Funny Email Subject Lines to Use When Emailing Leads

Looking for funny subject lines to try out? Look no further.
Funny email subject lines article cover photo
So you want to stand out to your leads?

Want your emails to have a high open rate?

Well, it's not easy. Especially considering over 306 billion emails are sent and received daily, how do you compete?

First, ensure your email is delivered to the right mailbox. Once you've confirmed that you're not ending up in the spam, promotions, or social tabs, you are still competing with other savvy salespeople that made it there, as well as regular mail from inside the company.

To get them to click to read your excellent email copy, you need the subject line to stand out and attract your lead.

And one way we do that here at SalesPipe is by employing humor.

Read on!

Why Use a Funny Email Subject Line?

If you've been around our blog for a bit, you know we like our unconventional sales methods here at SalesPipe.

Whether it's using GIFs or memes, our SDRs are not afraid to try it all. But even in our email copy, our team of sales specialists will try different tactics - from tried and tested methods to fun incorporations of emojis - to truly connect with prospects to get that meeting booked for our clients.

And why do we do this? Because humor has been proven to work.

Making someone laugh is not only a joy but the foundation of a true connection. And it is hard work.

Take it from stand-up comedian Jon Selig, who also doubles as a salesman. Just like comedians, salespeople always have a final goal at the end of their pitch. If you combine it with the goal of laughter, your prospect has a good time and feels the personalized touch.

Or from authors Noah J. Goldstein, Robert B. Cialdini, and Steven J. Martin, who in their book Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, they revealed that when doing outreach, if you send a funny, inoffensive cartoon to the person you're negotiating with, they reported feeling a higher level of trust. In turn, this led to 15% larger profits for the companies, with the salespeople making use of humor in this way.

For a great example of humor being used to sell, take a look at this 2012 YouTube video for DollarShaveClub. An innovative idea at the time that challenged the status quo of razor blades with a subscription model, this idea definitely paid off: Unilever acquired them for a cool one billion dollars in cash in July 2016, and it continues to produce revenue today with the same tactics.

With thirty-five percent of marketers sending customers emails three to five times a week, why not stand out with a bit of humor?

But always make sure you are keeping it safe and aware of your target audience. You've done your research, so you should know what might work and what might not. If you're unsure, proceed with caution with some A/B testing before extending it, or check in with your manager or leadership.

But a lot of the time, you truly won't know what works until you give it a go, so don't be shy and experiment. We'll give you some examples to get you started.
funny subject lines for emails infographic

Examples of Funny Email Subject Lines

So how can you make funny subject lines?

This very much depends on the person and their sense of humor, both of your outbound team and of the lead in question. But there are a few overarching subjects that you can start thinking about when crafting your email subject line that will never fail you.

Sales Joke

There is a type of humor known as self-deprecating humor. In sales, this can come in handy so long as you don't come off as overbearing or like you're digging for compliments.

Recognizing that you are a salesperson approaching a lead from the get-go can generate a positive impression as you are not trying to trick your lead into a conversation.

Something like "{{first name}}, I'm just an SDR living in a lonely world" acknowledges the relationship you expect to have with your lead and is likely to produce a chuckle. Also, using a well-known song lyric can help you find common ground with them.

If you couple that with a sales cadence that includes a follow-up phone call, you can identify yourself pretty readily: "Hey it's {{your name}}, that SDR living in a lonely world!".

This way, even if they didn't open the email, the subject line will remind them that you reached out to them, as it is unique and pokes fun at you. It helps you break the ice a lot more than your average approach.

Personalized Joke

As part of your job, you've researched your prospect or lead.

Take some time studying their LinkedIn and see what they like or who they follow, and personalize your subject line with a bit of humor. You can use great tech tools to help you do this as well.

For instance, if they're a sports fan and seem to be a white whale for you to get, research their team and their standings or history.

I somewhat follow football, so something along the lines of "{{first name}}, don't lose on sales like Barcelona lost Messi" would work for me. It would make me chuckle and, at the very least, open the email to give it a read-through because it so clearly matches my interests.

Even with my peripheral knowledge of the situation, I understand what you are going for, and that I should be keen on finding out more.

Industry Joke

Another great approach is to know your industry well and poke fun at it. It demonstrates that you are comfortable with selling in your space and have extensive knowledge if you are willing to make a joke from the get-go.

For example, if you are aiming for folks marketing, you've got several options. Anything from "{{first name}} like Nike just does it, so could you" to "{{first name}} SERP-rise for you!" could work. They display basic to specific knowledge in the area, which might draw attention to your particular email.

If you want to aim for bankers or brokers, something along the lines of "{{first name}}, you're not a loan" can serve to demonstrate that you're at least aiming for a specific type of conversation and that you are familiar with what your lead is doing.

Ask your colleagues for brainstorming help here, or listen to what they go through in a day for inspiration. It might surprise you what you can come up with from your surroundings regarding industry jokes!

Pop Culture Joke

Finally, a pop culture joke always works.

You want to make sure it is widely relevant to as many people as possible or that you are certain your particular niche or industry will relate to.

From as wide-reaching as "{{first name}}, swipe right on us!" to as specific as "{{first name}}, say Beetlejuice 3 times!" can both work to let your audience know that you have sent them something interesting. Something that might pique their interest a bit more.

Trying to aim for the current pop culture subject matter is one way of doing this, for instance, referencing a TV show that is currently very popular such as Stranger Things: "{{first name}}, no more Demogorgon's for you!"

But this can also backfire depending on cultural reception to something like this. Something the Game of Thrones memorabilia creators found out the hard way.

A better strategy is to go for established pop cultural phenomena.

Star Wars (a joke about the Sales Force never goes wrong here!), Back to the Future, or Marvel are franchises you could rely on, or even a little more niche but finished TV shows like The Office or Arrested Development. A subject line related to the banana stand would definitely make me personally appreciate the sender more.

Another idea is to use song lyrics, as we saw in the first example, which blended a sales joke with a pop culture reference. Any variation of "hello it's me" or "hello is it me you are looking for" provides some chuckles, as would funny subject lines with anything from Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You as part of the follow-ups.

Mixing pop culture knowledge with personalization or industry jokes could also be the way to go - try it as a base and then start mixing and matching, just like you do with clothes!
funny subject lines infographic


We've seen how humor has been conclusively proven to sell more.

Because smiles and laughter come from positive emotions and experiences, having your lead associate you as a BDR with humor helps you be memorable and relatable. It gives you a leg up on the competition.

At SalesPipe, we like to make use of that humor carefully, by adding it to pertinent email subject lines. It leads to higher open rates and memorable SDRs, resulting in more meetings for our clients.

Want to see it in action? Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you out.
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