Direct Marketing Attribution: Passes, Catches and Dots
4. No Dots, No Worries …
If connecting the dots in the manner just described isn't possible, there is still a method to give credit to the direct marketing channel for its influence on overall conversions.
When marketers do not have cookie-level data to connect transactions associated with their campaigns to their online activity, they can instead look at the delta between their organization's typical transaction activity and the activity over the time period immediately following direct mail pieces arriving in people's mailboxes. In an admittedly simplistic example, if the average daily conversion volume is 800 and it swells to 1,200 the day the direct mail campaign hits and tails off over five days until it's back to 800, attribution software can associate the delta between typical transaction levels and heightened transaction levels with the channel that produced them—and attribute credit for the resulting increased revenue accordingly.
In reality, attribution management software will look at dozens, if not hundreds, of criteria about the campaign and resulting performance in order to calculate direct mail's impact.
5. Finally, Use What You Know
As complex as attribution may seem to those who don't yet do it, when it is done correctly, it should be fairly simple. Companies that provide services in this area should have the burden of providing direct marketers with the exact same analytics—the same critical success metrics that they already used—but adjusted to take cross-channel influence into account. By doing this, marketers will continue to use what they already know to support their decisions—but will be doing so with much more accurate information that takes both "assists" and "catches" into account.