In this chapter, the choice of the method for this research is presented with the reason of choice. Infor-mation about research approach, selection of data collection with survey design, sample selection and short description of analysis are provided.
A research design is categorized as two main type; exploratory and conclusive. Exploratory research design is used to identify and understand a problem, after that, to create a hypothesis. A lack of un-derstanding is required. On the other hand, the problem or phenomena is already defined in the con-clusive research design, which intends to test the problem and pre-defined relationship within the problem (Malhotra, Birks, & Wills, 2012). For the purpose of this research, conclusive research design was applied. The factors which are related to the problem are already defined and the purpose is to analyze and compare the relation of the factors with the problem.
The research approach can be qualitative or quantitative. Mostly, quantitative approach is used for a conclusive research and qualitative research is used for an exploratory one (Malhotra et al., 2012). Qualitative research is used to understanding a problem through reasons and motivation by collecting non-numerical data. In contrast, quantitative research uses numerical data to examine the problem and relationship with causes. The purpose of the study requires the use of statistical data to examine the reasons of the problem, quantitative research uses numerical data for data collection and analysis (Malhotra et al., 2012). Because of that, quantitative approach was selected for this study.
According to Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson (2015), there are three methods to collect data for a quantitative research, survey, quantitative observation and databases. Survey and observation are primary data sources and databases are secondary data source.
Unlike secondary data, primary data is collected by the researcher, it provides more control over the collection process and results. Secondary data, such as databases contains public or statistical data which are collected usually by financial agencies or government and they are not always suitable for different research topic, these databases are collected according to specific research topic. To have more freedom in this study and to be able to design the methodology according to the chosen research question, one of the primary data sources was selected for data collection process, which is the survey. This study does not mainly focus on how customer behave, but focus on reasons for ignoring marketing e-mails and how to improve it. Also large amount of data should be collected for validity and reliability, which cannot be done via observation in a limited time period. Data collection by survey requires less time. Because of that, answers of the research questions cannot be collected with observation. An-other advantages of survey are that questions are structured and answers are predetermined which make the analysis process simpler more reliable than other methods. Variety of collected answers are limited by interviewer. In order to collect data for the research problem, statistical results of survey give a better result.
There are four ways of conducting a survey; postal survey, web survey, face-to-face interview survey and telephone interview survey (Easterby-Smith et al., 2015). For reliability and validity, the survey of the study should be conducted by as many people as possible in short time and web survey is better way to do that. Only by sending the link of the survey, survey can be shared and involvement of the researcher is not necessary. It is also costless unlike phone and postal survey.
Sampling process, which contains size and method selection, is an important part of the survey. Two main errors may occur during sampling. Because of the random sampling, respondents may not diverse enough. Secondly, non-response bias also causes a problem if similar characteristics does not exist in sample (Barlett, Kotrlik, & Higgins , 2001). For this study, the probability of the sampling error is de-creased by increasing the size of the sample. Nonetheless, the sample of this study is not large enough to make it representative for whole country.
In order to increase the sample size more efficiently, two non-probability sampling techniques, which are convenience and snowball sampling, were combined. As first step, the web survey is shared in and around Jönköping university randomly via online platform. Convenience sampling technique requires less time but its disadvantage is sample cannot be representative (Malhotra et al., 2012). For second step, respondents were asked to pass the survey to their network, which will help to increase the var-iation by reaching people which cannot be reach via convenience sampling (Easterby-Smith et al., 2015).
For data collection, a survey with 46 questions were prepared and shared via a web-based survey ap-plication Google Forms. The Survey questions is located in Appendix A: Survey Questions. To design the survey questions, the key factors which are defined in previous chapter are used.
