Submit a Ticket My Tickets
Login  Sign up

How to Implement Server-to-Server Tracking Using a Postback URL

What is Server-to-Server Tracking?

Server-to-server tracking is a method of tracking conversions using a unique identifier, without relying on cookies. Since server-to-server tracking does not rely on cookies, it is nearly 100% accurate (cookies can be cleared, expire or never get stored on the user's browser.) 

With server-to-server tracking, another consumer-specific value will be required in order to attribute the Postback URL (server-side pixel) back to a click. This value in CAKE is called the Request Session ID, also referred to as a “Request ID” or “REQID.” The advertiser is responsible for storing this unique identifier and sending it back to the measurement platform (CAKE) when a consumer converts on an offer.

Following are the steps for server-to-server tracking: 

  1. Format the Landing Page URL

  2. Generate the Postback URL 

  3. Format the Postback URL 

How to Format the Landing Page URL for Server-to-Server Tracking

The first step in setting up server-to-server tracking is to configure your Landing Page URL to send the CAKE Request ID(unique identifier used in place of a cookie) to your advertiser. 

To send the CAKE Request ID to your advertiser, append the Request ID token, #reqid#, to your Landing Page URL within CAKE. Your advertiser will tell you which parameter to send the Request ID in so that they are able to store it. 

For example, if your advertiser is also on CAKE, your Request ID token will be configured within one of the Sub ID parameters: s2, s3, s4 or s5 of your tracking link.

Update the Landing Page URL in CAKE from either the Landing Pages tab of the Offer card, or from the Redirect Parameters field on the Home tab of the Offer card.


If you’re using server-to-server tracking, all Landing Page URLs for your Offer, including Creative Link Overrides and Offer Contract Links, will need to pass the Request ID as well. Use the Redirect Parameters field on the Offer card to append the parameter and token to all URLs within the Offer.

Example Landing Page URL where you are sending the CAKE Request ID to the advertiser in the “s2” parameter:

Once the consumer clicks on the Offer in CAKE, they will be redirected to the Landing Page URL. When this happens, the Request ID token, #reqid#, will be dynamically replaced with a unique Request ID for that consumer’s browser session. 

The URL on the consumer’s browser address bar will look like this:

How to Generate a Postback URL

Section 3: Generate a Postback URL

There are two ways to generate a Postback URL for an Offer.

To open the Pixel wizard from the Offer card, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Pixel button on the Home tab

  2. Select Conversion or Event from the Pixels list

  3. Tick the box Email to Advertiser to send pixels to your Advertiser Contact(s)

  4. Click Next

  5. Click the Postback URL to copy and paste to your advertiser

  6. Click Finish


When your advertiser fires the Postback URL, CAKE will provide an XML response such as Success when a conversion is stored, NF when the Cookie is not found.

If you’re not already on the Offer card, you can generate a Postback URL from the Action Menu. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Action Items Menu Icon in the upper right hand corner of the Instance 

  2. Navigate down to the Tracking section of the list

  3. Click on Generate Conversion Pixel to open the Pixel wizard 

  4. Select the Offer for which you want to generate this Postback

  5. Select Conversion or Event from the Pixels list

  6. Tick the box Email to Advertiser to send pixels to your Advertiser Contact(s)

  7. Click Next

  8. Click the Postback URL to copy and paste to your advertiser

  9. Click Finish

How to Format the Postback URL for Your Advertiser

Now that you have the CAKE-generated Postback URL, you need to format it to work within your advertiser’s system. 

By default there is a placeholder in the Request ID parameter, “r=”. Replace “REQUEST_SESSION_ID” with the corresponding token for the tracking link parameter in which you sent the Request ID to the landing page.

In the example above, the Request ID was sent in the s2 parameter so the Postback URL needs to be updated with the #s2# token.


Your advertiser will provide you with the relevant tokens for the tracking parameters in their platform.

Your advertiser’s platform will then send the Request ID (REQID) back to CAKE when the conversion is tracked. CAKE will use that REQID to attribute the conversion back to the originating click and campaign.

Here is an example of what the Postback URL will look like when CAKE receives it from the advertiser upon conversion:

Notice the Request ID in the “r=” parameter of the Postback URL matches the one that was sent to the advertiser on the click to the landing page.


Why should I use a postback url instead of a browser-based pixel?

Server-to-server tracking is the most secure and most accurate means of tracking conversions within your CAKE instance. As opposed to having your conversion pixel placed on the actual Thank You page or other location within the browser where it can be accessed and potentially manipulated, the postback is hosted on a server where it cannot be exposed via developer tools.

Browser-based pixels require that the cookie is present in the browser when they load--an increasing concern as consumer privacy becomes more prominent. Server-to-Server tracking has repeatedly been recommended as our primary Best Practice, especially to ensure your marketing efforts are adapted to increased privacy concerns. Read more on that here.

My Advertiser cannot pass back the Request Session ID. Is Cookie-based Tracking my only Option?

Absolutely not! CAKE has developed some fantastic tools to help ensure you are able to consistently track your marketing efforts, even when Cookie-based and Server-to-Server Tracking are unavailable. Check out this article on Session Regeneration to learn how.

CAKE also has the option to track via Direct Linking when tracking links are not allowed. Read more on that option in this article.

Where can I check to see if my Postback is firing properly?

The best way to determine whether or not your Advertisers has placed your postback URL properly is to check the Pixel Log. CAKE records every time your pixel(s) or postback(s), even if it did not result in a successful conversion. Here is an article providing more detail on how to locate and use the Pixel Log.

You may also be interested in:

Did you find it helpful? Yes No

Send feedback
Sorry we couldn't be helpful. Help us improve this article with your feedback.