Attribution is the science of matching two data points to each other. At Adjust, we match your app users to the source that drove their install. You can use this attribution data to measure campaign performance, run effective retargeting campaigns, optimize your creative assets, and more.

How it works

Users can interact with ads in two ways: by clicking and tapping on them, or by viewing them. An ad view is called an impression, and it is counted whenever an ad is displayed within view on a user's screen. By matching these ad interactions to installs, marketers can measure the effectiveness of their campaigns at driving conversions and calculate the returns from them.

A flow diagram that shows how attribution works with Adjust.

Here's what the attribution flow looks like:

  1. A user interacts with an ad.
  2. The ad network serving the ad captures the engagement data and gives the user a unique ID.
  3. The user downloads the app from the app store.
  4. The user opens the app.
  5. The Adjust SDK initializes, and requests ad engagement data from the network.
  6. Using engagement data from the network and install data, Adjust uses its attribution logic to determine the source of install.

In some instances, a user may install the app and be attributed to a source, but become inactive after a period. They then become eligible for reattribution, which is when they return to the app after engaging with a new ad.

Key terms and definitions



Attribution methods

Attribution source

Attribution window



New user

Existing user