The customer acquisition landscape is constantly in flux. The introduction of disruptive technologies and tools over the last few years has spawned enormous changes in online marketing. But a recent report from Custora, maker of a predictive analytics platform, reveals that online retailers are winning new customers via traditional email marketing at quadruple the rate they did four years ago. The good old-fashioned marketing method still provides the biggest bang for the buck when it comes to reaching and retaining high-value customers online.
The study analyzed data from 72 million customers from 86 U.S. retailers across 14 industries and tracked the channels from which customers were clicking to e-commerce sites. While email proved to be a strong channel for growing a customer base, organic search was found to be the most popular driver. Facebook drove very few sales and Twitter drove none. Email was also shown to carry a higher customer lifetime value (the profit a company expects to earn from their entire future relationship with a customer) than social media channels.
The report also revealed that the lifetime value of customers acquired through Twitter is 23% lower than average, and that the most valuable online shoppers tend to come from more rural states. Here is some more detailed information from the study:
Email marketing has been a growing trend in e-commerce, with an increasing number of retailers building communities and collecting email addresses, then converting those contacts into customers. Organic search continues to grow as a reliable channel, accounting for nearly 16% of customers acquired. The latter finding reinforces the use of content marketing along with investing in search engine marketing.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) refers to the future profit a company expects to earn from a customer throughout their relationship with the business. The highest-value customers arrive through organic searches (54% higher than average). Customers acquired through Twitter tend to be worth about 23% less than average. This may be attributed to the frequency of discounts offered within tweets.
Shoppers in rural areas tend to have fewer options for buying specialty goods locally and make more purchases online.