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Ads attribution in HubSpot

Last updated: November 30, 2023

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Attribution refers to the rules that determine how your marketing assets and channels receive credit for converting visitors into contacts and customers. HubSpot's ads tool offers five different models of attribution.

Learn more about analyzing your ad campaigns in HubSpot

Contact attribution

For a contact to be attributed to your ad, a new contact must click on an ad, leading to a web session. Then, the contact must submit a form and convert. Each attribution report type may have slightly different additional requirements. 

In order to track conversions, the following must always apply:

  • The HubSpot tracking code must be installed on the page your ad directs visitors to. HubSpot pages include the tracking code by default. However, if you're using an external page, ensure that the HubSpot tracking code is installed.

  • Auto-tracking must be enabled for your ad account.

    • Note that tracking does not work retroactively; after auto-tracking is enabled, HubSpot will only be able to associate future ad clicks with contacts.

    • When you enable auto-tracking, HubSpot will only track ads that are active or under review. However, if you make status changes to ads or ad campaigns in your ad account, changes are not guaranteed to be reflected immediately in HubSpot.
  • HubSpot forms, pop-up forms, or non-HubSpot forms that use the HubSpot Forms API must be used to capture form submissions on your pages. If you're using the HubSpot Forms API, you must include the parameters to pass the page URL and the HubSpot tracking cookie.

Deal attribution 

For a deal to be attributed to your ad, the deal stage property must be set to Closed Won. The deal must also be associated with an attributed contact in the Total Contacts column of the ad campaign. The following is also required for attribution:

  • The deal stage is Closed won.
  • The deal is associated with an attributed contact.
  • The Close date property is populated and occurs after the ad interaction. 
  • The associated contact Lifecycle stage is the HubSpot default Customer stage. If you are using a custom lifecycle stage, the deal will not be included. 
  • The associated contact is attributed to an ad on the Ads dashboard.
  • The correct date range is selected. The date range is based on the deal's Closed Won date.

Filter ad campaigns by attribution report

You can filter your ad campaigns by attribution report to see how your ads are influencing your contacts across every stage of their customer journey.

Selecting different attribution reports will change the Contacts metrics, and affect any metrics that are affected by the number of contacts (e.g., Customers, Cost per contact, Revenue from deals). Contacts may show up in multiple attribution report types, and some overlap is expected between the different attribution reports.

Please note: HubSpot's Free CRM, Marketing Hub Starter, or legacy Basic accounts will only have access to the First form submission report. Marketing Hub Professional and Enterprise accounts have access to all other attribution reports.

To filter your ad campaigns by attribution report:
  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Marketing > Ads.
  • In the upper left of the ads dashboard, click the Attribution Reports filter and select an attribution report.
  • You can filter ad campaign data by the following attribution reports:
    • First form submission: shows contacts that clicked a tracked ad, then submitted a form for the first time on your website.
      • The submission must occur at some time during the same session as the ad click. 
      • The conversion does not have to be a HubSpot form submission to count in this report. For example, it could be a Shopify signup instead.
      • This report is selected by default, and helps identify which ads are the most effective at getting new visitors to interact with your website.
    • First web session: shows all contacts whose ad clicks resulted in their first session on your website. 
      • The ad click and first session must occur within the same session.
      • Contacts in this report will have an Original source of Paid search or Paid social by default, because their first visit to your website was driven by an ad. 
      • This report helps identify which ads are the most effective at driving visitors to your website and making them aware of your business.
    • Influenced first form submission: shows contacts that clicked a tracked ad, then submitted a form on your website for the first time at a later time. 
      • This is similar to the First form submission report, except that the contact’s ad click and their first form submission do not occur during the same session
      • This report helps identify which ads influenced visitors to return to your website.
    • All form submissions: shows contacts that clicked a tracked ad, then submitted a form on your website.
      • The ad click and form submission must occur during the same session. 
      • This attribution report will display contacts regardless of whether it was their first form submission, or if they previously existed as a contact in your HubSpot account prior to clicking the ad.
      • This report helps identify which ads are the most effective at conversions on your website overall.
    • Re-engagement: shows existing contacts that clicked a tracked ad after becoming a contact in your HubSpot account.
      • The ad click does not need to occur within the same session where the visitor initially converted to a contact. 
      • This report helps identify which ads are the most effective at re-engaging your existing customers.

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