Xi “Alan” Zhang

Assistant Professor

Department: Marketing and International Business

University of Toledo   

Xi (Alan) Zhang was interested in how firms can manage an email program to best target, engage and market to their customers. He is an empirical modeler and seeks to address marketing problems using a wide range of methods, including econometric methods, survival analysis, copula models, dynamic programming and Bayesian statistics. His dissertation titled “Managing a Profitable Interactive Email Marketing Program: Modeling and Analysis” won the 2013 Shankar –Spiegel Best Dissertation Proposal Award.

His dissertation examines an important yet underdeveloped marketing problem—Email Marketing. His dissertation is motivated by the fact that email continues to be the marketing tool that brings the highest ROI, according to the Direct Marketing Association’s “Power of Direct” (2011) study. The first essay of his dissertation studies the factors that drive people to opt-in and opt-out. It intends to understand what motivates customers to initiate communication to give marketing permission and what triggers the customer to terminate the interactive relationship. The second essay of his dissertation investigates the linkage between email opening and consumer purchase behavior. It seeks to help firms develop effective strategies to send the right email to the right customers at the right time.

Awards and Honors:

• Winner of the Shankar–Spiegel Best Dissertation Proposal Award, 2013

• INFORMS Doctoral Consortium Fellow 2009, 2012, 2013

• Postgraduate Studentships, Lingnan University, Hong Kong 2007 – 2009

• Bachelor of Art with Distinction, GDUFS 2007

• Undergraduate Scholarships, GDUFS 2003 – 2007