Newsletters can easily turn boring. Of course, you can brainstorm great campaign ideas and craft copy like a genius, but it’s just not enough. Sometimes you need to come up with humor in the email design itself.

Amanda – our guest writer – will surely help you out with humorous design ideas and examples to your newsletters.

Do you want to hear a joke?

Two people subscribe to a brand’s newsletter and receive emails on a regular basis. After a while, they get bored and unsubscribe.

Oh, I’m so sorry. Did I say it was a joke? In reality, it’s an everyday occurrence for thousands of people. Email is a very popular marketing channel for online businesses, but many brands are not doing a great job at keeping their subscribers engaged and wanting more. For example, the recent MarketingSherpa Customer Satisfaction Research Study found that only 33 percent of customers chose to remain subscribed to an email newsletter if they were no longer satisfied with their emails.

The reasons for people have for unsubscribing from a business email newsletter are varied. One of the best attempts to reveal them was made by MarketingSherpa in the aforementioned study, which surveyed a large sample of customers who unsubscribed from a newsletter.


Source: MarketingSherpa Customer Satisfaction Research Study

As you can see from the image above, there are tons of reasons why people unsubscribe. For example, 17 percent of customers say that emails are simply boring while 21 percent report that emails are irrelevant.

Can humor be a good way to go here? Would customers appreciate it? After all, we know that using humor in marketing can be quite dangerous.

Obviously, the best way to know is to ask. In a recent online survey of customers, Sprout Social found that 72 percent of respondents were more likely to buy from a brand if their image was humorous.


Evidently, customers like a brand that has a friendly image and engages with them in a meaningful way. Therefore, using humor could be a good way to improve a brand’s reputation and influence purchasing decisions.

This article is a guide on using humor in email marketing that you can use to improve the open rate and click-through rate of your emails and enhance the online reputation of your brand.

Reasons to use Humor in Email Marketing Campaigns

Let’s quickly go over “why” before we get to “how” so you know more about the benefits of using email jokes and funny subject lines. After all, humor in marketing is a tricky business, so let’s make sure you have as much knowledge as you can before you start creating hilarious content for your campaigns.
There are a couple of great reasons why it’s time for your brand to build a better image with humor.

Reason #1: Humor Triggers an Emotional Response

Any content that prompts at least some kind of emotion is tremendously important for the success of digital marketing campaigns. “Humor is a perfect tool in this case because it triggers positive emotions, so you’ve got an excellent chance of being liked as a brand,” explains Gil Harren, a content specialist from Resumes Centre.

In fact, humor influences people on a cognitive, emotional, and even physiological level, because it evokes that “feel good” response from people. Besides that, it humanizes a brand’s voice and allows the brand to connect with customers on a whole new level.

Reason #2: Humor helps a Brand to be more Memorable

People are much more likely to remember a positive experience than a negative one. Therefore, if your brand shares humorous content, chances are that people will remember it for a longer period of time. And this is exactly what you need to improve your image and even stand out from the competition.

What to include in a funny email

Make sure you are using a professional email design tool to help you create a good-looking, funny email quickly and easily. Here are some tips on what to include in your email in order to be funny:

Use a funny subject line

This is the first thing that your subscribers will see in their inbox. Your funny subject line will determine your open rates.

Hero with funny text

This is the first thing they will see when they actually open the email. If they think it’s funny, chances are high that they will continue reading your email and click your CTA.

Funny Call-to-action button

Now when they’ve scanned through your email, it’s time for them to decide if they will click on your call to action button or not. To increase your chances for them to click on it, I would recommend you to have a funny CTA as well.

Use funny images

If you didn’t come up with funny text or the CTA, because maybe you are not a great copywriter (don’t worry, many people aren’t), at least what you can do to make them laugh is to include some funny images in your email.

Examples of Funny Things to Send in the Email

Now that you know the potential impact of humor on your customers and what to include in your funny HTML email, it’s time to see some examples to inspire you to create your best email joke (a section with funny email subject lines follows). Below, I’ll show you some visual and written content so you can maximize the effectiveness of using humor in your emails. You can design your HTML funny email easily with the help of this free HTML email designing tool.

