If you are learning about marketing tools — email, websites, or social media — you may find yourself enchanted with apparent experts who make themselves known online as teachers, espousing "the right way to do things." They may be helpful, but I need to warn you: You might know more than them, in several important respects.
For those of us who are trying to market sincere, meaningful things for sensitive, creative, and heartfelt people, this can seem harsh or "spammy". Beware. If you feel this on someone else's website, don't repeat the same practices on your own.
The modern digital marketing field, arising out of the advertising business and traditional print media marketing, still has a fairly strong "Mad Men" vibe. What "persuades" people — today, right now — tends to motivate the industry. But while their statistics may show results, those results do not always indicate loyal fans or customers, with whom you have built a long, trusting relationship. So take their recommendations with a grain of salt, and trust your instincts.
Above all, remember this: You already know how to treat people. Apply the same practices online that you would offline; treat people the way you would most love to be treated; and you'll be fine. The technology is there to serve you, not the other way around.
For folks like us, the key is to stay centered in our feel and our hearts as we use the technology. Yes, it is a different form than a personal email, a phone call, or bumping into someone at the coffee shop. And in that way, you do need to learn the needs and behaviors of that form. But the art here is in learning how to keep that same warm feel, extended into the new form.
Trust your instincts.