Ads & Analytics

In this article:

  1. Understanding analytics tools on ActBlue
  2. Setting up your analytics integration
  3. Setting up Facebook conversion tracking

We know many campaigns and organizations run online ads to connect with supporters and raise money, so we make it easy to track the effectiveness of your forms and ad campaigns. When you run ads on third-party ad services like Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and Twitter Ads or track traffic to your contribution forms using Google Analytics, you can set up tracking codes on your ActBlue forms to collect the data you need to evaluate your ads’ success and understand donor behavior.

Before you set up ad tracking, please keep in mind that the safest and easiest option for most campaigns and organizations will be to only set up tracking on forms that are specifically made as an endpoint for an ad campaign. This ensures that the forms you use for email fundraising and website traffic load as fast as possible! Additionally, please note there are different instructions for setting up Facebook conversion tracking, which can be found at the end of this article.


Understanding Analytics Tools on ActBlue

Popular tracking & analytics services we support:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Twitter Ads
  • Google AdWords
  • Google Analytics

Tracking Events

We trigger tracking events on two areas of your contribution form:

  1. Landing Page events are triggered on the form whenever a donor visits the page. This will display as a “PageView” event in your analytics platform. Note: Due to privacy limitations, we do not support landing page tracking on the Facebook ads platform.
  2. Conversion Page events are triggered after the donor makes a contribution and reaches the Thanks page. This will display as a “Purchase” event in your analytics platform. Note: ActBlue supports conversion page tracking for Facebook, but the setup process is different from other ad services. Find the instructions at the end of this article.

Setting Up Your Analytics Integration

Using Global Tracking Codes

If you’re doing a lot of ad tracking, you can set up global tracking codes that you can save and easily apply to any of your forms. To do this, head to your Dashboard, and click on “Settings” located at the bottom of your Dashboard menu.

Then, click on the “Tracking” tab under “Settings.”

Under “Tracking,” you can set up landing page and conversion page tracking codes in their respective tabs:

Both the “Landing Page” and “Conversion Page” tabs have sections for the most common third-party ad services that campaigns and organizations use to run and track ads: Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, and Twitter Ads. You will need to fill out these sections with tracking codes from each specific service. Below each section, you can find helpful instructions on the tracking information you need and where to find it! Note: Due to privacy limitations, we do not support landing page tracking on the Facebook ads platform.

At the bottom of the “Landing Page” and “Conversion Page” tabs, you can find “Additional code” sections for any custom code that you may need for your global tracking. For example, if you need to track custom events or set up tracking for additional third-party ad services like Snapchat, include the custom code in “Additional code.”

Important note: The “Additional code” section has some restrictions to make sure your contribution forms always load and perform quickly! If you are having trouble with custom code, reach out to your ActBlue contact or drop us a line at support@actblue.com.

When you’re done setting up global tracking in the “Landing Page” or “Conversion Page” tab, just click the “Save changes” button at the bottom of the tab.

After setting up global tracking codes, you can then choose to apply them to a specific contribution form. Open the form, and click the “Edit” button on the form navigation bar (form navbar).

In the form editor that opens, click the “Tracking” tab.

Under the “Tracking” tab, click on the “Tracking code” dropdown where you can choose to keep ad tracking off (“No code”), apply your global tracking codes for all third-party ad services to the form (“Use global tracking code”), or customize ad tracking (“Customize”).

When you turn on “Use global tracking code,” all of your global tracking codes will apply to this form. 

If you want to return back to your Dashboard to update your global tracking codes, you can click on the “configure globals” link.

Using Form-Specific Tracking Codes

 You also have the option to specify individual tracking codes for forms or use a mix of custom and global codes.

To use form-specific tracking codes, open the form’s form editor and click on the “Tracking” tab.

Click on the “Tracking code” dropdown, where you can choose to keep ad tracking off, apply global tracking codes for all third-party ad services to the form, or customize ad tracking.

Click “Customize” from the dropdown.

You will find the same options for customizing ad tracking that you have in the Dashboard for global tracking codes in addition to helpful instructions on where to find the third-party tracking codes below each field.

