Email, Organic Search Outperforms Social Media for Selling Online

A fascinating article on Wired revealed that organic search results and email trumped Twitter, Facebook and affiliate banner ads when it comes to attracting buying customers on online retail sites. The report, published by marketing data provider Custora, analyzed data from 72 million customers shopping on 86 different retail sites.

Image: Custora

Image: Custora

The study tracked customers from their first visit on for the next two years and found:

  • Customers who came from search were 50 percent more valuable (likely to shop and spend more) than average
  • Email customers were nearly 11 percent more valuable than average
  • Facebook customers were close to average
  • Twitter customers were 23 percent less valuable than average

It is important to note that the older technologies are also those that are converting the most successfully – so social may continue to grow in these areas and shouldn’t be discounted. However, a strong web presence for those searching and connecting with customers via email are still key elements to online retail success.