Email needn't be serious! Inspire your inner comedian with these 6 examples.

Whether you look at the news, social media or just have a chat about current events, one thing becomes abundantly clear; the world is a very stressful place. So having the chance to come across something that makes you laugh or smile is always appreciated.

Including a bit of humour and fun in email marketing can really lift your content and message above others. If it fits with your brand, your tone and your style, it can be a very effective technique to get people's attention, and to come back for more. After all, everyone likes a laugh right? Let's look at some examples and why they put a smile on faces.

Ray Ban's cart abandonment email uses offbeat humour and imagery

The tone of cart abandonment emails can be tricky to get right. Whilst they are a good reminder to return to items left in baskets, the tone of the message can't seem pushy or else it may put the recipient off. So usually the message is light-touch.

Ray Ban went for a completely opposite approach laced with quirky humour. Reasoning that, instead of forgetting about the items, the potential customer had taken to hiding behind a rock to escape a bear attack and thus been unable to complete the purchase. So Ray Ban offered 'encouragement' and advice to defeat the dastardly bear and get the Ray Bans.

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Not many people are asked if they are being attacked by a bear in their inbox, especially one with a microphone and shades.

The tongue-in-cheek approach taken is a great piece of irreverent humour. Leaning on their brand quality to suggest that something unexpected and unbelievable is the only reason not to complete a purchase is a confident yet humorous approach. Plus, how can you not fail to smile at a bear in sunglasses? And they are even Ray Ban sunglasses!

Beta List's unsubscribe email begs you to stay

As email marketers, possibly one the most disheartening emails to create is the unsubscribe response. Though necessary, companies tend not to spend a lot of effort on these as it's better to focus on customers who want to stay, right? Well Beta List, an online platform that lets users find and get access to early internet startups, thinks differently.

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You've got a friend in Beta List (apparently).

After confirming immediately that they have removed the subscriber from their mailing list, they start a light-hearted dialogue akin to the amicable ending of a relationship. This in itself is a great start as some brands make you confirm your unsubscribe request a few times. Using an image with one of pop culture's most iconic friendships, Woody and Buzz from Toy Story, they admit they are sad to see the subscriber go but offer other ways to re-subscribe and stay in touch. This last part is achieved without being too pushy, mostly thanks to the charming tone of the email. If anything, it may encourage the unsubscribers to re-engage. Also, asking why someone unsubscribed shows a level of care and commitment to their audience instead of just letting you go without asking for feedback.

Harry's St Patrick's Day-themed product marketing with a fun fact

Specialists in male grooming, Harry's are a relatively new company in a competitive market space including giants such as Gilette and Wilkinson Sword. So how to compete with them? Get funny. To celebrate St Patrick's Day, they used a fun fact (though unsure if this fact is true or just sounds true), to link a social aspect of St Patrick's Day to their own product and company purpose.

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162,719 pints lost in facial hair is, in my opinion, a tragic loss of good Irish stout.

Encouraging bearded blokes to have a shave to save the stout (try saying that quickly 5 times) is a great way to get across their brand, purpose, and playfully poke a little bit of fun at their own customers. It's not a direct sales pitch with pricing and product offers, but it does encourage an indirect purchase of their shaving products. The email is cleverly designed too. By keeping it clean and simple, and emphasising the headline, it focuses the audience's attention to the 'journey' (and joke) of the email. Plus, including a short funny video is a fine way to attain email interaction. #savethestout

Durex's coronavirus ad gives a funny commentary on a current situation

This isn't strictly an email campaign but it's a brilliant piece of print advertising. In recent years Durex have taken a slightly more direct approach to their messaging and tone. Rather than being subtle about their subject matter, they are leaning into it with positivity and encouraging people to be accepting and more open about sex. And you can really tell that with a recent campaign, with a fantastically funny comment on advice around coronavirus.

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I'd say the message here is fairly clear.

This simple yet effective piece of advertising not only promotes Durex's products but positions them as a socially responsible company. Not only are they promoting safe sex, but also vigilance against coronavirus. But it doesn't come across as preachy, it's just a brilliant comparison between two sets of health advice for different scenarios; one of which Durex is heavily involved with. From the wording to the packaging colour matching the face mask, you can tell every aspect has been thought through. This could be a delicate and risky advert but by having a clear goal and message, combined with a straight-talking attitude, this ad turns out to be very funny and very relevant.

Shinesty uses an interactive game to promote face masks

Here at Taxi we love a quirky email. Shinesty, a US fashion brand, got very quirky with their promotion for their face masks. Instead of just listing them and their prices, they present you with a 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' style game.

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Email marketing team, ASSEMBLE!

Whichever hilarious answer you choose, it takes you to their product pages. A brilliantly unique way to promote a product and put a smile on your face, even though it may be behind one of their equally quirky masks! And just to show you this isn't a one off, and Shinesty have their finger well and truly on the pulse of pop-culture and comedy, take a look at this (sorry in advance).

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You can't really look away...

Need I say more?

Hulu's birthday offer email with GIFs

Sometimes all it takes is a person pulling a funny face to make you laugh. That's not to decry Hulu's birthday offer email, which uses a great GIF to achieve this.

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He looks very happy about your upcoming birthday, or about the Hulu offer.

Leaning on a GIF from Seinfeld, which is available on Hulu, the email encourages the recipient to sign up to a free trial. The messaging is kept simple, as is the CTA button, to allow the GIF to take centre stage and give the email a light-hearted and humorous touch. Plus it will appeal to a younger demographic as they are traditionally more tech-savvy and use GIFS more than older demographics.

Taxi for Email likes a laugh too!

Humour in emails primarily comes from the people creating it. Software and tools can't create the funny tone in an email. But there is nothing worse than a joke growing old as you fight through a laborious creation time. Taxi reduces your lead time by 80%, so you can be confident that the joke won't tire. And if the joke lands, Taxi enables you and your team to follow up with more fun emails quickly, easily and accurately.

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