Clicks don’t always equal money in the bank.

The data you get from individual ad networks only gives you part of your buyer’s story. HubSpot’s ads tool goes a level deeper by giving you insight into how your ads are influencing contacts at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

With the HubSpot ads tool, you can see which ads influenced everything from a contact’s first web session all the way through to booking a meeting with your sales team. Then tie in your sales data so that you can accurately report on the ROI of your ad spend.

But how does HubSpot populate this data in HubSpot? Let's explore. 

 

How HubSpot Tracks Your Ads

The way tracking is applied to your ad will largely depend on whether you’re running non-lead ads or lead ads.

  • Non-lead ads are standard text or image ads that redirect you to a specific page on a business’s website, like a landing page or a product page. You’ve likely seen these in your social media feeds, on the sides of websites and in your search engine results.

To track these types of ads, HubSpot applies parameters to an ad’s destination URL. If you use tracking URLs in HubSpot, it’s a similar concept. These parameters allow HubSpot to identify and track specifically which contacts clicked on which ads.

  • Lead ads have forms directly embedded in them (think Facebook). The ad platform where these ads are made will store the information for each lead that fills them out.

When tracking is enabled on a lead ad, HubSpot will sync the collected information directly into your CRM, creating a contact for each lead. We’ll also show what ad each of these contacts submitted on the Ads dashboard. 

 

Metrics Tracked in HubSpot 

HubSpot gathers the following information directly from external ad platforms when an ad account is connected. In general, as long as you’re looking at the same time range, you can expect the following data to be comparable between HubSpot’s ads tool and your connected ad accounts:

  • Impressions: the number of times an ad is viewed once by a visitor or displayed once on a web page
  • Clicks: the number of times an ad is clicked by a visitor
  • Spend: the amount of money spent on a particular ad
  • Clickthrough Rate (CTR): the ratio of users who click on a specific ad to the number of total users who viewed it.

Ads metricsSome of the data that’s shown on the ads dashboard, however, is specific to HubSpot contacts. Since HubSpot contact data is not shared with external ad platforms, there’s no way for these particular metrics to be displayed in your connected ad accounts. For this reason, this HubSpot-specific data shouldn’t be directly compared to any data shown in connected ad accounts.

  • Contacts/Total Contacts: This is the number of contacts that meet the requirements for the currently selected attribution type.
  • Deals: This is the number of Closed Won deals associated with the Total Contacts displayed for each ad.
  • Customers: This is the number of Total Contacts for each ad that are associated with a Closed Won deal and currently have a lifecycle stage of Customer.
  • Cost per Contact: This is based on Spend, or, how much each new contact generated for each ad cost.
  • Revenue: This is calculated based on the ROI option selected in your ad settings. This will either be calculated using the closing dollar amount of associated deals, or will be estimated using the average sale price set by the customer.
  • ROI: Although ROI is likely calculated in the your external ad platforms as well, this particular metric is calculated based on the HubSpot-specific revenue described above.
  • Leads: This is the number of contacts associated with an ad campaign who currently have a lifecycle stage of Lead.
  • Opportunities: This is the number of contacts associated with an ad campaign who currently have a lifecycle stage of Opportunity.
  • Marketing Qualified Leads: This is the number of contacts associated with an ad campaign who currently have a lifecycle stage of Marketing Qualified Lead.
  • Sales Qualified Leads: This is the number of contacts associated with an ad campaign who currently have a lifecycle stage of Sales Qualified Lead. 

 

Understanding Your Ads Attribution Reports

The attribution reports in the ads tool are reports that use a set of rules for assigning credit to ads for driving a particular action, like submitting a form or making a purchase. 

Ads Attribution in HubSpot

You can filter ad campaign data by the following:

First, there’s the first web session. This will show you contacts who clicked an ad that brought them to your website for the first time. A contact will count in this report and the first form submission report if their ad click resulted in their first session on your website, and if they filled out a form during the same session. Use this attribution model to determine the effectiveness of your awareness stage ads in generating new visitors to your site.

Then, there’s influenced first form submission. This report shows you the contacts who clicked an ad and returned to your website at a later time to fill out their first form. Use this to gauge the effectiveness of your awareness or even consideration stage ads at driving conversions. Keep in mind that lead ad submissions generally do not appear in this report.

Then there’s first form submission. This report shows new contacts who clicked an ad and filled out a form for the first time on your website. This differs slightly from influenced first form submission because the ad click and the form submission need to happen within the same session in order for a contact to be included in this report.

Next, there’s all form submissions. This report shows you contacts who clicked an ad and filled out a form at any time in their customer journey. Use this attribution model to determine which ads are leading to the most conversions. Are there any trends in the formats, copy, or offers you used in these ads? This insight can help you optimize and create new ads that are helpful and relevant to your audiences.

Finally, there’s re-engagement. This report shows existing contacts who clicked an ad and re-engaged with your business. Use this attribution model to determine the effectiveness of your re-marketing consideration or decision stage efforts in bringing your leads back to your site.

What new data will you unlock about your ads? 

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 Feb 11, 2019 10:00:00 AM, updated February 11 2019