Lead source attribution
Lead source attribution is the process of giving credit to different marketing campaigns that contributed to the accomplishment of a specific goal (such as customer makes a purchase).
To dive into that deeper, let’s first take a look at what a Lead Source is, and what Attribution is, and then put it together.
What’s a lead source?
A lead source is Rebilly’s term for the marketing campaign responsible for a customer interaction (typically a customer purchasing something).
A lead source is some additional metadata that attaches to the customer’s record, and contains attributes common from both Google analytics and affiliate tracking applications:
- Source (a UTM parameter)
- Medium (a UTM parameter)
- Campaign (a UTM parameter)
- Content (a UTM parameter)
- Term (a UTM parameter)
- Affiliate (an affiliate tracking parameter)
- SubAffiliate (an affiliate tracking parameter)
- ClickId (an affiliate tracking parameter)
- SalesAgent (a sales tracking parameter)
- Path (the path of the URL where the lead was recorded)
- Referrer (the URL visited before visiting the URL where the lead was recorded)
These parameters are optional.
Passing the lead source parameters to Rebilly happens automatically when the payment token is created using FramePay to collect the payment card data. However, there may be times when you should consider collecting and creating this at other touch points, such as if you have a short-form submit before the payment form.
However, there may be times when you should consider collecting and creating this in at other touch points, such as if you have a short-form submit before the payment form, it can be beneficial to start to collect and record that data.
What is attribution?
Attribution is the process of giving credit to various campaigns that happen at specific touch points on the way to the goal. The purpose of attribution is to know which marketing campaigns are working so that you can invest more and refine those that aren’t.
We’ll use Bob, our fictitious customer, to help explain:
- Bob saw our coconut-v4 advertisement on Facebook.
- Bob clicked on the advertisement.
- Bob browsed two pages on our website.
- Bob left.
- The next day, Bob saw our coconut-v2 advertisement on Yahoo. (Bob didn’t click.)
- The next day, Bob saw our coconut-v4 advertisement on GDN. Bob clicked.
- Bob browsed four more pages on the website and filled out a short-form lead submit. (This is the first time we learned his name is Bob.)
- Bob received an email auto-responder and opened coco-seq-1.
- Bob opened and clicked on coco-seq-2.
- Bob purchased coco-try-4 for $50.
The purpose of attribution is to know which marketing campaigns are working so that you can invest more and refine those that aren’t.
Which marketing campaign was successful?
Well, this can be argued many different ways. Was it the Facebook ad? Was it the GDN ad? Was it the email auto-responder?
Or was it some combination of those?
It's a combination of factors, but weighing the importance of each touch-point is currently more of an art than a science.
If we focus on the touch points it would cover:
- The areas where marketing reaches the prospects.
- The meaningful activity that prospects take.
Rebilly’s API for tracking can work for “click-through” attribution -- where the user has made it onto your website. Rebilly’s API does not currently work for “view-through” attribution -- where the user only sees an ad but doesn’t click it. View-through attribution could still be added if it is collected in some other system, such as an ad tracking system.
Multiple “lead sources” may be attributed to the customer record. Each lead source is recorded associated to the time it was created. Rebilly treats two of those records as special: the original lead source (aka the introducer), and the most recent lead source (aka the closer).
How to see lead source data in your Rebilly account
Go to the Customer Section, then select the customer for which you want to see the details. You’ll then see the full set of customer information, including lead source.
How to use the data
The lead source data of any particular customer may be observed from their customer detail screen.
If there are no lead sources associated with the customer, it will appear like this:
If there’s a single lead source, it will appear like so (empty fields are not displayed).
If there are multiple lead sources, it will display the original and most recent lead source, like this:
Finally, the customer detail screen has a “timeline” section. The customer timeline shows each lead source at the point in time it was created:
The lead source data can be both created and accessed by API.
The lead sources are also available to be used as filters or segments in the browsing and reporting areas of Rebilly apps.
Filter the list of customers by the original or current lead source metadata.
Filter most reports by any similar metadata.
This snippet of the dashboard shows a segment made from the filter where the recent lead source campaign is “asw19”
We “flatten” the lead source data into the “original” and “recent” lead source, to make that information easily accessible. Most attribution models are heavily weighted towards one of those options.
If you want to analyze value over time beyond what’s shown on the dashboard, we recommend using the “retention value” report and the “transaction” report.
If you are using FramePay, Rebilly will capture the UTM parameters from the query string automatically upon payment token creation. If you wish to create lead source data at other touch points or are not using FramePay, please use our API.