Title: An examination of the e-mail and electronic relationship marketing practices of the USA's top 500 online retailers

Authors: Richard A. Heiens; Ravi Narayanaswamy

Addresses: School of Business Administration, University of South Carolina Aiken, 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801, USA ' School of Business Administration, University of South Carolina Aiken, 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801, USA

Abstract: The present study analyses the relationship between the relative size of an internet retailer in terms of annual sales and their use of e-mail marketing and electronically mediated relationship marketing strategies. The results reveal that the majority of the USA's top 500 online retailers do in fact rely on e-mail marketing programs and that higher-ranked companies actually send more e-mails per customer per year than their lower-ranked counterparts. Also, higher-ranked online retailers are not as likely to permanently include an 'opt-in' choice on their websites, although they are more likely to send a series of welcome e-mails. Moreover, there is partial support that higher-ranked online retailers are more likely to utilise incentive offers. Finally, higher-ranked online retailers are more likely to include links to social networks on their websites.

Keywords: email marketing; incentive offers; online retailing; opt-in; social network links; welcome emails; electronic relationship marketing; USA; United States; etailing; electronic retailing; social networks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJECRM.2016.082185

International Journal of Electronic Customer Relationship Management, 2016 Vol.10 No.2/3/4, pp.125 - 137

Received: 25 Aug 2015
Accepted: 21 Jun 2016

Published online: 12 Feb 2017 *

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