• Blog
  • Feb 08, 2018
  • By Jeff Keenan
First Touch Attribution – Find New Customers

Getting the most out of your First Touch Attribution Model is easy. Here are two common use cases for the First Touch Attribution Model.

Doing marketing attribution always starts with collecting customer data. When you’ve collected your first data,you’ll have to decide which attribution model is most suitable for your objectives.

Question is, how do you choose the right model? There are plenty of different models available, and all have their specific pros and cons. One of the most easy-to-understand models is the First Touch Attribution Model. It’s simple to get your head around, and with the right tools it is effortless to implement. Meanwhile, it is just as potent as other more complex marketing attribution models.

We’ll describe two common and recognizable situations where using a First Touch marketing attribution model helps to you to monitor and understand customer behavior a lot better, to improve your company’s bottom-line performance.

1. Find the first step in the Customer Journey

One of the most important business goals is generating revenue. When your customers part with their cash in exchange for your product, both parties have reached their goal and end destination.

If you want to actively improve your revenue, you need a way to figure out which type of customers are most likely to start the journey, so you can take action to attract more of those specific customers.

As it turns out, one of the best predictors for whether customers will reach the end of their journey is a almost embarrassingly simple: it is the point they started from. And that is where First Touch attribution comes in.

First touch attribution tells you the original source of the customer. Regardless of whether customers made a purchase of not, using this model let’s you know where people came into contact with your brand for the first time.

When you think about a customer journey, you need to think about all the marketing touchpoints the customer has come in contact with. Let’s use an example. This is what a short non linear customer journey could look like in daily life.

“As a potential customer, today I do an organic search to find hiking boots. I use Google to search my product, see search results, and then click on one to visit a website. I look through the selection of products but leave the site without making a purchase.

A day later I see an advertisement on Facebook and I go back to the website… this time I click on the Facebook ad. But… I’m still not ready to purchase, and so I go away.

A week later I come back to the website directly by typing in the URL directly in my web browser. This means I remembered the name of the company of course, and I came directly to the website.

Now… I make that purchase! I’ve converted.”

Let’s analyse this instance of a customer journey. In this scenario, there are three touchpoints.

  1. Organic search
  2. Facebook ad
  3. Direct visit

Now, if we apply First touch attribution, it will tell us the original source of the customer. The customer came from organic search. This is a fact… indisputable.

So this is how you as a marketer, can FIND a source of customers. The first touch attribution is specifically telling us the original source of a customer with indisputable accuracy.

Note that, it does not say anything about how we nurtured this customer. In this scenario, the customer was “nurtured” by the Facebook ad. That triggered the customer to come back to the website. The customer viewed more products and poked around. Then, a week later, the customer made up his/her mind and went straight on to the website to make the purchase.

First Touch tells you where those that decided to (not) make a purchase, had their first encounter with your brand. Anything that happens in between the first contact with the brand, and the moment a customer parts with his cash for the first time, is ignored when you’re using First Touch.

However, especially in uncomplicated customer journeys, discovering where people had their first encounter with your brand can be a pretty reliable predictor of whether they’ll end up purchasing or not. When you know where the people that generally finish their journey started that journey, you can spend your marketing budget more effectively by specifically targeting people that started from that place.

2. Track your Direct Response campaign

The First Touch Attribution Model is also useful for direct-response advertising or DR advertising.

This is when you see an ad like this.

“Sign up today for our special coupon… act now!”.

In this case potential customers respond immediately and click on the ad to sign up for the coupon. Since the sign up was a conversion, the first touch was the click on the ad… and it was also the last touch!

In this use case of DR types of marketing, First Touch (or Last Touch) is all you need to tell you if the campaign is effective. It tells you if you found the right source for your campaign to tap into, to focus your demand generation.Your marketing attribution tool tells you: “More of that please!”. And that’s all you need to know to improve your marketing actions.

Inspired? Give First Touch Attribution a try today

First Touch is an uncomplicated model and easy to set up for those that are just starting out with marketing attribution. At the same time, the model is surprisingly potent in specific situations.

We have introduced two practical examples of when to apply First Touch Attribution. Try LeadsRx now, and you’ll soon know where to invest your top-of-funnel efforts most effectively.