The other day I was asked the question “Should email marketing be funny?”. Before this question can really be answered correctly, we need some qualifications. To just say yes, would be a disservice. The reality is that not every marketing email can be funny and effective. Careful thought needs to go into the creation of humor in email marketing and when used correctly, it can help to boost your ROI.
Here are 3 tips on how to use humor email marketing correctly:
- Related: Your humor needs to be related to the content in your marketing campaign. Funny for the sake of being funny does not move people to respond and can turn them off. You need to tie the humor into the overall message and brand. For instance Berkshire Hathaway should not use humor created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone the creators of South Park. The brand does not relate to the humor.
- Backseat: Your marketing message and call to action need to be the most prominent points in your email. The humor is secondary/complimentary to them. If you use a cartoon, make sure the size does not overwhelm the email. You do not want to confuse the recipient or dilute your call to action. The humor should help to drive the call to action.
- Images: Consider more than just images. In many cases the email browsers are blocking images. The look, feel and tone can all play toward the humor while still conveying the message and call to action. Using special fonts and colors can help to highlight the humor without distracting from the message. By cleverly designing beyond images you really integrate the humor into the email and create a much more powerful punch.
Be careful with your humor. Try to keep it light and stay away from controversial things as you do not want to offend recipients. When done well, humor will accelerate response as it draws the reader in and connects them to your company. That connection will also help drive future behavior with your company. Continue to build that relationship with future emails targeted to them by past behavior. This will help to insure a long lasting relationship.
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