This landed in my inbox recently.

A disgruntled email subscriber was not happy…and you can tell because they have multiple misspellings in their response…a possible clear sign of frustration.

I don’t get these very often and wish I did.  People will just unsubscribe and that is the end of it.  But this is valuable feedback because it means you are pushing the envelope to some degree.  And in marketing, you have to push the envelope and take risks.

I like to provide serious value to people in list emails through content, but you betcha I am going to push the marketing of my products along with it.

And most people are willing to put up with marketing if you give them good content along with it.

In general, I try to follow the 3-to-1 rule…three pieces of value for every one hard sell.  I don’t know if that is a rule somewhere, but it is roughly my rule that I follow and seems to work for me.

I tend to have a 4-to-1 or even higher ratio for those subscribers who are valuable customers (I segment emails based on detailed customer data).  I want to keep them and they keep buying from me, so no need to push marketing hard on them.

But for subscribers who never buy or have very low customer lifetime value, I tend to push the marketing more with a 2-to-1 ratio .  Some people will just never buy, and ideally I may not even want those people on my list or in my marketing sphere (my email list, database, social follows, retargeting lists, etc) because they end up wasting time and resources.