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CRM and Sales

Is last touch attribution a useful sales metric?

Rebecca Noori 9 min read
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It’s always interesting to wonder which advertisement or connection with your brand made the buyer choose your business. Sales teams specifically seek this information so they can repeat the successful process, again and again, to continuously win more sales and drive profits.

But with multiple metrics to choose from, it takes time for sales and marketing teams to learn how leads and buyers interact with your brand and what makes them follow through on a call-to-action.

In this blog, we’ll discuss last touch attribution as a marketing attribution model, along with some alternative metrics and how you can track any or all of them using monday.com.

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What is marketing attribution?

It’s rare for a lead to purchase something after one click—if only it were that simple! Potential buyers are likely to click around and interact with your brand in multiple places and on multiple occasions. That’s where marketing attribution comes in as an analytical model used by sales and marketing teams to evaluate each of the touchpoints a consumer interacts with as part of their buyer journey.

For example, you might “attribute” a buyer conversion to a successful social media post or a webinar if your marketing attribution data supports this.

What is last touch attribution?

Last touch is a type of single touch marketing attribution, and as the name suggests it focuses on the last contact a lead had with your brand before a successful conversion.

This model attributes 100% of the conversion credit to this point in the buyer journey—meaning, sales and marketers ignore any stages that influenced the buyer along the way. By focusing solely on the success of the final touch, companies can replicate the marketing at that point for continued success.

An example could be if a lead clicks on an ad, visits your website, and then downloads a white paper before converting. Last touch would give all the credit for the conversion to that white paper download, so marketers will know to keep plugging this lead magnet.

Last touch attribution vs. last click attribution

It’s important to note, however, that last touch attribution differs from last click attribution. Last touch attribution is a broader term focused on the final marketing touchpoint a lead had with your brand before converting. Whereas last click attribution refers to that final mouse button action that clicked on the jackpot.

For example, a site visitor could interact with your sales landing page as the last touch marketing point. But the last click attribution refers to the specific call-to-action button they clicked on to seal the deal.

What are the benefits of last touch attribution?

Although there are various attribution models to choose from, last touch offers the following benefits:

It’s ideal for short sales cycles

When sales cycles are short and sweet, smaller businesses with limited time and marketing budgets can dedicate all their attention to the specific campaigns that send leads across the finish line. It’s a quick way to identify the campaigns that close a sale and far more cost-effective than trying to measure and improve numerous touch points along the way.

It’s easy to implement

Last touch attribution is straightforward, doesn’t require complex reporting, and can usually be achieved with simple tracking and tagging features.

It’s standard in online analytics tools

If you’re familiar with campaign analytics tools, many offer last-touch attribution as their ‘default’ setting. For instance, Google Ads has previously used a last touch design, although it has now switched to a data-driven attribution model which assigns credit to different impressions over time.

First touch vs. last touch attribution: which is best for you?

It would be remiss to discuss the benefits of last touch attribution without reflecting on its counterpart—first touch attribution, which awards 100% of the credit to the initial point of the buyer journey. So, which is the most useful metric for your sales and marketing teams?

First touch attribution is a solid choice for teams with small budgets and short sales cycles who want to build and measure brand awareness. It effectively throws the marketing budget at the top of the funnel to determine which demand generation methods work best. But it’s limiting as it doesn’t take into account what happens next, and how your sales teams nurture leads into converted sales.

Last touch attribution, on the other hand, plunges resources into increasing sales without measuring the initial efforts of your demand and lead generation teams. If you’re an established business and your target market already has excellent brand awareness, this could be the game-changer you need to convert sales.

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What other attribution models are there?

First and last touch attribution force you to choose one end of the spectrum over the other. If that isn’t what you’re looking for, there could be a better attribution metric for you.

