Why you should apply the rules of dating to email marketing.


The continuance of personal and professional relationships rely on following some simple rules. This is why you should approach your email marketing as if you were on a date. 

While I certainly wouldn’t recommend reading emails while on a date (a certain turn off!) when conducting your email marketing you should certainly approach it as if you were on a date.   

And here’s why…

Dating and email marketing centre around establishing personal long term relationships.

They both act as a key lead generator and prime tool for engaging your target audience (in both business sales and prospective partners!) and getting conversions (sounds romantic huh!).   

To be successful at both you need to stick to some similar ‘unwritten’ rules. Because if you don’t follow the rules, certain rejection may come your way.  People may move on, swipe left on Tinder or simply unsubscribe.

While in any relationship – personal or professional – rejection is inevitable, there are strategies you can implement to minimise people opting out. 


On a date making an effort with your appearance and in conversations is essential for as we all know first impressions count!

This of course applies to emails where badly written content and poor design get noticed – and not for the right reasons.

One of the comments from my email marketing survey.

One of the comments from my email marketing survey.

A bit of thought about the topics you are writing about, how well the copy is written and the images you are including are essential and need to adequately reflect your brand and customer expectations.

In terms of design – sites such as MailChimp (an email application), Canva (easy design capabilities)and Stokpic (free stock images), provide you with the capabilities to DIY design with style while on a budget.  It just takes time.

As for content, its about finding out what works for you and what doesn’t over time through the continual analysis of your emails and website – what stories get clicked on, shared and which ones are ignored.

But the most important part of email content is that it remains relevant to the individuals.  So basically…


In my recent survey on email marketing lack of relevance was one of the main reasons people unsubscribed to emails.

Of course, customers (and some dates!) have a natural life cycle where no matter if you sold a premium product, delivered amazing service or they provided a stellar review it may come to a point when they view the relationship as just over.

This can be a case of ‘it’s NOT you, it’s THEM ’.   They’ve moved on in life and there is not too much you can do about this (save drowning your sorrows in ice-cream and binge watching Games of Thrones).

But of course there are times, when IT IS YOU.

People usually sign up to emails that align with common interests or from online shopping related to some aspect of their lifestyle. Once the original subject matter loses relevance or becomes self absorbed they will lose interest.

This person gets annoyed when a company ignores their interests.

This person gets annoyed when a company ignores their interests.

Ask yourself – are you still delivering on your original promise when you originally elicited contact details from individuals?

Or better yet – ask the subscribers why they are leaving and it never hurts to provide options for them  to stay.

You can better optimise unsubscriptions by asking people at the point of exit for feedback.  Instead of just accepting their decision, ask questions of why they are leaving or alternatively offer them alternative scenarios for receiving emails (such as opting for more specified topics or different frequency rates).

How one company manages their unsubscribe process.

How one company manages their unsubscribe process.

Even if they still choose to leave, the data you collect will be invaluable for long term use, refining your marketing strategy and ultimately getting better at conversions.


The frequency of emails someone can receive from the one company was listed as another pet peeve by email consumers.

Hitting on the right number of emails (or in dating terms calls or texts) to send to your database can be tricky.  Not enough means out of sight out of mind, but too many can tip into the world of stalking.

Frequency of emails was listed as one of the biggest turn offs by email consumers. 

Frequency of emails was listed as one of the biggest turn offs by email consumers. 

Of course from the company perspective – open rates on emails is low so sending out a number a day could be considered a strategy for getting more opens and the attention of more consumers. But it’s a strategy that can be alienating.

It reminds me of those lines from the Woody Allan movie Annie Hall where a married couple are at their individual therapists and asked how often they have sex:

Alvy Singer: [lamenting] Hardly ever. Maybe three times a week.
Annie Hall: [annoyed] Constantly. I’d say three times a week.

It’s all about perspective.

While everyone has their own tolerance levels of when enough is enough it can be safe to say if you are bombarding your members with emails you are going to move into spamming territory.

And this is when people will run.

An ideal schedule can be different for different companies and different people. Again continue to monitor and analyse results to find the best schedule for you.

You can also get your customers to nominate frequency rate at the time of signing up (as well as departure) and segment your database accordingly.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER…can never be without a lot of hard work.

Finding the right relationship balance – personal and email –takes a lot of consideration, inner reflection and rejection to find out what works best for you.

But by putting yourself out there – getting in the game – results will come your way.

I promise.