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Social Surprises: 1. Email acquisition has quadrupled in the last 4 years. 2. Customers acquired via Twitter have 23% lower customer lifetime value. Hmm.... Social media is not God's gift to all of us trying to get conversions?

How is that even possible in 2013 where so much of your, yes you, personal time is set side to tweet 500 times a day and you abandoned Email for Snapchat last year? 

Ok. Just pulling your leg a bit. 

But if you go to any conference, read blogs, news sites, see social company valuations you would think all you need is social, and social is all you need.

Reality? 

Search continues to form the cornerstone of acquisition growth, along with email. Consistent growth. Then its Affiliates. Finally at the low bottom, Facebook, Twitter etc. Some of this is not surprising, Social is not for pimping (regardless of the fact that that is exactly what brands do on Social).

Custora defines customer lifetime in this study as two years. Not enough of course, but good enough. Organic has +54%, CPC is much lower at +37%. Facebook is +1% and Twitter -23%. Maybe centering your twitter strategy around pimping coupons is not such a clever strategy after all.

You can download the full Custora data here: http://goo.gl/xp75h 

Regardless of your opinion of their data, 72 mil customer data from 86 US retailers across 14 industries, I encourage you to replicate these two graphs from your own data. 

We are so obsessed about what "Gurus" tell us to do, we are so obsessed about single session conversions. Sometimes it helps to look over five year trends and a customer lifetime (in your case you can define that as long as you want).

Don't be ignorant or duped. Be smart. Analyze this!
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14 comments
 
On that note am I alone in that I hate email marketing more and more each year? I unsubscribe to almost everything except a handful of newsletters. Social is the one channel I haven't yet locked out advertising across. ..
 
+David Iwanow Self bias I think. I'm with you, I only allow two "newsletters." I'm very good at unsubscribing. Yet, I've used email marketing very effectively for many many businesses. You just have to be smarter about it.  My list of best practices (and optimal metrics): http://goo.gl/8ewut
 
Interesting that normalized lifetime value is so much higher from Organic vs. Twitter, where one would think the most loyal followers hang out. Perhaps more detailed attribution analysis would help bump Twitter up as an assisting source. I wonder why there was such a spike in email in 2012? The overall spikiness of the data indicates their data set may be weighted towards a single large website.
 
+Carson Smith Their sample has 86 retailers and 72 million customers (which is a lot), there is more on that if you follow the link. 

But my core recommendation here is not their data, rather to do this analysis on our data. I'm confident the results will be delightful (and of value!). 
 
Basically this corresponds with my own findings, although less sophisticated. But all the sites and data I have seen in working with online marketing is that SEO, SEA and E-mail marketing are much more effective than the social media echo chambers of social media. There are exceptions of course, but in my opinion hard work on organic growth is better than retweets or likes, or even plus ones for that matter. 
 
I did follow the link and read about the sample size. The supposedly large sample is what first triggered my concern about the 100% overnight increase in email acquisitions in 2012 (and the decline from 2009-2010). 

But as you point out, the real goal is to get us thinking and measuring this stuff on our own. The broad trends support the bits of analysis I've done.  Now I am curious to do more :)  
 
Organic is good for the garden, but also for sales and long-term value. Time to get out of the hamster wheel.
 
Guess our clients do thing differently...E-mail engagement has consistently increased Customer Loyalty, cash flow and Profit.
Maybe other aren't offering What is wanted! How many are constantly surveying your base and delivering what they want? 
 
Email is one of the best nurturing tools for small businesses. Social is a relationship management and customer nurturing tool. Organic and local remain our primary directives, with email next and social last.
 
+Avinash Kaushik Can i ask you how Google and Organic search are categorized as different channels here? Google (Google Search) also should have been a part of organic search. Or am i missing something? Thanks for your time.
 
Interesting stats, is good to see such things in the happening. We have to accept that whilst these are fair comparisons between social and email. However email is completely different in terms of the engagement and interaction that it receives. Whilst social media consists of shout outs all driven by a timeline the end user is likely to miss a tweet, update depending on how socially active active/popular they are likely to miss a tweet due to schedules etc... However email sits in your inbox nicely ready to be trashed, unsubscribed or the result we all want an opened, click through mail. We are comfortable with email especially if we signed up to it.

Email is definitely not dead and it is without doubt and important channel to leverage.
 
For thesheep dog foundation yopeople aRe owsume fo what you do ten thumbs up:)& your all awsome
 
 Its unclear for me what that 15% for organic represents, is it % share of all conversions? Then sum of all channels doesnt match 100%. And if its overall conversion rate, its strange that sum of over 30%, isnt it too much as we know that Amazon has conversion rate about 15% i think? :)

Lets say we have 100 conversions, what number that 15% represents, anyone know? And im missing missing "direct" segment in that Custora research as we know direct is big source of conversions for most of bussinesses.
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