Ad Optimization

Top 6 Facebook Conversions API Errors To Avoid

Not all Conversions API connections are equal. Here are the most common setup problems that occur when brands install the Facebook Conversions API.


In 2022, digital marketers all reached the same conclusion: you need to set up a Facebook Conversions API connection to fix poor ad performance caused by iOS14. But after setting up the connection, many people don’t see the results that were expected. This is because the Conversions API is not an on-off switch, but more like a dimmer switch that requires advanced configuration. Here are the most common errors we see and how to fix them.

  1. Holes in your purchase funnel
  2. Missing product meta data
  3. Missing parameters needed to match to a person
  4. Missing correct encryption
  5. Data isn’t passed in real-time
  6. Missing deduplication keys

 

Problem 1: Holes in Your Purchase Funnel 

There are many steps a customer needs to take from first arriving on your website to completing a purchase. An advanced Conversions API connection will map this entire funnel, ensuring that Facebook has a complete line of sight from first click to purchase. A full funnel of shared data events is also required so that you have more flexibility with ad optimization and more accuracy with ad attribution and reporting.

Sample incomplete funnel:

  • PageView
  • AddToCart
  • Purchase

Optimal and complete funnel:

  • PageView
  • ViewContent
  • AddToCart
  • InitiateCheckout
  • AddPaymentInfo
  • Purchase

 

Problem 2: Missing Product Meta Data 

The minimum amount of info needed to send an event to the Facebook Conversions API is simply the event name and the event value. But there’s an opportunity to send so much more. This extra data is particularly helpful with feeding Facebook’s machine learning system when you are using Dynamic Product Ads, Dynamic Creative and other advanced ad products.

Sample incomplete and minimal ViewContent payload:

  • event_type: ViewContent
  • value: 205.00

Optimal and complete ViewContent payload:

  • event_type: ViewContent
  • value: 205.00
  • currency: USD
  • content_type: product_group
  • content_ids: [7787463579483]
  • content_name: Hemingway Henley - Black / S
  • content_category: Long Sleeve

 

Problem 3: Missing Identifiable Parameters To Match Back To A User

There are two main benefits to setting up a Conversions API connection: better ad attribution and better ad performance. For both, it’s critically important that Facebook can take the data you are sharing and match it to an individual person. Then Facebook can confirm that the same person saw your ad (and attribute the purchase) as well as optimize your ads to find more similar people (leveraging powerful machine learning for maximum performance).

The key to matching data back to a person is to send user parameters along with your data.

Sample incomplete payload with very few user parameters:

  • ip_address
  • Client_user_agent

Optimal and complete payload with :

  • User personal info (encrypted)
    • Email
    • Phone_number
    • First_name
    • last_name
  • Facebook cookie info
    • Facebook_click_id
    • Facebook_user_session
  • User browser info
    • Ip_address
    • Client_user_agent

 

Problem 4: Passed Data Isn’t Properly Hashed And Gets Rejected 

It’s very important to protect the identity of your customers. For this reason, it’s a big problem to send personally identifiable information (PII) about your users to Facebook or to any other partners. Facebook takes this seriously and requires that all PII be de-identified. If you skip this step, Facebook will reject the data you have sent. For this reason, it’s extremely important to make sure that your Conversions API connection is correctly hashing and de-identifying user information.

Non-compliant raw email (which will be deleted)

  • Email: noah@popsixle.com

Optimal and compliant hashed email:

  • Email: 4e832eff7652dfe4c7df7b34caacfb25f1852cb8d24ad75bea7654757844e60e

 

Problem 5: Data Isn’t Passed In Real-Time 

When you send data from your website back to Facebook via a website pixel, the data is sent and received in real time. When you send events using Conversions API through a partner integration you can choose how frequently to send your events data. To get the most value from your events data, send it in real time or as close to real time as possible. Events sent with a delay are harder to attribute to your ad performance and may impact how effectively your ads can be delivered to the right audiences.

Sending information in batches throughout the data is one of the most common issues we see with Conversions API setups that are sub-optimal. Even the Shopify Conversions API connection gets this important detail wrong and sends data every few hours.

 

Problem 6: Data Doesn’t Include Deduplication Keys

When Facebook receives data, it all gets sent to your account in a big, co-mingled data bucket. First Facebook needs to reconcile the data across sources and deduplicate the data into a single set of events. Then it tries to match those events to individual people. It’s critically important to send all the info needed to ensure that the deduplication process works as best as possible. Deduplication keys are unique numbers that should get send with your data. If the same keys are sent from all your different data sources, then Facebook knows how to group and stitch the data together with high accuracy. Sending a unique event id or unique order id is a great way to do this.

Sample of two events sent without deduplication keys:

  • Data source 1: Website Pixel
    • Order_id = abc12345
    • Event_type = purchase
    • Event_value = 99.00
    • Timestamp: 2023-01-10 12:07:10
  • Data source 2: Conversions API
    • Order_id = (missing)
    • Event_type = purchase
    • Event_value = 99.00
    • Timestamp: 2023-01-10 12:07:33

Facebook may record two separate purchases, causing duplication.

Optimal and complete payload with matching deduplication keys (order id):

  • Data source 1: Website Pixel
    • Order_id = abc12345
    • Event_type = purchase
    • Event_value = 99.00
    • Timestamp: 2023-01-10 12:07:10
  • Data source 2: Conversions API
    • Order_id = abc12345
    • Event_type = purchase
    • Event_value = 99.00
    • Timestamp: 2023-01-10 12:07:33

Facebook will de-duplicate and register one purchase event

 

Summary and Key Takeaways

Setting up a Facebook Conversions API connection isn’t easy. Setting up a basic connection can take dozens of hours by an experienced team. Setting up an advanced connection, optimal Conversions API connection requires deep expertise and a significant investment of time and effort. Popsixle’s allows standard Shopify stores to get an Advanced CAPI connection setup in minutes. Popsixle is the easiest way to get a powerful Conversions API connection for your Shopify store, without any code.

 

 

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