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10 Habits of Highly Charismatic Email Marketers

  • Marya JanMarya Jan

How many emails do you get on any given day?

Let me guess… 50? 100? More?

You might really look forward to some of them. Notes from family and friends, and latest updates from your favourite bloggers, too. We all do.

And then you are bombarded by unsolicited sales messages. People whose lists you did not opt-in to, whose messages you did not ask for. In other words – SPAM. You might get less (if you are lucky) or more (if you are lucky enough to be an influencer). These are the ones you delete upon sight.

Contrast this with another, slightly different type of email that arrives in your inbox. Sales emails from the sites you have gladly given your email to, information about their latest product line, or discount announcements you might qualify for.

Here’s the thing: you probably don’t mind opening up these emails. In fact, if you are not too swamped, you are quite likely to read through till the end. And, you might even end up buying something. The exact result they are after.

So, what makes you, or anyone else for that matter, click open an email and ignore the rest of them?

Why do you read the whole email and might even take some action?

Well, it’s got something to do with the charismatic nature of the email marketer. They are doing everything to get you to open, read and act upon their messages.  And they are doing it right.

Their habits make them successful and set them apart from the rest of the group. Let’s dive in to the 10 habits of highly effective email marketers…

Habit #1: They Understand Their Target Market

No amount of charisma will make up for a lack of information about the audience the marketer is hoping to convert.

They know exactly the kind of customer they are after. They have an ideal buyer profile (that could be you). When they write to you, they know what makes you tick and what keeps you up at night. They make their content highly relevant.

They write to you because they have products and services that can help you. And, they know exactly how to move you – their lead – on the awareness ladder. (Check out Ben Hunt’s book Convert! Designing Web Sites to Increase Traffic and Conversion for this fascinating concept.)

They identify their market clearly. They have an offering and can pinpoint who they are trying to offer it to, with microscopic precision. They will tell you that ‘everyone’ is not an acceptable answer.

Habit #2: They Listen More Than They Talk

People who follow email marketing best practices never send out tons of messages of the “salesy” persuasion. Often they mail out useful information, bonuses or fun stuff and then pay close attention to how you respond.

Are you engaging with their content? Are you raising any questions? Are you sharing their content on social media? What you they saying? Unhappy? About what exactly?

They set up Google alerts for relevant keywords and snoop on what others are saying about them. They gather information which helps them write their messages with precision. They make it tailor-made to address the needs of their target audience. This means YOU.

They care about the people who care enough to engage with their brand (You again). Speaking of brand building ….

Habit #3: They Understand Brand Building

Charismatic marketers are aware of the impression they are making on you. They know how they come across and they make sure this image is consistent with their brand.

They nail their copywriting, they are experts are building personas and creating voices, they are masters of consumer psychology.

They build a voice for their brand and maintain this in their content across the board.

Habit #4: They Establish a Relationship First

Smart marketers will first create a meaningful connection with you.

They have gone through the trouble of identifying you as a potential customer, (they know they have solutions to your problems), they have done extensive research and continue to do so on an ongoing basis and they truly care about whether or not they can help you.

First they kick things off with useful content. These initial messages are crucial to get the relationship going.

They gently guide you through their content and earn your trust. They won’t start bombarding you with sales messages from day one. They make you feel cared about.

They train you to open their emails. Slowly. They get their timing right. They won’t ask too much too soon for the fear that they might say no. They know when you are ready to act.

That being said, they know one way they can dramatically increase their email open rates. With just one skill alone…

Habit #5: They Write Headlines That Won’t be Ignored

The really essential part of a successful email campaign is not having the email read all the way through, from top to bottom. It’s getting you to open the email. And it all starts with the headline.

Once a subscriber opens the email, chances are they will read the intro and the rest of it. Great email marketers arouse curiosity, or grab attention. The headlines scream: read me or you will miss out on this amazing offer/information!

The most charismatic marketers assume that every single day, the people on their list are drowning in a sea of unattended email. They have faith that their solid relationships and interesting headlines will create a safe harbour in your inbox.

(If you want to do a deep dive on writing great headlines, Eugene Schwartz’s book Breakthrough Advertising is a great place to start.)

Habit #6: They are 100% Clear on What They Want to Accomplish

There are many things that can undermine an email campaign, but there is one thing that will kill it for sure. Not knowing the purpose of every email you send.

Charismatic marketers (who also happen to be smart and clever) know that they need to start with a crystal-clear purpose.

They never send out anything without having an explicit goal in mind. They might want you to download a file or click through a link. They might conduct a survey to know more about how they can serve you better, or they may be giving away something wonderful to build relationships.

Whatever the outcome may be, they figure it out and then keep it front and center at all times.

Habit #7: They Make Their Content Worth Reading

What makes content interesting to read?

The answer varies from person to person. Some people respond to stories, others skip right to the end for conclusions and calls to action. Some prefer emails to be more intimate and personalized while others like lists and assignments.

One thing is for sure, everybody wants to be treated with respect, made to feel like a valuable member of a community and made aware that their attention is worth something.

Smart marketers respect your time.

They know that it is crucial to have a dialogue going. They understand that they need to talk with their readers, and not at them. They personalize their emails and talk to a single recipient – you.

They make it personal.

