Laughter is the best medicine, and an effective way to stand out in the inbox as well. Humorous emails are relatable and compelling to read. What makes them so effective is that humor can shock, refresh and even brighten your reader’s day. In essence, your company becomes humanized in your subscriber’s eyes.

Okay, okay, you get it. Humor + Emails = Lots of Clicks. But how do you actually incorporate comedy into your messages? Here are 4 ways to do it:

Subject Lines

Subject lines are the first impression your subscribers have of you. Catching your reader’s eye will drive that open rate higher which will ultimately boost overall engagement. The examples below do a great job of not only grabbing the reader’s attention but also tying into what the actual content of the email itself is.

From: Dormify

Subject Line: this SHEET is bananas

Date: 8/1/2014 4:01 PM


From: Dormify

Subject Line: A bunch of free ship

Date: 12/18/2013 10:01 AM


Email Message

The body copy of your email is the most important part and the perfect place for a little humor. Below is an example by Poppin, who is introducing a new product in a unique and funny way. What I like most is the added commentary throughout the message: from “Get me from my good side” to “No peel appeal” to making up words like “unsnappability,” Poppin perfectly balances being fun and still promoting the product’s benefits.

From: Poppin

Subject Line: Product Spotlight: Meet Our Poppin Crayons

Date: 8/14/2014 8:06 AM


A Twist on the Usual

Every store has a sale. Not every store has a sale because they “accidentally” sent you an email of a cat picture.

Fab did.                                                                                      

After sending me an email at 4 AM with just an image of a cat, they sent me “Sorry! 10% off” email 15 hours later filled with cute cat puns as if playing it off. What I especially like about this second email is the embarrassed vibe it has: the cat’s eyes are wide as if staring shocked at the computer screen and the prominent ‘Oh Hi!’ text translates as ‘oh, I didn’t mean to do that, but I’m trying to maintain my cool.’ Which still leaves me questioning, was it a clever marketing campaign or did someone actually mess up?

From: Fab

Subject Line: [TEST] PM Tracking Test

Date: 8/3/2014 4:06 AM


From: Fab

Subject Line: Meow. Our goof is your gain. Additional 10% off today only.

Date: 8/3/2014 7:30 PM


Be Punny

The first time you hear a pun, it’s funny. The second time, it’s not. What does this teach us? If you’re going to use puns, make them new and innovative. The example below by Kenneth Cole does a FANTASTIC job of this. It’s clever and relevant, giving this email a fun vibe while still getting the point across.

From: Kenneth Cole

Subject Line: Hashtag, you’re it.

Date: 7/23/2014 10:00 AM


Note: Humor is not for every brand. Always keep in mind who your target audience is and what your brand voice is. If your brand is more serious in nature, then be more cautious when/if using humor.

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