Talking Points
June 2024

Four Ideas For Funnier Emails

Humor works in marketing. It disarms the audience with a chuckle, or smile, making them more receptive to your message. But being funny doesn’t come naturally to all of us. And writing humor is even more challenging. But here’s one example that works.

Four Ideas For Funnier Emails

These images were featured in email graphics sent from dog product supplier BarkShop and are quite clever and amusing. They feature “customer profiles” that describe different dogs using human qualities that are both familiar and hysterical. So, what is it that makes these email graphics so funny? Here are four tactics employed by BarkShop that you can use to make your emails entertainingly witty.

  • Humor is rooted in truth
    The profiles BarkShop created resonate with us because we all know a real-life Carl, Cindy, Maris, or Paula. The descriptions feel like cartoonish canine characterizations of actual people. Personifying animals and objects in almost always a great way to get a laugh.
  • Exaggeration makes truth funnier
    BarkShop paints a vivid picture by portraying pets living human lives, with human traits, and human ailments. Then they add the cracks about therapists, Tide sticks, and minivans. Going overboard makes the joke even more hilarious.
  • Humor makes you an insider
    BarkShop’s audience is plainly obvious. They’re not rabbit people, iguana people, or multi-pet people. They’re dog people. What BarkShop is doing here is a wink to their customers that says, “We get you. Because we’re just like you.”
  • Some words are just funnier
    You can bring humor to life by being particular. For instance, minivan is funnier than car. Cardigan is funnier than sweater. Zumba is funnier than dance class. Think about it. When we make fun of the people we know, we usually zero-in on the quirky little details.

We took these four tactics and applied them to our very own office dog Beasley for fun. Check out our example below:







So, if you want your emails to get a laugh, find the truth, magnify it, be descriptive, and be absolutely certain you include your audience in the joke.

Based on How to Write Funny: Four Lessons in Marketing Humor From the Greatest Email Ever by Ann Handley.

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