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First-click attribution


First-click attribution is a method used in marketing to attribute full credit to the first touchpoint in a customer’s journey that leads to a conversion. It is a simple and straightforward model that assigns all credit for a conversion to the initial interaction that introduced the customer to the brand or product.


The concept of first-click attribution


First-click attribution operates on the premise that a customer’s first interaction with a brand or product is the most influential in driving their decision to make a purchase or take a desired action. It identifies the source that initially sparked the customer’s interest and led them down the conversion path.


Illustration of first-click attribution


For example, suppose a customer first discovers a product through an organic search result on a search engine. They click on the link, visit the website, and later make a purchase. In a first-click attribution model, all credit for the sale would be attributed to the organic search click that initially brought the customer to the website.


Pros and cons


One of the primary advantages of first-click attribution is its simplicity and ease of implementation. It provides a clear and straightforward way to track the effectiveness of marketing channels in driving initial customer engagement. However, a major drawback is that it does not account for the influence of subsequent touchpoints or channels that may have played a role in the customer’s decision-making process.


Use cases and applications


First-click attribution is commonly used when the customer journey is relatively short and linear, with a clear starting point that directly leads to a conversion. It is often favored by marketers who want to credit the channel introducing the customer to the brand or product.




In conclusion, first-click attribution is a simple yet valuable method for understanding the genesis of the customer journey. By focusing on the initial touchpoint that leads to a conversion, marketers can gain insights into the effectiveness of their marketing channels in driving initial customer engagement and ultimately influencing purchase decisions. While it has its limitations, first-click attribution remains a useful tool in the marketer’s toolkit for understanding and optimizing the customer journey.