When retailers send out emails to their mailing lists, they might hope to see a jump in online sales. But according to a study conducted by Lightspeed Research on behalf of email marketer e-Dialog, they should also be looking for a jump offline.

That’s because the study found that nearly 60% of consumers who receive a marketing email are more likely to make an in-store purchase. The even better news: only a small number of consumers indicated that they’d be less likely to make an in-store purchase because of a marketing email.

According to the study, intent does often lead to sales. In China, a whopping 75% of respondents indicated that they had made an in-store or phone purchase after receiving a marketing email. In the US, just over half indicated that an email had driven an in-store or phone purchase. That number drops to a still-respectable 43% in the UK.

Interestingly, the interaction between the online world and the offline world isn’t a one-way street. Lightspeed Research found that a third of respondents worldwide were willing to provide their email addresses to salespeople and clerks in a store.

These findings, of course, aren’t really surprising. The fact that consumers are increasingly active across channels isn’t news. But the key for retailers looking to maximize it to their benefit is making sure that there is integration and tracking across channels. When retailers know when and how their marketing emails are driving in-store sales, for instance, they can craft more effective campaigns, better segment their email lists and identify new marketing opportunities.

The good news is that with established techniques such as couponing and loyalty programs, linking what takes place online to sales that happen offline doesn’t require rocket science. It simply requires will, some investment and the recognition that cross-channel commerce is the rule, not an exception.

Photo credit: Don Hankins via Flickr.