How to set up Facebook Conversions API

In a previous post we covered the impact of iOS 14, the development of the Facebook Conversions API and what advertisers can do next to help improve ad performance. Since then, we’ve implemented Conversions API on behalf of multiple clients here at PHA and are seeing instant results off the back of it. Let’s recap what the Conversion API is, its Gateway version, and what you can do to get it set up.

What is it?

The Facebook Conversions API (CAPI) was created reduce Facebook’s reliance on pixels to track results from paid social campaigns. The pixel has become increasingly unreliable as people have become more hesitant to allow cookies on their devices, and even more so since iOS 14 was launched last year, requiring all Apple users to opt in to share data with Facebook. While the exact impact will vary by client and is impossible to prove, we estimated around 20-30% of paid social results are typically not being captured for our ecommerce clients.

The API connects Facebook directly to the client’s server, bypassing the need to collect data through the user’s browser to provide us with a more reliable data source. Facebook recommends running the CAPI alongside the pixel, using the same events. If set up correctly, it will be able to deduplicate events and use the two data sources to create a bigger picture of user activity.

 Why don’t our clients have it already?

CAPI has been around a while, but historically it was very difficult to implement and required significant dev resource, which could be tricky to secure and has been challenging to drive forward for a lot of our clients.

Over time, simpler implementation methods have started to become available. Various partner integrations have become available through platforms such as Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, Google Tag Manager (via GA4) and Tealium, but a lot of these have still had limitations – Our smaller client were able to implement it through their ecommerce platform as they have a reasonably simple set-up, but for larger clients, these integrations weren’t sophisticated enough for their requirements.

The most recent development, is the Conversions API Gateway. Rather than us having to access the server directly, we have been able to create a cloud server hosted by Amazon Web Services that acts as an intermediary between the client’s server and Facebook Events Manager. With our clients that have implemented CAPI Gateway, we have seen anywhere from 15% – 50% more purchases being tracked through the API than we have seen from the pixel alone.

The only downside to be aware of is that there is a cost for hosting the cloud server – this is billed based on data volumes, but will likely be in the high-double or low-triple figures per month.

What’s next?

If you’re looking to improve your Meta Ads performance and attribution, we can help implement the CAPI Gateway. We can also offer consultancy packages if you’re looking to set this up yourself. Click here to read more about our Social Media services.

Get in touch with the team