Tarzan Kay


January 30, 2024

to you

What you're reading is a copy of an email my subscribers received. This is an archive, so it's possible some links are missing or expired. If you want to stay in the loop, make sure to jump on my email list and get these delivered direct to your inbox!


bit sad I learned about this so late ‍♀️

⚠️ ACHTUNG (BABY)! ⚠️ New rules for getting marketing emails delivered to Google and Yahoo accounts coming into place Thursday, Feb 1. If you still haven’t taking any action and don’t know what to do first, I strongly recommend Cheryl Rerick’s $197 program Deliverability Unboxed that tells you exactly what to do (affiliate link).


I learned about consent from a children’s book when I was 37 years old.* 

I am not kidding. 

I wish I was kidding. 

My parents didn’t know anything about consent or bodily autonomy. No one was talking about that in the 80s. Plus they came from two religious sects basically competing for who could oppress women the most. We knew that mothers had to submit to their son’s authority the day they turned 16, as per the Mennonite tradition. We knew that women’s bodies belonged to their husbands.

It was the perfect recipe for abuse. 

I’ve yet to meet a single woman who was surprised or caught off-guard by the #metoo movement. 

We were sad and disheartened, obviously. Of course you too. Of course it’s not just me. But also we were relieved to have survivors to rage with, cry with, march with and share our stories with, in some cases for the first time ever. 

And yet…

Practical conversations around consent didn’t enter my periphery until four years later, when I began to untangle the ethics of persuasion and the ways I was using marketing to shut down critical thinking in my potential customers.  

Shutting down critical thinking is a way of bypassing consent.** 

In my 8 years of teaching email marketing, I’ve noticed that women are far more hesitant than men when it comes to the use of high-pressure marketing tactics (ex. big red countdown timers, fast-action bonuses, exaggerated strikethrough pricing, etc.) 

And who can blame them? 

Every time a student says to me, “I don’t want to do that,” what I hear them saying is, “I don’t want to do what was done to me.” 


That is a consent issue. 

And listen, consent is a relatively new conversation. People of every gender are all still learning what that word means. It’s okay if you’re a little fuzzy on the definition. Didn’t people cheerfully sing, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” every Christmas for nearly a century before anyone noticed the song makes light of a gal getting roofie-d by her date?

Consent is murky, and a lot of people just want to look away. 

I am not one of those people. The more I learn about consent, the more I want to lean hard into it. And my goal is to bring other businesses along with me. 

If you’re not exactly sure what consent means or what it looks like in your business, feel free to borrow some of my consent practices:

  • Subscribers get to choose which emails they get, how often, and how they consume those emails (by private podcast or in their inbox)
  • Subscribers can turn off promo emails at any time—all sales emails include clear and direct ways to do this, usually at the very top
  • Just because you purchase a product or download a freebie doesn’t mean you get automatically added to my email list—you always get the choice
  • My emails use clear language and pricing transparency; I never surprise people with flash offers
  • I don’t participate in summits or bundles where consent and critical thinking will not be prioritized (which means I say “no” to almost all of them)

Feel free to borrow any or all of those. 

All of these consent-building strategies can be accomplished in almost any email service provider using tags and segments. For example, an opt-out is just a simple link trigger that adds a tag when your subscriber clicks a link. After that you exclude anyone with that tag from future promo emails for that offer. 

Easy to do with minimal tech savvy. 

Like a lot of things, it takes practice. You won’t always notice when you’ve crossed the line from “sharp, persuasive marketing” to “coercive control.” It isn’t obvious. As with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” it’s easy to hum along without noticing the undertones because the tune is so familiar. 

But it just so happens to be something I’m really good at, and it’s woven into all of my programs, my membership, my mastermind and my private client work, even when it’s not the specific focus. 

You’ll notice when you’re working with someone who cares about consent because their marketing just feels different. 

You might notice you’re less edgy and defensive. You don’t panic-buy. You’ll even open an email when they use “re:” in the subject line and not even get mad about it because you know you’re safe with that person! (I’ll talk more about that next week! Thanks to everyone who wrote in about it.)

I hope that’s the vibe you get from my emails. That’s the goal, anyway. 

And if you ever get a different vibe, my ears are open. 

Hit “reply” anytime. 


*My children and I have read Consent (for Kids!): Boundaries, Respect, and Being in Charge of YOU literally hundreds of times. If you have young kids and they like comics, you need this book. 

**Hat tip to Kelly Diels, who was the first person I ever heard talking about the link between persuasion marketing and sexual violence.


Email Stars opens next week, from Feb 7-14. Coming back from holidays and promoting The 627 Advisory Board didn’t leave me enough time to send you a heads up, so this’ll have to do.

Spoiler: it’s a 12-week program that costs $1500, and you can upgrade and get personalized support from me if you want. I’ve also added a series of 6 workshops on using AI to write better emails or turn my swipes into emails of your own. Alumni will be able to join as a paid upgrade. 

If you want to make predictable revenue writing (consent-based) emails people genuinely love to read, this is the program where I teach how to do that. 

Stay tuned.

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Start writing consent-based copy and prioritize people over profit 


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