Fun fact: did you know that when you are doing business all the humor you had once in life is sucked out of your brain, leaving you with that grey rainy-day-type-of-mood?
Well, this can't be real, but most of the people I know act like this was the total truth. As soon as you inject some humor into your business communication, especially funny and humorous emails, people will call you unprofessional (in the best case), or throw you off of the building using the window as the exit.
To be honest? I don't know.
I can risk an answer if that would make you happy. The reason "people" don't like funny emails or any humor in business communications is that they take themselves too seriously. There, this is my take on it. They use suits, drive fancy cars, go to expensive dinners and convince the world and themselves that they are saving the world, making it a better place - so, there is no place for jokes.
Ironically we tend to remember more about the marketing message that made us laugh our *** off, and not just remember them but share with our colleagues, friends, and family. This time I may have an answer to why this happens.
One - Likeability. If someone makes us laugh we tend to like them. Cialdini's book explains the correlation between people liking us and doing business with us, but that's not all.
Two - Social Value. We want to look cool, so we share things that we think will make us look good with people that we interact with, and brands are counting on that virality to make their messages spread like a virus.
There may be more reasons for that but I will leave you with those two, and start to show you how you may take advantage of funny emails in your business.
Some places where you can use Funny Emails
Funny Cold Emails
This is it, you need more leads, you know a few companies out there that would love your product/service but you know… this is the internet, every single company is doing the same, just going HAM in this outreaching thing, it's the hustle culture.
I will not enter in the merits of the ethics of cold emailing, or if this is still something effective nowadays - but if you want to do it, you will have to get attention, stand up from those same old boring emails people send over and over.
And there is no one better than the master of funny cold emails Jon Buchan in this segment, and here's an example of a cold email that he wrote a while ago and ended up making him famous.
“You won’t have heard of me. (Hi, I’m Jon!). I got your details from a list *gasp*. But hey, that means you’re list-worthy; that’s gotta be something, right? 😉
OK, let’s get down to brass tacks. I’m writing to you from the office of Render Positive, a highly creative marketing and advertising agency I run with my brother Gary, and a team of 20 people far more talented than me.
For over five years, we’ve run our amazing agency – and we absolutely love it. It’s a wonderful feeling to know we’re not ripping clients off and producing the best work of our lives.
We’re looking to win new clients over to our side and away from those evil (ok, maybe not evil… but not as good) other agencies.
If you let me have a chat with you about your digital marketing or advertising, spectacular content creation, or bedroom tidying needs – I will buy you lunch/coffee/tequila shots and promise to be somewhat entertaining. If you’re lucky, I may even wear a top hat. First off, I’d love to provide you with some ideas you are free to steal.
I have included a sticker containing a picture of a ferret that has been dressed up. According to the internet, his name is Colin. I trust this will charm you into submission.
I’ll be in touch on email when you least expect it… Dun Dunn Dunnn!
I await your profanity-filled response.
Have a splendid day,
And Jon explains all the details of this email here, click and learn.
Onboarding with Funny Emails
Another opportunity to send a funny email is when a user/customer joins you, after all, that first impression can be the difference between the person reading your welcome email become eager to read what you have to say and your emails just sitting there in that dark inbox room without never seeing the "open light".
Single people may be more familiar with Hinge, but despite not being at that category anymore, I love the way these guys do marketing on Instagram, so I decided to search about their funny email game, and I was not disappointed:
You can use your newsletters in order to show how cool and funny you are, even when you are doing something deemed as boring as sitting there and just staring at your watch praying to God to make the time pass because you are on a bad date. Yes, I am talking about emails here, stay woke, because it's time to hustle:
Promotional Funny Emails
There is an art in sales, and judging by the contents of some sales book I've painful read in my life you would have to be like DaVinci to get this thing right every single time you need to make a sale.
Don't get me wrong, I have mad respect for the people who can take a pen, and sell the sh*t out of it. ABC all day baby...
Or, you could be like me that learned from the best, Jon Buchan, and get people to like you before by using some humor when you are trying to sell something. This is an example of the ending of a long email, where Jon says everything you will get if you subscribe to his service, note the funny lines he uses to make all that heavy sales pitch "go away":
As you can see, you don't need to be a clown, just use the right dosage of humor in order to soft things. You can still manage to look all business without losing your humanity. Like everything in life, equilibrium is a must.
Leaving the Cart Funny Emails
Another place where you can work your magic is by using humor on the emails you send your customers when they leave something in the cart - sometimes they forget about it, or maybe they decided not to buy it. Either way, you could bring this "awkward" conversation using a touch of humor instead of some "in your face" strategy some companies use and make yourself noticed:
I don't have the data to back me up on this, but I have a feeling that we should be thanking the guys from Red Rokk for all these people who got an email and now are protecting their eyes from the sun damage - this email may be, but UV is no joke.
Using Funny Emails to bring back Inactive Users
This is the tricky part, most of the time when someone is churning is because they simply don’t want anything to do with you anymore. Something went really wrong from your side, and the last thing they would want from you would be a "smart*ass" attitude.
But luckily, it could be just a side effect of the information era, too many people fighting for their attention, and they ended up forgetting about you, that can happen as well. And for this second case, some humor might be just the antidote you need to bring them back.
This is not a failed proof thing, some will come back, some won't even bother. But hey, you had them lost anyway, so why not try something out of the box - I was doing so great, and I had to use this clichè, I'm so sorry, it won't happen again.
Some considerations before you go out there and convert yourself into the Dave Chappelle of emails
I am in favor of anything that will shift us from the corporate, suit and tie, boring communication style. And when all the marketers decide to wage war against it, you will find me on the frontlines.
… a business only makes sense if they are making money. And as I said, in the beginning, I don't believe they lose their sense of humor when they are doing business, but sometimes customers don't like it - in their minds, a company must be serious if they want to get their money.
Before you start experimenting with funny emails on a large scale, try to do it on a smaller scale and see the reaction from your audience.
Avoid political jokes - have you ever heard about that saying: "get woke, go broke"? It exists for a reason. And the same goes for the conservatives. But if you running a political platform, by all means, do it. Context is everything.
Animals are cute and safe way. Everybody likes cute animals doing cute stuff - yes I deserve a Nobel prize for being this specific, but you get the point - use cute emails.
Last but not least, please, please, please, don't go find that smart reference that only 0.001% of the world population can understand. Go pop culture in order to make sure people - at least most of them will understand the humor.
Now go and make those inboxes your open mic audition, and maybe one day you will get a keynote special in some of these big events.