"Get Up! Get Up Now! - It’s time to get up out of bed, people."
This is the subject line and preview text of an email from Buzzfeed to their subscribers. If there’s one thing Buzzfeed has, it’s a knack for the relatable. This subject line exemplifies the company’s understanding of its consumers. Of course, Buzzfeed is a media company whose diverse group of email subscribers want a fun escape from day to day life. Buzzfeed gets this and pack their emails with gifs, memes and videos. The lesson here is easy.
Email should be fun.
Email doesn’t have an exciting reputation, but business professionals prefer it over other mediums for business-related communication. Following colleague recommendations and industry-specific thought leaders, Email ranks in #3 as the most influential source of information for B2B audiences. When properly utilized, an email list can be a company’s best friend.
In 2017, Statista counted an extraordinary 3.7 billion global email users, meaning almost half of the humans on the planet have email. And, this number is consistently rising. It’s plain and simple. Email isn’t going away.
The best way to take advantage of email in 2019? Optimize that email marketing strategy for mobile use. At this point, it’s the standard. 80% of users will delete a company email, or worse, mark it as spam if it isn’t optimized for their smartphone. Now, more than ever, instead of booting up the old desktop, email is right in your pocket. Anyone with a smartphone can get real-time email notifications.
Anyone can access their email in one swipe. It doesn’t even have to be a person’s main objective. Checking email is a complementary activity. People constantly seek entertainment. Whilst entertained, people seek more entertainment. Nothing is better than a nice dopamine rush. People check email while watching TV, in bed, on vacation, and even at the dinner table (rude). Checking email can be brief, so it is important to make that email pop.
How are you going to grab your recipient’s attention? Entertaining email marketing. Funny emails work.
Recently, glasses eRetailer Warby Parker sent an email with the subject line “Pairs nicely with spreadsheets”. It wasn’t hilarious, but it was interesting. It was an eye catcher, unlike the all too popular "Check out our new product" subject lines. A simple message that generated interest.
Founded in 2010, Warby Parker sold over 100,000 pairs of glasses in its first year and clinched a $1.2 billion evaluation in 2018. They have risen as a leader in the fast-growing digital marketing space, escaping the grips of in-person inconvenience and embracing the internet. Their success is largely a product of their online marketing strategy. Their product is stylish and reasonably priced. But, from the get-go, Warby Parker’s keen eye for email has put them on the map.
According to Salesforce, the average email marketing ROI is 3,800%. That’s a whopping average return of 38 dollars for every dollar invested! This shouldn’t be a surprise. It is a deeply personal form of marketing. People sign up to join email lists, offering personal information. A level of trust between business and customer is necessary for this action to be taken. Plus, it is standard for emails to be personalized toward subscribers.
So, having that email list is great, but it’s important to understand that it is becoming more and more normal every day. Your business needs to be sending emails to subscribers yesterday.
Another thing, there are no excuses for not personalizing emails. The standard has been set. Emails should contain no less than the subscriber’s name in the greeting. When people subscribe to a newsletter, they input their name, no? Remember: This. Is. The. Standard. Thus, simply personalizing an email doesn’t make you stand out. And it’s important to stand out if you want to boost that ROI.
That’s where the funny comes in! Who doesn’t love a good joke? Especially an unexpected one. Especially in their inbox. Most of the emails everyone gets are garbage. A lot of times, you don’t even know how they know your email. A lot of times, when a subject line says, "Hey John, this is why... (*Insert thing you don’t care about*)" you understandably gloss past it.
*Mark as read* BOOM. Gone into oblivion.
It isn’t just about the subject line. First impressions are important, and people judge books by their cover, but email marketing success isn’t only based on the subject line. Check out this email graphic by BONOBOS:
The menswear company created a humorous way to show their everyday customers the world of French Corders, playing with the "French" aspect and nudge them to buy something. This fun graphic serves as a noteworthy oasis in the middle of the email desert that people normally just want to get through.
Humor is a means to settling the differences between business and recipient. Recipients receive A LOT of emails. Recipients are human beings who crave conversation. They lead busy lives. The last thing they want to see is more of the same. The least you can do is add that dancing chihuahua .gif to the email. Make your customer smile and they’ll open your email every time.