What is Full-Funnel Attribution and How to Get Started

Katie Holmes
17th May 2022

Measure the impact of your marketing on sales and revenue with full-funnel attribution tracking. 

Sales and marketing teams have more channels than ever to convert leads into revenue.

Studies have shown that customers use up to 10 digital channels throughout the buying process.

With the increase in marketing channels and higher demand for information, consumers are using considerably more touchpoints along their path to purchase

As a result, understanding and tracking the customer journey from start to finish has become an increasingly complex issue for marketing and sales teams. 

But there is a solution, and it simply comes down to full-funnel attribution. 

For this article, we’ll discuss: 

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What is full-funnel attribution?

If you’ve landed on this blog, you’re likely familiar with the term full-funnel attribution, but to cover our bases, let’s quickly break it down.

The full-funnel attribution model considers every touchpoint in the customer journey. 

Whenever a lead converts into a won deal, the full-funnel attribution model will assign equal value to each touchpoint that played a significant role in the transaction. 

It essentially allows marketers to take a holistic, high-level look at how well their marketing efforts are impacting the bottom stages of the funnel. 

For example, you may consider the following stages as your most crucial touchpoints in the funnel.

full-funnel-attribution-customer-journey- www.ruleranalytics.com

In this particular journey, you can see that Facebook and Google Ads played a significant role in driving the lead to your website and converting it into an opportunity. 

You could use this insight to allocate more budget to these channels to drive additional higher-converting customers for the sales team. 

Why does your business need a full-funnel approach?

Sales and marketing misalignment is all too common.

For decades, businesses have treated sales and marketing as two separate departments.

When marketing makes a lead, they pass it to sales along with basic contact information such as name and email. Sales then take over to convince the lead to convert into a deal. 

While this method sounds good in theory, in practice, it often fails to deliver and leads to devastating financial consequences.

Studies have shown that when sales and marketing are misaligned, companies lose 10% of revenue or more each year.

Since marketing only has visibility into the early stages of the funnel, they lack insight into the quality and buying intent of leads that drop into the pipeline.

Related: How to track lead value

Sales, on the other hand, have no idea where conversions are coming from since the information is locked away in tools like Google Analytics.

The best sales can offer marketing is feedback on the quality of leads. But reporting back on whether leads are good or bad isn’t going to provide marketing with much detail on what is and isn’t working.

This is where full-funnel attribution comes in. 

Full-funnel attribution unifies your sales and marketing teams.

It breaks down the data silos, allowing sales and marketing to share data and processes, plus gain a single source of truth on which marketing campaigns drive the highest converting leads. 


What are the challenges of full-funnel attribution?

At this point, you’re probably wondering why more marketers aren’t making use of full-funnel attribution. According to our survey, it boils down to the following factors.

Feedback from our survey varied, but respondents ranked minimal understanding as the main challenge of attribution. 

Full-funnel attribution isn’t easy to set up.

It requires a certain level of technical knowledge and coordination to get it right. 

And, if you’re a small to medium business, chances are you don’t have access to these resources. 

A lack of tools and technology was another significant barrier raised by our respondents.

If we’ve learned anything as a provider of marketing attribution, it’s that full-funnel tracking is near impossible without the right tools.

Despite the availability of technology, many businesses still rely on Google Analytics to track leads

While Google Analytics is useful for tracking website metrics and goals such as form completions, it isn’t perfect. 

Related: What are the limitations of Google Analytics

The data in Google Analytics is anonymised. 

In other words, you’re not able to find a specific lead, where they came from, or what they did on your website, making the process of full-funnel attribution impossible.

It’s why tools like Ruler Analytics exist. 

Ruler tracks each anonymous visitor individually and records how that user found your site and tracks any subsequent visits.

With this holistic view, sales and marketing can work in harmony to pinpoint the marketing campaigns, ads and keywords that work the best to drive revenue and ROI.

How to achieve full-funnel attribution 

Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for most. 

Now we know the opportunities available with full-funnel attribution in place. 

But now, let’s look at the most common stages of full-funnel attribution and the tools you need to get going. 

Full-funnel attribution can be achieved using the four steps below:

1. Capture visitors on an individual level 

In order to set up full-funnel attribution, you first need to map your users with their specific marketing touchpoints across multiple channels. 

