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While building on the contingency theory, this paper proposes a conceptual framework that links five factors: a) internal forces, b) external forces, c) past web and firm performance, d) current web and firm performance, and e) e-marketing strategy in terms of the strategy defined for the 4Ws (Web-Design, Web-Promotion, Web-Price, and Web-CRM). These dimensions and respective variables are explored, and propositions about their relationships are presented. The role of past performance on strategy formulation in an internet context and on current performance is also considered. Future research is encouraged to build on this framework to test how internal and external forces of the firm, along with its past performance, influence the determination of e-marketing strategy and how in turn, e-marketing strategy impacts on performance at the web and firm levels. Ultimately, the present research seeks to identify effective e-marketing practices in order to help managers and in order to guide public policy makers deciding what to support.