Marketing organizations use permission-based e-mail (PEM) as a part of integrated marketing campaigns, but little research has been done to determine why and how customers choose to interact with the e-mails. Since there is little academic research to guide marketing professionals in their writing, much is unknown about how subject line, sender name and domain name influence the cognitive thought processes of the recipient. The purpose of this phenomenological, qualitative study was to investigate small-business owner’s perceptions in their decision-making process regarding permission-based e-mails (PEM). The study expanded upon previous research on open-rate and click-through advertising among consumers.
This qualitative study consisted of interviews with twelve small-business owners conducted over a two-week period. The data collection comprised fifteen open-ended questions in the interviews and were recorded and transcribed. The questions were designed with the theoretical framework of Ajzen’s (1985, 2002) Theory of Planned Behaviour as a guide. Themes (nodes) were developed from the fifteen questions and analyzed using NVivo® 12 Pro software. A count of keywords in each node was recorded, and the nodes were analyzed for common themes related to cognitive behavior as described by Ajzen (1985). The interviews identified cognitive behavior as described by Ajzen (1985) in small-business owner evaluations when deciding to engage with e-mail. The themes also confirmed Ajzen’s (2002) modification to his model regarding perceived behavioral control influencing subjective norms and attitudes toward behaviors, as many of the questions designed for one attribute returned multiple attributes and cognitive behaviors.
Recommendations for practice include the continued study of subject line, sender name and domain name in crafting e-mail messages, and continued evaluation of relationship marketing using e-mail. Future research is suggested regarding e-mail and mobile applications, multicultural and multi-national marketing, and specific generational marketing when evaluating the interactions consumers have with e-mail.
|Commitee:||Markham, Paul, Bakari, Marie|
|Department:||School of Business and Technology Management|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Marketing, Psychology, Technical Communication|
|Keywords:||Ajzen, B2B, Communications, E-mail, Small business, Theory of planned behavior|
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