Email remains a powerful way to connect with customers and influence their buying decisions: 66% of online Americans say they have made a purchase as a result of an email from a brand, more than three times the percentage of people who have purchased in response to a message delivered via Facebook (20%) or text message (16%), according to a study by Exact Target.

Direct mail is also a key tool for motivating consumers to buy: 65% of surveyed online Americans say they have made a purchase in response to message received via direct mail. By contrast, mobile apps (10%) and social channels such as Twitter (6%) and LinkedIn (4%) are less likely to influence consumers' buying decisions.

Brand messages via social channels tend to sway younger generations: Teens (age 15-17) are the most likely to be influenced by brand messages delivered via Facebook (32%) and Twitter (16%) when making purchases.

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