  • Linear: this spreads conversion credit equally across all touchpoints in a campaign, regardless of where it sits in the buyer journey. For example, if a user clicks on an email, follows up with a Google search, clicks on a landing page, and signs up for a newsletter, each of these four touch points will receive 25% of the credit.
  • Time Decay: you’ll assign credit to each touchpoint in the sales cycle, but unlike the linear model, there’s no equal weighting—initial interactions receive less credit than the final clicks. The idea is that the lead’s first exposure with your brand merely planted the seed, while the later touchpoints do the hard work.
  • U-Shaped: this multi-touch model credits first and last touch equally, with 40% assigned to each stage. The remaining 20% is shared among all touchpoints in the middle stage of the sales process.
  • W-Shaped: you’ll use a 30/30/30/10 split to assign credit through this multi-touch model. 30% is given to each first, last, and middle lead creation stage when a prospect becomes a viable lead. The remaining 10% is split evenly across all other touchpoints.

Why is data-driven attribution a viable alternative to last touch attribution?

Data-driven attribution is powered by algorithms that measure user behavior, allowing you to identify the true value of each touchpoint. It considers multiple factors like device, channel, and location to see which tactics contribute to conversions.

Let’s say you own a ticketing platform for local entertainment venues in Atlanta. Use conversion tracking to monitor when customers buy tickets for a summer music festival from your website. And you notice that customers usually click several of your ads before making a purchase.

A data-driven attribution model gives you greater insights into your buyers’ actions and the sequence of their interactions. You might discover that people who initially click your “summer music tickets Atlanta” ad are more likely to click on another ad for “festival tickets Atlanta” later in their buying journey.

A Google study of its AdWords product reveals that this type of data-driven attribution improves conversions by 30 to 60% while reducing cost-per-conversion rates by 20 to 30%.

Gain a holistic view of all attribution data with monday.com

The monday.com sales CRM is the perfect place to collate demand generation data and track its success. Use the platform to measure the last touch for a specific use case or cover multiple touch points if you want to dive deeper. Here are some of the specific features that’ll make it easier.

Integrations: connect monday.com to Facebook Ads or Google Ads using Zapier to automate your workflow. You can launch your campaign from within monday.com and watch the attribution data quickly flow into your board.

Screenshot of monday.com integrations for easy tracking of last touch attribution.

Dashboard: explore your attribution data in real-time and get a birdseye view of your multiple marketing touchpoints. Display as a table, chart, form, or calendar and switch between views.

Centralized communication: enable easy collaboration between all sales and marketing team members all from one central location.

Screenshot of monday.com sales CRM communication options for a tracking last touch attribution.

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FAQs

Is Facebook last touch attribution?

Facebook previously used last touch as its default attribution setting. However, Meta retired Facebook Attribution in August 2021—other Meta business tools, including Ads Manager, Meta Business Suite, and Events Manager, are now available to track marketing activities.

What is a last touch attribution example?

Imagine a consumer spots and clicks on your ad in their Instagram feed, arrives on your landing page, reads a blog post, checks out your Pricing page, signs up for your newsletter, and uses an email coupon to make their first purchase. Last touch attribution will assign 100% credit to the email coupon. 0% is awarded to the Instagram ad, the blog post, the layout of your Pricing page, or your newsletter CTA—which arguably all “warmed up” the buyer before making the purchase.

What is a last touch attribution model?

Last touch is a specific type of single attribution model designed to give 100% of conversion credit to the final step in a customer’s journey. This model is not concerned about any of the other marketing touchpoints that occurred along the way.

Track multiple marketing touch points using monday.com

An average of 56 separate touchpoints exist in any sales journey, according to Adroll data. So, wouldn’t it be useful to understand the entire journey and track user behavior at each of the 55 previous touch points before that final conversion? Analyze the complexities of a multi-touch buyer journey using monday.com. It’s never been easier to track and share the successes and vulnerabilities in your sales process. From deep marketing insights to streamlined collaboration across your sales and marketing departments, check out monday Sales CRM today.

Rebecca Noori is an experienced freelance writer who specializes in writing and refreshing long-form blog content for B2B SaaS companies. When she's not writing, you'll find her knee-deep in phonics homework and football kits, looking after her three kids!
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