​Consumers opt-into brand experiences, but they must be convinced to convert via exceptional online content.

​For many businesses, customer acquisition is a top priority, but also a tricky practice to master. While generating leads via email content is​ ​not the most attractive strategy, data from customer retention startup Custora shows customer acquisition through email marketing has quadrupled over the last four years. This uptick can be credited to advancements in technology and strategy, helping brands get compelling copy in front of prospects to spur them to convert.

“Organic search still leads as the largest channel for online customer acquisition,” Lead Data Scientist at Custora Aaron Goodman said. “But as more retailers move toward a free-to-paid subscriber model and rely on third parties to help drive visitors to their sites, email and affiliate channels have seen an explosion in growth over the past few years.”

The free-to-paid model discussed by Goodman is an interesting concept that likely takes place across channels beyond email. Brands often acquire new members, via social media marketing, blog subscribers and email lead lists, who tune into frequent marketing updates, but convert over time into paying customers. This elongated lead nurturing structure takes place because of the various touch points used by consumers to engage with their favorite brands online. For example, connecting on Twitter for daily updates, and eventually converting because of in-stream promotional Tweets.

With email driving customer acquisition rates higher, marketers must identify online content types that fuel results even further. Brafton recently reported that 55 percent of brands surveyed by The Relevancy Group noted higher clickthrough rates from email campaigns that included video content. More, 44 percent said visual emails increased the amount of time recipients engaged with messages, and 41 percent said people forwarded emails to more people when they featured videos.

Consumers may feel they must interact with companies online for much longer before they buy, but when marketers send a variety of content to their leads to push them through the sales cycle, acquisition rates might increase at an even faster rate.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.