Question

Some users do not get tracked by Heap. Why: Google Tag Manager, ad blockers, or something else?

  • 27 July 2022
  • 3 replies
  • 93 views

Hi everyone!

 

We have noticed that some user accounts are not being accurately tracked by Heap. I wanted to post what we are seeing here and see if anyone has seen something similar before.

 

First, some details:

  • We use heap to track user both on the website (both publicly-accessible and login-required parts) and on emails we send using SendGrid.
  • Our Heap instance is installed using Google Tags.
  • For us to email users using SendGrid, they first must register on the website.
  • As a part of user registration, we pass certain custom details about the user to Heap.

 

 

We noticed discrepancies of two types:

  1. For some users (about 10% of accounts), Heap seems to only track the email activity. We found no records for website usage for those users.
  2. For some users (about 3-4%), Heap tracks activity on the website, but Heap record doesn’t contain the information we pass to Heap (associated user email the custom details I mentioned above).

 

 

Questions:

  1. For 10% of accounts issue: Would it be the case that Heap get blocked by ad blockers? We were under the assumption that it doesn’t because of this article - https://help.heap.io/data-privacy/industry-updates/heap-and-third-party-cookies/. Or does it happen because we use Heap as one of the Google Tags?..
  2. For 3-4% of accounts issue, what do you think the reason is? Is it because of the reason described in this article, or is it more likely to be something else? - https://help.heap.io/analysis-examples/unexpected-results/im-seeing-a-difference-in-data-between-heap-and-another-analytics-tool/

 

Any help would be much appreciated!


3 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +4

Hi @MikeArinarkin - Thanks for your question. I escalated this to our support team to help you get to the bottom of these users not being tracked.

Userlevel 1
Badge +1

Hi @MikeArinarkin! Brian from the Heap support team here. When using an integration like Sendgrid and seeing a split like the one you’re experiencing (some users with only integration activity, some with web activity but no integration data), one of the more common causes is that the split users don’t have a correct join key match between Heap and your integration. The join key is the user property you pick in Heap to match up to the user’s email address in Sendgrid, and is how we connect the integration data to the correct corresponding heap user. Usually, this will be either an ‘email’ property sent in via the addUserProperties API or the ‘identity’ property if you use email addresses for your heap.identify API to identify users.

 

For the 10% of users who you’re seeing only sendgrid activity for, the most likely causes are:

  • The user employs an ad blocker or third-party cookie restriction that stopped Heap from capturing their client-side activity on your site.
  • The user did not have the heap.identify or heap.addUserProperties APIs called during their client-side activity, leaving them anonymous and unable to be connected to the sendgrid data via that join key.
  • There’s a mismatch between the user’s join key between Heap and sendgrid (they entered a different email on one or the other, a typo somewhere, etc.)

For the 3-4% of users who only have client-side data and no integration data, the most common causes are:

  • The heap join key value for this user does not exist in your integration (e.g. no user with that email exists in sendgrid)
  • The user actions required to trigger integration events (such as sendgrid sending them emails) haven’t been completed by those users yet
  • If you’re missing both integration data and the identity/custom user properties sent via Heap’s APIs, your API implementation may have edge cases where the APIs are not called or are failing during the registration process.

 

I hope these possibilities help you understand your data better! I’ll also send this answer via your support email, where you can respond if further investigation is needed.

Brian,

 

Thank you for your response.

 

We checked our the join key match between Heap and our integration. It seems to be correct. Overall, we concluded that the two issues that are most likely affecting us are:

  1. “The user employs an ad blocker or third-party cookie restriction that stopped Heap from capturing their client-side activity on your site.”
  2. “The user did not have the heap.identify or heap.addUserProperties APIs called during their client-side activity, leaving them anonymous and unable to be connected to the sendgrid data via that join key.” - our website might be redirecting users before the heap API is called in some cases.

 

Eventually, we will get to fixing #2 from above...

 

Thank you for your help!

Mike

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