Personalized communication has become a very popular marketing strategy, but the research on its effectiveness is still limited.
This study examined the effectiveness of personalized digital newsletters in terms of increased attention, evaluation, attitude,
and intention. Participants (N = 124) were randomly exposed to one of two experimental conditions: generic or personalized.
The personalized message was not found to be more persuasive than the generic message. The effects were moderated by individuals‘
need for cognition and privacy concerns. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
have not only made customer driven communication possible, but also widespread. Nowadays, companies possess different tools
and strategies that enable them to address their customers personally. One prominent strategy is that of personalization.
Although the term personalization covers a variety of concepts (Vesanen 2007), the idea behind them is the same, namely to
create a message referring to a receiver‘s self (Petty, Wheeler, and Bizer 2000).
According to Jupiter Research (2007),
nowadays personalization is broadly utilized. There is paucity in research on the effects of personalized marketing communication
though. Some authors have proven personalized communication to enhance attention and elaboration (Tam and Ho 2005), lead to
a more positive attitude (Kalyanaraman and Sundar 2006), and increase response rate (Ansari and Mela 2003). Other studies,
however, have not managed to show positive effects of personalization (e.g., Bull, Kreuter, and Scharff 1999). The reason
for these inconsistent findings can be that many studies have compared personalized communication with a control condition
with no message (Dijkstra 2008). Moreover, the role of personal factors has not been studied enough (Ho, Davern, and Tam 2008).
Therefore, this study intended to compare generic marketing communication with personalized marketing communication, and investigate
the moderating role of consumers‘ characteristics.