NEW YORK — Customer acquisition is happening more online. That might not surprise most marketers. Why will is that e-mail’s ability to acquire customers has quadrupled over the last four years, according to Custora, a tech firm that retailers with marketing analytics.

The study focused mainly on e-commerce sales, which now top $200 billion annually in the United States, but it did offer insights into how marketers are getting creative with how they target online shoppers. E-mail, social media, search engines and online ads are some of the more popular channels used by marketers.

According to Custora, the use of e-mail’s ability to acquire customers has risen from less than 1 percent in 2009 to almost 7 percent in 2013. Acquiring customers through organic search has also grown, accounting for 16 percent of online customers acquired in the last year.

Cost per Click marketing is also an effective way to capture customers, accounting for 10 percent of online customers acquired last year.

Custora’s report also showed that the most valuable online shoppers come from rural states, with Wyoming consumers topping the list. This is because rural areas provide fewer retail options for shoppers locally.

This new information is being released as part of Custora’s E-Commerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot, the first in a series of reports examining e-commerce acquisition trends. Data for this report was collected from 86 U.S. retailers, representing 14 different industries and covering 72 million customers.

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—     Jack Chavdarian