“How Humor can turn a simple email into a viral marketing tool.”

A study by Sharpe Partners, an interactive marketing agency, revealed that 89% of adult Internet users in America share content with others via e-mail. This is useful information for those of us using “word-of-mouse” e-mail techniques to sell our products.

Alright.. so I’m about to reveal my age with this next question but here goes… Do you remember the old cartoon “Mighty Mouse” ? Well, I sure do! I used to love that cartoon! Wanna know what mighty mouse has to do with email marketing? – Nothing. You see, he’s just a cute and funny little character that helped me play on the “Word Of Mouth” phrase and later transitioned to “Word Of MOUSE” (as in your computer mouse) .. These are just “attention getters” to grab my visitors between the eyeballs and get them to read on. The cute cartoon and funny video below adds some flair to my article and keeps the reader interested. This same principle holds true when you are sending a promo email to your subscribers and will also help your campaign go viral.

The Sharpe Partners study generated some interesting results regarding the type of content that is most often forwarded, as well.  The most popular content is humorous material. The second most popular category is news, followed by health care and medical information, religious and spiritual material, games, business and personal finance information and sports/hobbies… in that order. So it is easy to see that humor is the best content for your viral e-mail campaign. Cartoons, jokes and funny video clips are among the things that can be added to an e-mail to insure that it will go viral. People will want to pass along something that makes them laugh.

“Here I Come To Save The Day!”

They are a lot more likely to hit the forward button and send your email to their friends and relatives if it is an “advertainment” rather than an advertisement. Not along ago, about 35 million people got an e-mail containing a picture taken in Disneyland. It took a minute to see it but there was Donald Duck lying prone in front of the famous Cinderella Castle.  The title of the picture was “Bird Flu has hit Disneyland”. It was a viral e-mail advertising Disneyland and used the edgy strategy of making light of what’s serious… and it works.

I’d guess that most people who own a computer have seen that picture… and thus the advertisement for Disneyland.  The bird flu epidemic is newsworthy and has the potential to attract an enormous amount of attention to any brand that might, for whatever reason, associate itself with it.

Remember that people are much more likely to share a joke or a funny picture than anything else so you would be well advised to include humor in your e-mail campaign.

To You Online Sales Success,

Omar Martin
, President & CEO


  1. Great article Omar,

    And so very true – I often add a funny video or picture to my blog posts, and they do get more traffic than a straight forward marketing post.


