Last Click Attribution: Why It Fails and What to Do Next - TrueProfit

Last Click Attribution: Why It Fails and What to Do Next (2023)

Don’t waste your hard-earned money on ineffective ads that don’t reach your target audience. What you need is a smart attribution strategy to allocate your marketing budget across different channels and maximize your return on investment.

Last click attribution, which gives full credit to the final marketing touchpoint before purchase, is one of the most common methods to assess the effectiveness of marketing campaigns on conversions.

However, there are certain setbacks to it that you might need to consider. In this blog, you’ll discover:

  • What last click attribution is and how to use it.
  • The difficulties with last click attribution that you’ll encounter.
  • How to create a report on last click attribution.

Will last-click attribution be the optimal attribution model for your business? Scroll on to find out!

What Is Last Click Attribution?

Last click attribution is a method to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by giving all the credit for a conversion to the last ad or channel that the customer clicked on before making a purchase.

In particular, if a prospect visits your website through several channels like organic search, email marketing, and paid search, but only converted after clicking on a paid search ad, then paid search would get all the credit.

last click attribution
💡 To better illustrate how last-click attribution works, consider the example below:

Let’s say James finds your website via a Facebook advertisement. He browses your website but doesn’t make a purchase.

A few days later, James searches for your company name on Google to revisit your website but doesn’t make a purchase.

He later encounters a pay-per-click (PPC) ad, clicks on it to see your website, registers for a free demo, and after viewing the demo, made the purchase.

In this case, the last click attribution model will give all the credit for the conversion to the PPC ad, and ignore the other touchpoints (Facebook ad, organic search) that influenced James’s decision.

As you can see, although last-click attribution is straightforward and quick to follow, it may not always be the most accurate model for figuring out a customer’s conversion route.

What Are The Challenges of Last Click Attribution Model?

The PPC advertisement in the previous case was given full credit for James’ conversion, but this paints an incomplete picture of his purchasing process.

When you simply give credit to the last clicked ad and its associated keyword, you ignore all earlier conversion-path touchpoints, which helped users learn about your business and guided them in the direction of becoming customers.

There are a few more cons of this model:

1. Customer journey fragmentation

Customers usually have a problem that they want to solve before they start looking for products or services. They research different options and compare their features, prices, reviews, etc. They may visit your website, read your blog posts, watch your videos, follow your social media accounts, sign up for your newsletters, etc.

These are all touchpoints that help them learn more about your brand and your offer.

❗ Last click attribution is a simple method of measurement, but it is not very effective because it ignores the other touchpoints that influenced the user’s decision.

💡 Let’s say that a customer converted after attending a webinar.

Knowing that the webinar was the last touchpoint is important, but it doesn’t tell us what motivated the customer to register for the webinar in the first place. They may have been interested in the webinar after seeing your posts on LinkedIn.

Last click attribution would lead to biased information and incorrect optimizations. For instance, if this data was used to support the decision, the budget for social media marketing could be reduced and allocated to webinars instead. This would harm the campaign overall, as fewer people would be interested in the webinars if social media efforts were diminished.

2. Misleading traffic metrics and false insights

Last click attribution makes you think the last piece of content the user saw before converting was the main factor. However, this is not always true. You may overlook the other touchpoints that raised awareness and built trust.

Imagine, for instance, that the recently launched blog for your business has seen a spike in visitors in only one quarter. However, these blogs aren’t generating any conversions at all, due to the last click attribution approach. Instead, they are going straight to your business’ website to make purchases. This reasoning is incorrect because blog posts are increasing the number of repeat visitors to your website.

Additionally, many conversion-boosting assets rely on non-branded efforts to persuade prospects to convert.

Users may search for generic terms like “best laptop for gaming” or “how to fix a leaky faucet” when they have a problem or a need. These are non-branded searches that do not include your company name or product name. They help the users learn more about their options and compare different solutions.

Because of that, if a company doesn’t invest in these non-branded assets, a competitor will probably get noticed in their place.

3. Overlooking the conventional conversion funnel

Last click attribution prioritizes marketing channels that increase conversions. However, this is not a good strategy because you need to know how different channels work across the buyer’s journey.

Last click attribution only considers interactions at the action stage of the funnel and ignores interactions at the awareness, interest, and desire stages, which are essential for a lead to convert. By doing so, the final point of contact a prospect has before converting isn’t always the major factor in conversion.

Many firms apply a multi-touch attribution model, as it would give credit to different touchpoints based on their role in the buyer’s journey. It would recognize that some channels are more effective in creating awareness, some in generating interest, some in creating desire, and some in driving action.

4. Containing direct clicks

Last click attribution includes direct clicks, such as when someone types your website’s URL or clicks on a bookmark. However, this can be misleading.

A direct click is often the last step a customer takes before making a purchase, but that does not mean it converts them. It is possible that they clicked directly after deciding to buy.

