The channel a user comes from (e.g., organic search, paid search, paid social, or others) is one of the biggest factors determining how well they progress through your onboarding process and ultimately convert into a paying customer.
This is because the channel they came from is a proxy for intent. Website visitors who come from an organic search have likely searched for your product or a product like yours, and are likely to be experiencing the problem your product solves and are actively looking for a solution.
On the contrary, people who have come from your Instagram ad have likely been browsing photos from family and friends, seen an ad that half-interested them, and tapped on it to check out your product. They’re probably not experiencing the problem your product solves and likely don’t have an immediate need for it. As a result, they’re much less likely to invest the time to go through your onboarding process and start actively using your product.
A good example of this comes from the marketing attribution tool Attributer.io. The below graph shows the number of people who complete the onboarding process:
Tools like Amplitude and Mixpanel (as well as Segment if you’re using it to send data in) will capture UTM parameters and the referring domain out of the box when you use their client-side SDKs.
While this is a good start, using this data in reports is messy.
An excellent example of this is organic search. Google alone has 37 different domains it uses, so if you wanted to run a report that shows you the activation rate of people from organic search compared to those from your paid ads, it would be almost impossible.
Instead of having one line on your graph for organic search, you would have 37 different lines for each of the different domains Google sends traffic from.
Fortunately, Amplitude has a solution to this. Their new Channel Classifiers feature allows you to create custom channel groupings (similar to the channels you see in Google Analytics) and then use those to segment your reports.
To make it easy, Amplitude have set up a series of default channels, but you can modify them or create new channels.
A typical example might be if you drive new user acquisition through some sort of product virality. For example, a website chat product that places its logo or a different brand element on the chat widget.
You could set up UTM parameters on the link to your website and then create a custom channel called “Virality.” You could then use this to see how many signups you get from virality, what the activation rate is compared to other channels, and more.
Once you have these Channel Classifiers set up in Amplitude’s data section, you can use them in your reports just like any other User Property.
While you can use the attribution data to segment almost anything, the following reports are an excellent place to start.
Signups by Channel
The above chart shows how many signups are generated each month, broken down by channel. This is an excellent first step to understanding how your marketing mix impacts your product metrics.
You can see which channels are driving your signups and get an understanding of which one’s might be impacting your product metrics — channels with a low volume of signups are unlikely to impact metrics like activation rate, conversion rate to a customer, and more.
Activations by Campaign
This report shows the activation rate of users who have come from Google Ads, broken down by the campaign they came from.
This is important because, like most companies, you are probably bidding on groups of keywords with different levels of intent. For instance, you might be bidding on brand terms (e.g., Attributer), category terms (e.g., marketing attribution tool) as well as problem terms (e.g., UTM parameters in Salesforce).
This report will help you assess how each of those campaigns is performing when it comes to generating active users of your product (as opposed to just website visitors or signups) and gives you a better idea of where to invest your advertising budget.
Customers By Source
The above chart shows how many customers came from each of the leveraged paid advertising sources.
This is beneficial information for your marketing team, who, without it, would probably only measure the number of visitors and signups they get from each of these networks.
But by seeing the performance of their paid sources all the way through the funnel to paying customers, they can make much better decisions about which sources are generating customers at a positive ROI, and, subsequently, where they need to invest their time and resources.
Retention Rate by Source
By getting accurate marketing attribution data in your product analytics tool, you can run various reports that help you understand which of your marketing channels and campaigns are generating paying, happy customers.
And by understanding that, you have a better idea of what you need to do to grow your business.