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6 ways to optimize UA with iOS 15 SKAdNetwork

In June 2021, Apple announced iOS 15 would come with new opportunities for gathering performance data from apps with SKAdNetwork (SKAN) - now, developers can get a copy of the winning postback by configuring the NSAdvertisingAttributionReportEndpoint into an app’s plist. With full transparency into the entire postback across all marketing channels, developers can adjust their strategy for the new SKAdNetwork era and optimize UA in real-time.

So why is this so ground-breaking? Under Apple’s ATT framework, access to cross-app data is limited. Developers can learn about their marketing performance through postbacks that are anonymized using mechanisms like privacy thresholds and anonymization timers. Since postback data now provides the most important insights into your app’s marketing performance, extracting as much information from it as possible is crucial to continue analyzing and optimizing your UA activity. 

For example, universal SKAN reporting from ironSource lets any developer running their UA on the platform integrate a simple endpoint to collect, verify, and analyze postbacks - saving you the technical hassle of building a dedicated endpoint from scratch. Here, Yevgeny Peres, VP Growth at ironSource, shares 6 ways to optimize your UA with iOS 15’s SKAdNetwork. 

1. Analyze SKAN adoption for each UA channel

Your goal is to run campaigns on channels that have 100% SKAN adoption - that way, you’re able to accurately analyze performance and maximize postback data. To do that, you need to continuously be checking on adoption rates by tracking the volume of postbacks across UA channels and the share of voice on each - a low volume of postbacks indicates a lack of readiness for SKAN. If you identify any lagging UA channels, get in touch with them to understand and resolve issues.

Your goal is to run campaigns on channels that have 100% SKAN adoption - that way, you’re able to accurately analyze performance and maximize postback data.

2. Know the SKAN version each channel is running

With each new version of SKAN, developers get greater insights and capabilities - that’s why it’s important for your UA channels to stay up to date. For example, version 2.2 of SKAN enables you to see view-through attribution (VTA) information per channel. If you see that a channel is running below 2.2, they technically cannot offer this valuable data, which may make optimization more difficult.

3. Research privacy thresholds

Conversion value and source app are essential values in analyzing and optimizing your UA performance. Apple applied a mechanism known as a “privacy threshold” to protect the anonymity of the data, so you need to meet this threshold to receive the values. 

It’s important to identify the channels not meeting the privacy threshold and make decisions accordingly that enable you to have a maximum understanding of your campaigns' performance. To do so, look at the percentage of postbacks in each channel that doesn’t include conversion values or source apps. 

4. Visualize trends and reporting

For the first time ever, Apple lets you see where your users are coming from across all your UA channels. Using ironSource, you can filter this postback data into a variety of granular breakdowns, like date, source app, and conversion values, and then visualize these data points with easily digestible charts and graphs. With this information at your fingertips, it’s easier to optimize campaigns and build out your UA strategy.

5. Export raw data

The ability to export the data is part of the larger dedication to transparency that the new SKAN environment provides to developers. You can export data directly regularly and use it to back up important information as you troubleshoot an issue or share performance metrics and insights among your team to stay in sync. 

6. Forward your data to your own BI-stack and MMP

Different SKAN solutions offer distinct benefits for optimizing UA - choosing just one endpoint to receive winning postback data could mean missing out on an advantage. So choose an endpoint that lets you forward data to all the relevant parties, like your MMP and BI-stack. This ensures you can continue to track and verify UA performance internally and across multiple partners, without having to select just one as your endpoint and risk losing the benefits that other solutions offer. 

How to get started with universal SKAN reporting from ironSource

Want to start taking advantage of these 6 capabilities of SKAN? Select ironSource as your endpoint. Here’s how to do it:

  • Select info.plist in the project navigator in Xcode
  • Click the add (+) button next to a key in the property list editor - press return
  • Type the key name: NSAdvertisingAttributionReportEndpoint
  • Choose “string” from the pop-up menu in the Type column
  • Type the following URL: https://postbacks-is.com 

Take full advantage of the transparency that the iOS 15 update provides with a solution that removes the operational overhead from your plate and lets you optimize UA performance in real-time. 

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