Funny Email Subject Lines: Your Guide to Humor That Engages and Delights  

funny email subject lines cover image with a woman laughing

Crafting the perfect email subject line is tricky, especially when you want to add a touch of humor. You wonder, “Will my joke land? Or will it turn off my readers?”

Finding that fine line between being funny and professional can feel like a tightrope walk. 

If you’ve ever found yourself staring at your screen, wrestling with a funny email subject line for your campaigns, you’re not alone. We’re here to help you navigate the delicate art of making someone smile without crossing the line to make sure your emails get the attention they deserve.

Why Use Funny Email Subject Lines

Using humor in subject lines can serve as a teaser that shows the reader they’re going to read something different from the usual marketing messages, enticing them to open the email. 

Humor helps email marketing in many ways. According to Oracle, 94% of Gen Z and millennials prefer brands to be funny, while 95% of businesses are afraid of leveraging humor in their interactions with customers. This shows a huge potential that business leaders fail to grasp. 

Other studies have pointed out the positive effect of humor in advertising in general. It can persuade customers to engage with your content and improve brand attitudes. 

The Biggest Benefits of Humor in Email Marketing

Being funny in email marketing has benefits for your engagement and your overall brand because it:

  • Boosts open rates: Humor is a quick way to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to know more. 
  • Leaves a positive impression: A clever joke can make your brand memorable and more likable. When people enjoy your message, they’re more likely to engage with it, which means more opens and clicks. 
  • Improves customer relationships: While being serious might seem more professional, it can make your brand seem less approachable. A touch of humor shows the human side of your business and strengthens your connection with your audience.
  • Improves brand recognition: Humor can set your brand apart from the competition and position your business as a brand they can trust. This will increase brand awareness and loyalty and build long-lasting relationships with customers.
  • Helps you go viral: A witty joke can spread far and wide. If people love your humor, they’re more likely to share your email with their friends and coworkers. This can expand your reach and potentially grow your email list

Best Funny Email Subject Lines

At their core, funny subject lines for emails are clever, unexpected, and a little bit cheeky. They grab attention, spark curiosity, and, most importantly, bring a smile to your recipient’s face moving them closer to purchasing your product. 

You can use puns, rhymes, wordplay, twists, and exaggeration to create intrigue and compel recipients to open the email. Connect with your audience by referencing everyday situations they know well, then give it a funny spin. It’s okay to gently tease your subscribers or your brand, too; just keep it friendly and upbeat.

Let’s give you some inspiration for different situations: 

A Welcome Email 

Welcome emails are probably the easiest type of subject line to create. All you need to do is be warm and welcoming to confirm the subscriber’s choice to join your email list. 

Take a look at these examples:

  • Rolling Out The Red Carpet Just For You
  • You’re One Of Us Now! (Don’t Worry, It’s a Good Thing)
  • You’re Family Now. Introductions Are In Order
  • Welcome, Fellow Foodie! What’s For Dinner?
  • Welcome Aboard! Buckle Up for Some Serious Fun
  • You’ve Unlocked a New Level: Welcome to the Inner Circle
  • Welcome to the Cool Kids Club

An Event Invitation 

Event invitation emails are the beginning of an experience. The goal is to promise an experience that’s too good to miss. Depending on your event, you can tease the memorable nature of the event, position the event as a source of joy, or appeal to the audience’s sense of ambition and intelligence. 

Let’s take a look at the examples below for inspiration: 

  • This Event Will Be Unforgettable (Unless You Forget to Show Up)
  • Join Us for a Night of Fun, Laughs, and Possibly Bad Dancing
  • Our Event’s So Cool, Even Your Sofa’s Begging You to Go
  • Warning: Attending This Event May Cause Excessive Happiness
  • We’re Throwing a Party, and Your Couch Isn’t Invited.
  • Learn, Network, and Avoid Boring Webinars Here
  • Join the League of Extraordinary Minds (Capes Not Included)
  • Our Keynote Speaker Promises Not to Put You to Sleep
  • Shake Hands, Swap Cards, Steal Pizza

A Reminder for an Upcoming Deadline

The goal of a reminder is to prompt action. You need to gently nudge your audience towards the finish line without causing stress or annoyance. The right subject line in a deadline reminder email combines urgency with a light-hearted touch to motivate rather than intimidate. 

