April Fools’ Email Ideas To Make Your Subscribers Laugh Out Loud

April Fools’ Email Ideas To Make Your Subscribers Laugh Out Loud
21 March, 2024 • ... • 2400 views
Valeria Shulga
by Valeria Shulga

Even if you represent a very serious business, April Fools’ Day is a perfect occasion to go crazy and have fun! Play some pranks, troll readers (but in a kind, joking manner), and do everything to splash the dash of laughter! For marketers, it’s also a chance to make your prospects aware of current discounts and promotions on products. So, if you are planning to send an April Fools’ Day email campaign, make sure it is both informative and humorous.

Read on to find out tips and tricks to use in your holiday email campaigns, and see examples of successful April Fools’ Day ideas to get inspired from.

Why send out April Fools’ emails

The 1st of April is a favorite holiday for many people of all ages. It is not a typical promotion day like Black Friday or Saint Valentine’s Day, and that’s why it’s worth your attention. An overall atmosphere of fun and joy makes people feel relaxed and more open, so your email marketing campaigns sent on this day are likely to hit the target and engage your audience!

An email with the tagline We’re not joking and a collection of jokes about photography
A good combination of a promo offer and a playful tone in this email newsletter corresponds to the subscribers’ festive mood. Source: MailCharts

Humor is a good tool to improve contact with your audience and make your brand memorable. The research by scientists from the International Islamic University in Malaysia says that messages imbued with humor are easier to remember. It means that by making your email marketing newsletter fun you improve your chances of success.

Funny jokes can certainly add new dimensions to your marketing campaign and earn you better results but only if used appropriately. So, let’s dive a bit deeper into the essence of April Fools’ emails and figure out the secrets of the most successful campaigns.

How to create your campaign

When it comes to April Fools’ jokes, it’s easy to take it too far and get negative buzz around your company. Before making a prank, do a little research to avoid looking foolish.

On the 1st of April, 2021, a food delivery service Dileveroo’s users in France received the following message with a fake bill thanking them  for ordering 38 pizzas and 50 portions of sauce:

A Deliveroo email with an order confirmation of 38 pizzas and 50 sauces
Source: Dailymail

It resulted in thousands of panicked customers who thought their accounts had been hacked. Later, Deliveroo confirmed via Twitter that it was a bad prank. But the customers had already gotten angry and some of them even wanted to boycott the service.

Here are some simple steps to avoid situations like the one mentioned above:

Define your goals

First of all, figure out what goals you pursue in launching this campaign. Do you need to notify the customers about holiday products and promotions? Boost sales? Increase brand awareness? Simply entertain your subscribers and cheer them up? Clearly formulate the objectives of your April Fools’ marketing campaign, assess the available resources, and define what success means for you. For example, how many conversions or new product sales do you need? 

You don’t have to join the overall festive madness only because everyone does so. Stay true to your brand and keep the joke in tune with your company’s culture. If your company’s tone of voice is usually serious, trying to be funny once a year might come off as awkward and forced. If you’re sending a B2B email marketing campaign, be especially careful and considerate.

Segment your audience

Make sure that your audience reacts to the prank properly. Do some research before you start sending out your campaigns: think about the customer profile your joke will be addressed to. What’s their age? Gender? Location? Interests? This data will guide you and give you a good idea of what types of jokes are welcomed and what might be frowned upon.

Surely, you won’t be 100% accurate. It’s impossible to match the joke perfectly to every subscriber. However, such an approach is helpful when it comes to determining how customers will react to the joke and how far you can go.

One of the ways you can use segmentation is to specifically target dormant subscribers. An email newsletter with a fun design and enticing subject line might be just what you need to re-engage this part of your audience.

Come up with a catchy subject line

A good subject line plays a big role in the success of a campaign. No matter how interesting your email marketing content or email design is, your subscribers need to first open it. April Fools’ Day is a chance to mix things up. Don’t be afraid of experimenting with email subject lines: you can try several different strategies to see which one works best for your audience.

To make sure that your emails will be open, intrigue the subscribers! Make a crazy or bold statement to surprise them and awaken their curiosity. Take a look at this email Everyman sent on April 1st as a good example. 

Subject line: ✍️ Our new AI pen that writes by itself

Preheader: Experience the future of writing with our AI Grafton

An April Fools’ email with the heading A pen that writes by itself
Source: Milled

The subject line looks so absurd that it immediately grabs the attention and increases engagement, making the readers open the email to see what’s going on. A clever marketing trick!

