Something I often run into are dedicated email “contritionists.” Folks who like to write apologetic things like this in their email outreach:
We know you receive a lot of unwanted email, and we want you to know that we value your privacy. We hate spam as much as you do, but we wanted to tell you about….
You know the rest.
I don't call that email marketing, I call it “ whimper marketing,” and I think it's totally unnecessary. In fact, if you're engaged in marketing you feel a need to apologize for, stop marketing.
Come on gang. Stand tall. Chin up. You send out direct email and you're proud of it.
You know it's not spam. You know there's a difference between porn and what you do, between cheap mortgages and what you do, between generic Viagra and what you do.
Between you and that tragic third-world widow who just needs you to launder a billion dollars for her.
You're not spamming. You're marketing. Spam is bad. Marketing is good.