By Julia Baggott

Advanced Pixel Matching can improve attribution, optimisation and remarketing at the flick of a switch – find out what it’s all about and how you can get started.

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In 2018, 29% of Facebook users – representing nearly 50 million people – will use Facebook on both a desktop and mobile device. Matching each of these user touchpoints is crucial for proper attribution and understanding of these users’ conversions. Facebook’s solution to this – linking users by their login – is fallible, as users aren’t always logged in, or may have unconnected accounts across the Facebook app family. Cue: Advanced Pixel Matching (APM).

So, what is Advanced Pixel Matching?

APM allows you to send advanced customer information through the Facebook pixel, allowing a much higher match rate between website actions and users on Facebook. This information can include ‘match keys’ such as email, first and last name, location (to state, city, or post code level), and date of birth. Facebook recommends including email and phone numbers as a starting point, but it will create the best combination of match keys based on the data you provide.

There are two kinds of APM – manual, and automatic. With manual APM, you apply a small update to your pixel on site, denoting the additional parameters you’d like to be returned for matching. Automatic APM will retain your existing set-up, so no code updates are required, but instead will associate website text fields with corresponding events. For example, if your checkout page asks the user for their email address and first and last name, this will be fed back through the pixel to enable better matches.

It’s worth noting that the Pixel will only be able to retrieve details that are known by your website – using a different email for Facebook and your website could mean the user isn’t matched. Using the Facebook login on your site (as an alternative to building a new login just for your business) can sidestep this and streamline the checkout process for users.

Not convinced? 

Here are three key benefits you can expect through enabling Advanced Pixel Matching:

  • Improved and more thorough attribution. Additional customer data enables Facebook to connect more of your onsite conversions with Facebook users, giving credit where credit’s due.
  • APM allows you to match more users for your remarketing audiences. Put simply, improving the richness of your data improves your chance of finding a match, which will therefore increase the size of your custom audiences. For dynamic ads, more complete data means Facebook is more likely to understand what products those users are interested in, and you’re able to serve a more relevant ad.
  • Finally, as a result of your increased match rate, you’ll see an increase in the quality and quantity of data available for optimisation. This should mean less time spent in the learning phase and more accurate optimisation for even short campaigns.

Some users may, understandably, be a little hesitant in collecting data post-GDPR, but this data is never exposed. Any data you pass through the pixel, with or without advanced matching, is hashed locally on the browser and matched on the Facebook server. All hashes are then deleted by Facebook within 48 hours, and no PII is collected or stored by Facebook (or by us!).

Enable advanced pixel matching

Ready to commit? 

APM is available as a simple toggle in your pixel settings, either when setting up or to a pre-existing pixel. Once enabled, you’ll be able to see the lift in your own event match rate within your Events Manager dashboard, providing you with a solid measure of the impact APM has had. In beta testing, advertisers saw an average increase of 8% in matched purchasers, while Facebook reported that a popular meal-kit service saw a 27% increase in attributed conversions.

Automatic advanced matching
Icons made by Nhor Phai from & licensed by CC 3.0 BY

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