- Need-to-know-now communication from my family’s various activities or groups
- A discount on a product or service I happen to need right that minute
Finding out next week’s soccer game schedule or getting $5 off my next oil change will never bring me joy. However, the promise of a good laugh will always get my attention and my click.
Why humor can increase open rates
Why do humans respond so well to humor? It’s chemical. If something strikes us as funny, our brains deliver shots of pleasure-inducing dopamine. Then, neurons called spindle cells transmit the delighted emotion across the brain.
Back to your inbox: if you create an experience where users learn to expect that “feel good” feeling in response to seeing your message in their inbox, what do you think that will do to your open rates?
I spoke to Christopher Weyant and his Harvard study about how cartoons perform for newspapers and magazines’ digital platforms compared to articles, photos, blogs, and video. His results so far indicate that cartoons provide powerful and unique reader engagement and may be an untapped asset for attracting advertisers and increasing engagement. Cartoons attract and hold readers’ attention on websites more than most other content like photos, graphs, etc. People are more likely to share cartoons than other content, which helps link readers to the originating site and creates social media exposure for the publisher. Readers of cartoons often spend longer time on a site and read more articles — both important metrics that advertisers value.
Website visitors who viewed cartoons:
- Stay approximately 22% longer than those readers who view only other content.
- Are more loyal – averaging over 200% more visits than readers of other content.
- View more pages – over 30% more page views per visit than readers of other content.
- Share cartoons approximately 35% more than other print content.
Email is all about getting users to your site; the promise of a laugh in both places can up your numbers across the board.
But, wait … are you funny?
Maybe, maybe not. But you don’t need to be. Cartoons can do that work for you, and CartoonStock has tens of thousands to choose from to make finding the perfect cartoon easy.
- Foster a sense of community and agreement, building trust
- Eases tension
- Surprise and delight
Select cartoons that speak to your specific audience about things they care about and relate to. Personalization always gets results.
Show, don’t tell
Let’s take a few examples. One, an accountant who manages the newsletter for his local professional association of peers, and two, a dentist looking to increase six-month cleaning appointments.
The accountant could use a cartoon in a way that reinforces his audience’s common experience. By sharing “in-jokes” with his peers, he builds on their sense of community, that they’re all in this together.
Surely they wouldn’t really add that zero, but oh, the hilarity if they did!
Now, a dentist trying to increase bookings may want and ease fear and gently remind patients why those six-month appointments are so important:
We know secretly most of us aren’t flossing, and our dentist certainly knows best of all. Here the cartoon is easing concerns that the patient might “get in trouble” by addressing the issue directly with humor.
By linking a positive emotional response – laughter — to something potentially unpleasant or boring, the release of dopamine mutes the brain’s initial negative response.
Here are a few more.
How about a landscaper looking to book fall clean-up appointments:
Nobody wants to be that guy! Better book that appointment!
Or a B2B software salesperson:
This is a great cartoon for a software company that offers one-on-one training.
And one last important point about email open rates: Did you know that open rates are dependent on users either downloading images (you can’t view an image in an email without downloading it) or clicking a link? Do you think including a dopamine-bomb of a cartoon might encourage users to download and view the images in your email? We sure do.
Are you ready to use cartoons to increase your open rates? Search for cartoons now.
Not sure how can you use humor and cartoons to increase engagement for your business? Email us; we’d love to help.
Have a success story to share? Send it our way!