A report from ExactTarget suggests that email and social media marketing can help businesses, but email is more likely to result in direct conversions.

A study from ExactTarget found that email marketing and social media marketing are having profound effects on companies, but they are supporting business goals in different ways. The report suggests that social marketing campaigns that include Facebook are driving website traffic and expanding brand appeal. Meanwhile, email marketing leads to more conversions.

ExactTarget found that 66 percent of consumers have made a purchase directly after receiving a message from a business they subscribe to. Facebook also has its role in impacting purchases decisions with 20 percent making purchases influenced directly by a Facebook marketing message, but the data indicates that email is a more conversion-friendly marketing strategy.

The study suggests that marketers consistently analyze email content and the website content linked in messages to make improvements based on those garnering the most interaction.

In terms of social media marketing, most audiences do not regularly convert directly from a Tweet or Facebook update. However, social’s value lies in the interaction consumers have with the businesses they Like or follow.

For companies looking to improve social engagement, a recent study from the Harvard Business Review highlighted by Brafton found that branded, informative social content is most likely to improve prospect responses. One-third of respondents said social content that includes valuable information was worth reading, while 36 percent enjoy engaging with brands that promote different products or services on social.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.