Email and Search still generate most conversions

search emailEmail and search marketing still have the greatest influence on consumers’ online buying behaviors, whereas social media, though it generates awareness, is rarely associated with direct revenue, according to a study by Forrester Research and GSI Commerce.

Most online consumers are influenced by Web marketing messages: 77% of buyers of hard-goods items (e.g., sporting goods, toys/games, and health/beauty products) during the 2010 holiday season interacted with some type of marketing tactic prior to purchase.

Similarly, 82% of buyers of soft-goods items (apparel and accessories) during the same period were influenced by digital marketing before making a purchase.

Moreover, roughly one-half of holiday purchases followed multiple exposures to Web marketing efforts: 45% and 53% of hard- and soft-goods transactions, respectively, touched at least two marketing touch-points.

Below, other findings from The Purchase Path of Online, conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of GSI Commerce.

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The Traffic Bubble

From mondaynote.com:

The new high tech-bubble might not be the one you’re thinking of. Measuring the bubble’s size and inner pressure of is a delicate exercise. For today, we’ll consider two sectors: social networks and online media — such as the Huffington Post acquired last week by AOL for a stunning $315m. 

In the valuation game, social networks are in a league on their own. A month ago, Sharespost, the ghost-trading site for private companies, gave Facebook a valuation of $82.9bn (see this Bloomberg story). Now, for unknown reasons, the figure is back to $53bn. Twitter is said to be worth $5bn to $10bn, depending upon Facebook’s or Google’s competing appetites. Ordinary rules of arithmetics don’t apply when pondering the wisdom of such figures. To sort this out, let’s see if we can come up with other metrics.