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How to Track Attribution in HubSpot

Aug 5, 2020 11:20:18 PM / by Brandon Pindulic


What is attribution?

When running marketing campaigns, it’s only natural to measure the outcome so you can justify your costs and prove there's an ROI. Now, suppose the campaign was a resounding success and you saw an increase in new leads and your sales team closed a lot of deals. Obviously, you did something right, but the question becomes: what did we do to get these results? Attribution can be tricky to track, but tools like HubSpot make it easier. 


How HubSpot attribution works

HubSpot attribution comes in to answer this very important question, allowing you to create attribution reports with a click of a button. In a nutshell, it will allow you to look at the return on investment (ROI) and then give credit to what most likely produced those results in your marketing campaign. Organic search, referral traffic, paid search, and other channels are all tracked automatically by HubSpot. After all, that is what attribution is all about – giving credit to something.

With HubSpot’s attribution tools, you are able to figure which activities deserve more credit and which ones deserve less credit for the campaign’s ROI. Through attribution reports, you can then make informed decisions that can positively affect your company’s bottom line and improve your marketing strategy.

However, attribution can be complicated because there are multiple attribution models your business can use. Each attribution model has its pros and cons and the best attribution model is the one that fits your business model.


Multi-touch Attribution model

HubSpot attribution can be best understood through the multi-touch attribution model. It’s used to show a direct relationship between marketing actions and sales revenue. This way, you can figure out what is working and what isn’t.

When you know what works, it means you can now start working towards improving it to increase revenue. Furthermore, you will have a solid basis for proving that your sales and marketing efforts are paying off and that you can channel more resources towards them. And, most importantly, it allows the sales and marketing teams to work together to replicate successful results.

This is all thanks to the multi-touch attribution model, which requires several components in order for you to make sense of the attribution reports. These components are:

  • Deals: Since you are using HubSpot’s attribution reports, you need to also use the deals feature to track potential revenue. It gives you the ability to examine closed deals, whether successful or not, from the moment they were created.
  • Interactions: Interactions are the touchpoints that potential customers have with your business or brand. Types of touchpoints include first interaction, last interaction, lead creation, and closed-won. Examples of these touchpoints include people clicking on one of your per-per-click ads or viewing a page on your website.
  • Content types: These are a way of categorizing customer interactions. Examples include blog posts, infographics, white papers, ebooks, white papers, case studies, and social media posts.


First Touch Attribution model

The first touch attribution model looks at the first interaction of all contacts in a deal and attributes all of the deal revenue to it. This allows the marketing and sales team to figure out which content type is bringing in the most traffic to your website. For example, if a lead comes in through a Google search, the organic search will be considered the original source.

Looking at a report generated from this model can tell you a lot. This includes which one of your different channels and content types in the sales funnel is bringing in the most revenue. It can also tell you how much money the content type or channel is making you, as well as how valuable that particular content is. 


Last Touch Attribution model

The last touch model looks at the last interaction before the conclusion of a deal and attributes all the deal revenue to it. It takes into account all of the actions taken at the bottom of the sales funnel to see which ones are bringing in the most revenue. 

The bottom of the sales funnel is the domain of the sales team. This means a report generated with this model can be used to see how well the sales team is performing. For instance, you can see which actions being performed by the sales team are bringing in the most revenue.


Linear Attribution model

The linear attribution model looks at a closed deal and splits the revenue equally among all interactions before it was closed. This is one of the most beginner-friendly reports one can generate with the HubSpot report builder. It is a great way to get a basic picture of the interactions happening between the contacts in a deal and your content types or marketing assets.

The custom reports you can generate from this model are a great way to assess your business model. For instance, it can highlight the parts of your business that are making you money. This means those parts are the most valuable and should be improved to make even more money.


U-Shaped Attribution model

The U-shaped attribution model is mostly concerned with the top half of your sales funnel. This is so apparent because 80% of the deal revenue is attributed to initial customer interactions. As for the remaining 20%, that is attributed to interactions that occur after a lead has been captured in your CRM.

Here is how the percentages are divided:

  • First interactions - 40%
  • Lead creation - 40%
  • All other interactions - 20%

A report from this model can not only tell you how many leads you’re capturing into your CRM, but how many of those leads are most likely to convert.


Full-Path Attribution model

The major interactions in a deal are first interaction, lead creation, deal creation, and last interaction. This model looks at these and attributes 90% of the deal revenue to them, meaning each one gets 22.5%. All the other interactions in between get 10%.

Important insights you can gain from a report generated by this model include what is driving visitors to take action (fill out a form or make a purchase) on your website. It can even tell you what is bringing the visitors there in the first place.


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HubSpot attribution best practices

Attribution in HubSpot can seem daunting, especially when you are just starting out. It is easy to make mistakes that make it hard to tie marketing and sales activities with revenue. To make the most of HubSpot attribution, keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Work with one model at the beginning: You don’t need to have all the answers right off the bat. As mentioned earlier, the linear attribution model is beginner-friendly, and you can use that model as a good starting point. Learn all the valuable insights you can from that before filling in the blanks with other models.
  • Assign a target: Assign a target to marketing teams or individual members of your marketing team and make sure they own it and follow up on it. This will make it easier to tie their activities to revenue.
  • Set up a system for working with good data: Data needs to be logged in a systematic and consistent manner for it to make sense at the end of the day. So have a system in place that makes sure people are using your CRM in a way that allows you to use HubSpot attribution effectively.

Have a central location for all the data: Have one CRM to consolidate the data. If you use HubSpot as marketing and sales and as a CRM, then use HubSpot across the board. If you use something else, make sure to integrate HubSpot into it for attribution.


Optimize HubSpot Attribution with OpGen Media

OpGen Media is a Platinum HubSpot Solutions Partner Agency. If you’re using HubSpot, OpGen Media can optimize HubSpot attribution for your organization to tie in your marketing and sales activities with revenue. If you’re thinking of using HubSpot, OpGen Media can help you onboard/setup (fees for this are waived if you use a partner agency) before optimizing HubSpot attribution.

Click the button below to learn more about how OpGen Media can help with attribution in HubSpot and improve your HubSpot instance.


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Topics: Demand Generation, Marketing Automation, SaaS, Digital Marketing

Brandon Pindulic

Written by Brandon Pindulic