Despite social media’s rise in adoption among brands, a new study revealed that email continues to prove itself as the preferred marketing method for driving online purchases from websites — especially if your target audience includes high-earning consumers.

The marketing company AW Pro Tools surveyed 1,500 consumers nationwide about which activities lead to most of their online spending. The company found that a majority of respondents (67.3 percent) aren’t influenced by any of the major digital marketing channels, and those that are are influenced by email, particularly if they’re wealthy.

One-third of the individuals surveyed across all incomes were influenced by digital marketing tools when making online purchases. Email (13.8 percent) and Facebook (13.5 percent) lead the way, far ahead of Twitter (1.9 percent). For online shoppers who earn more than $100,000, one-third were influenced by email, followed by YouTube (5.6 percent). Both Facebook and Twitter returned nothing.

“There’s no doubt that Facebook, YouTube, and even Twitter offer exciting advertising opportunities,” explained Jack Born, CEO of AW Pro Tools. “But the winning strategy for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies alike is to attract a base of raving fans that open, read, and click on the emails you send.”

Don’t let the above data scare you. This doesn’t mean that social media marketing is a bust. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest have all proven valuable to marketers. Each service has its own strengths, and depending on your target audience and success metrics, it’s likely that you favor one or two over the others for specific types of campaigns.

However, there’s no rule stating that you can’t use both social media and email marketing. In fact, you’re encouraged to experiment with a variety of solutions so you can best determine the right method for your business. There are many different variables at play, and you won’t know how they’ll affect your campaign unless you test them.

Whichever avenue you choose, it’s important that you have a well thought out strategy. Know who you target audience is and where they spend their time online. This might require you to invest more energy into research, but you should find that it’s worth it.

[Via: AllTwitter, Image credit: Fosforix]