Introducing Conversion Tracking: To Know Which Half of Your Marketing is “Wasted”

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”- John Wanamaker (wiki).

Although the intrinsic perception among businesses is that if you are doing marketing then it’s certainly going to help your revenue, the reality is otherwise. Your marketing can work both ways. It can match your expectation and positively impact your KPIs. But on the flipside, it can also hurt your conversion and take your KPIs downstream.

So far it was difficult for you to identify the campaigns that were acting as the latter kind on the WebEngage dashboard, the ones wherein you were uselessly investing your effort and money. But that would be the case no more because now we have released “Conversion Tracking“.

With WebEngage’s Conversion Tracking you would now be able to quantify the true impact a campaign is making on your business, both positively and negatively.

Let’s understand how to setup conversion tracking:

  1. First, the preliminary task- create your campaign and set the rules.
  2. Once you are through ‘rules’ you would now be given a choice to set conversion tracking.
  3. Upon clicking ‘Yes’ you would now be faced with three feeds- a)Event b)Control group and c)Deadline

‘Event’ is the particular action that you want to track on your website or app, like cart_abandonment (read more about events here). In the above step, it is being used as a condition for goal. So if the campaign is able to influence user into performing the action (which is to trigger account_create event) then conversion against the campaign is going to be recorded.

Deadline- is the period from the day message is delivered within which the conversion will be tracked. It can also be called the conversion window.

Now, what is a Control Group?

‘Control group’ is the special set of users who, despite being part of the segment, are not treated with the campaign but, and it’s very important, their conversion is tracked. It is basically a neutral group which is created only to gauge the metrics of the users who did not receive any message. Why we do that? Let’s see.

By setting up a control group(CG) you would be able to measure the conversion of the users who were treated with your campaign against the users who weren’t. This would essentially let you know the true impact of your campaign.

For instance, in this case, we have set the CG as 20% and event as account_create. So if my stats, by the time conversion deadline ends, show that CG users created more account than the users who received my message, then my whole campaign idea was a farce. Likewise, if the activity group wins then I would know what variant of my messaging achieves the most success.

Once you are done setting up the campaign this is how the stats would look like:

In this case, the control group conversion is 20%- 5% lesser than the campaign’s conversion, implying that our campaign has worked.

Now that we are through setting up conversion tracking the question arises how would attribute conversion if there are multiple campaigns triggering the same event.

Attribution modeling

Case 1- When you create multiple campaigns within the same channel to achieve a common goal

Multiple variants in a single channel

Suppose you are creating 3 different email campaigns for different segments to trigger a common event, say cart_checkout. Now let’s say user engages with all the three messages and gets converted. In that case, to which campaign would the conversion be attributed?

Here WebEngage system by default adopts ‘deepest then latest’ attribution modeling.

What is ‘deepest then latest’?

WebEngage system records and compares the following three actions of the user along with their timestamp to attribute conversion.

      1. Click
      2. View
      3. Sent

The actions have precedence in the following order:

Click > View > Sent

So if campaign A, B, C are triggering the same event as goal then the system is going to credit conversion to the one which got ‘clicked’ among all of them. If none get clicked then it is going to credit the one which got ‘viewed’ and likewise it would drill down to ‘sent’. Basically, the preference would for the campaign receiving the relatively highest priority action within the conversion deadline(Deepest of “Deepest then Latest”)

But what happens if both campaign A and B get clicked and conversion happens. As in, how do you attribute conversion if the combination of campaigns receives the same action?

In such case, the system would check the recency(Latest of “Deepest then Latest”)

For instance, if both campaign A and B get clicked, then the credit would be given to the one which was clicked most recently from when the event was triggered (conversion happened).

First precedence to the action and then to the recency- Deepest then Latest.

Case 2- When you create multiple campaigns across multiple channels to achieve a common goal.

Multiple campaigns across multiple channels

Suppose there are campaigns across multiple channels (push, email, web etc.) which are linked to the same event. Then, how do you attribute?

The answer is- same as above.

The system basically has no preference for any channel and it scores each of them equally from the conversion perspective. So in case multiple campaigns across multiple channels are trying to achieve the same goal, the system, regardless of the channel, would attribute conversion the same way like it would do for multiple variants or multiple same channel campaigns.

The same principle of “deepest then latest: would apply here as well just as it did in the previous case.


