top of page

Moving out ethically, Pt. 2

Updated: Apr 30

If you got to know me even a tiny bit, you know that I see content ideas everywhere I go and in everything I do.

My moving out process is no different.

In part one of my “moving out ethically” review, I shared how I managed to sell my things (or at least most of them) ethically.

Today, I’ll be zooming out and exploring how I orchestrated my move as a whole, and how you can apply it to your own email marketing.

Let’s dive in:

1. If you don’t tell people what to do, they simply won’t do it.

This one was my absolute favorite to see unfolding in real life.

I’m someone who has a really hard time asking for help, but during this move, I reached out to multiple friends and leaned on others as much as I could to make it all happen.

I secretly kept two test groups of friends:

  • Group 1: I only dropped hints that I needed some help


“I would take any help that I could get!”

  • Group 2: I explicitly asked for their help, mentioned specific dates, and asked them to be present at specific times.


“I need to take off all of my shelves and fill in the holes, and I want to take care of it in the last weekend of January. Could you do the 27th?”

Guess which group of friends actually showed up?

That’s right, the second group.

That’s because a Call to Action (CTA) is crucial when dealing with human beings.

We’re bombarded by so many marketing messages all the time (anywhere between 6k to 10k ads a day), so unless you tell your reader what to do, they simply won’t do it.

(Okay, they might be rebellious, and despite your beautifully-crafted CTA, they’d choose not to do what you told them to do. But you have a much higher chance of seeing any action happening when you actually, specifically and deliberately tell your audience to do something.)

How is that relevant to your own email marketing: your email needs to have one clear goal - what’s the one thing you’d like your reader to do? Click on something? Reply? Share with a friend?

If you have a hard time getting to the point of your email - write that CTA first, and then write down the rest of your email. That’s one of the first things I teach my Email Musclers, and the first part of the email formula they’re working with every week.

2. Strategic planning in advance would save your ass

As you can imagine, moving is a bitch, and managing all the moving parts all by myself was tricky, especially when:

  • I moved out of a country

  • Which also happens to love bureaucracy

  • But I wasn’t moving out completely, so I needed to keep some bridges intact

  • And on top of it all, have I mentioned that I was the only person taking care of things?

So making a detailed (yet flexible) plan in advance was crucial here.

  • I penciled down important dates and goals (business-wise and bureaucracy-wise), then worked backward from those

  • Prepared as many marketing materials + wrote my business’ daily/weekly content plan in advance

  • Let friends know when I needed their help, what with, and how they can support me

  • Planned which items I was going to sell and arranged when they could be picked up (for example, it made no sense to sell my fridge and washing machine at the beginning of January and live fridgeless and dirty for a whole month). Then I started posting those items online gradually

  • Made backup plans in case some friends who offered to help didn’t show up

  • Divided my client work strategically, and let them know that I’d be less available in the last week of January

Was I following this plan to a tee? Of course not. But if all else failed, I had something to fall back onto:

If I had a different idea for my daily Linkedin post, for example, the original idea was saved for later.

How is that relevant to your own email marketing: strategic planning of your marketing efforts is something I highly recommend doing, usually a quarter or two in advance - if you can afford it.

As a part of my retainer package, The 90-day Email TLC, one of the first things I do for a new client is map out and ideate their upcoming quarterly newsletter content strategy.

(I also audit the brand’s existing email sitch, map out evergreen flows, and then either write them from scratch or optimize the existing ones.)

That way, we know what we want to achieve, and how to get there - one email at a time.

If there are other priorities coming up or new stories/ideas we want to use instead of the one we thought of initially - great! We can use the original idea when it makes sense further down the line, and when it makes sense in the customer journey as a whole.

3. You are your only first priority. Others will never care about you as much.

Okay, that might sound bleak, but I mean it in the most positive way (and promise that I’ll end this point on a very high sentimental note) -

We are all incredibly selfish, and the only plans or priorities we care about are our own.

When I started organizing my move, I told many of my friends about it. They knew my exact moving-out date, and many of them also offered to help me, out of courtesy. But most of them didn’t show up to the multiple occasions and places they could’ve seen me at.

My very best friends in Berlin weren’t even in the city during the crunch time of my move.

And as disappointing as this sounds (and it was), that’s when my marketing knowledge kicked right back in:

My move was no one else’s first priority - but it was my first priority.

