Conversion Reporting: Channel Attribution’s Last Mile

Social Magnet’s principal value proposition is its ability to show marketers how much each channel – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or email – contributes to a campaigns results. It does this through a proprietary URL shortener that measures clicks and other engagement metrics at the message level. You send out a message through all of your channels and can see exactly how many clicks came from each place, which is some powerful direct response insight.

Not all clicks, however, are created equal. Sometimes however, you don’t want just a click – you want your visitor to take whatever action that click-through to your website precipitates. We have had an event registration module within Real Magnet for a long time, which many clients use for webinars, conferences, meetings and white paper downloads. Regardless of the application, it is essentially a shopping cart that collects purchase or registration data (and payment if necessary), and integrates fully with the rest of the Real Magnet application.

Wouldn’t it be cool, then, if Social Magnet didn’t just measure clicks, but also conversions? Well now it does. Our new Conversion Reporting allows you to see exactly how many webinar registrants or white paper downloads are attributed to each channel, and each message within each channel. Here’s what one of the reports looks like:

Click to enlarge.

Pictured here is an Overall Conversion Report, organized by channel. The data is for a single registration event (in this case, a white paper download campaign) and shows how many clicks and conversions are attributable to the messages within each channel that were used to promote the event.

I’ve been using the tool to promote our own white papers and webinars, and the level of insight gleaned pretty quickly can be eye-opening. Seeing which channel drives clicks can be very different from which channel drives conversions. For example, in the data above, Twitter is casting off a ton of clicks, but has only a 10% conversion rate. LinkedIn, by contrast, has a fraction of the clicks as Twitter, but at a 50% conversion rate is almost rivaling LinkedIn in total registrations.

Analytics should always drive action, so after seeing data like this a marketer may well conclude that LinkedIn is far more fertile ground for registrations, and put more energy into building an audience there or begin buying targeted ads.

I think the marketer’s job is not just to drive results, but also to understand why the results are being driven, in order to replicate success in the future. With so many digital channels at our disposal, channel attribution becomes critical, to make sure we focus our energy where it does the most good, squeezing all the productivity we can out of the resources we have available.

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