Email marketing habits you should let go of

Sometimes, it's not how you start a new year that matters — it's how you finish. So if you feel like your email marketing tactics could use some improvement, read this article to see some habits to let go of and some best practices to try in 2023.

Marketers will always argue that you need to find the right mix of tactics to get started but in reality, all marketers should just be asking one simple question: What do my customers want?

In 2023, this is what your customers expect from you as an email marketer, they want:

  • a personalised experience
  • you to solve their problems
  • you to consider them
  • to be surprised
  • hacks to save time and money

If you can creatively come up with email marketing campaigns that address the above-mentioned desires, you will be surprised at how things will improve for your business this year.

Start the year by trying some new things and letting go of old habits such as these…

1. You’re constantly selling

Most marketers think that email marketing is all about attracting as many people as possible. It plays a part, but it’s not about hitting a moving target and hoping someone gives you money. Email marketing helps you collect information about people who are willing to buy from you by helping them love you enough to actually do it. So to give something of value to your customers other than your promotions, send emails that educate, entertain and help them.

Marketing is, at its core, about providing value to your prospective and existing customers.

So how do you let go of this habit?

It’s time to send out some helpful resources like blogs, how-to guides, tutorials and webinars. You can balance your content to be 90% educational and 10% promotional to get the best results.

Use content to create value-added experiences that sets you apart from your competitors. Here are some easy-to-implement campaign ideas that don’t focus on pure selling:

  • Behind the scenes content: Use your email content to share behind the scene experiences
  • A note from your business founder or CEO: Why the business was started, etc.
  • Any interesting business processes or practices: If you have an interesting way of working or meeting format, share this with your audience.
  • Meet the team: Meet the team campaigns always make the best content. You can show people who packs their order or who creates the email campaigns they receive. People always connect to people.

As an email marketer, we know you have a passionate relationship with your subscribers. They care about the content you create and they look forward to hearing from you. It’s a relationship that has probably been built over time through trust and respect; but as any good friend will tell you, there’s a limit to how much they’ll listen to you selling your products before ignoring you completely.

You’ll be satisfying their desire for you to solve their problems through this type of content while also giving them hacks that will save them time and money.

2. You’re not engaging your subscribers like individuals

As a marketer, the very first thing you need to do is stop engaging your customers as if they were an anonymous group of people. Yes, your marketing efforts are going to speak to a wide audience but without attempting to establish that personal connection, things are never going to work on a large scale. Remember, in order for your marketing efforts to really take off, you absolutely must engage your customer like an individual.

So how do you let go of this habit?

Spend time carefully considering what you are going to add to your campaigns. You want to ensure you make your emails relevant and timely.

Relevant: If you’re familiar with personalisation strategies, you will have noticed that the focus is on giving your recipients relevant content that helps them with their immediate needs. If you have a preference centre where your subscriber has indicated what content they want to receive from you, it should be easy for you to know what content will really grab their attention. Pay special attention to your reports and the links that people click on. It will show you what they are interested in and you’ll be able to hone your content even more.

Timely: When it comes to saying things, people often say “read the room.” The same applies when it comes to email marketing, you want to ensure you are not sending out content that could be ill-timed or misconstrued due to factors outside of your business. Be aware of your industry and the sentiment around different topics. A personalised email must also be timely, which is another differentiating factor of personalised emails.

You need to walk in your subscriber's shoes, get yourself into their heads and think about what information they would appreciate at a given stage of their journey with you. So go ahead and gather some data to help you know what kind of content they need at a particular stage of their customer journey. You’ll be satisfying their desire for a personalised experience.

3. You’re not leveraging your readers' short attention span

We live in a time when people seek instant gratification. As humans, we’ve always demanded speed and efficiency. Now more than ever, business is about mind-boggling speed. Your audience wants value now and they don’t have the patience to go through a ton of information in order to get it.

So how do you let go of this habit?

Start working on simplifying your messages and ensuring that you make your offers clear even to the skim reader.

Create a hierarchy of content by incorporating different headlines and using different text styles. This helps a reader skim your content and read through the most important parts first. This helps them get the info they need faster and in turn help you create stronger messages.

You’ll be satisfying their desire to be considered. Consider their precious time.

4. You’re being too literal in your subject lines

When you choose a subject line for your newsletter or marketing email campaign, don’t just use the actual words in the title of the email itself; think about how people will interpret those words and whether they will be interested in reading further. Your subject line is what convinces a subscriber to open your email - make sure you give them a reason to open that email.

Most marketers treat their subject lines too literally. They use a boring subject line, like "New Product Alert," or they include a portion of their email’s body in the subject line, which is even worse.

So how do you let go of this habit?

Make it exciting: Consumers are inundated with emails all day long, which means your subject line is the one factor that will get someone to open your message. Use words that inspire curiosity and intrigue — questions like "Why don't you know this yet?" or "What if I told you?" can help get people's attention.

This will also satisfy their desire to be surprised, so try it!

Try some of these subject line formula’s as a starting point to create more compelling subject lines.


Don’t strive to be a mind reader. Use the insights from your reports to create better future campaigns. Now, you can write emails that your customers can't wait to receive with just a few of these minor adjustments. Remember, they will be happier and more prepared to make a purchase from you if you give them exactly what they want.

Let us know what you think in the comments section below. Also, feel free to ask us any questions you might have.


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