Different attribution models exist to capture the nuances of a buyer’s journey. Let’s briefly discuss what makes each model unique and consider examples of when you might use it to inform your marketing strategy.
The first-touch attribution model gives all the credit to the first touchpoint a customer interacts with. For example, if a lead discovers your product through a blog post and then signs up for a free trial, first-touch attribution would credit the blog post for the conversion.
With a last-touch attribution model, all the credit goes to the last touchpoint before a conversion. For instance, imagine a customer first learns about your service through a webinar but converts after receiving a targeted email. Last-touch attribution would credit the email as the primary reason for the conversion.
In this model, credit is evenly distributed among all touchpoints, acknowledging that each played a part. For example, if a customer’s journey involves seeing your social media ads, visiting your website, and receiving an email, linear attribution would give each touchpoint equal credit for the conversion.
This model emphasizes the progression from lead to conversion. It credits touchpoints that contributed to the lead generation process. Suppose a lead goes through a series of email nurturing campaigns before converting. Lead-conversion attribution would recognize the role of these emails in the conversion.
Time Decay Attribution
Timing is what matters most for this attribution model. Touchpoints closer to the conversion receive more credit.
For example, if a lead engages with your company through multiple touchpoints over several weeks before subscribing, time decay attribution would attribute more credit to interactions in the days leading up to the subscription.
Also known as U-shaped attribution, the position-based model assigns higher credit percentages to the first and last touchpoints and less to those in between.
Imagine a lead discovers your product through a Google ad, engages with your content on LinkedIn, and then converts after a demo. Position-based attribution would give significant credit to the Google ad (first touch) and the demo (last touch).
Similar to U-shaped attribution, W-shaped attribution allocates credit to the first, last, and one or more touchpoints in between.
Suppose a prospect discovers your software through a PPC ad, interacts with your blog content, attends a webinar, and finally converts after a personalized email. W-shaped attribution would recognize the importance of all the first and last touchpoints in the conversion journey and whichever touchpoint in between had the most impact on qualifying the lead.
Custom attribution allows businesses to create their own model based on their unique needs and objectives.
For example, a SaaS company could create a custom attribution model that places more weight on webinars and free trials. They might do this after discovering these touchpoints have the most significant impact on conversions.
This model considers the impact of marketing efforts across various channels, recognizing that customers often engage with a mix of channels before converting.
Let’s say a customer interacts with your company through social media ads, email campaigns, and direct website visits before subscribing. Multi-channel attribution would evaluate the combined influence of these channels on the conversion.
Weighted Multi-Source Attribution
Weighted multi-source attribution assigns distinct weights to different touchpoints based on their perceived importance, allowing for a more nuanced assessment.
For example, your company might give higher weight to a live demo than to an initial website visit because you know from customer data that demos substantially impact conversions.