Another option is to set up a joke in the subject line and offer a payoff in the preheader. Here is a punny option by a cookware and dinnerware brand:

Subject line: Why do eggs like April Fools’ Day?

Preheader: They like practical yolks!!

An April Fools’ email with the tagline Poached egg perfection and promotion of a new pan add-on for poached eggs
Source: Milled

You can stick to a more traditional approach by simply using holiday-related words like “prank”, “joke”, kidding”, “fool”, “fun”, and “crazy” in your subject line. It may not be as attention-grabbing as the previous strategies but still performs well.

Here are some examples of the subject lines for your inspiration:

Joke

  • No Joke! Open to Reveal Your Exclusive 1-Day Offer…
  • It may be April Fools’ Day but our prices are no joke!
  • No joke, your April Fools’ Day deal is 40% off!
  • Jokes On Us!  Savings Inside
  • It may be April Fools’, but we’re not joking…

Prank

  • April Fools’’ Day Sale — No Pranks, just Real Offers. This Weekend only!
  • 3 Lasting Benefits Of April Fools’ Day Prank Marketing;
  • OMG these pranks are too good ??
  • April Fools’ prank ideas! + 40% off with code SPRING40
  • Prank All Over Me

Fool

  • Don’t Be Fooled – This Deal is For REAL
  • Ready for April Fools’?
  • 15% OFF Online Only! No Foolin’
  • Free Shipping All Day — No Fooling!
  • No Foolin’! This Deal is Not to Be Missed…
  • With Jewelry, We Don’t Fool Around 🤡 (James Allen Rings)
  • You won’t be fooled by our mystery bundle 😱(Benefit Cosmetics)

Make sure you’re mobile-friendly

When you think about how to create a “good-looking” email, every detail matters. Stats say that mobile email accounts for up to 44% of email opens, depending on your target audience, products, and email type. So, make sure your digital marketing campaign displays correctly on all types of devices, especially when it comes to templates with GIFs, videos, and complex layouts.

Selzy’s email templates are all responsive, so your viewers on both desktop and mobile can enjoy your email design. Plus, our email builder is powered by AI for content generation. Try Selzy for free to create impactful holiday campaigns. 

Provide a clever call-to-action

The CTA should be clear and noticeable and a bit festive, of course. Instead of boring “Shop now” and “Visit our website”, you can use more creative variants to boost engagement and increase sales. BarkShop did that in their campaign, jokingly offering subscribers’ dogs to get a job:

An email with CTAs Synergize and We guarantee it
Source: MailCharts

Surely, it is not necessary to squeeze out something extraordinary, if you don’t have any ideas. “Shop now” or “Buy today” are also suitable for your April Fools’ Day email template, especially when the button looks prominent, and is conveniently located.

An email with two CTA buttons — Shop hers and Shop his
Source: MailCharts

This email from Fossil has two different CTA buttons — for him & her. You can use a similar design to show that you care about subscribers’ time and want to make their user experience as comfortable as possible.

Personalize your emails

Personalization is another sure way to enhance customer experience and make your contact with subscribers even deeper. The simplest technique is to include your customer’s name in the email. Although this is a common strategy, it doesn’t work well when users don’t provide their real names. And checking the customer profiles requires resources, so if you decide against it, you can end up with an email like in the example below:

An email about a joke possibility to book workstations at a home store with a greeting at the top saying Hey, Dawlfqvkklu!
Source: Milled

This email has a greeting at the very top that looks a bit strange as instead of their real name, the user seemingly typed in random letters when making a profile. 

If you want to go beyond using a customer’s name, you can also explore other personalization techniques.

April Fools’ Day email ideas to use in your campaign

Here are some noteworthy design and content ideas you can use for inspiration when creating your April Fools’ Day campaign.

Don’t be afraid to show your sense of humor

April Fools’ Day is all about jokes and crazy pranks: everyone’s having a great time teasing each other. Show that you can joke with your subscribers too! Use puns, play on words, bright pictures, funny subject lines, tell humorous stories — it depends on your taste and the company’s tone of voice.

Here is an example of a soft self-deprecating joke. King Arthur Flour uses it to show that even pros sometimes make mistakes when cooking with a blog post that “details the far-ranging ways we’ve baked and failed this year.” It encourages beginners to carry on baking no matter how many mistakes they make.

An email with a collection of foolproof recipes and the latest blog posts
Source: MailCharts

Offer special discounts and deals

Traditionally, companies and brands have sales timed to coincide with an upcoming holiday. April Fools’ Day is no exception — that’s a chance to be more creative and show your business in the most profitable way possible.

