Performance Marketers know that to get the best return on investment, you need promotional campaigns that work. Up until recently it had been a guessing game. Now using tracking pixels marketers are better able to make informed decisions based on real-time data. Tracking pixels are crucial when thinking about campaign planning, targeting, and optimization. Pixels can help you spend your budget in a cost-effective way, by highlighting which marketing messages are performing best and which are less effective. Now that we’ve broken down the benefits of pixels, we’ll explain the basics of pixel tracking, how it works, the different types, and how you can start using them properly for your marketing needs.
What is a Tracking Pixel?
In simple terms, a tracking pixel is an HTML code snippet embedded in a webpage, email, or banner ad. It may be nearly an invisible component, but these codes do a lot of work – from tracking the pages users visit, to the actions they’ve taken on the campaign, and their purchasing history. Having a clear view of these analytics from visitors allows you to build audiences based on behavior and send people ads that are relevant to their interests.
How Do Tracking Pixels Work?
- A pixel code is added to your site’s HTML code, banner ad, or email.
- A user’s browser processes the HTML code when they visit your website.
- The browser then follows the link and opens the (invisible) graphic.
- The server registers this activity within its log files.
- The data is then available to analyze.
Data That Can Be Acquired & Analyzed with Tracking Pixels
- Device used for search (mobile, desktop, tablet etc.)
- Specific website or email used
- Visitors screen resolution
- The time the email was read, or website was visited
- Activities on the website during a session
- IP address (gives information on the Internet Service Provider and location)
Types of Pixels
Tracking pixels can be broken down into three major categories. Each has important properties, and they all help websites increase sales by tracking marketing efforts. The information collected can help manage budgets and identify where to allocate costs in marketing campaigns.
Retargeting pixels are focused mainly on the behavior of your website users.
Due to the pixels depending on users that have already visited the site, they don’t always produce high volume campaigns. However, they do create a better user experience by monitoring behaviors to tailor paid ads they think will catch the user’s attention on other websites. Overall, this pixel approach leads to higher sales and encourages repeat customers.
Conversion pixels activate once a purchase has been made. They are mainly responsible for tracking sales (or any other defined conversion metric) that result from specific ad campaigns. This helps you evaluate the success of a campaign.
To collect the data, conversion pixels must be placed within the code of an order confirmation page. Most seen with an automated “Thank You” email found in your inbox after buying something.
Facebook Pixels are a tool used for organizations using Facebook Ads. The code is encrypted on your website and ensures that cookies track users who interact with your Facebook ads and website.
This type of pixel is a unique code that collects data and allows websites to:
- Track Facebook ad conversions
- Build a target audience
- Optimize your ads
- Remarket to your website visitors
Let’s Start Tracking!
Overall pixels are small but mighty and it’s time to reap the benefits of marketing pixels! At Access to Media, we are pixel experts. Contact us to talk to our team about how we can help you set up, plan, execute, or optimize your campaigns today!