Look Forward Customizations
**READ THIS** Please be sure to read the article on the 'look forward' model prior to diving into this one!** You can find it here. **READ THIS**
At the moment Attribution offers three customizations out of the box that you can add to the 'look forward' model to get the most for your business. They are as follows:
1. Include All Traffic - This method is best for e-commerce companies or companies that have many disconnected transactions.
2. Exclude All Direct Traffic - This is best for companies that have users that tend to visit the site every day, such as SaaS companies.
3. Exclude All Traffic After a Cut off Event - This is best for companies that have a subscription service with a free trial.
4. Include All Direct Traffic until Cut off Event - This is best for companies that have users that tend to visit the site every day, such as SaaS companies.
To begin we must first define what direct traffic is. Attribution filters visitors into the Direct Traffic segment by looking at the referring URL, and determining if there are any parameters that match current filters on your dashboard. If there are no parameters that match any filters, and no referrer, then we will segment the visit into the Direct Traffic filter. Direct traffic is often one of the following:
- Type-In Traffic
Type in traffic is when someone simply types in your URL from memory and visits your site. It is truly the only real "direct" way for them to get there.
- Bookmark Traffic
If a user has your site bookmarked, no referrer information will be provided in the request.
- Email Traffic
Emails with links to your site will not be tracked back to the email if you do not include tracking parameters. You should always provide tracking parameters in the links you include in your emails.
- Document Link Traffic
If you have links to your site embedded in a document such as Microsoft Word, or a PDF, there will be no referrer and therefore the visit will be segmented into Direct Traffic unless you include tracking parameters.
- Secure to Non-Secure Site Linking
If your site is insecure (http) and the visit is from a secure site (https) the referrer will not be passed from the secure site and the visit will look like Direct Traffic.
- Links from Native Mobile Apps (like Facebook)
If a visitor clicks a web link in a mobile app, such as the news feed in the Facebook native mobile app, the app will not pass along referrer information and it will appear that it is Direct Traffic.
Now that we are aware of what direct traffic is we will go into all the customizations below.
See the example above, we have selected a date range from 1/1/2017 to 1/2/2017. In this date range we can see the first three red circles indicating channel touches, or times when the visitor has clicked one of our ad campaigns. Here we have three touches, two on 1/1/2017 and one on 1/2/2017.
Now, if we move down the timeline we will see a conversion event indicated by the green circle on 1/2/2017 for revenue of $3, this could be a purchase, sign up, or subscription to your product or service. This makes sense because it is in our date range, but you may be asking yourself why our total revenue is $8.
If you recall Attribution's 'look forward' model it may become more clear, because Attribution looks to tell you the return on your marketing spend, the 'look forward' window will move beyond your date range to the next conversion event. In the example below we add the 'look forward' window to the diagram, indicated by the opaque blue rectangle. Notice it is stopped before the next touch which is a 'direct traffic' event.
'All Traffic' is the default setting in Attribution and it will stop the 'look forward' window as soon as any new touch is recorded. This means any conversion or revenue will be attributed to the touches prior to the conversion, but future conversions will ignore these touches. If there was no touch, in theory this 'look forward' window could have continued well beyond your date range recording a number of revenue events if the visitor just continued to convert with no new touches.
Exclude All Direct Traffic:
In direct contrast to 'All Traffic', 'Exclude All Direct Traffic' will not stop the 'look forward window' until a new touch is registered with one of your channels.
See the example above, the date range is wider than the previous, 1/1/2017 - 1/31/2017, but other than that all other variables remain the same. Here we have three touches again, two on 1/1/2017 and one on 1/2/2017 within the date range selected. We also have one conversion within our date range on 1/2/2017. So why $13 in revenue?
In this scenario we have selected to 'exclude all direct traffic' which means our 'look forward' window extends beyond the 2/15/2017 'direct traffic' touch and is only stopped by the 'channel 3' touch on 2/28/2017. See below.
Because we choose to 'exclude direct traffic' our look forward window does not stop at the 'direct' touch on 2/15/2017 and instead will continue until another channel touch occurs on 2/28/2017, this allows our look forward window to collect revenue from each conversion for a total of $13 and two unique conversions.
You may ask why two conversions? In the example above we have the conversion events labeled as conversion event 1 and conversion event 2 - on 1/2/2017 only 'conversion event 1' is registered, then on 2/2/2017 and 2/20/2017 each date logs one 'conversion event 2' for two unique events.
Exclude All Traffic Until a Cutoff Event:
This customization gives you the power to remove all traffic from the question once the visitor has reached a certain stage in their journey. See below for explanation.
In the scenario above we are looking at a date range from 1/1/2017 - 1/31/2017, notice that our final conversion is on 3/1/2017 and our revenue is $20 with one conversion. In this example we have set our cutoff event to be 'conversion event 1' which takes place on 1/2/2017, once 'conversion event 1' is registered our 'look forward' window will continue on beyond our date range forever.
This customization is often used by companies that have a subscription service with a free trial. It helps to allow you to see which campaigns returned the most value on your spend until the moment the visitor actually signed up for your service, then it will ignore the subsequent sign ins and visits after.
Pair one of these customizations with your linear, position based, time-decay, or first, last touch customizations to get the most out of your analysis.
Include All Direct Traffic Until a Cutoff Event:
This model is very similar to 'All Traffic' except you are choosing to ignore it after a specific cut off event. Select this option if you want to attribute conversions to direct visits until specific conversion event is tracked, such as a sign up or a purchase. This is typically used by SaaS or subscription commerce companies. Be sure to choose the cutoff event in the dropdown above.
How to adjust it:
Click the gear icon in the top right corner of your screen, then select 'project settings' to the left to customize your model.
If you have any questions or concerns about this article please feel free to reach out to Support@attributionapp.com