The fourth P in the marketing mix stands for promotion (after product, place, and price). Yes, your customer might expect ads for products at a great price and a reliable way for you to get the product or service to them (and email marketing gives you all this in one fell swoop). But you also have solid, varied promotional opportunities with email marketing, and they're not all just advertising. Consider your options:
You can help the PR side of things by providing links to good reviews of your product or providing interactive feedback tools
in their mailboxes.
You can provide customer support with videos on how best to use products and create an online community
around your service.
You can demonstrate real community involvement by including neighborhood news or word of events in your town. You'll gain the respect of your subscribers by showing you care about where they live.
You can establish yourself or your company as an industry expert by featuring commentary or education on the topics of interest in your particular field.