Methods of Event Serialization

There are two methods of keeping events from counting more than once.

To use Event serialization, you must first enable it in Admin > Report Suite > [select report suite] > Edit Settings > Success Events. Then select which events you want recorded in the Unique Event Recording column. There are three different settings an event can be set to.

Always record event: This is the default behavior of all events when initially enabled. All events included in image requests will be sent directly to Analytics, including page reloads.

Record once per visit: An event with this setting enabled will only track the first instance of that event in a given visit. Once a new visit starts, each event with this setting enabled can be tracked again. This is an effective way to mitigate duplicate events via browser refreshes.

Use event ID: This setting allows the capability to associate each event with a unique ID. If Analytics sees an eventID it has already seen before with that variable, it will not be counted in reporting.

The only event that cannot have event serialization enabled is the purchase event, as this uses the s.purchaseID variable. All other eCommerce events and custom events can have these settings enabled.

To implement Event serialization, provide a unique ID for the event, for example event1:1234ABCD.

Event Serialization - Once per Unique ID

Once Event serialization is implemented, and Analytics receives a duplicate number, it ignores the event. An event is counted only once per unique value. If the number is unique, another event instance is counted, as shown in the following example:

User Name Description Event Syntax Analytics Total Event1 Count
John User views page for the first time. event1:1000 1
John User reloads the page (a form submit may fail, and cause the page to reload). event1:1000 1
Stacy User views page for the first time. event1:1001 2
Stacy User reloads the page (a form submit may fail, and cause the page to reload). event1:1001 2
Jill User views page for the first time, enters information correctly, and moves on to next page. event1:1002 3
Jamie User views page for the first time event1 4
Jamie User forgets to fill in the last name field on the form. The form is displayed again with the missing information highlighted. event1 5
s.events Syntax

Use the following syntax for serializing events. In the first example, event1 is serialized, while event2 is not serialized (an instance is counted for each pageview or page reload).

s.events="[event]:[serial number]"
Samples:
s.events="event1:12341234"
s.events="event1:12341234,event2"
s.events="purchase,event1:12341234"

Serializing a counter event with a value other than 1

Add the serial number after the event value similar to the following:

s.events="event1=100:12341234"

Note the following when selecting serialization IDs:

  • Serialization IDs must be 20 characters or less.
  • Serialization IDs must be alphanumeric characters.
  • Serialization IDs are separate for each success event. Therefore, you can use the same ID for multiple success events if needed, just not for the same success event.
  • Serialization IDs are tied to the report suite, so if you are using multi-suite tagging to send data to multiple report suites, keep this in mind.
  • Serialization IDs never expire, so even if the same ID is used years later, the success event will not be counted again.
  • Cookie deletion does not prevent Event ID serialization because serialization IDs are stored on Adobe servers and are not cookie-based.
  • The one success event with which it is not possible to use Event ID serialization is the Purchase event, which uses a special s.purchaseID variable for serialization.

Event Serialization - Once per Visit

Analytics offers a feature to let an event only fire once per visit.

This can be enabled from the UI: Admin > Report Suite > Edit Settings > Conversion > Success Events.

Serializing eVars

The same functionality used to keep an event from being fired more than once per visit can be applied to evar instances. When enabled for an evar, click-throughs and instances are only counted once per visit for a specific evar. This is not counting once per value, but once per evar. This means that if an evar or campaign variable is set to record once per visit, only the first value seen in a visit shows a click-through or instance. However, if the evar is set to allocate credit to the most recent value, then the most recent value still receives credit, even if it does not have an instance. The following example helps to illustrate this point.

If s.campaign is set to Record once per visit, and within a single visit 20, pages are viewed. First, there are 10 pages where s.campaign is set to "abc," then 10 pages are viewed where s_campaign is set to "xyz." On all 20 pages, event1 is fired. The following screen shot illustrates the results. Notice that there are no instances or Click-throughs associated with "xyz," but it does receive credit for all events fired.