What is ad attribution?

To fully understand what future conversion attribution is, we need to first understand how ad to conversion attribution works within Facebook.

When people interact with your Facebook ads or Instagram ads, they can take a variety of actions such as watching your video, visiting your website, or purchasing your product. Each of these actions is recorded. When your ad leads to a conversion, Facebook will attribute the ad conversion to that ad in Ads Manager. It’s important to have this data to see how well your campaigns and ads are doing and determine if you’re reaching your targets and goals.

The number of days between when someone viewed or clicked your ad and then took action on your website is referred to as an “attribution window.” The default Facebook attribution window settings show actions taken within 1 day of viewing your ad and within 28 days of clicking your ad. You can change the settings for both the view and click windows to 1, 7, or 28 days within Facebook.

You can read more about Facebook Attribution here.

What is Future Attribution?

Future Attribution is the future conversions you may receive through customers taking a longer buying journey to purchase from the advertisement. These customers get allocated within the respective 1, 7, or 28 days attribution windows depending on when they convert in the future. This predicted metric is only offered by Uncoil.

For example, let's say I click on an ad for a pair of socks on Monday, but do not purchase. From the ad buyer's perspective, they see a click and no conversion and have no way of knowing whether I will convert in the future. Now, three days later, I decide I really do need those socks, so I come back to the retailer's site and make a purchase, putting me in the 7-day attribution window for the ad I originally clicked on. Future attribution is a prediction about how many of those future conversions you will see.

Please keep in mind customer journeys can get complicated! Facebook for instance has many nuances on how they attribute conversions when the same customer interacted across multiple campaigns or platforms over a 28 day period.

So how does this work?

Once you have launched an ad, it will begin to spend and hopefully obtain conversions. The ad will require a minimum of 7 days worth of spending for the first attribution window to start to populate. The most accurate data reported will be seen at day 28 of the advertisement for the attribution windows.

The metrics within each window can change over time as the customer interacts with ads and makes purchases, thus you will never achieve a full outlook on how your customers are purchasing until after the fact. By leveraging the Future Attribution Predictions within Uncoil, you will be able to get a better understanding of what to expect and if your ads will continue to be profitable, with a certain level of confidence.

How can I take action on this type of prediction?

Future attributed conversions give you a better idea of your campaigns will be performing in the next 1, 7, or 28 days. This can help you make decisions about when or when not to stop running a campaign. For example, if you see fairly high confidence that you will obtain a number of future conversions, you may not want to turn that campaign off just yet.

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