  2. Hey Omar, I don’t know who you are, I just met you. Evidently, I must have opted in through an ad swap from someone you JVed with.
    But I’ve got to say I loved your “Fly” video. You have a great family! Lucky guy! Seems you really know how to have fun.
    Listen Omar, I am just a Dumb Ass when it comes to making money on the Internet. But I had a good friend who is a player in the business. This is the advice he gave me a while ago. He had not time to mentor me, and I could not have afforded him even if he did. But he left me with this:
    Watch, Listen, Learn to tell the truth from fiction. And most important, now that you know what the end game is: Look for the compelling! If you read something or, see something that you know is attempting to manipulate you and you are manipulated, Study It. Learn why it is working on you. Catch yourself being manipulated, when you are drawn into hype, dissect it.
    Allow me to tell you how powerful videos like your “Fly” video is to your list members, or to anyone who has the opportunity to view it.
    Recently, I complained about having so many e-mails that it was taking me hours each day to go through them. The friend I was complaining to said to me, listen Bob I too fell into the same trap. You can’t get much done if you busy reading someone else’s e-mails all day. The intelligent thing to do is to delete almost all of them. Make it so you are at a manageable level.
    I took his advice. I began to delete e-mails. I went right down the line in the order in which they came. I felt guilty because I know how hard some people work on their e-mails etc.
    While going down the line, I came to Alex Jeffreys. Now, I have been watching Alex for a long time. There is no one on the Internet who rose from obscurity to a huge presence on the Internet. I know how he did it because being a Dumb Ass about the Internet, I sat there watching Alex and his methods. I know exactly what he did to achieve his meteoric rise in the business.
    But that’s not the point of my story. When I came to Alex’s e-mail, and had my finger on my mouse ready to delete him. I automatically stopped in my tracks? Why, because through his e-mail videos, I saw him drunk! I met his friends. I was there when he was married. Shit, man, I went to his wedding reception!! I couldn’t delete Alex, he was my personal friend!!
    I got to another e-mail. This one was from a guy who used to send me videos about his family life. He used to include his kids singing and dancing.
    For Christmas he sent out a video of his two kids, his wife and himself, all lined up with Guitar Hero ready to play on a huge monitor. His little boy was on a drum set. His daughter was playing an electric piano, his wife had a guitar and he had a guitar.
    He said HIT IT!!! And all four went into a rock tune playing their asses off. Of course, they were all terrible, but the video was so endearing that you could not wipe the smile off of your face for the entire length of the video. At the end they all said Merry Christmas in unison.
    Needless to say, he is still sending me e-mails. Again I felt I knew his family.
    Now, some of you guys know it and some of you do not, But personal videos are a POWERFUL TOOL!! They Connect!
    Remember, my friend told me to watch for the compelling. Well, I was compelled!
    Now, being alone out here, with no one to bounce my thoughts off of, I often wonder if it is my nature. I have done business with people who have told me that my conscience is their protection.
    When I was much younger, I was selling these electronic products like organizers. They had just come out and were fairly expensive. I received a call from a friend who told me he had someone who wanted to buy one but he wanted it tonight. It was about 8:30pm, and I really didn’t want to have to go out again. But I called the guy. He was an asshole and a half! He was loud and demanding. He told me he wanted to meet me in a bar which was about forty five minutes from my house.
    I got there and he wasn’t there. He was twenty minutes late. He finally got there. He had a really grating personality. He was a real jerk!
    I told him I had to go, and handed him the product. He wanted to make sure it worked properly. So we sat there while he played with the damn thing. The longer I spent with him the more hatred I was developing towards this piece of work!
    He finally said, I guess it’s okay, and handed me the money. I was so exasperated I took the money and jammed it in my coat pocket and told him I was leaving. He said, See ya!
    When I got home I went into my office and took out the money and threw it on my desk. It didn’t look right. I counted it, and found that the asshole gave me more than twice what he was supposed to give me!
    I thought Good! You Asshole, you deserved to pay twice. I threw the money on my desk and went and watched TV. About an hour went by. I got up and went back in the office and re-counted the money. I told myself,Man,this guy simply paid me for all of the bullshit I had to put up with, with him. I went back to the TV. Another hour went by, again I went into my office and counted the money again. I was being tortured!! I thought, the hell with him! He was a creep! Back to the TV. Half an hour later, I went to the money again. Put on my shoes and jammed the money in my coat pocket and jumped in my car and headed back to his neighborhood. I called him and told him what he had done, and I was in the same bar we met in. I told him to meet me and get his money back.
    This time when he arrived at the bar he was like a different person. He was actually nice to me and apologized to me for being such an asshole. I told him at least his adjective matched my adjective of him. We both laughed. We sat there for another two hours buying each other drinks.
    The strange thing was, I became good friends with this guy and went on to make a ton of money with him.
    My nature was always this way. If I perceived myself as being unfair with someone, I would be tortured until I righted the perceived wrong!
    I used to think I was a real pussy, since I couldn’t screw over people even if I thought they should be screwed over. I used to think this was such a weakness.
    When I grew older I realized that my weaknesses were my strongest strengths. I have been trading on these traits to make a living for quite some time.
    The only reason I even bring this long story up is: I wonder if it is just me that feels this way because of my nature, or am I keying in on an emotional fact! Is it true? Can one bond with a person or family on a video? Without ever meeting them in person? I say YES!
    Of course, I mean if you and the family are normal. If you are an ax murderer, or a sexual predator, or talk dirty to your list members, all bets are off!!
    I know this is becoming a ridiculously long, but I must add one more thing about your video:
    Having recently lost my mom, it really touched me that you took your mom with you. My mom had Alzheimer’s. We were not rich, and couldn’t afford around the clock nurses, so I quit my job and moved in and became my mom’s sole health care provider. The call Alzheimer’s “The Long Goodbye” It was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do.
    I had a long time to say goodbye, but it is still shocking when your mom passes away.
    I used to end my e-mails with: If your mom lives far from you, call her and tell her you were thinking about her and that you love her. If your mom lives near you, drop by and see her. Give her a kiss and a hug and tell her you love her. Mothers ask so little of us, a phone call, or a visit will make their day, week perhaps.
    I try to make them aware that mom’s aren’t forever. Even though I used to think that. Death can be sudden and you never want someone you love to go without telling them how you feel about them. Yeah, they may know it, but they love to hear it.
    Okay Omar, I’ll end you suffering now. Sorry for the rant. I wanted you to know how effective your videos was. I think that many people make and send videos like you did and really do not know how much power there is in those videos. By the way, you cannot send them too often or they backfire something like seeing a TV commercial that is over used. They lose their power. What should the ratio be? How should I know? Remember I am the Internet Dumb Ass! I haven’t made any money! But I have been watching, listening and learning and looking for the compelling. I have found “Compelling” and in he event you are not aware of this fact. I just wanted to share my observations with you.
    I swear to you this is the last thought. Both you and Alex Jeffreys are so similar in the way you look and act.You both have such upbeat personalities that I had a funny thought! If the two of you donned tuxedos and got two canes, linked your arms an did a little song and dance routine….You’d knock em’ dead and leave em’ wanting more. If the two of you ever do a JV, this video would go into the Internet hall of fame! If you do not know him, look up his name and watch one of his video. Or better yet, let someone you know watch it and see if they see the similarities between you two.
    Okay, that’s all I swear! If you have gotten this far, then thanks for hanging in there through my insane ravings. Sincerely, an Internet Dumb Ass, Broke Ass, Information overloaded tech deficient guy who has had Steak years, Hot Dog years, and for the first time, due to the Internet gurus and mercenaries having relieved him from his entire savings is having his first Oatmeal year ever, bob rettman.

    p.s. I could be suffering from banging my head against my monitor. I feel better now, I would imagine that my neighbors will not find it necessary to dart me this evening!!lol.

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