Performance marketing insights, discussions and expertise

Impact Radius and Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari

By on October 13, 2017

In September, Apple introduced a new feature for Safari browsers called Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) which aims to stop ads from following users across the internet. To do this, Safari attempts to block cross-site tracking techniques that use third-party cookies to track users from site to site. For years, Safari has blocked many third-party cookies by default — this new release represents an additional step against third-party cookie tracking.

With this update in place, many tracking platforms and affiliate networks will see a drop-off in their ability to credit partners for the traffic they drove to a brand’s site.  In particular, when a user converts on a Safari browser more than 24 hours after the last click was logged, platforms using standard tracking will not be able to credit any partner.  Pulling from our own recent data, we estimate that around 2% of all conversions fall into this bucket based on a sample size of 42 million conversions.

How does this affect tracking at Impact Radius?

We’ve seen this coming for quite some time, so we decided to do something about it. We’re not satisfied with our clients experiencing any loss of tracking or attribution. That’s why, last October, we introduced a unique way to track with first-party cookies, effectively preventing this issue before it began. We are pleased to report that advertisers who have fully implemented our Universal Tracking Tag (UTT) or a white-labeled tracking domain will not see any drop-off in conversion tracking or attribution.

Here are the key points you need to know:

  • As a worst case scenario, we forecast that less than 2% of transactions across all campaigns will be affected by this update.
  • Individual campaigns will see varying results, but many campaigns will see no negative impact at all.
  • In fact, advertisers using our Universal Tracking Tag (UTT) or their own white-labeled tracking domains are completely unaffected by this change. We can confidently say that advertisers following our best practices for tracking will see no negative impact.

What’s the UTT?

Our Universal Tracking Tag integrates directly into an advertiser’s site, tracking user journeys and conversion data with first-party cookies, rather than third-party. As a result, advertisers using the UTT are not affected by ITP, since it only affects tracking by third-party cookies.

As an Impact Radius client, what can I do to minimize the impact of ITP?

The best way to prevent a loss of tracking from ITP is to take advantage of the features mentioned above. In particular, we believe all our clients could benefit from integrating our UTT. Please note, however, that there is an integration fee associated with both the UTT and white-labeled tracking domains. If you’re interested in learning more about either of these solutions, please reach out to your CSM or to support@impactradius.com for pricing and eligibility information. We should also mention that the integration takes some time on our end, so we may need to create a waitlist as we work to integrate clients who want to switch to the UTT.

Additionally, our cross-device identity matching service helps mitigate the negative effects of ITP. By sharing access to information gained by first-party cookies, the Impact Radius Consortium and our Tapad integration will automatically stitch together some consumer journeys that would have been broken by ITP.

To take full advantage of this feature, we encourage you to opt into our highest levels of identity matching. To do so, log into your Impact Radius account, then go to: Tracking Settings > General > Show Advanced Settings > Enable Identity Matching > Opt-in to the Impact Radius Consortium and Tapad Identity Graph. To learn more about Tapad and how Impact Radius does cross-device, check out our cross-device data sheet and our cross-device ebook.