps and their configuration.

Before you start running marketing campaigns for your app, go to the Apps page (Settings > Apps), find your app site, and configure the Store URL and other optional settings, such as alternative tracking link destinations and deep links. For a detailed guide, see Setting Up Your App for Attribution Tracking.

Note:

  • In Singular, an "app site" is a version of your app developed for a specific platform, such as iOS or Android.

  • When your app is added to the Apps page, it's added as a "test" app and is moved to the "live" tab only after it has 1000 tracked installs. This is for your own convenience and you can move the app from test to live and vice versa freely.

See the App Configuration FAQ for more information.

5

Configure Google Ads as a partner (if relevant):

Singular can track how many times your app is installed as a result of advertising in Google Ads (that includes Adwords UAC campaigns and YouTube campaigns).

To set up Google Ads as a partner:

  1. In your Google Ads account, generate a Link ID (see Google’s instructions).
  2. In Singular, go to Partner Configuration and add “AdWords”.
  3. In the settings window, enter the Link ID you have generated, and then configure your attribution settings. For example, you can enable or disable view-through tracking.

For more details, see our Google Ads guide.

Note: Google Ads is a “Self-Attributing Network” (SAN), meaning you don’t need to create Singular tracking links and embed them in your ads. For more information about how Singular works with SANs, see Singular's Attribution Methods.
6

Configure Facebook as a partner (if relevant):

Singular can track how many times your app is installed as a result of advertising in Facebook and Instagram.

To set up Facebook as a partner:

  1. Get your Facebook App ID from your Facebook App Dashboard.
  2. In Singular, go to Partner Configurations and add “Facebook”.
  3. In the Enable Integration window, confirm you have signed the Facebook Advanced Mobile Measurement agreement.
  4. In the settings window, enter the Facebook App ID, and then configure your attribution settings. For example, you can enable or disable view-through tracking.

For more details, see our guide to setting up Facebook.

Note: Facebook is a “Self-Attributing Network” (SAN), meaning you don’t need to create Singular tracking links and embed them in your ads. For more information about how Singular works with SANs, see Singular's Attribution Methods.

7

Configure other networks as partners:

Start tracking installs with the rest of your advertising networks by configuring attribution settings for each network.

To configure a network as a partner:

  1. In the Partner Configuration page, add the network.
  2. In the settings window that opens, select your app and app site, and configure the attribution settings.

Depending on the partner, settings may include:

  • View-through tracking: Do you run impression-based campaigns, where installs are attributed by ads the user viewed (rather than clicked)? If so, enable view-through tracking.
  • Lookback window: When the Singular tracker registers an app install, how far back should it look for a corresponding click (or view) that led to the install? The default window is 7 days.
  • Postbacks: In addition to notifying your networks about installs attributed to them, Singular can also send postbacks about re-engagements and post-install events. This varies per partner.

For more details, see the Partner Configuration guide.

8

Configure Internal Postbacks (optional):

When you configured your partners, you configured what postbacks (automatic notifications) you want Singular to send to them about attribution decisions and other events. But you can also have Singular send automatic postbacks to your own internal BI system, for tracking purposes. For details, see Configuring Internal BI Postbacks.
9

Create tracking links (Singular Links):

For networks that aren't "self-attributing networks" (SANs), you need to create a tracking link to run a marketing campaign.

Tracking links are the URLs that are triggered when the user clicks an ad (or views it, if it's an impression-based campaign). They lead the user to the app store, but they also let Singular know that the user interacted with the ad. If the user then downloads and installs the app, Singular uses the information in order to attribute the install to the correct ad network (a similar process happens with re-engagement attribution).

Tip: Tracking links can include additional parameters, such as the user’s device platform or the ad creative asset. You insert placeholders for these parameters when you create the tracking link, and the ad network fills them in automatically when the ad is clicked or viewed. This information is received by Singular and used to enrich your reporting with additional breakdowns and segmentations.

To create tracking links, go to Attribution > Manage Links. For help, see the Singular Links FAQ.

10

Test your tracking links (Optional):

After you create a tracking link, you can test it to see how it helps Singular reach an attribution decision. For details, see How to Test a Tracking Link.
11

Configure Fraud Prevention Settings:

Singular’s Fraud Prevention Engine protects your marketing efforts using a mixture of out-of-the-box detection methods and custom user-defined rules to prevent attribution fraud. The Engine evaluates installs before finalizing the attribution or reporting it to the partner, thus preventing excessive billing for CPI/CPA campaigns.

For an introduction to Singular's fraud prevention mechanism, see Singular Fraud Prevention. To configure your fraud prevention settings, see Configuring Fraud Settings and Configuring User-Defined Fraud Rules.

12

Run campaign performance reports:

Once your campaigns are up and running, you can start running reports in Singular to analyze your ROI and measure campaign KPIs. Try these sample reports to get a taste:

For more details, see the Reports FAQ.

You can also run creative reports to see your actual creative assets, including images and videos, next to their performance metrics. Try these sample reports:

Learn more in the Creative Reports FAQ.

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