I love the monthly marketing newsletters from McSweeney's Quarterly & Books precisely because they don't feel like marketing. It's clear that the quirky San Francisco non-profit publisher understands their audience: their followers are curious lovers of literature, wordplay, and general interest.
Thus, these newsletters don't shy from text! There's a lengthy welcoming note, excerpts from new titles, and a heavy-handed helping of writerly names they know will catch the eyes of readers.
Plus, they always include their signature discount "bundles," which (fueled by smart curatorial instincts) package their titles into affordable collections that make me (a) feel like an insider for knowing about the sale and (b) give me incentive to support purchasing from them directly.
The reading habits they're making possible are the same leisurely behaviors I love when walking into a brick-and-mortar bookstore: flipping through novels to read early pages, searching back covers for praisey blurbs, and scouring used-title shelves for discounts.
McSweeney's totally gets it. They make their email "marketing" newsletters enjoyable, and I'll always open them. They got the planning, execution, and distribution just right.