Why Mobile Attribution Matters: Everything You Need To Know In 2024

Stella Saia
March 7, 2024
Why Mobile Attribution Matters: Everything You Need To Know In 2024

What is mobile attribution

Mobile attribution is the process that links specific marketing campaigns to their end results, making it possible to determine the mobile app marketing channels responsible for traffic.  

How does mobile attribution work

Mobile attribution is therefore directly responsible for the growth of your app and not something to overlook. But how does it work? 

App attribution tools are able to track the way users interact with your app thanks to deep links located in mobile ads, social media, SMS and email. By matching touchpoints like clicks and impressions to app installs and in-app events, mobile attribution offers us an insight into the user’s journey and on how to more accurately predict future interactions. 

Benefits and challenges to mobile app attribution

App attribution comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let’s list some of the benefits and challenges involved in a mobile marketing attribution strategy. 


  1. Verify the effectiveness of your user acquisition campaigns. Whether users interact or not with your mobile ads is a focal turning point in campaign-success. By coupling data points,mobile attribution helps you understand what works and what doesn’t, pointing you in the direction of the adjustments that need to be made. 

  1. Secure user LTV. Once you have a greater perception of what your users like thanks to mobile attribution, you can focus on producing content that is similar to the one they have already interacted with, growing user engagement and gaining high-LTV users.


  1. Get rid of fraudulent activity. App attribution also plays a paramount role in identifying fraud, allowing you to play ahead and eliminating it at the source, before it impacts your user acquisition campaigns. 


  1. Privacy issues. Tracking users for mobile attribution of course involves accessing their private data, something that is becoming more and more of an issue because of the new regulations at play in the protection of users’ privacy. Adapting to the changes in the market is therefore vital for your app to keep on thriving. 

  1. Accuracy questions. Mobile app attribution works thanks to the data it is based on, which depends also on the model employed. If said data’s quality isn’t ideal, it will reverberate on the quality of app attribution as well, providing marketers with misleading results.

  1. Scalability. Mobile attribution isn’t for everyone. This marketing strategy requires an intensive effort in time and resources that not all companies can spare, especially the smaller ones. For them, it could prove to be more of a burden than an opportunity for growth. 

Mobile app attribution models

Selecting the right mobile app attribution model can be a challenge in itself. Advertisers must pick depending on their needs and taking into account each model’s perks and downsides. 

  • Last touch

The last touch app attribution model assigns all credit for the conversion to the marketing channel the user engaged with last. Currently, it is the most commonly used model in mobile attribution.

This model, despite its easy implementation, doesn’t account for all of the other data points involved in acquiring new users. This results in an impaired view of each touchpoint’s value, providing sub-optimal data to the marketer’s decision-making process. 

  • First touch

First touch works similarly to the last touch mobile attribution model, and it has the same advantages and disadvantages too. 

In this app attribution model, credit is given to the first touchpoint. Once again, use and implementation are simple, and once again other marketing channels aren’t taken into account. 

Because of this, both last touch and first touch models work best for mobile attribution when paired with other contact points. 

platforms for mobile attribution

  • Multi-touch attribution (MTA)

Contrary to the first two mobile attribution models taken into analysis, multi-touch attribution works with all of the data points that played a part in gaining conversions. There are four ways through which the MTA model assigns value to each touchpoint: 

  • Linear attribution

  • Time-decay attribution

  • U-shaped attribution

  • W-shaped attribution  

Best platforms for app attribution

Once you’ve decided to invest in a mobile marketing attribution strategy, the first step you need to take is to choose the right app attribution platform. Here are some of the criteria to consider before making you pick: 

  • Price 

  • Data accuracy 

  • Attribution speed

  • Features offered

  • Security

Based on these standards, we’ve made our own list of the best platforms for mobile attribution. 


AppsFlyer offers a variety of pricing plans, including a completely free basic one. This platform allows you to see your users’ journey across channels and devices by offering features such as MTA that are going to help your app get the greatest return on ad spend (ROAS).   


Kochava’s characteristic is its Marketers Operating System or m/OS, an omnichannel platform where you’re granted access to each aspect of your marketing strategy, not just mobile attribution. It offers three different plans as well. 


Branch has just two plans: a free one and a custom pricing one. Branch’s focus is on collecting complete data through a predictive algorithm that works even when there isn’t a universal ID. Its people-base attribution distinguishes it from all the other platforms that engage in mobile attribution. 


Adjust has three pricing plans, including a base one. By tracking how users interact with your app, Adjust helps you analyze the ads that perform at the highest level. Adjust works with some of the giants of the market, like Spotify and Duolingo. 


Singular provides a 30-day trial free plan alongside two custom pricing plans. Singular’s strong suit is its complete ROI overview, as well as other mobile app attribution tools, such as touchpoint prioritization and multi-touch tracking


This article wanted to provide an overview of mobile attribution, with its ups and downs, and the best way and platforms to engage in it. 

In spite of its challenges and the complexity presented by the choice of the correct model, mobile attribution is in fact becoming a pillar in mobile marketing, and if you’re able to overcome its initial obstacles, it will prove to be a vital stepping-stone in your user acquisition campaign’s success.