So it was up to me to ensure that the people I counted on to show up and help me did so. It was up to me to send them reminder texts, do the research, buy materials, and make it as simple as possible for the friends who did help me to do that.

I did all the (mental) heavy lifting. (And some physical too!)

I had myself to trust and I had my plan B ready in my back pocket in case I needed to rely on it. I knew that even in the worst-case scenario, I’d land on my feet (thank you, therapy!).

How is that relevant to your own email marketing:

A. Stop thinking that you’re bothering anyone with your emails. The people who subscribed to your list did so voluntarily and willingly, so they want to hear from you.

In fact, I’d argue that you’re not sending enough emails as it is. And those who don’t find value in being on your list anymore would simply show themselves the way out by unsubscribing, and there’s nothing wrong with that (they’re actually doing you a huge favor!).

B. You are not the hero of your subscribers’ story - they are. They think about themselves more than they will ever think of you or your brand, that’s just the way it is.

I cannot emphasize this enough - make your emails about your subscribers, and cater to them. Your solution, as great and fantastic as it is, is only a means to an end - a burdenless life, freer schedule, or greater enjoyment of their leisure time. So for the love of pasta, make it about your reader, not about you.

4. The reek of desperation doesn’t suit you, or: the push and the pull

This concept has been lingering on my mind since the beginning of this year and has presented itself to me more times than I care to admit, so I suspect that I’ll write about it more in some way or another in the near future.

Something that I find incredibly interesting about marketing and sales psychology is the mindset we lead with, and how others can sense it.

You may know it as the “attract and repel”, or the “push and pull”.

When I moved out, I saw it happening firsthand:

  1. Push: It was really hard for me to sell some pieces of furniture (I shared more about it in part 1). Knowing that, and every time I got an inquiry on those specific items, I really pushed for the inquirer to come and buy it from me.

In 100% of the cases when I did that, the inquirer had no interest in the item anymore.

I reeked of desperation.

No one wants to hear from, let alone buy anything from someone like that.

  1. Pull: The friends who offered to come and help or even buy things from me and never showed up almost always followed up with me over texts, and at the very least apologized for disappearing.

Some of them also chased me and tried meeting me after all. Some succeeded in doing so.

Some of them have even continued messaging me up till this week (3 weeks after moving out!).

That only happened cause I was busy up to my dusty ears with the move, so I didn’t have time to deal with disappointment, no-shows, or things that weren’t acute at that moment or took too much mental energy.

As soon as I became really busy with my move and chased people less, more of them came right back to me.

How is that relevant to your own email marketing: your subscribers can sense when you’re trying too hard. Sure, sometimes the occasion calls for more repetitions (like a Black Friday sale). Repetition is important, especially during big sales periods.

But tactics like decreasing the price even lower after you didn’t manage to sell a product at its original price (or already reduced price)/when you supposedly “extend the sale” - that’s so transparent it hurts.

That means that the problem is deeper than your messaging or cadence of emails, and another discount won’t wash the reek of desperation off of you. If anything, it just makes you smell worse.

5. Build that relationship first. Give value continuously. Only then ask for favors.

The friends that helped me repair and prepare my flat for the handover, move my things to the storage unit, and supported my mental health throughout this whole shenanigans were friends I’ve been nurturing relationships with for years.

With some, I had long conversations about business growth and personal development, and offered them a safe space to vent or get advice when they needed it.

Other friends have been getting free dog sitting from me (a win-win situation for everyone!).

I helped another friend secure her current apartment and assisted her with her thesis.

And I was happy to do all of those things even if I had seen nothing in return.

How is that relevant to your own email marketing: the relationship you develop with your subscriber is a gradual one. You need to grow on them, and it takes time. It was scientifically proven that it takes longer to nurture good relationships in the inbox than in real life.

When you build a list, sales is only one of the goals that you need to aim for - plan for building a community of raving fans rather than walking wallets. That will possibly be harder in the beginning but will become a self-feeding loop of conversations and conversions further down the line. Design your email experience for both short and long-term gains.

Which of those points resonated with you the most or surprised you the most? Let me know in a comment below!

If you enjoyed this article, share it with your business bestie.
If you’re that bestie, and you also enjoyed reading this, you would love the lessons and exclusive content about ethical email marketing I share in my newsletter! Join here.

19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page