      1. If the top performing variant puts behind the others only by a close margin than accentuate the corresponding change and observe the result.
      2. Skip creating the control group for alerts type messages where you want your messaging to reach everyone.
      3. More than often there are types of messaging which are meant for a particular channel and running it in a different channel doesn’t yield any significant outcome. Basically, there are some messages which only resonates with a particular channel and not with the rest. With ‘conversion tracking’ if a message is not showing signs of success with a particular channel, try testing it with a different one. Compare the metrics across multiple channels and zero in the one where it sticks the most.
      4. Avoid creating control groups for smaller segments. Metrics for smaller segments are driven equally by chance and user behavior since the sample size is way too small. Creating control group for such segments are not going to give any conclusive insights into the factors that affect your conversion. So avoid creating control groups for them.

(We shall keep updating this list)

That’s about it people. Please try these features out and share your feedback either in the comment or

Making Marketing Automation Visual And Simple – Introducing Journey Designer


I am Avlesh, co-founder at WebEngage. Your favorite on-site survey, feedback and notification tool went through a makeover in March 2016 to become a multi-channel marketing automation tool by letting you engage via web, email, sms and mobile (push, in-app) channels. We posted it here, but I didn’t reach out to you proactively because my team was building something even bigger. Once you finish reading this post, you’d agree with me that the delay in sending this communication was worth the wait 🙂

After 3 months of a rigorous build phase and successful pilots with over 2 dozen large customers, we are rolling it out for everyone.

Say hello to the Journey Designer!

What is the Journey Designer?

In layman terms, we have made marketing automation VISUAL. Yes! Visual, in terms of how you design your campaigns across user’s lifecycle, and how you view/analyze data once the communication plan is rolled out for your users.

Journey Designer is a drag-n-drop marketing automation workflow builder.
It lets you plan your engagement campaigns across multiple channels. These plans could range from designing a journey to automate renewals for your insurance buyers, to, automating re-activations for users who haven’t used  your app since last 30 days, to, automate retrieval of dropped carts on your e-commerce store, to, rolling out an on-boarding plan for users of your SaaS app. You’ll see some of these use-cases as journeys in the later half of this post.

Here’s a quick explainer video for the Journey Designer…

Re-imagining marketing automation …

We know how painful it gets to manage campaigns that span across users’ lifecycle. With journeys, we are trying to address the pain of executing batch jobs to automate marketing tasks. It’s time to do the new.

To simplify your task of rolling out an automation plan – our Journey Designer has 4 types of building blocks – Triggers, Actions, Conditions and Flow Controls. We have put together a Getting Started Guide to help you on-board WebEngage quickly and familiarize you with these terms.

Here are some sample journeys built using WebEngage.

User journeys for banking and financial services

Insurance industry, overall, struggles with low insurance renewal rates from buyers. Strange enough as it may sound, one of the biggest reason for this problem is that buyers don’t get timely reminders from the insurer and they forget to renew. Here’s a journey that solves that simple problem – very simply! Check out the enlarged image to see a true multi-channel communication with a users across multiple touch points.

User journeys to improve retention for mobile apps

Bringing back users to your mobile app is always a challenge. Here’s a journey focused on re-activating users in a certain cohort (in this case d30 to d90) who have turned inactive after their first transaction. Click on the enlarged version to see some creative usage of push and in-app notifications.

User journeys for e-commerce and travel apps to drive users towards the transaction funnel

For any transactional website or mobile app, there’s a huge volume gap in users expressing an intent to buy versus those who go down the purchase funnel. “Added to cart”, “added to wishlist”, “hotels compared”, “flight searched” etc are events that express user intent. Journey Designer lets you beautifully craft journeys on these intents and convert these users. Here’s a sample for converting users “adding items to wishlist”, into buyers.

User journeys to on-board customers for SaaS / B2B apps

A well designed on-boarding module can heavily boost conversions for a SaaS app. At WebEngage, we learnt it the hard way. Thankfully, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel for your tool. Underneath is a quick sample of how you can easily design and optimize an on-boarding journey for your app.

While you are at it, here’s a cool fact …

It ain’t just about a nice visual designer, we made your marketing analytics real-time and visual too!

Once activated, here’s a glimpse of how the stats for your journeys are presented – LIVE, real-time and visual! Don’t miss the journey run that you can check for each user …

Here’s how the final outcome of each journey looks like.

Hope you liked what you saw. We’d love to hear from you. Journey Designer is now available for everyone. Log on to your dashboard; or, sign-up to try it out for FREE.