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Pixel firing

Home - Glossary - Pixel firing

If you’re on a website, chances are, that website is calling a pixel. In this world of ever-growing technology, there’s no escaping the ever-present pixel, which makes part and parcel of the advertising and E-commerce world. And it’s not just one, it’s many.

What is pixel firing? What does pixel firing do?

First things first, what is a pixel? And what does firing a pixel exactly entail?
Simply put, a pixel is a code. Generally lives in the section of the HTML.A fired pixel is essentially an expression, meaning a user’s click ID has been generated. What is a click ID? It is a unique number created when a future client clicks on an affiliate website/business link. The pixel can also be fired when a sale or transaction is generated. It allows you to gather important information about a user and target them with relevant ads and material.

What is a tracking pixel?

A tracking pixel is a 1×1 pixel graphic used to track user behavior, site conversions, web traffic, website sessions, email open rates, what sections you visited, buttons you clicked, and other metrics. You cannot see said pixel on a website ‘cause it is, simply put, hidden, or blended into your site or email design.
We’ll give you an example. Whenever you go onto a retailer’s website, add something to your cart but don’t purchase it, then turn out to be bombarded with ads regarding that product? Yup, that’s a tracking pixel at work.

But back to the point, what does a fired pixel do exactly?
It tracks data. Everything you do on a website adds to how that information is used for retargeting ads. Tracking ROAS on marketing efforts, paid marketing campaigns, conversions, tracking campaign traffic, and other complexities of the marketing world all stem from pixel firing.

Why is pixel firing important?

Next part of the blog. Why should it matter to me? And how do I benefit from it?
This is a two problems, one pixel type of situation.

Problem #1: Conversions

You need to understand advertising platforms that you run any kind of ads on, say Meta, Google, etc. need to track conversions on third-party apps/sites. If they don’t, they cannot personalize the ads shown to you. In addition, some other advertising platforms charge their clients for the number of conversions. There, it becomes even more critical.

Problem #2: Tracking

Back to our bombarding ads example. Say you think of buying 12 pairs of jeans, add them to cart, but then leave to look at the birds outside your window. Now the problem is, if pixels didn’t exist, the ad provider or server would not have been able to see what’s stored in the e-commerce site, rendering all of its ads useless.
Understanding the difference between pixels, cookies, and UTM links
They may be categories under the same umbrella, but they are neither interchangeable nor vastly different.
Where does the difference lie, then? Let’s find out.

Tracks an action Tracks the source Tracks session information
Needs a code change Doesn’t need a code change Needs a code update
Measures ad effectiveness via conversions Measures ad effectiveness via traffic metrics Measures ad effectiveness via user targeting
Blocking pixels is tough Blocking UTM links for an average user is tough Blocking cookies is easy

A tracking pixel is crucial in the long haul of a marketer’s journey. Collecting useful data for analysis, retargeting, and online & email marketing all fall under the purview of collating information from pixels. The pixel can also be fired when a sale or transaction is generated. It helps you track and convert users and build a successful business.

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