View-through attribution and Click-through attribution


Performance marketers know that their user-acquisition goal goes much deeper than simply generating app installs.  Not only is the goal to drive volume of new users, but do so with the intent to win quality users that will have a high lifetime value (LTV), rather than users who will abandon the app shortly after download. In order to achieve both quality and scale from their performance campaigns, marketers must pay careful attention to attribution – where their app installs are coming from – and the quality of the users coming in.

There are two main methods by which mobile campaigns can be measured:  Click-through Attribution, and View-through Attribution.  Simply put, both methods use device ID-based solutions to identify which ad led to an install.  Here are the differences between the two methods:

Click-through attribution

Click-through attribution (CTA) is the most straightforward approach. It gives credit for the install only when the ad is clicked on. Sometimes the download happens immediately from the click, and sometimes a user may click on the ad and get interrupted before they download the app at a later time. A download can happen for many days after the click happens, and can be attributed depending on the window as defined by your attribution tracking partner (some for example may even be 14 days).  As long as the install occured within the window – whether immediate or delayed, if the ad was clicked on, the installation of the advertised app will be attributed to the specific ad.

You are probably thinking – but what happens when a user is exposed to an ad, but doesn’t click? What is the value of attribution and why is it so important to ensure it happens? Critical to know is many times, after the ad has long disappeared, that the user having the ad still on their mind, goes directly to the app store to download the app. The intent stimulated from the ad alone has been sufficient to drive the install and it is this that actually delivers quality users. Most times these users are the real ones you want to capture and unless you have some way of indicating to your ad partner that they are the highest quality you seek through attributing to them, you will loose this incredibly valuable opportunity to target and obtain these users.

Marketers and shrewd business people understand that exposure to an ad – simply viewing the ad –  can generate interest and the question of attribution needs to be explored more deeply through a concept aptly known as view-through attribution.

So, what is view-through attribution?

View-through attribution (VTA) measures how many people viewed the ad, and then downloaded the advertised app as a result of being exposed to the ad.  While there is no click involved, the download must happen within a relatively shorter time window after ad exposure – generally this can be between 1-5 days, depending on attribution tracking partner.  They don’t call it an “impression” for nothing – viewing an ad is proven to generate interest and just as valid as a click when the correlation can be made via tracking technology.

When you consider that only a small percentage of users actually click on ad, it’s wise not to ignore the rest of the exposed audience where hidden value may lie. You don’t want to ignore the possibility – and probability – that “Non-clickers” have taken notice of the ad, and taken real action.

Leadbolt Supports Both – The Choice is Yours

While Click-through attribution is the more “black and white” solution, it may leave out actual high-value quality users who were exposed to the ad and reacted.  View-through attribution is less definitive, but can account for a wider spectrum of those who noticed the ad and took action.  Both are equally valid and powerful methods.

Your ad platform partner can help you select the attribution method that best suits your personal preference, and helps you develop a complete picture of your campaign performance.  As your partner, our mission is to help you drive results and the best way to do this is to identify which creatives and targeting parameters lead to higher conversions, and optimize them accordingly. Leadbolt is proud to partner with the most respected attribution partners across the industry, who make such tracking intelligence possible:  Adjust, AppsFlyer, Apsalar, Kochava, and TUNE.  We’re committed to your success, so let’s talk about tracking your high-performance campaigns.

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MarketingView-through attribution and Click-through attribution