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Real Attribution Insights – attribution window

TradeTracker’s Real Attribution models now provide advertisers with the possibility to reward all touchpoints involved in a conversion path, meaning that publishers are rewarded for their added value at every stage of the consumer journey. Within the Attribution settings advertisers have the possibility to set the Attribution Window length. This window can be any length up to a year, allowing even the earliest influencers of a sale to be rewarded! As different attribution periods influence the impact of the Attribution model, TradeTracker wants to explore its findings on this front in this article.

The ‘Attribution Window’ describes the period over which all touchpoints are rewarded. For example, if a complete path consisted of 20 touchpoints spanning a year, advertisers will only attribute commission to those touchpoints which fall inside the Attribution Window. In this case, and assuming we have an even distribution of touchpoints, if the advertiser has set the Attribution Window to 6 months, only 10 touchpoints would have commission attributed to them. However, a longer Attribution Window allows for an larger number of touchpoints to be rewarded, incentivising
an even broader publisher base and increasing campaign performance.

Attribution window

In the above conversion path consisting of 10 touchpoints, we can see that the first touchpoint, which introduced this consumer to the brand, was almost a year ago. Due to the Attribution
Window of 100 days implemented by the advertiser, only the last two touchpoints were rewarded. An advertiser can review their conversion path reports to analyze the impact of the model on their different partners and to then determine the optimum attribution window. This can be found by examining the eCPC/eCPM rates, ensuring they are high enough for involved publishers to deliver the optimal performance for a specific campaign.

To analyse the impact of Attribution Window length on publisher performance, we first catagorised publishers depending on whether they were normally in an initiating, assisting or converting role within conversion paths. We then looked at the increase in traffic to their site when different Attribution Window lengths were used. As well as attracting existing publishers, a longer
Attribution Window also attracted a higher number of new publishers which weren’t previously active when the last-click model applied. Large newspaper publishers noticed that they can now
benefit from CPA models alongside their traditional CPM and CPC models, and were keen to push large A-brands immediately.

Attribution traffic increase

As can be seen from the table above, the longer the Attribution Window, the greater the impact on publishers which focus on the initiating and the assisting stages of the customer journey. For
advertisers it is therefore important to match their attribution period with the goals of their online marketing department. Adding a longer Attribution Window also makes the campaign more
attractive to publishers who would otherwise not promote the campaign. Using an Attribution window of 100 days or more was shown to attract more than 150% of additional traffic to campaigns due to promotions through large media houses and news portals.

The types of materials used by publishers also raised some interesting trends, as campaigns with a longer Attribution Window showed an increase in traffic and transactions coming from publishers using an e-mail database or display methods.

How do Attribution Windows affect publishers?

As a publisher, campaigns with a longer Attribution Window will offer you additional chances to earn commission. Being involved in the early stages, for example 100 days before the actual
purchase, will increase your performance on the campaign. Publishers which used their e-mail databases for send outs or wrote dedicated advertorials are now benefiting from additional commissions thanks to placements earlier in the conversion path. Pushing Travel campaigns for the ‘last minute’ season is now not only worthwhile in July, but in May and June as well, as investments made at the start of the Attribution Window can earn you commissions when the consumer eventually makes the sale.

Attribution window timeline

So as a publisher, don’t only check the model being used on campaigns, but also keep the Attribution Window in mind and make sure you promote campaigns way before the peak periods start!

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