Who Gets the Credit for Your Conversions?

Khrysti Nazzaro - April 7, 2016

If you’re like most marketers you’re juggling a diverse number of initiatives and trying to piece together a cohesive story about how your buyers / clients travel through their research to buying cycle and what channels and efforts are assisting in closing new business. Luckily, when it comes to your website’s traffic Multi-Channel Funnels (MCF) reports can better assist you in understanding where converting visitors are coming from and the varying website touches they’re making before they convert. But knowing the source funnels of your converting traffic is just the beginning. Which sources should you “award” credit to for the conversion and how much credit should you allocate where?

These questions can be answered a variety of ways based on which attribution model you choose as the “best fit” for your business. Outside of the MCF reports, Google Analytics’ (GA) standard is last-click attribution – so the last click gets all the traffic. Following is a sampling of some other models in GA’s MCF that may be useful for you.

  • MCF Attribution Model: First Interaction: In the First Interaction Model, 100% of the credit goes to the first channel. So, here…

Google Analytics multi-channel funnel attribution

… The first email gets 100% of the credit for the conversion and every other touch point after it is discredited. If only it were that simple, right? Why invest anywhere else if the first point of interaction could really create a conversion right away. Of course, if it could, it would, rather than requiring 6 more steps after the first email to result in a conversion.


  • MCF Attribution Model: Linear Model: In the Linear Model, each channel shares an equal amount of the credit. In the case of:

Google Analytics multi-channel funnel attribution

About each of these touch points would earn ~14% of the credit for the final conversion. This is somewhat reasonable and may work for some brands as a useful model for evaluating efforts.


  • MCF Attribution Model: Position Based: With the Position Based model, both the first and last touch are credited 40% each for the conversion. The remaining touches between the first and last are credited an equal share of 20%. For example…

Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels position based model

…Email and Direct2 each get 40% in the above, while the other 5 touches get 4% each of the credit for the conversion. For some brands this may be useful. After all, the first click is how the user “found” the brand and the last drove the final action. Those in the middle supported the effort, but didn’t drive the final action.


As you can see, depending on the model you ascribe to you can tell a very different story about the value of your various marketing efforts. To learn more about MCF and how you can use MCF reports to make smarter online advertising decisions, download our webinar Conquering the Attribution Problem: Multi-Channel Funnels.


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