How the Housewives Saved My Email List

I am an unabashed Real Housewives UNIVERSE Devotee.

During the first Covid Winter, while others were feeding their sourdough starters, frosting legendary cakes for an Instagram reel, or checking off yet another day of ten thousand steps… I plopped down (innocently) and clicked on my first Real Housewives episode: Season 8, Beverly Hills.

Fast forward two years and I’ve tucked into my average sized brain every fight, flip, throw, trip, look, and pot stir in 12 seasons of Beverly Hills, 16, SIXTEEN, seasons of Orange County, 3 seasons of Salt Lake City, and a handful more seasons from the other cities. Next month I’m going all the way back to 2009 and beginning anew with the brawling, jail going, hair pulling, table flipping housewives of New Jersey. I have a text chain already set up with my New Jersey obsessed friend where, as I watch, I will send a string of expletives, questionable emojis, and always, my unedited opinions.

In the words of my kids, “You’re obsessed Mom.”

I was raised in a conservative christian home where anything other than Sunday School videos, christian radio and sterile reading lists were out of the question. I’ve been playing cultural catch-up ever since. I find the housewives hilarious comedians, who, the more serious they take themselves, the funnier they tend to be. But every once in a while they also give me some mental chewing gum.

Back in the spring of 2021 I was supposed to be writing promo emails to sell an Easter Special for my Bagel Shop. Instead I was logging hours with my housewife obsess addiction. In a desperate attempt to get myself to work, I grabbed my laptop (the Beverly Hills ladies still fighting on the TV in front of me) and banged out a subject line:

“Girl… Real Housewives is gettin’ in the way”

I wrote to my list of bagel shop customers, trying to sell them bagels for Easter morning, and just blurted out all my secret distractions and frustrations and ridiculous adoration of these WOMEN!

It turned out to be one of the most replied to, referenced and overall enjoyed emails I’d ever written.

(I spent a full paragraph listing the top three reasons I was all in for Lisa Rinna… an opinion that might get me stoned by the insta-mafia these days… which actually makes me enjoy the ridiculousness a thousand times more)

People love it when you write to them about the stuff you care about…

People enjoy a little humor and self depreciation…

And people like reading emails from other people.

People don’t want to hear from brands, not from tech bots, and definitely not from one-liner salesmen.

Especially in tech, but it also applies to e-com, coaching, and info-products, if you show up to your audience as a person, who does important AND unimportant, off the cuff, funny stuff… YOU HAVE THE ADVANTAGE.

So the next time you are struggling to write an email about your product(s) to your list of prospects or customers, and you have even the slightest impulse to write about something unrelated… go for it!

Share something interesting from your day, share what’s on your mind, give your audience a little slice of the honest truth. And then, after you’ve proved to your readers that you’re a real person, and that you have a real personality, see if you can bend your email back to something relevant about your company.

If you can do that, you’ve got a winning email strategy almost every time.

Coincidentally, being real, but also “controlling the narrative,” is how the best housewives make decades long careers out of reality TV.

Even a housewife with biggest personality and an interesting storyline, if she doesn’t show some vulnerability, eventually looses the audience and gets fired. To succeed in reality TV, you have to be relatable.

Reality ain’t any different.

Why not go try it?!

Hi! I’m Annie Aaroe, a b2b marketing strategist. To find out more about story-driven, conversion copy and strategy that’s tailored for tech and SaaS brands, visit my website,, or shoot me an email at

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