Last-Click Attribution Model in Affiliate Marketing

The Last-Click attribution model has been a cornerstone of affiliate marketing for years. This article delves into the intricacies of the Last-Click model, its relevance, advantages, and potential shortcomings within the affiliate marketing landscape.

Title: Navigating Success: The Last-Click Attribution Model in Affiliate Marketing

Understanding the Last-Click Attribution Model

In affiliate marketing, attribution models determine how credit is assigned to various touchpoints along the customer’s journey. The Last-Click attribution model, also known as Last Interaction or Last Touch, attributes full credit for a conversion to the final touchpoint that led to that conversion.

Here’s a comprehensive view of the Last-Click model:

The Journey to Conversion

Imagine a potential customer’s journey in the following steps:

  1. They see an affiliate’s social media post about a product.
  2. They click the affiliate’s link and visit the product’s landing page.
  3. They leave the page without making a purchase.
  4. A few days later, they receive an email from the same affiliate with a discount code.
  5. Intrigued by the discount, they click the link in the email and make a purchase.
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The Role of the Last Click

In the Last-Click model, the affiliate responsible for the last interaction—in this case, the email that led to the purchase—receives full credit for the conversion. This means that the email affiliate would be compensated for the sale, even though the customer’s journey began with a social media post from another affiliate.

Advantages of the Last-Click Model

  1. Simplicity: The Last-Click model is straightforward and easy to implement. It provides a clear way to assign credit for conversions.
  2. Incentivizes Promotions: Affiliates who use methods that encourage users to take immediate action, such as sending enticing emails, are rewarded.
  3. Clear Performance Evaluation: Both affiliates and merchants can easily track and measure performance based on the Last-Click model.

Shortcomings of the Last-Click Model

  1. Neglects Early Interactions: It disregards the contributions of affiliates who introduced potential customers to the product, making it less effective for assessing the full customer journey.
  2. May Disincentivize Top-of-Funnel Affiliates: Affiliates who generate awareness and interest at the top of the funnel may feel undervalued if they don’t receive credit for conversions.
  3. Doesn’t Reflect Reality: In the modern digital landscape, customers often interact with multiple touchpoints before converting. The Last-Click model oversimplifies this complex journey.
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The Case for Attribution Models

Affiliate marketing doesn’t have to rely solely on the Last-Click model. Various attribution models are available, each with its own merits. Some common alternatives include:

  1. First-Click Attribution: Credits the affiliate who initiated the customer journey.
  2. Linear Attribution: Distributes credit evenly across all touchpoints in the customer journey.
  3. Time-Decay Attribution: Gives more credit to touchpoints that occur closer to the conversion.
  4. Custom Attribution: Allows businesses to define their own rules for credit distribution.


While the Last-Click attribution model has its advantages, it’s essential for affiliate marketers and businesses to consider the full spectrum of customer interactions. Utilizing a variety of attribution models or adopting a multi-touch attribution approach can provide a more accurate representation of an affiliate’s true contribution to conversions. The key is to strike a balance that incentivizes affiliates at all stages of the customer journey while aligning with the affiliate marketing strategy’s goals and objectives.

Razvan Alexa

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