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A Content Analysis of Direct Marketing Emails
Unformatted Document Text:  12 Coding Unit and Coding Schemes Our unit of coding is an email. Coders who were graduate students in journalism analyzed all emails in this one-month sample. Five main categories of coding schemes were developed as follows (also see Appendix): General features of commercial emails. Items here include: 1) If there is any “click here” or “go” phrase or button linking the receiver to an outside Website; 2) If there is any “call for action” words or phrases or sentences (“now”, “today”, “Sign up immediately”, “Last chance” and so on) reminding consumers of the time urgency of purchase or urging consumers to take action. 1) and 2) variables are coded as 1 = Yes and 2 = No. 3) If there is any kind of incentives provided in the email (coupon; lowered price; gift/premier; free trial; others; no incentive); they are coded from 1-6. Permission marketing and respect for consumers’ option. 1) If there is any statement about the permission the sender has got from the receiver previously (e.g. “you have opted in…” or you have registered as…”); 2) If there is any “to be removed from the list” or “to unsubscribe, click here” option or the equivalent. These two variables are coded as 1 = Yes and 2 = No. Personalization. For this content analysis, the concept of personalization is operationalized as: 1) The “sender” appeared in the email head (1. A person’s name; 2. A company’s name; 3. An email address; 4) A non-name word/phrase/sentence; 4. Others); 2) The “receiver” appeared in the email head (1. To the email account owner’s email address only; 2. To more than two email addresses); 3) The personalization level the subject in the email head is phrased (1. Non-personal; 2. Personal; 3. Extremely

Authors: Jin, Yan. and Cameron, Glen.
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12
Coding Unit and Coding Schemes
Our unit of coding is an email. Coders who were graduate students in journalism
analyzed all emails in this one-month sample. Five main categories of coding schemes
were developed as follows (also see Appendix):
General features of commercial emails. Items here include: 1) If there is any
“click here” or “go” phrase or button linking the receiver to an outside Website; 2) If
there is any “call for action” words or phrases or sentences (“now”, “today”, “Sign up
immediately”, “Last chance” and so on) reminding consumers of the time urgency of
purchase or urging consumers to take action. 1) and 2) variables are coded as 1 = Yes and
2 = No. 3) If there is any kind of incentives provided in the email (coupon; lowered price;
gift/premier; free trial; others; no incentive); they are coded from 1-6.
Permission marketing and respect for consumers’ option. 1) If there is any
statement about the permission the sender has got from the receiver previously (e.g. “you
have opted in…” or you have registered as…”); 2) If there is any “to be removed from
the list” or “to unsubscribe, click here” option or the equivalent. These two variables are
coded as 1 = Yes and 2 = No.
Personalization. For this content analysis, the concept of personalization is
operationalized as: 1) The “sender” appeared in the email head (1. A person’s name; 2. A
company’s name; 3. An email address; 4) A non-name word/phrase/sentence; 4. Others);
2) The “receiver” appeared in the email head (1. To the email account owner’s email
address only; 2. To more than two email addresses); 3) The personalization level the
subject in the email head is phrased (1. Non-personal; 2. Personal; 3. Extremely


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