Use Weighted Conversion Attribution for Better Optimization

   Jason Sisley, President & Chief Strategist   


Jason Sisley, President & Chief Strategist


I am an email marketer. In fact, my colleagues and I built our agency around our core expertise in this area. But the innovation I saw at the 2015 Litmus Email Design Conference in Boston got me thinking. I wonder if there’s something more we can do to not only improve the ROI on email marketing for our clients, but to help them see more sales in general.

Properly executed multi-channel campaigns can find potential customers where they live and, accordingly, generate more conversions. And of course, most companies will run some kind of integrated campaign. But what happens after a campaign and the start of another can affect sales drastically.

Marketing communication channels are often thought of in as silos and measured against each other like some sort of contest—with the channel generating the most sales deemed the winner. But it’s often this kind of attribution model that’s to blame for not giving the multi-channel approach its due credit for its role in creating conversions. It’s far more useful to understand the impact of each component of a campaign, not just the part that “won.” And If you’re measuring impact solely based on last interaction, you’re only seeing a small part of the picture.

A weighted attribution approach makes more sense. And it’s a wonder that more agencies don’t employ this technique. According to Stephanie Miller at ClickZ, weighted or fractional attribution recognizes that there are many touchpoints in a customer’s path to conversion. Miller says, “the insights from attribution analysis are powerful. Reinvestment in the channels that work - by audience segment or product line - will return higher revenue and improve customer satisfaction. With so much data available, and so many ways for customers and prospects to interact with our brands, an effective model will be dynamic, and keep up with the changing landscape of our testing and marketing campaign optimization. We'll all be marketing superheroes!"

We agree! At Den Aviary, we find that using weighted attribution we are much more informed of what strategies and tactics are working based on the order of events, instead of just cutting out those that don’t appear to be performing. We also work with our clients to take other variables into consideration, so that ROI is calculated based on other variables in addition to sales.

Conversions are one of the first metrics I check when monitoring a client’s campaign, but unless we look at where the numbers come from just as analytically, we’re not making the most of the tools available to us. And potentially limiting our client’s ROI.