Below is data from the last few months from Google Analytics using their Assisted Conversions report within Multi-Channel Funnels.

NOTE: I have ranked this by the final column (assisted/last interaction conversions). Google explains this value as follows:

A value close to 0 indicates that this channel functioned primarily as the final conversion interaction. A value close to 1 indicates that this channel functioned equally in an assist role and as the final conversion interaction. The more this value exceeds 1, the more this channel functioned in an assist role.

My initial observations would be:

  • It is surprising perhaps that email is the “most assist-y” channel? Are we all still thinking about email too much as a direct/sales-driver channel?
  • Social media, not surprisingly, has a very high appearance as a channel that assists in many conversions but is more rarely the last click.
  • Organic search drives a lot of value and conversions but, perhaps surprisingly, looks for us to be more of a ‘last click’ channel. People search, we rank, they click, they buy (or not). That’s the journey.
  • “Direct” as a medium has grown a lot for us in the last year. Unfortunately ‘direct’ is shrouded in some mystery now but is mostly made up of social referrals with no obvious referrer and, of late, a large chunk of encrypted Google natural search referrals.

What I haven’t shown in the above, but is also very interesting, is what happens to these rankings when you add another dimension which is whether the visitor is a ‘new’ visitor or not.

The two interesting things about that are

a) It shows most of our social media assisted conversions are from existing customers (as you might expect).

b) Email is still the most assist-y channel for *new* visitors which must be from where existing customers have passed on our emails.

So the big “email is dead” contention? I don’t think so. Indeed it is probably being undervalued as people don’t realise just how assist-y it is as a channel.

Social plays a big part in the assisting of sales, particularly of existing customers. And SEO still scores big on volume and value but is perhaps more of a ‘closer’ channel than we thought?

It certainly makes you focus on the actual site experience more, and onsite conversion rate optimisation, if you realise that all that SEO traffic coming to your site either converts, or is perhaps lost forever…

Above is how things appear for us. But we’re only one kind of business with a particular customer type. What are you finding?