How to Evaluate and Optimize Top of the Funnel Campaigns Using 1st Click ROI

This doc presents the playbook and video walkthrough to effectively use the First Click ROI attribution model to optimize your campaigns using ROI and LTV.

When to use the First Click attribution model

The First Click ROI Optimization Play

Video: Wicked Quick Win - Optimizing Campaigns using First Click Attribution

How we calculate First Click attribution

Why You Need This

Common Marketing Optimization Scenarios that First Click ROI Reporting can Solve

How to use the ROI report for First Click Attribution

Marketing Optimization Tips


When to use the First Click attribution model

Use this attribution model to measure the impact of cold traffic’s initial brand awareness from a future customer’s very first click to your brand.

The First Click ROI Optimization Play

  1. Using the ROI Report, choose First Click Attribution
  2. Find the High ROI campaigns
  3. Select a Campaign Using the Campaign Explorer
  4. Move negative ROI ad spend within the campaign to the positive ROI ad spend within the campaign
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 for all the high ROI campaigns.
  6. Find the low ROI campaigns
  7. Run “Wicked Quick Wins: Determining Kill or Chill on a Low ROI Campaign”

VIDEO: Wicked Quick Wins - Optimizing marketing campaigns with First Click ROI attribution 


How we calculate First Click attribution


Why You Need This

A majority of your customers are not found by the last click before the sale.  They underwent a customer journey that converted them from cold traffic that first heard about your brand, to a new lead, then progression through your middle funnel, then finally, thankfully, they buy something from you (hopefully repeatedly).

At the very top of the funnel, something has to make your prospects initially aware that you exist.  It could be a content ad, an offer to buy, but something catches a prospect's eye and compels them to click and check your brand out with a click.

This first click is the indicator of initial interest in your brand.

Fast forward to the future, if that same prospect has bought 1 or more times, or is now on a subscription recurring product - you'd love to reverse engineer the ability to acquire more of these customers.

First click is part of that - finding out what first compelled your customers to click over and check out your brand.

Common Marketing Optimization Scenarios that First Click ROI Reporting can Solve

  • Unable to connect customer lifetime value to traffic sources and campaigns that attracted initial cold traffic interest in your brand.
  • Difficulty in running offer ads that lead to sales or middle funnel conversions, and need a way to track top of the funnel initial interest
  • Longer marketing conversion cycles that lead to repeat buyers, subscription recurring sales via your monthly ecom boxes, or membership course subscription sales and the cost to acquire new customers is more than the 1st purchase or subscription trial month.

How to use the ROI report for First Click Attribution

The ROI report uses the attribution model you select to attribute revenue to 1 or more specific conversions points in your marketing funnel.  It is a huge edge to measure your marketing campaign goal with the correct marketing attribution model.

To scale top of funnel brand awareness campaigns, the goal is to find first clicks that are worth more than they cost to acquire, at as fast of a conversion period as possible, for the highest ROI.


For first click attribution and ROI, you will want to select "First Click ROI".  This attributes all revenue to the marketing click that created the first click to your brand.

The first click conversion is automatically detected by Wicked Reports.

The sales conversions that get mapped back to this first click are automatically detected by Wicked Reports using our Order integrations.

This includes recurring subscriptions and all orders that do not occur online - as long as they are in the order system integrated, we can detect and attribute the revenue back to the marketing click that generated the first click.

For more information on the First Click Attribution Model,

Select any other filters (filter options discussed below) and click apply to see the attributed revenue for all new leads generated in the time period selected.

The ROI summary fields of Sales, Attributed ROI, Attribution Coverage, Wicked Attributed Revenue, and Unattributed Revenue are all calculated specifically based on the attribution model selected:


These values are all using the first clicks generated during the time frame for the marketing campaigns being evaluated against the revenue the first clicks have generated, however long into the future it takes for them to generate revenue.

Read for in-depth information on all the filters and fields of the ROI report.

The sales, revenue, and ROI values for each marketing campaign are listed in the ROI report


In the report above, for the Facebook campaigns "Prospecting - Conversions" and "Prospecting Open Targeting - Conversions", the high ROI indicates that cold traffic first clicks from those campaigns are turning into high value customers over time.  Ad spend can be increased.  

We often find that first click & new lead performance is aligned if your targeting strategy at the top of the funnel is cold traffic.  The ROI performance in a campaign when looking at first click vs. new lead will differ more if your top of the funnel strategy starts with content, and then retargets for lead optin.

For the Google campaign "Search US Prospecting DSA", ROI is 98%, good, but relative to the other ROI values, it is not optimal and I would not increase ad spend on this campaign.

For the Google campaign "Search Prospecting Lobster", 247% ROI, ad spend could be increased. roi-report-google-optimizer-icon

To manage Google ad budget on qualified campaigns, the eyeball icon appears to the left of the campaign name.  Clicking on the eyeball allows you to manage the ad budget from Wicked Reports for Google.



Google search campaign budget optimization starts with impression share.  As you slide the daily budget to the right, you will see the potential impact to this campaign's revenue and ROI.

Make the adjustments, apply changes, and the updated targets and budget will be pushed to your Google ad campaign for immediate adjustment.

Marketing Optimization Tips

Cold traffic lead generation campaigns often take time to show ROI, because the new leads take time to buy.  Here is how to use time to your advantage.

smaller captain wicked pointing to right


If your top of funnel cold traffic strategy is to drive new prospects to content first, and then immediately re-target non lead conversions with a lead magnet optin offer, first click ROI works great to see which content is driving the eventual new leads and future customers.


captain wicked pointing to right


Use the New Lead Cohort report to determine how long it takes New Leads to become profitable.  First Clicks are before or at the same time as the New Lead conversion event.  This gives you a benchmark for the time until impact of customer lifetime value on the first clicks being generated.



If the goal of your marketing campaign is cold traffic  first clicks at profitable ROI, and the campaign has been running for enough time based on the previous 2 marketing optimization tips, you can make an informed decision:

  • SCALE:  ROI is profitable, increment budget up.
  • CHILL: ROI is acceptable but not wildly profitable. 
  • CHILL: ROI is so-so but there has not been enough time for the first clicks to buy based on the analysis already done.
  • CHILL: ROI is bad but there has not been enough time for the first clicks to buy based on the analysis already done.
  • KILL: ROI is not acceptable, campaign's goal was cold traffic first clicks that eventually buy, and the campaign has run for an acceptable amount of time.
  • UNKNOWN:  Goal of marketing campaign was not to find first clicks.  Choose another attribution model and re-assess.
  • UNKNOWN:  You don't see many first click sales tracked and fear there is something off in your tracking. See troubleshooting section below.