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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 04, 2012

Email continues to out-do social to drive purchases

Email continues to be the most common way consumers receive digital messages from brands but, with the onslaught of social media, is it still the most effective? ExactTarget's recent research reveals some interesting behavior.

by Helen Leggatt

exacttarget logo.pngA survey of 1,404 consumers in the UK by ExactTarget reveals that, while email continues to be the most-used media for communicating with consumers, social media messaging is perceived by consumers to be more likely to prompt them to make a purchase.

Of the survey respondents nearly all (93%) had signed up for email messages from a company while 45% had "Liked" a brand on Facebook. Just 7% "Follow" a brand on Twitter.

However, when it comes to making a purchase, email isn't perceived by consumers to be as effective as social media. Almost a third (32%) of respondents said they were more likely to make a purchase having seen a Tweet from a company. A quarter (24%) said they were more likely to make a purchase after becoming a "Fan" of a brand on Facebook. As for email, slightly less (21%) said that subscribing to an email list made them more likely to buy.

But what actually happens is rather different, found ExactTarget's research. Nearly half (46%) had made a purchase as a result of receiving an email while purchases prompted by social media were much lower - Facebook 1% and Twitter 4%.

According to the report "The Social Profile UK", "consumers often see email as a convenient reminder to go back to their favorite stores or sites. So, while they may not think of email as something that makes them more likely to buy from your brand, they may forget to go back to your site without an email that reminds them to do so."

Tags: email, Facebook, purchase patterns, social media, Twitter

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