Posted July 2, 2013 10:06 am by with 1 comment

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Let the debate begin. Just from the title of this post social media experts and gurus are climbing off the mountaintop to defend the viability of social media as a real sales tool.

Relax folks. It’s only one study but its findings are very interesting. The study was conducted by Custora which describes its service as a predictive analytics platform for e-commerce marketing teams. Wired shared the results and the chart below should be plenty to feed on initially.


What should you take away from this data? Here is what Wired’s Marcus Wohlsen offered

In 2013, no company can expect to be taken seriously if it’s not on Facebook or Twitter. An endless stream (no pun intended) of advice from marketing consultants warns businesses that they need to “get” social or risk becoming like companies a century ago that didn’t think they needed telephones.

Despite the hype that inevitably clings to the newfangled, however, it’s relatively antique tech that appears to be far more important for selling stuff online. A new report from marketing data outfit Custora found that over the past four years, online retailers have quadrupled the rate of customers acquired through email to nearly 7 percent.

That’s just email. The findings show how social was outperformed by search in even greater measure.

Interested in some more less than exciting news for social as the effectiveness of various channels regarding the lifetime value of the customers acquired was measured?


OK class so what are you taking from these findings? Do these findings contradict how you view the various online channels for online customer acquisition and the quality of those customers acquired?

I can imagine there will be more than a few angry tweets that might be seen by a small portion of someone’s feed if the timing is right. Ouch, that smarts.

Your thoughts?

  • Hi Frank,
    A lot of e-mail subscribers comes through social media but that’s probably not tracked. Also people may hear of a product or service a few times on twitter and facebook and then search for it on Google. So it’s hard to measure! But if I had a choice of a fans or emails subscribers I’d pick email subscribers! Ian