Effective email marketing: an empirical study of the impact of personalized communication on customer engagement and purchase decisions
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- Master of Science 
This study investigates the impact of behavior-based personalization on customer engagement and purchase behavior in the context of email marketing. For this purpose, the author reviews and combines the following research streams in the literature: email marketing, personalization of marketing communication, and customer engagement. To answer the research question at hand, the author designs a field study in collaboration with Kahoot! AS, a fast-growing Norwegian start-up company operating in the education technology industry. Kahoot!’s game-based learning and trivia platform is used in multiple settings – school and university classrooms, business training and presentations, social, cultural, and other events (retrieved from kahoot.com). By leveraging marketing automation technology, which Kahoot! uses for the email campaigns’ creation and management, the author sets up and runs the experiment. Findings of the study provide marketing managers with useful insights on the effectiveness of behavior-based personalization in the email marketing context as well as contribute to the ongoing academic discussion about personalized marketing communication and customer engagement. The results reveal that email communication has a significant positive effect on customer engagement irrespective of behavior-based personalization. This proves that email is an effective marketing communication channel, and it should, therefore, remain a key part of the digital media mix used by marketers. However, based on the lack of a significant difference in the effectiveness of personalized and non-personalized email campaigns, the author recommends focusing more on highquality generic content and the design of the email messages. Furthermore, consistent with the viewpoints of researchers in the field, the study confirms that customer engagement is a significant predictor of customer purchases, leading to the conclusion that firms should invest in customer engagement marketing initiatives to ultimately achieve better firm performance.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Marketing - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2019