The examples below should give you a sense of what to aim for: 

  • Tick-Tock, It’s Almost [X]O’Clock: Deadline Reminder
  • Remember That Thing You Were Supposed to Do? It’s Due Soon
  • The Countdown Begins: Save Yourself from Deadline Doom
  • Beat the Clock, Not Your Head Against the Wall – Deadline Reminder
  • Deadline Ahead. Proceed with Productivity
  • This Deadline’s Closer Than It Appears in Your Calendar Mirror
  • Don’t Make Me Use Caps Lock: Your Deadline Reminder
  • Just a Friendly Nudge from Your Future Self

A Product or Service Launch

When you announce a new product or service, you want to draw attention and encourage the audience to take a closer look. Try to hint at innovation, benefits, and the sheer coolness of what you’re bringing to the market.

The subject lines below are effective examples of what to do: 

  • Our New Product is Rocketing into the Scene
  • Ready, Set, Launch! Witness Our New Creation Take Flight
  • Guess What’s Cooking? It’s Our Sizzling New Launch
  • Breaking News: Our Latest Product Just Dropped (And It’s Fabulous)
  • Out of the Lab and into Your Life: Our Newest Invention Unveiled
  • Lights, Camera, Launch! Our Star Product Takes the Stage

Let’s look at an example from ARMRA, a medical company whose products boost the immune system and promote gut health. The email uses wordplay to bring a smile on your lips — heir apparent vs. air apparent! 

ARMRA Colostrum™ Vs. Allergy Season Funny Email Subject Line
ARMRA promoting their Colostrum product with a funny email subject line. Source

A Customer Service Follow-up

Once a customer has interacted with your customer service, a follow-up can maintain a positive relationship and help you gather valuable feedback. A witty and engaging email subject line can encourage open rates and responses. Try to add a personal touch and convey a genuine interest in the customer’s experience. 

The examples below will help you create your own subject line:  

  • We Miss You Already! Quick Question on Our Recent Chat.
  • How Are We Doing? Rate Us from 😊 to 😱
  • Pssst… Your Thoughts on Our Service? We’re All Ears!
  • Was Our Help More Superhero or Sidekick?
  • Knock Knock! Just Us, Checking If Everything’s Still Awesome
  • We’re Not Needy, But… How Did We Do, Really?

A Thank You Message 

Sending a thank you message is a powerful way to express gratitude and acknowledge the value of a customer. To nail your subject line, convey warmth and appreciation in a quirky way or illustrate the joy their action has brought. Alternatively, you can combine several forms of celebratory gestures to convey enthusiasm and appreciation. 

These examples will give you an idea of how to make your recipient feel valued: 

  • A Big Bear Hug of Thanks (Minus the Bear)
  • You’re Amazing, and We Can Prove It
  • Just Wanted to Say Thanks—You’re a Real Gem
  • In a World Full of Emails, You’re a Thank You Note
  • We’re Doing a Happy Dance Thanks to You
  • High Five, Fist Bump, and a Huge Thank You
  • Thanks a Million! (And That’s Underestimating It!)

Funny Abandoned Cart Email Subject Lines

Abandoned cart emails are essential in recovering and boosting sales. Funny subject lines work wonders in these cases if you can create an emotional connection and a sense of urgency. It’s also a good idea to make the cart abandonment subject line personal using the customer’s first name. 

Check out these examples: 

  • Oops! Did You Forget Something?
  • Alert: Your Cart’s Having Separation Anxiety
  • Your Cart Misses You
  • Owner Of A Lonely Cart
  • Come Back, Tom! We Never Got Closure
  • Abandoned Cart Seeks Loving Owner: Could It Be You?
  • Cart Rescue Mission: These Deals Miss You!
  • Is It Something We Said?

