A Human-First Perspective on Email Marketing

No one matters more in your email marketing than the people who will read your emails. But unfortunately, many marketers have so many details to address that their subscribers’ needs and wants become an afterthought. And their campaigns are suffering for it.

Ultimately, human-first email marketing is the best way to go. You should focus on who the individuals in your subscriber base are at their core and how you can connect with them on a human-to-human level.

Below are four ways to keep your subscribers at the forefront of your email marketing campaigns.

Leverage Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools

It may not seem like automation, and AI tools support a human-first perspective on email marketing, but they do in a couple of key ways.

For one, AI can help you speed up your email creation process. Natural language processing programs are getting better at mimicking human speech. So, using a speech to text software to help you create content works surprisingly well. Remember that you’ll need to edit AI-written text to ensure that it feels like a human is behind it when subscribers read it.

The other way that AI and automation tools help humanize email marketing is by taking repetitive tasks off your plate, like sending emails. This allows you to focus on tasks that involve more personal interactions with subscribers.

The goal isn’t to cut corners with automation and AI. Instead, the objective is to use these tools to serve your subscribers more efficiently and to give you back your time to do email marketing tasks that really need you.

Develop Subscriber Personas

Many marketers make the mistake of talking to a general audience in their emails. Instead, you should develop subscriber personas.

A subscriber persona is a thorough description of someone who represents your subscribers. These personas are fictional, but you create them using any data you’ve gathered on your actual and ideal subscriber base.

These personas will help you create emails that make subscribers feel they were made just for them. They also get rid of that promotional feel that most emails have. Instead, it’ll feel like your subscribers are engaged in an email conversation with a friend.

Document the following in your subscriber personas:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Education level
  • Marital status
  • Insight into how they think
  • Details on their lifestyle
  • Unique behavioral facts
  • How they engage online
  • How they interact with content
  • Brands and businesses they love
  • Details about their interest in emails
  • Pain points or challenges they’re facing

You can speak to who your subscribers are at their core with subscriber personas. They also make it easier to create informational and helpful content.

Create Informational and Helpful Content

According to Statista, “In 2021, there were an estimated 319.6 billion e-mails sent and received daily around the world. This figure is projected to increase to 376.4 billion daily e-mails by 2025.”

With all of these emails floating around, your main focus is probably standing out in your subscribers’ inboxes. One of the best ways to do this is through your content. From your subject line, through your body, all the way down to your conclusion and call-to-action, your email content has to speak to your subscribers on a human level.

That’s where informational and helpful content comes in. You must ensure that the emails you feed your subscribers are not just valuable and interesting to them but educational as well.

For example, if you’re a phone company, your particular audience might be interested in learning how to stop robocalls. You could create a mini-campaign detailing what robocalls are, how to stop them, and what people can do to protect themselves in the future.

Dig into your subscriber research and determine topics your readers would be interested in. Keep a running list of these topics and see how you can group them into individual campaigns.  Also, ensure that only a tiny percentage of your emails are sales and promotion-focused so that you don’t come off as spammy.

Craft content your unique subscriber base would find informational and helpful to keep them at the core of your emails.

Show Your Brand Personality

One of the best ways to make your emails more human-centric is to be yourself. In other words, show your brand personality and take pride in what makes your business and its people unique. Your subscribers will feel that authenticity, and your relationship with them will deepen.

First, put a human behind your emails. Ensure your subscribers can put a face to the name when they read the signature on your emails, and that contact information is easy to find. Next, think about your brand voice. Is it professional? Humorous? A little of both?

Then, you can move on to creating content and using email designs that reflect your brand personality.

When you show who you are, your subscribers will be more likely to do the same. And that, in turn, inspires a deeper emotional connection.


If you’re struggling to generate results with your email marketing, humanizing your approach may be the answer. Start with one of the tips above to make a human-to-human connection with your subscribers in your next email marketing campaign.

Jori Hamilton is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She has a passion for writing about digital marketing, cybersecurity, and sustainability. You can find her on Twitter as @hamiltonjori.

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