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Success Event Participation

One of the more advanced features related to success events is success event participation. Participation is an optional setting that you can enable for success events and is used to determine which conversion or traffic variables “participated” in a success event taking place. To fully understand participation, it is helpful to first understand success event allocation. Success event allocation is the process of dividing credit among conversion or traffic variable values for a success event. For example, if a visitor viewed four pages on the website and then completed a Form Submission success event, each page would be allocated evenly (also known as linear allocation) at 0.25 for the form submission. So if you added the Form Submission success event to the Pages report, you’d see a rounded number of partial page credits for that success event. Conversion variables have a few more possible allocation options. For conversion variables, in addition to evenly allocating a success event to all values, you also have the option of giving credit for the success event to the first value or the last value (which I’ll cover in more detail in the next chapter). However, all of these options have one commonality: They divide the credit for success events among one or more variable values.

Now that you understand a bit about allocation, let’s return to the topic of participation. Participation assigns equal credit to each variable value that “participates” in the flow leading to a success event. So in the preceding example in which a visitor viewed four pages on the website, allocation would divide the Form Submission success event, but participation would assign full credit of “1” to every page (or value) the variable received up to the point the success event took place. If the visitor had viewed four pages prior to the form submission, when viewing the Form Submission Participation metric in the Pages report, SiteCatalyst would show “1” for each of these four pages and also show a total percentage of how often each page “participated” in all Form Submission success events. SiteCatalyst customers use participation metrics for web analyses that should not divide success event metrics by the number of values (pages) viewed by the visitor. There are cases in which you want to use participation to had full credit for a success event to the values leading to that event. For example, if you assume a website with a small amount of traffic for the day, you might see a report that looks like the one in Figure 4.18.

Figure 4.18

Figure 4.18. A sample Page report showing a participation metric.

In this report, you can see how many Page Views each page received in the first metric column. In the next column to the right, you can see the raw Form Submissions metric; each page has been given a portion of the form submissions that took place after visitors viewed that page. In the last column, you see the Participation metric for Form Submissions. Here you can see that Page 1 was seen prior to 33 percent of all Form Submission success events. The number in parentheses indicates how many success events each page participated in, so you can deduce from these figures that a total of 30 form submissions have taken place in the chosen reporting period. Keep in mind that you’re looking at a Pages report in this example, but you can use participation metrics in virtually any traffic or conversion variable report. It often takes SiteCatalyst clients a bit of time to get their heads around how participation metrics work, but once you use them for a while, they begin to make more sense.

Important Details to Know About Success Event Participation

Success event participation metrics are an advanced feature and, as such, come with some caveats. The following are some important details to know about success event participation:

  • To enable success event participation, you need to contact your Adobe account manager or ClientCare.
  • You can enable success event participation metrics with or without “subrelations.” If enabled without subrelations, you won’t be able to use participation metrics in breakdown reports with other variables. Conversely, enabling participation metrics with subrelations allows you to use them in breakdown reports (which is the option I recommend).
  • Once success event participation is turned on for a success event, you add participation metrics to reports by using the drop-down box in the Add Metrics window.
  • Success event participation is calculated on a per visit basis, not across multiple visits. This means that it only gives full credit to values it sees in the visit in which the success event for which participation is enabled takes place.
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