Using Humor In Sales Emails – A Good Or Bad Idea?

email marketing


As they say, a good sense of humour is the oil that lubricates the engine of life. But can you use humour to stand out in your sales email strategy? 


Yes, you can. You can make your audience laugh, smile, and be curious. At the same time convey your message in an interesting way. It’s a process of trial and error. 


There are various stages of marketing and now it’s time to understand how to use humour in sales emails and whether it’s a good idea to do that or not. 


Business goal for creating this content:


  • Boost Sales with Humour: Unveiling the Pros and Cons of Using Humour in Sales Emails
  • Target persona(s): Small businesses, Marketing professionals, Freelancers, Entrepreneurs E-commerce Entrepreneurs,B2B Sales Professionals, Sales Trainers and Coaches, Customer Relationship Managers, Business Development Executives, Sales and Marketing Trainees, Digital Marketers, Sales Professionals
  • Voice/tone: Informative, clear, they like lists.


The benefits of using humour in sales emails

As per Zippia stats, 347.3 billion emails are sent globally every single day. Now the question is:  As a marketer, what are you doing to stand out among these billion emails so that your customers are curious to open, read and click on your email?


Well, Using humour in sales emails can be one of your sales strategies to stand out. Here are several benefits of using humour including:


Regenerate response


Humour is the best way to capture attention. Grab your reader’s attention and make them more likely to engage with your message. Since humour is not always about sharing a joke.


You can add humour in your email subject lines. 


Check out this example from Really Good Emails where they have written Creepin’ instead of Keepin’ in the subject line. This has added a spooky feeling to their Halloween email.


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Making your message memorable:


If your sales email is funny or entertaining, your readers will remember it forever.


Dollar Shave Club is a brand that has used humour in proving that generating new sales is easier than you think. The brand’s debut video featured its founder delivering a humorous monologue about the expensive razor blades.


This video went viral and helped to establish Dollar Shave Club as a ruling force in the grooming industry.


Establishing rapport with prospects:


Humour can help build rapport with the reader by creating a positive emotional connection. If you can make your customers feel emotions like laughter or smile, you will connect on a deeper level with your audience.


Increasing engagement and response rates:


By making your call-to-action entertaining or humorous, you can encourage your reader to take action.


In short, you can increase the likelihood of a response.  Want to know how Geico has been using humour in its advertising for years?


Its iconic “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance” slogan is memorable. Now this slogan has a strong CTA behind it. It includes different types of humorous characters in its commercials.


Characters like a talking gecko, a caveman, and a stack of money with googly eyes are enough to attract customers.


Humanising the sales process:


Creating a personal connection with the help of humour is the best thing you can do for your business.


By sharing a laugh or a funny story, the salesperson can break down barriers in their sales pitch and make the prospect feel more comfortable and at ease. Moreover, It can be used to relieve tension in the sales process.


Whether you run an e-commerce business, contractor SEO agency, or any other type of enterprise, incorporating humour into your interactions can have a positive impact on building rapport with potential clients.


Strategies for using humour effectively in sales emails

According to recent studies, the average open rate for sales emails across all industries was around 21.33% in 2021.


This means that even to reach this number, your sales email is supposed to be opened first. And to make sure that this happens you need to use strategies like incorporating humour in  emails:


Here are a few strategies to include humour and skyrocket your sales email open rate::


Knowing your audience and their sense of humour


The best way to know your audience’s sense of humour is to research it. Conduct market research to understand your target audience’s demographics, interests, preferences, and behaviours. You will get insights into their communication style and what kind of humour they might find funny.


Balancing humour with the intended message


Balancing is a delicate task. You want to incorporate humour but don’t forget your core message.  Sometimes you can use humour to show that you understand their needs and challenges.


Example, intention: To introduce your product to a potential customer.


Humorous statement: “We know you’ve been searching for the perfect product to solve your problem. Well, look no further! Our new product is like a genie in a bottle, except it won’t grant your wishes, but it will make your life easier. Let’s chat about how we can make that happen.”


Using appropriate timing and tone


Note: Avoid using humour that is over the top or using humour at the wrong time. Make sure it doesn’t overshadow your main message.


A subject line like “Don’t worry, I am not a robot” can be used to promote your new product and get the attention of your customers at the same time.


Avoiding controversial or sensitive topics


It’s generally best to avoid controversial or sensitive topics when using humour in sales emails. While humour can be a powerful tool for connecting with your audience, it can also be risky when dealing with sensitive issues.
Firstly, it’s important to remember that what may seem funny to one person may be offensive to another. You never know who your email is going to be, so it’s important to avoid potentially divisive topics that could alienate certain segments of your audience.


Testing the effectiveness of humour in sales emails


You can conduct a split test where you send two versions of the same sales email to two different groups of people. One version can include humour, while the other version does not. Now analyse the results to see which email performed better in terms of open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.


Real-world examples of humour in sales emails

Now that we know how to use humour in sales emails, here are a few examples to get you inspired and make your customers laugh.


  • Check out this humorous sales copy by Hubspot. This Dilbert cartoon is a sales pitch with a different angle. It is a reminder of how you can always differentiate and promote customer value.
  • Stats suggest that Thirty-five per cent of people say they open emails based solely on the subject line Here’s an example of a humorous subject line by Patagonia that used “Sleep around” to add a playful note to their message.


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Analysis of their effectiveness and potential drawbacks


Using humour in sales emails can help you optimise your open rates. It is the best communication strategy that can help to break down barriers. It acts as a differentiator in your sales email from the countless other sales emails that the recipient receives daily.


However, there are also potential drawbacks to using humour in sales emails. For one, humour is highly subjective. This means what one person finds funny, another may not. If your humour misses the mark, it can backfire and create a negative impression.


To conclude,  using humour in sales emails can be an effective way to connect with your audience and stand out from your competitors.


However, it’s important to use humour judiciously and consider the potential risks before incorporating it into your email strategy.


Whether you’re writing emails for branding, business writing or promoting your new product, don’t forget to add a little dash of humour and make your customer’s day.

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