Two possible errors might occur while conducting the survey, which affect the research. One of the error is misinterpretation of the survey questions by respondent (Gable, 1994). It can happen because interwiever is not present during conduction and cannot help the respondent. It would be an important issue with the survey of this study because it contains keywords from previous literatures and they can be misunderstood. Misinterpretation may completely change the outcome of the survey and makes it inaccurate. According to Gable (1994), researchers should be able to estimates answers and section of the survey which might cause misinterpretation. To prevent this problem, every category of questions starts with a brief introduction to inform respondents about next question category. Questions, which contain key words from literatures have explanations in order to make it more clear for respondent.
Before publishing the survey, a final draft was tested on a pilot sample of six people from the real sample. After the test, time requirement to complete the survey was obtained and survey questions are corrected according to feedbacks from pilot sample in order to make the survey easy to understand and less likely to misinterpret.
Questions are separated under three categories;
- General questions about respondent and their online behavior
- Respondent’s previous marketing e-mail experience (regarding first research question)
- Respondent’s desire from marketing e-mails (regarding second research question)
The survey contains two types of questions; multiple choice and itemized rating scale. For multiple choice question, category scale is used. By creating categories, respondents are grouped for further analysis. For second type, the Likert scale is adopted as seven-point response scale; from one to seven, as a range from strongly disagree to strongly agree. In this type of questions, statements are presented which respondent should choose degree of agreement. For specific questions like financial situation and online purchase behavior, the scale is ranged from rarely to frequently. Range to seven is selected instead of to five in order to give to respondent wider answer range. Except financial situation ques-tion, all questions were prepared as a mandatory question in order to prevent unanswered question.
IBM SPSS Statistics Version 21 was used for the analysis of the collected data. As preparation of analy-sis, couple of steps were followed;
- All responses were checked for consistency.
- Inconsistent participants were deleted.
- Codes were assigned to answers.
- Survey data was imported to SPSS.
- Types of variable were assigned to responses.
- Collected data was visualized with charts for explanation.
- Data analysis methods were selected. (adopted from: Malhotra et al., 2012)
In order to answer the first research question, the descriptive analysis method was selected and the answers of second part of the survey were used. Data was collected as non-metric data. Mean values and frequencies of the data collected from second part of survey were calculated and compared.
In order to answer second question, data collected from third part of the survey was used for the principal components analysis. In final section, each statement is about different variable which influ-ence the decision making process. Some of these variables are related to each other and can be col-lected as components. By using this analysis method, researchers aimed to reducing the amount of variables to components and analyzing of components. Collecting variables under different component and it makes the analysis simpler.
As last step, one of the multivariate technique, cross-tabular analysis was used in order to find a rela-tionship between variables from part one and other two part.
Histograms, graphs and tables are used to visualize results and make conclusion.
When it comes to data collection, ethics plays an important role. For this research the following aspects will be taking in consideration:
Participants do the survey anonymously All opinions are taking in consideration Participants are informed about the subject of the research before hand Survey is subject to voluntary participation No private questions are considered for this survey Participants are encouraged to answer honestly Only necessary data is collected
After collection, researches are commitment to treat the information as it was received from partici-pants, and keep its original traits in order to achieve the highest reliability as possible.
List of Figures
List of Tables
1.1 Internet and Business
1.2 E-marketing and E-marketing Tools
1.3 Research Problem / Questions
1.5 Key Definitions
2 Literature Review
2.2 B2C / Customer Orientation
2.3 E-mail marketing
2.4 Online Customer Behavior to Marketing E-mails
3.1 Research Method
3.2 Sampling Method
3.3 Data Collection
3.4 Data Analysis
3.5 Ethical implications
4 Survey Results
4.1 Sample information
4.2 Ignoring Marketing E-mails
4.3 Desired Marketing E-mail Structure
5.1 Descriptive Analysis for Ignoring Factors
5.2 Principal Component Analysis for Desired E-mail
5.3 Component Score Analysis
6.1 First Research Question
6.2 Second Research Question
6.5 Further Research
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INCREASING THE EFFICIENCY OF MARKETING E-MAIL IN CUSTOMER RETENTION