[NEW] SKAdNetwork Conversion Models Dashboard FAQ

Learn how to configure conversion models using the SKAdNetwork Conversion Models page (Attribution > SKAdNetwork). 

Before you start using SKAdNetwork with Singular, be sure to read these guides:

 

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General Concepts and Planning

What is a conversion model?

When tracking installs and user activity through SKAdNetwork, we rely on the conversion value - a single number in the range of 0 to 63 that is returned from the app to the ad network.

A conversion model is a way to encode as much information as possible about the user and their post-install activity into the limited space of the conversion value.

There are different types of conversion models, and each one emphasizes a specific type of information and leaves out other types of data.

When you configure a conversion model and pick the conversion model type, you are actually selecting which information will be available to you about the post-install activity of your users. Choose the conversion model that best matches your KPIs and campaign optimization processes.

For more information, see Introduction to Singular value management conversion management.

What types of conversion models does Singular offer?

You can choose one of the following conversion models:

Model Description
Revenue Model Lets you optimize your campaigns based on the revenue gained from users during the measurement period following the install/reinstall.
Conversion Events Model Lets you optimize campaigns based on specific post-install user activity. The model encodes user events into the conversion value if they occur at least once during the measurement period.
Engagement Model Lets you optimize your campaigns by how much the users engaged with the app during the measurement period. The model encodes into the conversion value how many times various events occurred during the measurement period.
How does the Revenue model work?

This model lets you optimize your campaigns based on the revenue gained from users during the measurement period following the install/reinstall.

Since the SKAdNetwork conversion value is limited to 6 bits, Singular can't use it to encode the exact revenue. Instead, you can define revenue buckets and Singular will map each revenue bucket to a single value.

For example, you can define the following revenue buckets:

  • $1 - $5 → encoded to 1
  • $5 - $10 → encoded to 2
  • $10 - $15 → encoded to 3

And the conversion value will include information about which revenue bucket the user belongs in.

Note: The number of revenue buckets you can define depends on the remaining number of slots after you've selected your measurement period.

SKAdNetwork Flow

  • The user installs/reinstalls the app.
  • The user makes an in-app purchase or another revenue event.
  • The Singular SDK sends the event information to the Singular servers. The servers match the revenue to one of your predefined revenue buckets and send back the appropriate conversion value.
  • This process can repeat multiple times until the measurement period elapses.
  • Once Singular gets the SKAdNetwork postback, we decode the value back to the revenue bucket and display the estimated revenue in your reports.
How does the Conversion Events model work?

This model lets you optimize your campaigns based on specific post-install user activity that you are interested in measuring. The model encodes user events into the conversion value if they occur at least once during the measurement period.

For example, you can define the following post-install events:

  • Event 1: Registration
  • Event 2: Game Level Completed
  • Event 3: In-App Purchase

And the conversion value will contain information about which of these events occurred for the particular user.

Note: The number of events you can define depends on the remaining number of slots after you've selected your measurement period.

SKAdNetwork Flow

  • The user installs/reinstalls the app.
  • The user performs an activity inside the app.
  • The Singular SDK sends the event information to the Singular servers. If the event is one of the defined events that you want to measure, and this is the first time it occurs, the conversion value is updated to show that it occurred.
  • This process can repeat with different events until the measurement period elapses, but each type of event is counted only once (in our example, if the user levels up twice during the measurement period, the conversion value will only be updated once).
  • Once Singular gets the SKAdNetwork postback, we decode the value back to the events that it represents and make the information available to you in reports, postbacks, etc.
How does the Engagement model work?

This model lets you optimize your campaigns by how much the users engaged with the app during the measurement period. The model encodes into the conversion value how many times various events occurred during the measurement period.

For example, you can define a list of post-install events:

  • Event 1: Likes
  • Event 2: Levels Completed

And the conversion value will contain information about how many times each of these events occurred.

Notes:

  • The number of events you can define depends on the remaining number of slots after you've selected your measurement period.
  • The more events you define, the fewer slots are available to count the occurrences of each event. This limits the number of occurrences you can count. For example, if you have 2 events and 4 slots (after setting the measurement period), each event gets 2 slots (2 bits), which means you can count up to 3 occurrences of each event.

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SKAdNetwork Flow

  • The user installs/reinstalls the app.
  • The user performs an activity inside the app.
  • The Singular SDK sends the event information to the Singular servers. If the event is one of the defined events that you want to measure, the conversion value is updated to count one more occurrence of the event.
  • This process can repeat with different events until the measurement period elapses.
  • Once Singular gets the SKAdNetwork postback, we decode the value back to the events and counts that it represents, and make the information available to you in reports, postbacks, etc.
How do I pick a conversion model?