If you want to turn on the global tracking codes that you set up in your Dashboard for some services for a specific form, just toggle the button next to “Global” so it’s green.

After turning on global tracking for a third-party ad service, you may see a link that says “Currently blank, configure a default tracking code” (which you can see in the screenshot above). This means that you have not set up global tracking for this service in your Dashboard. Click on the link to head to your Dashboard and set up global tracking there.

Just like global tracking in your Dashboard, you will find “Additional code” sections in the “Tracking” tab of your form editor. If you need to track custom events or set up tracking for additional third-party ad services for this specific form, you can include the custom code in the “Additional code” sections under “Landing page tracking” and “Conversion page tracking.”

Once you’re done setting up your form’s tracking for both “Landing page tracking” and “Conversion page tracking,” click the green “Publish” button to save these changes.


Setting Up Facebook Conversion Tracking

Due to new privacy limitations on the Facebook ads platforms, we continue to support conversion page tracking but are required to set up a conversion loading page on your behalf on a web domain that you own. In order for ActBlue to do this, you’ll need to perform the following steps which we will outline in more detail in the following sections:

  1. Verify your domain with Facebook
  2. Configure your subdomain to point to ActBlue
  3. Set up your Facebook pixel on your contribution forms
  4. Verify your setup in your Facebook events manager

Verify your domain with Facebook

In order to use your Facebook purchase events for ad conversion optimization, Facebook now requires all domains that the tracking occurs on to be verified through their Business Manager. You can learn more about Facebook domain verification here. To get conversion tracking on your contribution forms to work, verify the domain that you intend to use for the redirect (i.e. yourCandidateDomain.com)

IMPORTANT: There are multiple ways to verify your domain, but you must use this option (i.e., verification via a DNS TXT record).

  1. Navigate to the Facebook for Developers site.
  2. Complete the steps under the Add your domain in Business Manager” heading.
  3. Complete the steps under the Confirm domain ownership” heading
  4. Confirm that your domain has been successfully verified under your Domains:

Configure your subdomain to point to ActBlue

Once your domain is successfully verified, you will need to configure a subdomain of your choice to point to the ActBlue service. This can be any subdomain that you don’t use for other purposes; we recommend using something like thankyou.yourCandidateDomain.com. 

Configure your CNAME record

  1. Navigate to the DNS record section of your domain provider. If you’re unsure of your DNS provider,  this article might be helpful.
  2. Add a CNAME entry for thankyou to your DNS record that points to thankyou.actblue.com. Popular DNS providers like GoDaddy will have support articles that can guide you through the CNAME process.
  3. Email your ActBlue contact to let them know you’ve configured your CNAME record. 

IMPORTANT: Once you’ve notified us of your subdomain configuration, it can take up to 1 business day for ActBlue to complete additional configuration steps necessary to enable the interstitial.

Enable Facebook Pixel on your contribution forms

Once we’ve enabled the conversion interstitial flow, all contribution forms that have your Facebook Pixel enabled will start using the new flow and start tracking events. Confirm that your Facebook pixel is enabled either globally for all your forms or on the relevant forms you’d like to track.

Checking your Facebook integration

Here are a few checks you can make to determine if the interstitial is working as intended.

  • Visiting thankyou.yourCandidateDomain.com/convert/<the form’s URL name> should display a loading indicator
  • In Facebook’s Business Manager, check that Purchase events show up as coming from thankyou.yourCandidateDomain.com. You may want to make a test donation on the contribution form in question. Make sure any ad blockers you have are turned off.
  • In Facebook’s Business Manager, confirm that you can buy an ad or ad set that optimizes for the Purchase events that occur on thankyou.yourCandidateDomain.com. Note: It may take at least 7 days for this to be possible; however, you should be able to immediately see an entry for these events under the AEM tab after a contribution has been made.

IMPORTANT: If your CNAME is configured correctly, visiting thankyou.yourCandidate.com directly will show an ActBlue page that has been intentionally left blank.


Additional Reading

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