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A Content Analysis of Direct Marketing Emails
Unformatted Document Text:  20 email itself as a mass-junk email. Also, marketers should make clear statements about consumers’ affiliation, if there is really any. As negative examples for design’s concern, large amount of the emails analyzed in this study are text-dominated. Though the primary function of email is to inform via words, the use of photos, cartoons, free drawings and animations sometimes are crucial in making the messaging standout from the information clutters. As stated earlier, the purpose of this paper is to explore email marketing techniques and characteristics. As one of the first content analysis study on email marketing, we hope our findings of this exploratory study will provide direct markers and researchers an initial picture of what’s going on in a consumer’s email inbox, and how well the professional standards in email marketing are used in daily email marketing practice, and where the discrepancy exists. We hope our findings can help marketers to adjust and streamline their email marketing strategies in the future and build a healthier, win-win relationship with consumers. We also hope our method and findings can add some knowledge for future email marketing research. Considering the limitations of this study, several implications for future study are proposed for understanding more about email marketing. As an exploratory study, a convenience sample of commercial emails is used here. Future study could replicate this content analysis by using randomly select commercial emails from randomly selected Internet users with more generable findings to a larger population. Email marketing effectiveness research should also examine the consumers’ perspective. Effectiveness vs. irritation could be studied by examining consumers’ use of email inbox, junk mail box, and the function of “block” unsolicited emails provided by

Authors: Jin, Yan. and Cameron, Glen.
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email itself as a mass-junk email. Also, marketers should make clear statements about
consumers’ affiliation, if there is really any. As negative examples for design’s concern,
large amount of the emails analyzed in this study are text-dominated. Though the primary
function of email is to inform via words, the use of photos, cartoons, free drawings and
animations sometimes are crucial in making the messaging standout from the information
clutters.
As stated earlier, the purpose of this paper is to explore email marketing
techniques and characteristics. As one of the first content analysis study on email
marketing, we hope our findings of this exploratory study will provide direct markers and
researchers an initial picture of what’s going on in a consumer’s email inbox, and how
well the professional standards in email marketing are used in daily email marketing
practice, and where the discrepancy exists. We hope our findings can help marketers to
adjust and streamline their email marketing strategies in the future and build a healthier,
win-win relationship with consumers. We also hope our method and findings can add
some knowledge for future email marketing research.
Considering the limitations of this study, several implications for future study are
proposed for understanding more about email marketing. As an exploratory study, a
convenience sample of commercial emails is used here. Future study could replicate this
content analysis by using randomly select commercial emails from randomly selected
Internet users with more generable findings to a larger population.
Email marketing effectiveness research should also examine the consumers’
perspective. Effectiveness vs. irritation could be studied by examining consumers’ use of
email inbox, junk mail box, and the function of “block” unsolicited emails provided by


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