We encourage experimenting and iterating with different conversion models in order to find the one that gives you the best results. However, to begin, try the following steps:

  1. First, think about the ideal (high-value) new users and what their first 7 days would look like. This should point you towards which conversion points are meaningful. Make sure these conversion points are reported as events in your Singular SDK implementation.
  2. Next, pick a conversion model that most closely represents this ideal user journey. You can start with revenue and retention models, but experiment with other models by using simulated reports.
  3. Finally, think how quickly the user can complete this ideal journey. Select the shortest measurement period possible in order to maximize your ability to capture this activity.
Can I use a different conversion model (created by me or a third party)?

You can choose to use a different model to manage your conversion values. If you do, make sure you configure the Singular SDK in your app to use manual management mode for SKAdNetwork.

Warning: Singular does not yet support ingesting your custom conversion model into the SKAdNetwork Conversion Management tool to use in reporting and decoding conversion value meanings.

How do my ad network partners know what a conversion value means?

In SKAdNetwork, ad network partners receive the SKAdNetwork postback with the raw conversion value (0-63).  In order to know the qualitative meaning of that value, they need to work with the entity managing the assignment of conversion values (the conversion model manager).

Singular’s SKAdnetwork integrations with supported partners allow partners to decode the meaning of SKAdNetwork conversion values they are receiving from SKAdNetwork postbacks.

(As of November 2020) A list of SKAdNetwork integrated partners that support conversion value integrations will be coming soon, as partners finalize their integrations with Singular.  For more information, see Singular’s partner integration guide for information on how partners typically integrate with Singular’s SKAdNetwork and conversion models.  

What is the "measurement period"? What should I set it to?

The measurement period is a Singular setting you can configure to determine how long the app continues to encode post-install activity into the conversion value. Once the measurement period elapses, the SKAdNetwork postback is sent along with the last updated conversion value.

If you choose a longer measurement period, you will have more time to collect information about user activities to include in the conversion value - but you will also cause a delay in getting any information at all about the install.

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The measurement period also determines the longest retention periods and cohort periods that can be measured with SKAdNetwork. For example, if you set the measurement period to 3 days, Singular can only encode information about the first 3 days after the install into the conversion value. This means that the longest possible retention period that can be tracked as well as the longest cohort period is 3 days.

Note: Singular has introduced the measurement period to give you better control over the content and timing of the conversion value postback. The measurement period also is used to calculate the original install date for the postback. Without a maximum measurement period, you wouldn't be able to ensure that SKAdNetwork postbacks are received within a given timeframe.

Why does the measurement period take up "slots"?

When you set the measurement period to more than 1 day, Singular reserves a certain number of slots out of the 6-bit conversion value to use for tracking the user retention period.

For example, if you set the measurement period to 7 days, Singular reserves 3 slots (because the number 7 requires 3 bits to represent it - it is "111" in binary). 

Then, whenever the app reports sessions to Singular, Singular uses these reserved bits to update the number of days the user has been active after the install. After the postback is sent to the network and forwarded to Singular, Singular can decode this part of the conversion value to determine retention and cohorts.

While this method may cost you valuable information slots, it is the only way to find out the install date/attribution date. SKAdNetwork does not provide the attribution date. Singular can only calculate it by looking at the retention time and the postback timestamp. 

Another important benefit of the retention method is that every time you update the conversion value for retention, you delay the SKAdNetwork postback by 24 additional hours, extending the period when you can measure post-install activity.

Note: If you set the measurement period to 1 day, Singular will not measure cohorts and retention and all 6 slots of information will remain available for your chosen conversion model.

How does Singular calculate the install date/attribution date?

SKAdNetwork does not provide the attribution date. Singular calculates it for you by looking at the retention time and the postback timestamp. 

When you set the measurement period to more than 1 day, Singular reserves a certain number of "slots" (bits) out of the 6-bit conversion value to use for tracking the user retention period. Then, whenever the app reports sessions to Singular, Singular uses these reserved bits to update the number of days the user has been active after the install. While this method may cost you valuable information slots, it is the only way to find out the install date/attribution date. 

Configuring a New Conversion Model

How do I configure a new conversion model?

To configure a new conversion model:

  1. In your Singular account, go to the SKAdNetwork Conversion Models page (Attribution > SKAdNetwork).
  2. Select an app from the list on the left.
  3. Click Add Conversion Model.
  4. Select the Measurement Period (see What is the "measurement period"? What should I set it to?).
  5. Select the model type (see What types of conversion models does Singular offer?).
  6. Enter a name for the model and configure the additional settings. These settings depend on the model type you selected. For more information, see:
  7. You can expand the Analyze Model section to see a simulated report of how the model with the current configured settings would perform with your data. For more information, see What is "Analyze Model"? How do I use it to help me pick a conversion model?
  8. Click Save. The new conversion model is added to the list.

Note: The new model is not automatically activated. To start actually using the model, you have to toggle it on, and then click Submit.

When adding events to a conversion model, does the order in which I add them matter?

No, the order in which you add events does not matter. Specifically. when using the Conversion Events model, Singular will update the conversion value when at least one occurrence of the selected event(s) or combination of selected event(s) has occurred.

What is "Analyze Model"? How do I use it to help me pick a conversion model?