Let’s look at an example from Rael, the cosmetics company. The email uses a funny subject line with a double-meaning. It also includes the product that the customer added to their cart but didn’t pay for. 

Rael Funny Email Subject Line
A funny abandoned cart email from Rael. Source

Funny Sales Email Subject Lines

The most important point of sales subject lines is creating urgency and increasing the conversion rate. Asking funny questions can be a great way to pique curiosity and entice the reader to open the email. 

Consider these funny subject lines for sales:

  • Buy Now Or Cry Later: Epic Deals Inside
  • Grab Your Basket And Save! We’re Not Looking
  • Our Prices Decided to Go on a Diet: Slimmer Than Ever
  • Catch Our Sale Before It Catches a Cold
  • Our Sale’s So Good, It’s Almost Like We Made a Typo
  • Sale So Big, Even Your Wallet Will Smile
  • Hop on This Sale Train—Next Stop, Bargain City
  • We’re Practically Giving Stuff Away (Don’t Tell Our Boss)

Funny Email Subject Lines to Professional Recipients

Crafting funny email subject lines for B2B audiences and professionals is the trickiest. You need to maintain a level of professionalism while being playful. Use office humor and technical jargon to create unexpected scenarios or puns. 

These examples will give you some inspiration: 

  • Boardroom or Bored Room? Spice Up Your Meetings
  • Transforming Monday Blues into Monday Woohoo’s
  • Warning: May Cause Sudden Surges in Efficiency.
  • Our Product: The Espresso Shot Your Sales Team Didn’t Know It Needed
  • ROI So High, You’ll Need a Ladder to See It
  • Turning ‘Meh’ Meetings into ‘Wow’ Workshops
  • Like a Magic Wand for Your Workflow (But Real)
  • Because ‘Business as Usual’ Sounds Like a Snore Fest
  • Ditch the Suit, Keep the Success

Funny Holiday Email Subject Lines

Holidays are the best opportunity to uncover the playful side of your business. Everyone is in a good mood and appreciates an amusing subject line. Puns and holiday references can be the best technique for holiday subject lines. 

We’ve compiled multiple examples of subject lines for different occasions in the table below:  

Christmas ‣ Yule Laugh Out Loud at These Deals
‣ Jingle All the Way to Savings – No Sleigh Required
‣ Santa’s Not the Only One Coming to Town – Check Our Offers
‣ Have a Holly Jolly Shopping Experience!
Valentine’s Day‣ You’re Running Out Of Valen-TIME
‣ Love at First Bite: Sweet Deals for Your Sweetheart
‣ Cupid’s Last Call
‣ Fall in Love With This Sweet Valentine’s Deal! 
Thanksgiving‣ Good Gravy! 50% off
‣ Turkeyed Out? Dish Up, 20% Off!
‣ Gobble Up Savings
‣ The Turkey Is Roasting, and So Are Our Prices!
Halloween‣ Be the Ring Leader this Halloween!
‣ Witch Please!
‣ This Monster Won’t Eat You!
‣ One Part Spook, Two Parts Spice
Saint Patrick’s ‣ Shamrockin’ deals for St. Patrick’s Day
‣ Did Someone Say Nutrient-Rich Greens?
‣ Green Beer? Meh. Green Savings? Cheers to That!
‣ Leprechauns Hate Us: We’re Stealing Their Gold for Your Discounts
Funny holiday email subject lines

Five Strategies To Make Your Subject Lines Funny

Unless you have a standup comedian on your team, you’re likely to find it tough to use humor effectively in your campaigns. But here’s some good news: you don’t have to make a living from telling jokes to make your subject lines work. 

Using a bit of wit and these guidelines, you can craft the perfect funny email subject lines that get results. 

