Every consumer or business has an e-mail profile to use

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You feel ready to launch a sophisticated campaign, leveraging  the low cost of e-mail to saturate your active file. But do you realize that every consumer or business receiving your e-mail has an e-mail profile that they use to segment incoming mail? That most companies sending e-mail either don't know their customers' profiles or ignore it with their “spray and pray” campaigns?

Many marketers use segmentation strategies to characterize customers in ways they hope will assist them with effective consumer marketing. The best of those segmentation strategies, based on mathematical marketing, identify which customers are ready to buy, in addition to the purchase probabilities for several of your products.

Don't have a segmentation strategy? You're not alone. But remember that your recipients are most likely segmentation specialists. Whether they have multiple inbox folders in Outlook or just a segmentation scheme in their head, your recipients triage all that incoming e-mail according to their e-mail profile. They examine who sent the message, the message's subject and offer, and the last time the sender communicated.

Do your recipients open every communication you send or do they only pay attention when a particularly good deal catches their eye? They can have different profile settings for every company sending them e-mail. Unless you know their profile settings, you can only cross your fingers and hope.

Discovering e-mail profiles can be frustrating. You may put a considerable amount of energy into predictive analytics, which gets wasted because you don't know what and when to e-mail. Happily, a few ways exist to discover customer e-mail profiles.

The easiest way is to ask. Give your customer the opportunity to share their rules. Do you communicate only when you have a personally relevant message? Or should it be weekly? Or perhaps they will give you permission to use your own judgment. Just make sure you stick with their rules.

A customer's behavior can reveal their profiles. Which kinds of e-mail get a response or lead to a purchase? How often do they open e-mail from you? What content is favored? If you go the analysis route, you need to do it for every customer, not merely for a test group. But two advantages exist with using analysis as opposed to simply asking: You do not need a customer's explicit permission to analyze, and you will look smart by communicating in a way that matches their implicit profile.

Whatever route you choose, matching the profile with the customer's perspective can improve response rates and revenue.

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