Inbound Marketing + Sales Blog

May 26, 2014

How To Track Marketing Attribution in HubSpot

3 min read

Written by: Matthew Solomon  |  Share:

how to track marketing attribution in hubspot

Throughout their journey down the marketing funnel, your leads will have multiple interactions with your content and website. Marketing attribution is a way of understanding which marketing channels or campaigns contributed to a conversion on your website by looking at the different "touches" a lead made in each of their lifecycle stages. Most digital marketing tools, such as HubSpot and Google Analytics, have reports built in to track attribution. When you break it down, there are three main types of attribution: First Touch, Last Touch and Assisted Attribution. It's important to understand the differences of each and how it can be used to determine how your content and site pages are pulling leads through your marketing funnel. Below is an outline of each one and ways you can use them to measure the ROI your inbound marketing efforts.

1. First Touch Attribution

  • First Touch Attribution is just that. It's the first instance a contact clicks through to your site.  This type of attribution is important because it helps you nail down just how successful your inbound links and marketing channels are at generating web traffic.
  • HubSpot's Source Report measures First Touch and shows you the effectiveness of your different marketing channels. This metric can be very useful for closed loop reporting of ROI because you can compare and measure how many leads certain channels (such as social media and organic search) pull onto your site.

2. Last Touch Attribution

  • Last Touch Attribution looks at the LAST interaction a lead had before converting to a customer. In HubSpot, all of your landing pages and site forms act as instances of Last Touch. Basically, they are the pages where the deal was closed.
  • Most analytics packages such as Google Analytics use Last Touch as their main method of reporting. HubSpot’s Landing Page Analytics reports Last Touch by letting you see which of your landing pages are generating the highest conversion rates.

Download the Marketing Goals Calculator Template to find out how many leads you  need at each stage of the funnel

3. Assisted Attribution

  • If First Touch is the start of a lead's journey and Last Touch is the end, then Assisted attribution is made up of all of the stops the lead took along the way. Assisted attribution looks at all of the pages that a lead interacts with - from the first time they visited your page to when they converted into a new customer. This type of attribution can help find and optimize influential pages on your website that are visited by leads.
  • HubSpot’s Conversion Assists report lets you look at what pages your leads viewed throughout their lifecycle. Assisted Attribution measures the effectiveness of pages in the middle of your marketing funnel. 

What Do You Do With Your Marketing Attribution Data?

Attribution and the Pay-Per-Click Pipeline

A good use for your marketing attribution data is determining how effective your pay-per-click advertisements are and evaluating their place in the customer lifecycle. In many ways, your attribution data can justify what PPC campaigns spend. For example, by using First Touch attribution, you can find exactly where leads first clicked through to your site or CTA and determine the ROI of that specific channel. Attribution is an effective way to determine what is working to drive leads to your site and the pathways that are most effective for conversion. By using attribution data, you can determine where your best PPC marketing efforts are. 

Reporting With Attribution

As you can see, each marketing attribution model plays a role in determining the effectiveness of your marketing channels and lifecycle pipeline. While each individual type of attribution gives key insights to particular parts of your marketing, it's important to view each as only a small part of a successful conversion.

Just because all of your conversions from leads to customers occur on a certain landing page doesn't mean you should neglect insights from the other attribution types. A relatively new type of attribution model is Time-Decay Attribution. This attribution model gives more credit to channels closest to the conversion of lead to customer. So First Touch would get less credit then a page viewed before a customer conversion. This attribution model helps to unify the three main types of attribution modeling and provide a more cohesive insight into your reporting.


Topics: Demand Generation

About The Author

Matthew is a former New Breeder.

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