Facebook eliminates the 28-day attribution window

Facebook will be eliminating the 28-day attribution window and replacing it with a 7-day click-through attribution window as early as January 2021, citing “Upcoming digital privacy initiatives affecting multiple browsers”.

What is an attribution window 

When someone views or clicks on your ad and then performs an action that matters to your business, i.e a conversion (e.g. purchase, registration, etc.) within a specified number of days Facebook will give credit (or attribute) the action to your ad.

The number of days between when a person viewed or clicked your ad and then subsequently took any action is called an attribution window.

The importance of 28-day attribution window 

Facebook offers many attribution windows with 28-day being the default one.

Depending on the type of business and the length of the journey a user takes to become a customer, marketers assess their advertising efforts by using an attribution window (7-day or 28-day) that makes sense to their business and/or campaign objectives (typically, awareness campaigns need a longer attribution window).  

Attribution window vs Conversion window – How will the 7-day window impact your campaign’s performance?

Facebook states that this change will affect neither delivery nor performance, as the attribution window doesn’t affect ad delivery or performance directly – conversion window does. However, the new 7-day attribution window will impact the number of conversions you see in your reports. 

Attribution window affects:

  • The number of reported conversions and how you perceive the ad performance and subsequently Facebook as an advertising channel. 

Conversion window affects: 

  • Campaign optimisation – a minimum of 50 conversions per campaign per week are required.
  • The duration of the learning phase or exiting learning phase with “incomplete” data. 
  • You bid cap.

Will this impact YOU? 

A good way to see whether this new change will impact you is to check your reports over the last 3 months and see which key metrics are impacted by applying the 7-day attribution window.

How to prepare for this change – the process in a nutshell: 

Follow the steps below to ensure your business is prepared:

  1. Use the comparing windows feature to see how conversions attributed to your ads compare across different attribution windows. This will help you to better anticipate any changes in reported conversions as a result of moving to a 7-day window.
  2. Export any historical 28-day attribution window data needed before the changes go into effect.
  3. Update any automated rules currently using a 28-day attribution window to prevent any unexpected adjustments in spending once the new 7-day click-through window default goes into effect.

Making the transition easier 

If you and your team are relying on a 28-day window or unsure what the right attribution window is more aligned with your business objectives, consider running conversion lift studies. Lift tests will allow you to find the attribution model that makes the most sense long term when this change takes place in January 2021.  Our team of experienced PPC specialists can help make this shift easier! If you are already our client you needn’t worry! We at Business Factory act proactively and have already taken this into consideration when managing your campaigns. For any info or update, please get in touch with us.