Therefore, the last click attribution model would give all the credit to the direct click, ignoring the other touchpoints that influenced the customer’s decision, such as your social media posts, email newsletters, or online reviews.

💡 Based on your interest:

Why Would You Need A Last Click Attribution Report?

If you want to know which marketing channels and campaigns are the most effective at driving conversions, you should make a last click attribution report.

The point of last click attribution is to help you understand the final stage of the customer journey, where the customer decides to buy. This can help you evaluate the performance and ROI of your marketing efforts.

However, you should also be aware of the limitations and drawbacks of last click attribution. We also recommend using other attribution models, such as multi-touch attribution, that can capture the full customer journey and assign credit to different touchpoints based on their impact.

How Can You Make A Report With Last Click Attribution?

You’ll probably use an attribution tool if you decide to make a stand-alone last click attribution report.

The attribution tool you already use may offer a particular report that just considers the latest click. It’s also possible that it provides adaptable attribution reports, in which case you may make a last click report.

Here are a few tools for you to take into account when you try to make your marketing attribution reports:

1. HubSpot Ads Attribution

From within HubSpot, you can filter your ad campaigns by attribution report to see how your advertising affects contacts across the buyer’s journey. HubSpot advertising Software offers five different attribution models.

HubSpot Ads Attribution - Last click attribution report
HubSpot Ads Attribution

You can focus on last click/last interaction data if you develop a custom multi-touch attribution report; you can also alter the contacts you wish to report on, the campaign’s status (active, “paused,” or “deleted”), and the date period.

2. Google Ads Attribution

You can enhance all marketing engagements and touchpoints across the buyer’s journey with the help of Google Ads Attribution, which provides insight into cross-channel attribution and helps you understand how your Google Ads perform among your audience.

Google Ads Attribution - Last click attribution report
Google Ads Attribution
💡 Read more about the Google Ads attribution models from the article: About attribution models.

3. Triple Whale Attribution

The most recent advertisement that a client clicked through on the specific platform presently being viewed receives credit using Triple Whale’s Pixel Attribution (also referred to as “Last Platform Click” occasionally). This strategy gives credit for the transaction to the final click-through for each marketing channel for the specific customer.

Triple Whale Attribution
Triple Whale Attribution

For example, Facebook ad #2 would be given credit when viewing Facebook data, and the TikTok ad would be given credit when seeing TikTok data if a consumer clicked on Facebook ad #1, Facebook ad #2, a TikTok ad, and then they made their purchase.

According to this concept, credit is given based on the last click a user made on each ad platform, which is considered to be the most important.

4. Appsflyer Marketing Analytics

If you want to achieve your marketing KPIs, “Book a demo” in Appsflyer and the data you rely on must be reliable and simple to comprehend. Appsflyer’s In-depth mobile analytics solutions were created to provide you with the knowledge you need to grow revenue, enhance customer retention, and drive conversions.

Appsflyer Marketing Analytics
Appsflyer Marketing Analytics

You may make better marketing selections with the aid of this program by getting a fuller view. It offers comprehensive, cross-channel analytics at every stage of the funnel so you can link the dots between departments and teams to get a full picture of all your initiatives.

5. Ruler Marketing Attribution

One of the popular kinds of software utilized by numerous online shops and online marketing firms throughout the globe is called Ruler. The process is as follows:

Ruler Marketing Attribution
Ruler Marketing Attribution

First off, Ruler enables you to track each visitor throughout numerous sessions, as well as marketing factors like source, channel, campaign, and keyword.

Plus, Ruler will match this new lead to their prior marketing engagements and send it to your CRM when a user converts it into a lead through phone, form, or live chat.

The revenue data in the CRM will be scraped by Ruler when your lead converts, and it will then be sent to your selected marketing analytics tools. The marketing initiatives and platforms that influenced the transaction will be given credit.

You can switch between different attribution models in Ruler to see which one suits you the most.

Conclusion: Last-click attribution isn’t without flaws

To conclude, last click attribution is rarely entirely accurate, but it can still be useful in some situations.

Last click attribution only considers the final touchpoint before a conversion, ignoring the influence of other channels and factors that may have contributed to the customer journey. This can lead to inaccurate insights and suboptimal decisions.

However, the last click attribution model also has some advantages, such as simplicity, clarity, and accountability. It can help you identify the most effective ads or keywords that drive conversions, and allocate your budget accordingly. It can also help you measure the direct impact of your marketing campaigns on sales and revenue.

Therefore, the last click attribution model is not necessarily bad, but it should be used wisely and with caution. You should always compare it with other attribution models and methods, and consider the context and goals of your marketing strategy. The burden is on you to know which component of your marketing plan makes the most sense for your business and which model best conveys your message.

Discover what proper profit-tracking looks like at