Break Common Assumptions 

This technique refers to surprising the audience with something they don’t expect to see or hear. The aim is to create a playful twist that can engage and entertain your audience.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You give the audience a piece of information. 
  2. The audience makes an assumption based on the usual context or meaning of that information. 
  3. You break this assumption by mentioning something out of the ordinary. This will create an anomaly that breaks the current rules and makes the audience smile. 

Let’s consider an example of a disengaged subscriber: 

  1. You start with “We need to talk,” which immediately grabs attention with its typically serious connotation.
  2. The recipient might brace for a personal or significant issue. 
  3. You then continue with, “We haven’t heard from you for a while.” This unexpected shift relieves the initial tension and gives the reader something to smile about. 

Evoke Emotions 

You can add humor to your subject lines by playing with different emotions in a fun way. Everyone gets the Monday blues, dreads awkward elevator chats, or has their share of Thanksgiving family drama. 

You can tap into these universal feelings with:

  • Surprise. A surprising twist in your subject line can get people to open your email. Think of using unexpected plot turns or scenarios to give them a good laugh.
  • Self-deprecation. Laughing at yourself or your business can draw people in. It’s not just funny; it also helps you connect better with your audience. This approach is great for saying sorry if something went wrong before. Remember to keep it light and avoid sounding too harsh on yourself.
  • Curiosity. Getting people curious is a classic trick for subject lines. You can spice them up with a funny question or a bold claim to make them smile.

Use Puns and Wordplay 

Puns and playful words have always been a great way to add a chuckle to any conversation. Whether you’re cracking a joke or aiming for a lighter tone, they’re a fun way to show off your cleverness and humor.

The key is to use puns that seem relevant to your business and the occasion. For example, if you’re sending out emails on holidays like Thanksgiving or Halloween, you can reference turkeys, ghosts, or pumpkins. 

Add Pop Culture References 

Think about using famous lines from TV shows or movies that everyone knows. It makes your emails feel more familiar and adds a fun, human touch to your brand. Memes, TikTok trends, and even celebrity news can be great sources of pop culture humor, too. 

Depending on your campaign, you can use long-established pop culture phenomena or new fads that may go away in a few months. But remember to stay relevant and updated. Some pop culture references are classics that never die, while others are transient. 

Don’t Force the Humor 

Trying to be funny in your email subject lines can sometimes do more harm than good, possibly leading to more people unsubscribing instead of engaging more with your emails.

Before you decide on a funny subject line, think about:

  • Your brand personality. It’s okay to play around with wit and humor. But if it doesn’t fit, don’t force it. 
  • Your subscribers. People have different reactions to humor. While you can’t always control these reactions, you can follow segmentation practices to ensure they get the best subject lines based on age, culture, and even religion. 
  • Your campaign goals. Humor lends itself to many situations and marketing goals. But you may want to steer clear of jokes if your email announces something important or sends transactional info

Unleash Your Funniest Emails with Campaign Refinery

How do you manage to consistently send out hilarious gems? It boils down to having the right tools, years of experience, and a heap of insider knowledge.

And at Campaign Refinery, we have all three:  

  • Advanced deliverability technology: Our cutting-edge system ensures your funny subject lines and engaging content land directly in the inbox.
  • Expert-curated strategies: Benefit from decades of email marketing wisdom distilled into actionable strategies that amplify your impact.
  • Dynamic audience segmentation: Tailor your jokes and funny content to the right audience with our flexible tag-based segmentation tools.
  • Real-time analytics: Track how well your emails perform with our comprehensive analytics and tweak your approach for maximum engagement.

Apply to become a customer and unlock the full potential of your email marketing campaigns. 

And there’s a cherry on top:

Our Inbox Formula offers the tricks of the trade for free. From the nitty-gritty tech tips to crafting engaging lists, and managing your sender reputation, it’s all there. And yes, it includes how to land those witty subject lines right in the inbox, where they can spark joy and clicks.

Your emails will never be the ones that get scrolled past.

Grab your copy of the Inbox Formula now, and let’s start spreading those smiles!

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