Habit #8: They Tell people Exactly What To Do

And that is not asking you to follow them on Twitter, Stumble their post, like their Facebook page, check out similar posts, or get on another list to be notified of upcoming products – all at once!

They don’t ask you to do all of that at the same time. They will never overwhelm you with too many choices. They know by giving too many choices, they are shooting themselves in the foot. You will be seriously unlikely to pick any option.

They keep their eyes on the prize, remain focused on the goal and make sure their point doesn’t get lost amongst the words. Their calls to action are right on target.

They would like you to check out their new sales page, that’s it. Here’s the link for you to click through. Easy-peasy.

So you do it.

Habit #9: They Measure Their Marketing

The most charismatic email marketers are a tad obsessive about their analytics. They are constantly monitoring what is working and what’s not. They are continually testing and tweaking. They segment their emails. They perform A/B testing of their layouts and call to actions.

This is because thy understand that, while something may never be perfect – getting pretty darn close is possible – if they spend the time figuring out what works best.

Habit #10: They Treat You Right

Charismatic email marketers are genuine. They are humble. They are ethical and they are honest.

They know making promises isn’t hard, but keeping them is. When they make a mistake, they put their hand up and will make things right.

They have an earnest desire to be useful and to help – and they make sure to never lose sight of that.

No wonder you and I welcome them into our worlds.

Come on in, we say, let us hear what you have to say today.

13 thoughts on 10 Habits of Highly Charismatic Email Marketers

Diana Schneidman

I quickly delete anything about getting rich quick. I know it doesn’t relate to me and advises a route I will not take. I may have signed up for the list because the title appealed to me without my understanding that the general tone of the list does not match my interests.

Guess this pertains to Habit #1.


Marya | Writing Happiness

This is quite common. People often sign up and not realize what sort of content they are agreeing to. The result is a number of un-subscribes (and the poor blogger thinks it has something to do with them.) Guess point#1 applies equally to subscribers. We should not ‘misread’ the list in the first place.

Thanks for commenting, Diana. 🙂


Hugues B

I totally agree with habit#4, “Going for the relationship first”. When you start of with the goal to build a relationaship first with your prospects it opens the doors to many opportunities. It gives you the ability to go from just another salesperson to a trusted advisor and once you have a relationship with a client it also makes them more loyal. I think that just this one habit coupled with consistently delivering value to your customers will tremendously improve your business. 🙂

Marya | Writing Happiness

Hear, hear! Can’t add anything to that.

Thanks! 🙂


Jarom Adair

This is a good, solid list of things to keep in mind Marya. The idea of respecting your reader’s time is all-important. That guides the kinds of headlines you use, the kind of content you provide, and the value of the call to action. If I feel the person sending me email is doing what they do with my scarce time in mind, I’ll follow them anywhere.

I made a list that is the opposite of this one–of things that email marketers do that makes me hit the spam button, and it turned out pretty funny. It’s called “Internet Marketing Spammers in Hell” and you might get a kick out of it.

Marya | Writing Happiness

Hey Jarom,

That’s got everything to do with putting yourself in their shoes, isn’t it. You are busy, and so are they. You can’t really know your audience or command their attention unless you respect their time.

I like your stuff so I’ll definitely check your link. Thanks for sharing.

Alan | Life's Too Good

Waaaait a moment, aren’t there supposed to be 7 Habits?

Steve Covey is going to be very upset with you sneaking an extra 3 in there – but thanks for the bonuses 😉

As I consider myself a relatively charismatic email marketer, I wanted to check this post out, I’m a sucker for list posts and checklists anyway. Yes, you had me at hello. Well at 10 habits.

Got to say I agree with all of them, though I think the catchy headline thing to pull you in is getting a little overdone by some ‘savvy’ marketers these days.

At the end of the day, the point about building a (open, honest & genuine) relationship with people is the most important one here – that’s what it’s always been about and always will be…

Marya | Writing Happiness

Alan, Alan. Have you seen the 8th habit one? 😀 I am sure, adding two more to the list would have been okay with him!

I agree about the headline. The thing is, subscribers have different preferences and one really has to experiment. Generally speaking though, you know what your audience prefers (or responds to), soft or hard sell, personal or gimmicky, shocking .. you know. (Like you said, you are a charismatic email marketer after all!)



J. Delancy

For me, language also plays a big role in whether or not I’ll eventually grow tired and un-subscribe, block, or reflexively trash some e-mail. Points, 7 through 10 could be summarized as, “They are not pushy in sales, or repetitive in content”.

Marya | Writing Happiness

I agree with you on the language, and this is not specific to emails only. This applies everywhere.

I felt adding calls to action (habit#8) and measuring the results (habit#9) are worthy of being stand alone points. Habit#10 is more of a round up. Just my opinion.



Hey Marya,

I really like #4. They won’t try to sell you too soon. It’s tempting as soon as you get an email list subscriber to sell to them immediately, however the charismatic marketer realizes that real relationships are more successful over the long term, which leads to trust, more sales, and more recommendations from that subscribers’ friends.

Felicity Fields

I really like #6 and #10. I teach my clients over and over again that they have to know why they’re doing something before they do it, and what they expect to achieve.

But more important, if you don’t treat your people right, you have no business. I wish people would understand that more – no one likes a crappy customer service experience, but so many people seem willing to dish them out to their clients.


thanks you for sharing this wonderful idea with us. Keep the good work thanks a lot.

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