Once you've configured a model, you can expand the Analyze Model section and click Download Analysis Report. This will download a report estimating what metrics you would get using the current model, based on installs and events data that Singular has tracked based on your SDK/S2S implementation.

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The report estimates what the SKAdNetwork metrics (installs, events, and revenue) would be if you used the current model you've configured, as compared with the actual metrics you have tracked outside of SKAdNetwork.

To calculate the estimated SKAdNetworkmetrics, Singular takes into account your real data from your users' devices, the settings of your conversion model, and the various properties and limitations of the SKAdNetwork framework.

The resulting report (see details below) should help you decide whether the model gives you enough information or whether you should tweak it or use a different type of model.

Tip: You can also use the Analyze Model shortcut from the model summary page to run an analysis report on previously created models. The report will run on events from the last 7 days. To select a custom period, select Edit to open the configuration shelf.

How do I read the analysis report? What do the different fields mean?

When you select Analyze Model, the resulting CSV file contains the following columns (in addition to some other columns depending on the specific model and the events you selected). 

Use the report to get an estimation of your model's performance.

Column Description
Install Date The app install date, as calculated by Singular.
App The name of the app.
Source The name of the partner network that the app install/re-install has been attributed to.
Model Name The name of the conversion model chosen for analysis.
SKAN Installs The estimated number of SKAdNetwork installs on the “install date”. This metric is calculated based on non-organic, last-click installs (these are the only installs supported by SKAdNetwork).
SKAN [Conversion Name]* The estimated number of conversions this conversion model will attribute. This metric will be calculated with cohort periods of 1d and up to your model measurement period. 
Reported [Conversion Name]* Your current conversion metric. This metric will be calculated with cohort periods of 1d and up to your model measurement period. 
[Conversion Name] Ratio* The ratio between your estimated SKAN conversion metric to your current conversion metric. This ratio is calculated only on the last cohort period which is also your measurement period. When this ratio is close to 1 it means that your estimated SKAN metric is almost equal to your current metric. 
How do I activate a conversion model?

To activate a conversion model you created:

  1. Toggle the model On.
  2. Click Submit.

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Working with the Conversion Management Dashboard

How many conversion models can I have?

There is currently no limit to the number of conversion models you can configure. However, only one model can be active for an app at any given time.

Where can I see a list of the conversion values and their meaning for the conversion model?

After you've configured a conversion model, you can select Preview Conversion Values to download a CSV file containing the conversion values from 0 to 63 and their meaning using the specific model.

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The resulting .csv will contain the following fixed columns, as well as dynamic columns based on the conversion model and events chosen.

Column Description Example
Conversion Value The conversion value, 0-63 10
Conversion Events The name of the conversion event Registration
Retention The time period represented as an interval in hours 24h+ -> 48h

Engagement Model

Column Description Example
Conversion Value The conversion value, 0-63 10
[Event Name]* Count For each event used in the model, this column will represent the count of occurrences of this event 2
Retention The time period represented as an interval in hours 24h+ -> 48h

Revenue Model

Column Description Example
Conversion Value The conversion value, 0-63 10
Revenue Buckets The bucket to which the revenue amount is assigned. The amount is represented in your account’s selected currency type. $1+ -> $2
Retention The time period represented as an interval in hours 24h+ -> 48h
How do I migrate from an active conversion model to a new model?

To change from one conversion model to another:

  1. Go to the Conversion Management dashboard.
  2. Toggle the new conversion model to On.
  3. Save your changes.

Singular will pause your existing model and then activate the new model. Due to SKAdNetwork limitations, the process takes up to 48 hours and includes a 24-hour gap in which no conversion values are sent or recorded. 

The gap period is required in order for Singular and partners to be sure that conversion values received reflect the new conversion model rather than the old one.

Tip: During this gap period in which the new model is not yet activated, you can change your mind and pick a different model or change the model settings.

Note: While we encourage you to experiment with different models when you start using SKAdNetwork, we don't recommend changing models regularly afterward, due to the inherent delay in the system until you can see the new results.

How do I edit an existing conversion model?

To edit an existing conversion model:

  1. Click the model's dropdown menu and select Edit. This opens the conversion model configuration shelf.

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  2. Change configurations as needed and select Save.

Warning: Changing the settings of the current active model creates a migration process. Singular will pause your existing model and then activate the model with the new settings. Due to SKAdNetwork limitations, the process takes up to 48 hours and includes a 24-hour gap in which no conversion values are sent or recorded. See How do I migrate from an active conversion model to a new model?

How do I archive a model?

You can archive a conversion model to remove it from the conversion models dashboard. To archive a model, click its dropdown menu and select Archive

You can only archive a model that is not being used.

Once a model is archived, you cannot bring it back.

Can I add a conversion model for an app with an old SDK version?

You can define conversion models, preview their values and analyze them but selecting and submitting a live model will not have an impact if your SDK version doesn't support SKAdNetwork (as SKAdNetwork postbacks will not be sent from your devices).

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