Attributing Conversions to Your Campaign

Attribution helps us figure out when to assign credit for any conversions that were influenced by your ads. Attribution is an emerging science and there are many competing theories about which attribution model is the most accurate.

We encourage you to do some research to decide which attribution model is right for you. Explore the more common rule-based models as well as custom attribution models all from your AdRoll Attribution Settings. Choose, customize, and compare to help you find the best attribution model for your business.

Adjust Attribution for AdRoll

Attribution can be adjusted in AdRoll > Campaign Attribution under Measure section > Settings. You can compare and select from seven rule-based models as well as two customizable models to find your most accurate setting. When choosing, or creating, a model, here are a few things to consider:

Lookback Window

Your lookback window is the maximum number of days that elapse after your visitor's interaction with your ad in order to attribute the conversion to your campaign. The default conversion window setting is 7 days, but you can adjust this from 1-30 days and, depending on which model you use, set different conversion windows for different campaigns. 

Advanced Tip: Consider your sales cycle when setting your conversion window. If you have a longer consideration process, think about using a longer lookback window. If your conversion is a quick decision, consider using a shorter window.

Attribution Credit Percentage

Your attribution credit percentage controls what portion of attributable conversions are actually credited to your campaign.

  • If you attribute 100% of conversions, all attributable conversions that occur within your conversion window will be credited to your campaign.
  • If you attribute 50% of conversions, only half of total attributable conversions that occurred within your conversion window will count.

Attribution percentages allow you to adjust attributed conversions based on consideration for likely impacts. For example, if you have more than one active marketing channel you might consider adjusting your attribution percentage to less than 100%.

Advanced Tip: Custom percentages can be used if you select a Position-Based or Custom-Time based model.

View-Throughs and Click-Throughs

View-through conversions can be a challenge for some marketers to attribute since there is no definitive action to show that your visitor engaged with your ad. However, studies have shown that only 16% of people ever click, and half of those (8%) account for 85% of all clicks on display ads. That means looking only at clicks only tells part of the story. Measuring view-through conversions helps show the value of brand-awareness campaigns.

We recommend setting your view-through conversion credit to 100% over 7 days.

Rule-Based Models

There are seven rule-based models that could potentially fit in with your marketing mix and business goals. Before selecting a rule-based model, think about how many channels you're showing ads on, what your goals are, and what is your overall goal for your business for this specific time period. The seven rule-based models to choose from are: Last Touch, First Touch, Last Click, Linear, Positional, and AdRoll Blended.

Advanced Tip: if you are only running on one AdRoll channel, don’t worry about linear or positional. Those models won’t impact your performance when running only on one!

Custom Models

Select Custom Position-Based or Custom Time-Based and adjust the conversion window and attribution credit percentage. For position-based: focus on adjusting the credit percentage that you feel is ideal for each touchpoint: first, middle and last touch. For time-based: adjust the attribution credit for the lookback windows that you value. Do you care about recency? Put more credit towards the touchpoints occurring closest to the conversion event.

Creating a custom model takes a combination of sales cycle and marketing mix insights. Use your expertise to build out a model that works for your business and goals.

Adjust Your Attribution Settings

The best times to evaluate your attribution settings are when you are launching a new marketing initiative, when your marketing mix changes to address a key business metric (new product launch, new client acquisition push, etc) or when you have new information about your conversion journey.

When you adjust your attribution settings, make sure you give the new settings enough time to tell you something about your campaigns. We recommend adjusting settings no more than once per month to allow your campaigns to catch up and optimize towards the settings you’ve applied.

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