AdStage Join connects down-funnel conversions back to the paid data the conversions came from. We built Join to be flexible, so you may receive errors depending on your setup. This article goes over what Join errors are, what to do about them, and how to read the error log.

Most often, Join errors are related to Join Keys. In a perfect world, the Join keys you select would match up nicely to the URL parameters used for your ads (pictured below). For Join to successfully match a conversion to an ad or campaign Join must find exactly one entity match in your ad account. If your ad URL matches multiple results, Join is unable to determine which Join level to assign the conversion and will result in an error. Read more about this below. 

Let's look at an example together. Here we're looking to join a form fill conversion with the following key values:

Source = "facebook"
Medium = "social"
Campaign Name  = "Q4_benchmark_report_v4"

If we have an instance where one of these keys are missing you will see a "no matching ad" error in your Join scorecard. No (none) matching ad is defined as, an ad that we're unable to uniquely map in a task. 

Pro tip: If your campaign names aren't unique, we recommend inputing campaign ID in your UTMs as a replacement. 

Furthermore, if we have the same ads in two different campaigns with the same URLs, we will get a "multiple campaign" error.  A multiple campaign error is defined as the same URLs params are found in two or more campaigns. Without the URLs being unique to one campaign we can not determine which campaign to attribute a conversion to. 

Instead of inaccurately crediting the conversion to two different campaigns, we do a uniqueness check on a "best-effort" basis. We will skip the Join at the campaign level and attribute to the next entity level up. In this case, the account level. 

Four common causes of Join errors:

1. Getting URL data into conversion sources (Ex: Salesforce, Google Analytics)
This can be either unexpected blank columns, or columns with values that obviously wouldn't be found in your ad URLs. Some of this can be safely ignored if your conversion report includes both organic and ad-driven conversions. Organic data won't match up with ad data and will consider a “none matching ad”.

2. Having conflicting UTM parameter ad structures
Most common, accidentally copying a utm_campaign from another ad. This will result in duplication, with no way to attribute conversion data to a single account/campaign/ad group 

3. Including accounts with no conversion data in Join

4. Join keys setup
Incorrectly selecting join keys to map or attempting to join on parameters with no conversion data

Looking at your csv download:

The first half of the columns are the values from the conversion source, and the second half are any matching ad entity IDs. If we found multiple, they will be comma-separated inside the column.

In this example, the first four columns, outlined in orange, are values from the conversion source. In this case, that’s Google Analytics. The remaining columns outlined in green are the matching AdStage entity id strings that Join was able to successfully match to the conversion. If Join matches multiple entities, such as two ads, the ad_entity_id column will contain a   list of all matching entity ids.

Want to learn more about the Join scorecard? Click the button below.

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