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EMAC 2023 Annual

Do not underestimate email customization to boost consumer engagement – the impact of the customization elements timing and content

Published: May 24, 2023


Michael Schade, University of Bremen; Christopher Kanitz, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, School of Business and Management, Study Programme Global Sales and Marketing; Maik Dulle, University of Bremen; Jan Wiezorrek, University of Bremen; Stephan Buttgereit, University of Bremen; Andreas Zehetner, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria


Companies are struggling with the effectiveness of email marketing, as evidenced by declining consumer engagement (e. g. opening and click-through rates). Personalization is often cited as a countermeasure, but personalization can lead to negative effects due to privacy concerns. We propose another promising strategy. By using customization options companies can empower consumers and reduce the negative effects of privacy concerns ultimately increasing the effectiveness of email marketing as well as fostering the customer relationship. In the conceptual part, we derive this strategy theoretically and present how the underlying assumptions are linked. We present the results of several focus groups supporting the use of customization in this context. Both parts result in the design of a field experiment, which is outlined. The field experiment is scheduled to start in January 2023, and we are highly confident to be able to present the results in May 2023.