February 24, 2015

Email Marketing Chart: How email influences purchases (online and off)

SUMMARY: Email is an avenue to communicate with your customers for many different reasons — content for nurturing, transactional emails for information and, of course, promo emails to get the purchase.

So how does email influence that ultimate goal — a purchase? Especially those hard-to-track offline purchases?

Read about this week’s chart to get a look at the latest discoveries of our research with 2,057 American adults.
by Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content

As you read this MarketingSherpa Chart of the Week, I’m co-hosting Email Summit 2015 at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, the largest vendor-agnostic gathering of email marketers in the world.

While marketers are here for many reasons — to learn how to better serve customers from on-stage case studies, to network with fellow email marketers about the best use of technology — everything we’re doing in this beautiful resort is funded by one thing: a customer purchase.

With all of the complexities of offline and online customer behavior in a multi-channel world, this isn’t always an easy thing to measure. We wanted to get a customer perspective. In January 2015, we asked 2,057 American adults:

Q. From which of the following places, if any, have you made purchases that were influenced by a company’s email?

View Chart Online

Click here to see a printable version of this chart

Seven in 10 customers have made purchases influenced by email marketing

So does email affect purchases? For 69% of U.S. adults the answer is yes. Email is even more effective for 35 to 44-year-old males — 82% of this group made purchases influenced by their company’s email.

Now here’s where it gets really interesting. Only one in five (20%) have made purchases solely online. You probably already do a pretty good job of tracking and attributing that revenue, so let’s take a look at the other ways email influences purchases.

Most people who are influence by email marketing do not purchase only online

If you’re only able to track online purchases, you may be overlooking a large percentage of your email marketing’s impact on sales. Remember, the below numbers are not just generally where people purchase, but specifically where Americans made purchases influenced by a company’s email:
  • 22% made purchases primarily online, but also occasionally in a store or over the phone

  • 12% made purchases equally online and in a store or over the phone

  • 8% made purchases primarily in a store or over the phone, but occasionally online

  • 6% made purchases only in a store or over the phone

  • 1% answered "other"

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