This study aims to explain why e‐mails trigger emotional response states in receivers and to explore the influence of e‐mail formats on the receivers' intention to forward e‐mails.
Data were collected from 305 undergraduate and EMBA students in one university in Northern Taiwan. Participants were asked to fill out the questionnaire based on any forwarded e‐mail that they had recently received.
This study reveals that people will have a stronger intention to forward e‐mails that make them feel positive emotions, display richer information, are greater in length, or include audio and visual information.
This study shows that e‐mail forwarding function maintains guanxi with others, supporting the social psychology theory that personal emotional states will trigger specific behaviors. Also, this paper extends the explanation of the “information richness” theory concerning the influence of format on receivers' e‐mail forwarding intentions.
This study can assist marketing managers in developing e‐commerce by exploiting the special features of e‐mails identified in the study.
This study provides a behavioral model of the type of e‐mails most likely to be forwarded. Enterprises can use this model in developing better guanxi with their customers.
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