Move over, social media: Email scores better in advertising

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While one cannot question the immense popularity and influence of social media on many aspects of modern life, email is still apparently the more dominant marketing tool for businesses.

A new study by marketing software provider Custora revealed that customer acquisition via email has increased four times from 0.88 per cent in 2009 to 6.84 per cent in the second quarter (Q2) of 2013.

In a major surprise, Facebook and Twitter accumulated a significantly lower number of customers during the same period. Facebook’s <0.01 per cent in 2009 climbed very slightly to 0.17 per cent in Q2 2013, while Twitter’s <0.01 per cent remained unchanged.

The study also found that customers acquired through email spent more money than those drawn in via social networks. Customers acquired via email spent 11 per cent more than the average customer, while those who came from Facebook spent close to the average amount. Disappointingly, Twitter customers were 23 per cent less valuable than the average customer.

The study was based on choices taken by 72 million customers who were buying goods on 86 retailer websites. Custora tracked whether the shoppers were responding to advertisements from email, Google, social networks, and paid cost-per-click (PPC), among others.

Clearly, email is more valuable than social media in this aspect. However, email does not necessarily reign supreme. PPC advertising and organic search were still more effective advertising methods. In fact, organic search customers spent 50 per cent more money than the average customer, the study revealed.

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