Five Things Dad Taught Me About Email Marketing Without Even Trying

My father has always been good at turning a phrase. I’m often told my “gift for the gab” comes from him. As with most fathers, he was never shy about sharing insight and rules for life as I grew up. With Father’s Day near, I started thinking about some of those bits of wisdom and realized many could be applied to email marketing.

Perception is nine-tenths of the law. What people perceive is what people believe. CAN-SPAM or any other anti-spam law is all but irrelevant to most recipients. If they think your email is spam, then it’s spam (see below).

There’s what you can do -- and what you should do. Laws cover the former, and sensitivity and common sense cover the latter. If we show more of the latter, we’ll hopefully need less of the former.

It’s not how you fall, but how you rise that is important. You’re going to make mistakes. No one plans to fail, but how many of us fail to plan? Do you have a plan on how to deal with mistakes? Few people may actually notice the fall, but rest assured, everyone will be watching how you get back up.



Verbal diarrhea can be fatal. Too much information is worse than not enough.  Give people the amount of information they need to take the next step you want them to take, and leave some room for questions to answer.

People love a good story, but hate a great sermon. Don’t waste subscribers’ time telling them what they should be doing, when you could be using a good story to show them what they could be doing.

Thanks, Dad! Here’s another tie!

When you consider a half century of really ugly ties and badly made ashtrays I gave my dad for Father’s Day, the wisdom and insight he provided in return was a pretty amazing ROI. Just don’t expect your email subscribers to give you the same indulgence as Dad did if you give them crap.

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