The best way to achieve this is with visitor-level tracking found within specific marketing analytics tools.  

visitor-level tracking lets you track specific website users and how they got there before converting into a lead or sale. 

With visitor-level tracking, it’s easier to determine which marketing efforts and landing pages have the greatest impact on your funnel.

Ruler, for example, tracks each and every anonymous visitor to your website over multiple sessions, traffic sources, keywords and more. 

When a visitor converts via form, call or live chat on your website, their data is captured. 

Ruler then matches the lead with their marketing touchpoints to create a picture of their customer journey. 

We have plenty more content on how Ruler tracks full customer journeys if you want to learn more.

2. Store data from multiple sources in a CRM or single platform

You’ll need a place to store all the marketing source data you’ve captured on your leads. 

The best (and most common) place to store your marketing and lead data is a CRM.

By storing your data in the CRM, you can ensure your teams have access to the same data to gain a full view of the funnel. 

As leads move closer to the finish line, you’ll be able to determine the effectiveness of your campaigns at every stage of your sales pipeline. 

Obviously, manually adding marketing sources and conversion data to your CRM isn’t recommended.

You leave yourself exposed to human error, plus it’s a very time-consuming process.

But, with tools like Ruler, the job couldn’t be easier.

Ruler integrates with almost any tool, allowing you to seamlessly pass marketing source and conversion data to your CRM without the legwork.

4. Lead closes into a deal and revenue is attributed to the original source

Now for our favourite step. 

Once a lead converts into a deal, it’s time to attribute it back to the original source. 

Attributing revenue back to your marketing will forever change the way you optimise your campaigns. 

Let’s use an example. 

Below is impression, click and conversion data for three different Google Ads campaigns.

ImpressionsClicksCost
Ad Campaign 1 10,0001,000£200
Ad Campaign 25,000100£200
Ad Campaign 3 1,00010£200

Without full-funnel tracking, you’d likely invest your money into campaign 1 as it’s the clear top performer. For the same cost, it drove 100 times more clicks than campaign 3.

Now, let’s apply revenue data from the CRM using full-funnel attribution.

By adding revenue data, we can now see that although ad campaign 1 drove the most traffic, ad campaign 3 generated the most revenue. 

 Impressions ClicksCostRevenue
Ad Campaign 110,000 1,000£200£400
Ad Campaign 25,000100£200£1000
Ad Campaign 31,00010£200£2000

Applying revenue data from the CRM has painted a completely different picture of the performance of these campaigns. 

Any marketer in their right mind would now allocate their budget towards campaign 3. 

If you were to use a tool like Ruler, you’d be able to automatically match revenue back to the marketing channel, campaign, keyword and more. 

google-analytics-conversion-tracking-ruleranalytics.com

Here, marketing and sales teams can build reports showing exact values for marketing-generated revenue. 

More importantly, sales and marketing teams can work together to build content and campaigns that drive higher converting leads and customers. 

It’s a win-win for everyone involved. 

4. Share data with the tools you use every day

If you work in SaaS or have clients on retainer, chances are you’re tracking monthly recurring revenue.

With that in mind, you’ll likely want to know how your marketing is impacting your business in the long run. 

Ruler can help with that too. 

Using our platform, we send our marketing source and revenue data to Chartmogul. 

Related: How Ruler uses ChartMogul to close the loop between marketing and revenue

In Chartmogul, we’ve set up custom fields to capture key information about our marketing campaigns, allowing us to see which of our efforts have the greatest impact on our long-term growth.

full-funnel-attribution-chartmogul-www.ruleranalytics.com

We then use this insight to allocate budget and produce strategies around the marketing channels and topics that have proven to have the best lifetime value. 

Do you need help with your full-funnel attribution?

Once you start using your full-funnel attribution, you can expect to uncover insights that will directly impact your marketing operations, revenue, and growth. 

And that’s all anyone working in sales or marketing wants, right?

Remember, Ruler makes the process of full-funnel attribution a breeze. 

It tracks your data on a visitor-level from awareness to conversion, allowing you to track which touchpoints have the greatest impact on your customer journey and revenue. 

Want more information? Learn everything you can discover in Ruler or book a demo to see it in action for yourself.

book demo - revenue attribution - www.ruleranalytics.com