Email proves better than social media at selling

Customers are more likely to buy via email than any other means. That’s the conclusion of a new study by e-Dialog which showed that 63% of people would make an impulse buy as a result of an email. The survey of over 5,000 people in Europe showed clearly that email is the best online sales channel available to businesses.

Email continues to be the best possible method of selling products online

Email continues to be the best possible method of selling products online

The least popular means of buying something would be via social networks, according to the research. Only 11% of people would be likely to make a purchase following the receipt of promotional material via a social network. Even web sites themselves only managed a 47% chance of people buying something – way behind email.

Many businesses ignore email as a promotional method, yet in spite of spam, this still continues to be the system of choice for consumers and buyers. They prefer to make decisions about what to buy – especially for impulse purchases – using emails, rather than any other means.

Not only do people buy via email, they also appear to use email as the method of choice for informing them about products they might buy. Six out of ten people in the survey said they would be likely to buy something in a physical store if they had first received an email about the product.

The study should prove interesting reading for anyone trying to sell online. What it confirms is that emails can remind people of the offline promotions they have seen, stimulating purchases. Furthermore, the study also showed that people are more likely to buy if the email offers a promotion, particularly a time-limited one.

However, few people could actually recall being sent effective, relevant promotional emails. This should be a wake-up call to all people trying to sell online. What the study shows is that customers and potential purchasers are actually waiting by their PCs ready to click on promotional emails, likely to buy something. Sadly, it seems most companies are not targeting emails, not connecting them well with their offline promotions and not really connecting with their customers.

Businesses spend hours on end and thousands of pounds on making sure their web site is correct. This study confirms – yet again – that the money would be better directed into email marketing.


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Graham Jones
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+
Graham Jones


Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist, professional speaker and author of 32 books who helps businesses understand the online behaviour of their customers
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