Do you belong to the category of individuals who prefer donning pajamas while working from home? Or are you more inclined to skip the pants during your workdays?
According to an email campaign from Phrase, an AI copywriting service, you can indeed opt for a pants-free approach – as long as you remain seated during your Zoom meetings, of course.
This email, courtesy of AI software company Phrasee, serves as an excellent illustration of humor being effectively utilized in an email marketing strategy. It’s timely, relatable (given the prevalence of Zoom meetings), and casual enough to create a sense of familiarity among readers.
But what exactly makes humor such a powerful tool in motivating recipients to open emails and click on links? Continue reading to uncover the secrets.
Two Key Reasons to Incorporate Humor into Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing is typically employed by companies to enhance awareness, identify potential leads, and ultimately convert them into loyal customers. However, smart brands combine this strategy with humor, one of the most positive and influential emotions, to establish a relatable connection with their audience.
Utilizing humor in email marketing can result in heightened engagement, an improved brand reputation, and a greater impact on purchase decisions. Research shows that customers appreciate brands with amicable staff members who engage with their audience in a genuine and meaningful manner.
If you need more convincing, here are two compelling reasons why humor should be an integral part of your email campaigns:
Humor Triggers Emotional Responses
When your content evokes emotions, your digital marketing efforts become more successful. Among all emotions, humor is exceptionally effective in eliciting a positive response from your audience because it forges a closer connection between your brand and target market. Just as a funny story shared between friends or colleagues strengthens their relationships, humor can foster a connection between your brand and your audience. People tend to favor individuals and brands that aren’t afraid to indulge in some laughter, and humor humanizes your brand, fostering trust.
Humor Enhances Brand Recall
Humor delivers memorable and positive emotional experiences, making it more likely for recipients to remember your brand in the long run. In fact, scientific studies demonstrate that humor significantly boosts memory recall, even among individuals who may initially be skeptical or uneasy about a topic. Employing humor in your marketing campaigns also enables your brand to stand out from the competition.
Consider some of the memorable advertising campaigns that have captured your attention. For instance, the Dollar Shave Club’s ad campaign, renowned for its humor, remains unforgettable even years after it first aired.
The Harmon Brothers Agency offers another example, having executed several viral marketing campaigns that rely on humor to enhance customer engagement and drive sales for their clients.
Now, let’s delve into how you can integrate humor into your email marketing strategy.
Incorporating Humor into Your Email Marketing Strategy
The difference between a person telling a joke and a brand doing the same lies in the brand’s responsibility to link the humor to its image effectively. To employ humor successfully, it should be consistently applied across all your brand content, encompassing your website, blog posts, and email copy.
However, the decision to use humor is not without its challenges. Notable copywriters have argued against the use of humor in sales copy, citing examples like John Caples, who stated, “Avoid humor. You can entertain a million people and not sell one of them.”
Humor is subjective, and not every individual will respond in the same way to a joke. Attempting to sell to someone who doesn’t grasp your humor may alienate them, aligning with Caples’ viewpoint.
Nonetheless, humor has been used successfully by companies to cultivate engaged audiences and drive significant sales. To utilize humor effectively in marketing, two key considerations come into play:
- Have a Funny Team Member: While many individuals can crack jokes in casual settings, you require someone with the skill to craft humorous content that makes readers burst into laughter. If humor isn’t a forte within your team, consider hiring a freelance comedian or copywriting service to assist in creating witty content.
- Assess Appropriateness for Your Niche: Sensitivity is paramount when determining the humor to employ, as certain sectors may find specific jokes offensive, potentially tarnishing your brand’s reputation. Avoid humor in contexts where it isn’t appropriate, particularly when dealing with sensitive subjects like religion and politics.
Timing and Context for Using Humor
Humor can be effectively employed at various stages of the marketing funnel. It can be used to capture your audience’s attention during the awareness stage and play a pivotal role in fostering customer loyalty during the retention stage.
Furthermore, humor can provide you with a competitive advantage, differentiating your brand from others that lack an engaging brand voice. AppSumo serves as a prime example, consistently injecting comedy into their copy.
The key to humor’s successful utilization lies in discerning when it is appropriate. Self-deprecating humor often resonates well with most audiences, and humor tied to current events can also be impactful. Inside jokes can effectively engage a smaller, niche group of individuals, appealing to their specific interests.
Three Exemplary Instances of Humor in Emails Done Right
Now, you might be eager to infuse your emails with humor but in search of inspiration to kickstart your creative process. Here are three outstanding examples to stimulate your imagination and tickle your readers’ funny bones. Remember to tailor the humor to your audience and align it with your industry or product.
BarkBox, a platform specializing in dog toys, treats, and goodies, consistently infuses humor into its communication. Their monthly newsletter adopts a theme designed to elicit heartwarming reactions from readers. This emotional response is vividly conveyed in the email’s copy and visuals.
Customer acquisition is a primary goal of any marketing campaign, while customer retention is the ultimate achievement in digital marketing and email strategies. HubSpot takes customer retention emails seriously, evident in their approach to subscribers who opt out of their mailing list. These individuals receive a “breakup letter” from stand-up comedian and HubSpot marketing specialist Dan Sally, humorously emphasizing the decision to unsubscribe.
Huckberry skillfully employs gentle and subtle humor that resonates with its audience. From clever subject lines to well-crafted email content, Huckleberry’s humor appeals to their recipients. These examples clearly demonstrate how humor can be integrated into an email marketing campaign, effectively driving sales.
4. Lead Harvestor
Brands integrate humor into their email marketing strategies to establish deeper connections with customers. As seen in the aforementioned examples, this emotional connection enhances audience engagement, elevates brand awareness and recall, and fosters stronger relations.
While there are niches where humor is not appropriate, most industries can incorporate humor into their client communications effectively. The key lies in determining the frequency and appropriateness of humor within your company’s guidelines. Humor is inherently subjective, and considering your customers as friends and addressing them in a conversational, casual tone is the key to successfully infusing humor into your email marketing strategy. Best of luck in tickling your consumers’ funny bones!
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