An email with the tagline This is not a joke
Source: Email Uplers

The banner photo of Reuzel’s email makes you chuckle. The content is crisp and to the point: The company offers festive discount codes that last till midnight — it’s a well-known FOMO strategy that you can also use in so-called last chance emails. The CTA buttons contrast sharply against the background and are very prominent.

Try creating a fake product

An implausible product is a classic April Fools’ trick. Have fun creating something too innovative or simply ridiculous to be true and don’t forget to make the product design believable. You can reveal the truth in the same email or send a follow-up the next day to let your subscribers know it was all a joke.

Here is a stylish email announcement of products that are too good to be true — a gum that eradicates sweat and another one that turns the sweat into clean drinking water. The email even includes fake product reviews not to mention realistic packaging design. The CTA at the end encourages readers to “Shop products we actually make” and drives conversions.

An email with the tagline Take a peek at our newest drops!
Source: Milled

Mood-responsive email — sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, right? Email Uplers don’t think so: They’re ready to send a sample to the subscribers’ inboxes. The bright and funny visuals illustrate the moods and, surely, immediately get you interested and coax you to click the CTA button.

An email with the heading We now develop mood-responsive emails!
Source: Email Uplers

Use funny visuals

This goes without saying! Add amusing comics or illustrations, memes, or GIFs to your April Fools’ email marketing campaigns to take advantage of the occasion.

In this email, nood showed a comical character made almost entirely out of hair. It’s a surprising and eye-catching visual. The email also pokes fun at the company’s competitors showing how unrealistic the brand believes their claims to be.

An email with the tagline The best April Fools joke?
Source: Milled

Best April Fools’ email examples that we’ve ever seen

Here are some really creative examples of April Fools’ emails that prank the subscribers but do it in a funny and smart way.

Copper Cow Coffee

An email with the tagline Introducing energizing baby lattes
Source: Milled

This April Fools’ campaign goes above and beyond to prove that fake coffee for babies exists. The email has believable images and addresses real parents’ concerns — the possible fatigue babies experience staying up all night, the need to improve their focus and productivity. And when subscribers clicked on the CTA (below which is a very small text explaining the joke), they saw a real product page that only revealed the product was fake at the very bottom.

A website page advertising fake baby lattes
Source: Copper Cow Coffee

Kelty

An email promoting the brand’s products that can be used for a prank
Source: MailCharts

Very often April Fools’ emails prank the subscribers. But what if you offer subscribers to prank each other? It can be even more effective — Kelty proves that displaying the way you can prank a friend using their products. Such an intriguing approach!

Sofa Club

An email with the tagline Introducing the delicious new range… Softer than a loaf
Source: Milled

This email is minimalistic and imitates a product launch campaign. What caught our attention was the clever use of a GIF to show the product’s characteristics. The idea itself deserves credit too as it is nice and almost plausible.

Final thoughts

A touch of humor can add new dimensions to your campaign, and earn you better results, but only if used appropriately. Here are the simple steps to follow when creating a good-looking email for an April Fools’ Day:

  • Define your goals — choose the key pros of launching your campaign, and build your strategy based on these goals.
  • Make sure that your audience reacts to the prank properly — do some research before you start sending out your campaigns, and think about the customer profile your joke will be addressed to.
  • Create a catchy email: choose an attention-grabbing subject line, use a prominent CTA, and check whether your campaign is mobile-friendly.

Here are the noteworthy ideas you can use in your April Fools’ Day campaign:

  • Don’t be afraid to show your sense of humor. Use puns, play on words, bright pictures, tell funny stories — it depends on your taste and the company’s tone of voice
  • Offer special discounts and deals. April Fools’ Day is a chance to be more creative in your promotions and show your business in the most profitable way possible.
  • Try creating a fake product. It makes the readers curious and forces them to open the email to see what’s in it.
  • Use funny visuals. Grab subscribers’ attention with colorful and humorous illustrations to create a festive atmosphere.

A half-hearted attempt to capitalize on April Fools’ Day won’t get your emails noticed. So, try to add some personal approach to your campaign, and you’ll definitely get incredible results!

This article was originally published in March 2022 and was updated in March 2024 to make it more relevant and comprehensive.

Article by
Valeria Shulga
A writer by nature, study, and trade with more than 7 years of experience. Contributor at Selzy wearing many hats: I create special content projects, write articles, and own Facebook and Reddit communities. My expertise lies in email and content marketing, but I also have experience with the topics of real estate and immigration. Outside of work, I like spending my free time learning foreign languages, seeing plays at our local theaters, and doing yoga.
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