1. Holland & Barrett- We’re not playing it cool

The first example on our list comes from popular British health retailer Holland & Barrett. This is actually the introductory, or the first email, that a lead receives after subscribing to the brand’s newsletter.


This email represents a great example of a humorous way to say “hey, thanks for signing up, let’s get to know each other.” The use of an animal saying that the brand won’t play it cool with the customer is a pretty cool idea that can help to create positive feelings in the subscribers right from the beginning, associate them with the brand, and make it memorable.
While this email isn’t an example of “hardcore funny” email jokes, it still has the potential to get the work done by promoting positive feelings and making subscribers smile.

2. Essay Supply- Don’t be a pickle, order Essay

The use of fictional characters from popular movies and TV shows is a widely used marketing technique among brands. If the character is humorous, then it’s an excellent chance to make customers smile.
“We used a Pickle Rick character from the popular cartoon, Rick and Morty, in our recent email marketing campaign to drive traffic to our website,” says Amanda Sparks, a digital marketer from Essay Supply.


3. Really Good Emails- Vroooooom Vrooooom

This is a really nice example from Really Good Emails. They often use humor in their emails. In this particular email, they used it for their Feedback Friday campaign with a subject line: Honk if you like emails?


They not only used the funny subject line, but they also used humor in their copy, and with it they are trying to relate to their target audience.

4. Casper- Come back to bed


This is a funny example from Casper. Actually, it’s a cart abandonment email. It’s an email that is sent to a customer when he visits your website, starts placing items into their online shopping baskets, but eventually, he doesn’t buy anything and leaves without checking out. This email is pretty simple also, but the text is funny and the email is designed according to cart-abandonment email design best practices.

5. Chicmarket- These deals are crackin’


Chicmarket used humor in this email campaign for Easter. Their hero ‘’These deals are crackin’’ just makes me laugh every time I look at it. They also used a funny CTA here: ‘’Get to crackin’’. Not everyone has the same sense of humor, so I understand if it might not be funny to you as well. That’s why you need to be very careful to whom you are sending out your funny email. If you are going to use humor for your holiday email campaign, you can check a more in-depth article about the biggest holiday and sales days for email marketing.

6. Mohcloth- Witch, please


This email was actually sent for Helloween campaign from Modcloth. They used a funny wordplay here. Email design is simple, has an image that is appropriate for Halloween and a funny text over the image. If you want to know how to add text over an image in an email editor, you can check a video tutorial.

It’s a great way of asking the customers to buy a service without being pushy, which is something that a brand has to learn to avoid a negative image.

Tools to Help with Using Humor in Marketing

FlashEssay. Get help with using humor as a communication style and a way to connect with customers on an entirely new level.
Hemingway Editor. Write error-free, easy-to-read, humorous content with this popular proofreading tool.
OnlineWritersRating. Find professional marketing writers to help with bringing a sense of humor into your brand’s marketing communication.

Funny Email Subject Lines

A subject line is a critical component of a marketing email because it’s the first thing that a customer sees. If you fail to create a compelling subject line, chances are that your email will be lost in your customers’ overfilled inboxes.

Funny subject lines are a good way to make your emails stand out — 47 percent of email recipients open them based on the subject line — so let’s inspire you with some great examples.

  1. Licking your phone never tasted so good (Opentable)
  2. Where to drink beer right now (a morning email from Eater Boston)
  3. Aquatalia. Tuesday Shoesday, anyone? (Rue La La announcing a Tuesday shoe sale)

Make sure you read more about the subject line copywriting mindset before creating one.

Wrapping Up

Incorporating humor into your email marketing can be a great idea to establish trust, differentiate your brand, and create positive emotions in your customers. This is not to say that your emails should start telling your subscribers “knock knock” jokes! The purpose of this article was to show that if your content is lacking some “light-hearted” content and your target customers have a sense of humor, you should definitely go for it. Make sure you create an appealing email design with a professional email template builder and insert text that is actually funny to most people.

Hope it helps you make sure that none of your subscribers are bored with your emails!