HubSpot offers a variety of attribution models that assign more or less credit to different moments, helping you analyze the impact of your efforts through various lenses. 

Before we dive into the models, there are some keywords you need to know. Getting comfortable with these terms will help ensure you're reading your attribution reports quickly and accurately.

First interaction: The earliest interaction with your business that any of the contacts associated with the deal had.

Last interaction: The last interaction with your business that any of the contacts associated with the deal had before it was closed (won).

Lead creation: The interaction that led to the creation of the oldest contact associated with the deal.

Deal creation: The last interaction that happened among all associated contacts before the deal was created.

Dimensions: These are the different lenses to view your business data through in your attribution reports. What assets, sources, or interactions do you want to report on? You can compare two dimensions against each other.

Another small, but important detail to note: you can use only one attribution model for a report. However, depending on what you are trying to demonstrate, you can build a report comparing dimensions using different models. While this might not be a recommended first place to start when it comes to attribution, it can certainly offer some sophisticated insight the deeper into the builder you dive.

Now, onward to the models!

The Model: First Touch Attribution

How it works: This model will attribute 100% of the deal revenue to the first interaction that happened among all contacts associated with the deal. 

First-Touch HubSpot Attribution Report

By the numbers: 100% of the credit goes to the first interaction.

This is helpful for identifying the value of content which drives visitors to your site.

Use this model to answer questions like::

  • What pieces of content are influencing the most revenue at the top of my funnel?
  • How much revenue has my blog generated?

The Model: Last Touch Attribution

How it works: This model attributes 100% of the deal revenue to the last interaction that happened with that contact before the deal was closed.  This will identify the value of actions taken at the bottom of the sales funnel.

Last Touch HubSpot Attribution Report

By the numbers: 100% of the credit goes to the last interaction.

When would you use it?

Say you have sales rep that always calls an opportunity before they expect to close a deal with them.  How much revenue is being attributed to these calls, and are there any other interactions happening after that call that might be driving revenue?

The Model: Linear Attribution

How it works: With this attribution model, deal revenue is divided equally among all of the interactions that happened before the deal was closed. 

Linear Attribution HubSpot Report

By the numbers: Credit is split equally across all interactions.

This can be a useful baseline report to have in your pocket, especially when getting started with attribution reporting because it helps you see how contacts interact with assets before closing a deal.

Use this model to answer questions like:

  • What parts of my business are most valuable, as measured by the revenue generated by my customers?

The Model: U-Shaped Attribution

How it works: This model emphasizes the top-half of the customer funnel, assigning 80% of the credit to the interactions where your contact first interacts with your business, and then when it becomes a lead in your CRM.  The remaining credit goes to other interactions.

U-Shaped HubSpot Attribution Report

By the numbers:  40% of credit is assigned to the first interaction, another 40% is assigned to the interaction that led the lead creation, and the final 20% is split equally among all other interactions between first interaction and lead creation.

Use this model to answer questions like:

  • What pieces of content on my website are getting leads into my CRM who are going to close and earn revenue for my company?

The Model: W-Shaped Attribution 

How it works: This model distributes 90% of the revenue to the first interaction, lead creation, and deal creation interactions. The remaining credit goes to other interactions.

W-Shaped HubSpot Attribution Report

This model is still mostly focused on marketing efforts, although the inclusion of deal creation can give further insight into the handoff between marketing and sales at this point in the customer journey.

By the numbers: 30% goes to the asset that led to the first interaction, 30% goes to the asset that led to lead creation, 30% to deal creation, while the remaining 10% is split equally among all other interactions between first interaction and deal creation.

Use this model to answer questions like::

  • What marketing tools are valuable to me in trying to get customers to create a deal on my e-commerce site?

The Model: Full-Path Attribution

How it works: This model distributes 90% of the revenue credit equally among the four 'major' interactions, and splits the rest among the middle interactions that remain.  This model is able to take into account the important stage between deal creation and deal closing, which would be ideal in representing business models where deal negotiation is more lengthy.

Full-Path HubSpot Attribution Report

By the numbers: 22.5% of credit goes to the first interaction,  22.5% to lead creation, 22.5% to deal creation, 22.5% to last interaction, and the remaining 10% is split equally among remaining interactions.

Use this model to understand the pieces of content that are generating the most revenue.

Use this model to answer questions like:

  • What is driving contacts to my site?  
  • What is getting visitors to fill out forms and sign deals?

New to attribution reports? Don't sweat it. We've got you covered.

FAQs

Q: Where in HubSpot will I find attribution reports?

A: You can go to the custom report builder to create a custom report. All of these reports can be drilled down into, exported, and added onto any dashboard. You’ll also see attribution reports on closed-won deal records, and different marketing content details pages, like the email post send screen.

Q: What’s different between this attribution report, and the attribution reports HubSpot has always had?

A: HubSpot's previous attribution reports were contact attribution reports. These reports showed you which interactions were generating contacts for your business. Multi-touch revenue attribution reporting will tell you which interactions someone had with your brand on their journey to becoming a customer.

Q: If a deal is associated with multiple contacts, which contact's first touch do we use? 

A: The earliest activity out of all associated contacts is considered to be the deal's first touch.

Q: What are the requirements for data to appear on a revenue attribution report?

A: There must be a closed won deal with an amount value and a close date that is associated with at least one contact.

Next Steps

If you’ve never worked with attribution reports, start by exploring the sample reports in custom report builder. This can save you time because they can help you answer some of your most immediate questions. These sample reports can be found in the Explore tab in the tool. Also make sure to check out the See how it works section, which contains helpful hints and additional resources. 

Another great place to start is with a linear attribution report. Remember, in a linear attribution report credit is split equally across all interactions. From there, start to adjust the different dimensions.

Start with something like: Content title by interaction source. Then switch to something like: Interaction type by deal type. How does the chart (and data displayed) change? Now try switching "All interactions" to "Sales interactions only" or "Marketing interactions only." How does this change the meaning of the report?

The more you can see how attribution works, the faster you'll be able to build the chart you need and easier reading the data will become. 

Access Your Reports in HubSpot

On the other hand, if you have worked with attribution reports in the past, hop right in! You can start building reports to fit your needs and start analyzing the way your leads move through their customer journey’s with your company.

Want to connect with others on HubSpot tips, tricks, and updates? Head over to the HubSpot Community to join a conversation or start one of your own.

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Originally published Dec 12, 2019 9:00:00 AM, updated December 12 2019