A good welcome email serves multiple purposes for a brand: managing expectations, showcasing products/services and setting the brand apart from other emails that land in our inboxes. Inbox differentiation has never been a harder task than it is today, but fortunately, there’s one thing brands can harness to their advantage: humor. When someone makes us laugh, we feel instantly closer to them and our sense of trust only increases. When an email does that, we feel instantly inclined to invest our time and attention (and possibly hard-earned money) in reading it, too.
These three brands show how you can set the tone right from the get-go, and entertain subscribers as soon as you welcome them into your brand.
Who Gives a Crap
The Australian brand that sells recycled and eco-friendly toilet paper is known for its unapologetic jokes, activism and smart use of eye-catching colors. Their welcome email presents their products, shares the brand values and tells every new subscriber, “We’re here to make the world a better place and have fun on the way. And we’re so glad to have you as a part of our journey.” With this email, Who Gives A Crap reassures their subscribers that even though this is a brand newsletter, and they take their business (and mission) very seriously, they don’t take themselves as seriously.
This approach is nothing short of a breath of fresh air in our overcrowded inboxes, and why so many subscribers rush to open WGAC’s emails as soon as those land in their inboxes.
Alaska Salt Co.
Even the biggest savory aficionados out there wouldn’t imagine that a newsletter all about salt could ever be interesting. Let alone entertaining. But Alaska Salt Co. is here to prove everyone wrong. The co-owner/founder, Britni, is the one writing this email (and the ones to follow) and gives a whole different meaning to “a word from our founders,” a widely used practice in welcome emails. “This is not your average small business […] newsletter that you delete without reading,” the second paragraph reads. The instant, unapologetic use of humor (and strong language) confirms – this is not like any other D2C welcome email, and definitely not everyone’s cup of tea (no sugar, please!).
Almost every paragraph answers the question, “What’s in it for me?” for the reader, and lures you in to continue reading, clicking on links and laughing uncontrollably.
To tie it all up, and in a more traditional fashion, the email ends with a good old coupon code (or “bribe code,” as Britni puts it). Even the way Alaska Salt is sharing its coupon code is out of the box, which only strengthens the sense of familiarity and trust in the brand right from the very first email. By the end of this email, it’s hard not to root for Alaska’s success, even if you’re not considering buying anything yourself.
“this is our most unsubscribed email of all time”–the subject line of Shinesty’s welcome email reads, in all lowercase letters. This email itself doesn’t fail to deliver either. It is just as hilarious. In fact, the very first link of this email is an “unsubscribe” button, an uncommon practice in welcome emails, which immediately makes you smile and tag along for the ride. Now that it successfully weeded out the misaligned subscribers, the cheeky underwear brand quickly shifts the tone and shows its value prop with some hilarious metaphors.
Filled with humorous and bold product photos and CTAs, the email ends with an SNL GIF that invites the reader to “stay weird & come on in.” By the time you scroll all the way down, you’re either a Shinesty convert or it rubbed you the wrong way – in which case, you know exactly what to do, and why this email got that very subject line. We’ve sanitized the creative for this post, since it’s not for the faint of heart. If you aren’t easily offended, sign up for Shinesty emails for a very good laugh.
A genuine, confident and unique sense of humor can be a strong marketing asset for brands, when used right. It can break barriers before they’re even fully set in your reader’s mind, define the rest of your subscriber’s inbox journey, and set your brand apart from your competitors.