Even More Laughs! Humor In Retail Email, Once Again

  • by May 26, 2009
Back in December, we wrote about "laughs and gaffes"  in retail email. While the economic times are still uncertain for many marketers (and consumers), moods are starting to swing into spring. (It's sunny in Seattle! Woo hoo!) Seems like a great time to revisit the topic of inbox humor and look at how senders have been delivering cheer.

Bringing the Sass

  • Barneys New York's  welcome email takes a playful, sassy stance. The gorgeous and stylish model, still in the process of curling her hair, emphasizes the benefits of online shopping, alongside the copy: "Leave your rollers in - we don't care!"
  • Moosejaw is always fun and cheeky, and this email promotes a quirky special offer (two free shower caps!?) with clever copy: "One for you and one for someone you want to shower with." A sizzling sense of humor!



    Kidding Around

  • This Crewcuts email establishes the J.Crew kids' brand as playful right from the get-go. The little girl's silly pose --  amidst a colorful mess of the stuff of childhood -- makes subscribers chuckle, especially if they have some messy kids of their own.
  • Land of Nod  copywriters always take full advantage of their freedom to make cutesy puns from elements of childhood and parenting. Their light-hearted emails are consistently entertaining.

    Light-Hearted Apologies

  • In this witty apology email, AbeBooks jokes that vampires were at work in sabotaging a message about "Twilight author" Stephanie Meyer's new book. They throw in a coupon to sweeten the deal, showing that they do take the glitch seriously. (By the way, we admit it: "Twilight" is ADDICTIVE! Once you start...)

  • Neiman Marcus  uses a clever illustration of a woman writing lines at a blackboard, emphasizing that Neiman Marcus has "learned their lesson."

    Humor works best in apologies when the problem has been minor. It's certainly not recommended to make light of something that has offended or seriously disgruntled your subscriber base.

    A Walk on the Odd Side
  • Oriental Trading 's sale message is funny -- in a slightly scary way! Those mouths look like they are coming for us! Oriental Trading was clearly aiming for humorous messaging when it chose to highlight this product out of all the products in its vast catalogue. Are the disembodied mouths creepy? Or do we want to go even further and animate chomping!?
  • Old Navy 's SuperModelquins (so dubbed in the preheader) have also been creeping us out a little this season. Sometimes they make us laugh -- but sometimes they make us stare uneasily for a moment or two (especially the "Mamaquin Michelle" in the secondary message). Props to Old Navy for such a quirky approach to imagery, but we wonder if the Modelquins are a turn-on or a freak-out?

    Accidentally Funny
  • Sometimes accidental humor is the funniest of all. Check out the copy on this Bath and Body Works Mother's Day sweepstakes (a submessage): "Tell us what makes your mom a romantic, cuddler, fresh or sexy." Really? Eep! The message seems slightly misdirected here. But, it IS funny.
    If your brand's voice allows for some playfulness, now is a good time to look at ways to lighten up your messaging and deliver some humor to the inbox. All your subscribers love a laugh as much as we do.
  • 1 comment about "Even More Laughs! Humor In Retail Email, Once Again".
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    1. Email Ista, May 29, 2009 at 7:22 p.m.

      Thanks for this!

      Check out my blog @

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