Knock It Off With the April Fools’ Emails

Look, I’m normally not this cranky, but as of 11 a.m. on April 1, I’ve already received at least 12 April Fools’ Day emails. And while I enjoy humor as much as any other warm-blooded mammal, what I don’t enjoy is my inbox being clogged up with garbage. That’s right. I said garbage.

Look, I’m normally not this cranky, but as of 11 a.m. on April 1, I’ve already received at least 12 April Fools’ Day emails. And while I enjoy humor as much as any other warm-blooded mammal, what I don’t enjoy is my inbox being clogged up with garbage.

That’s right. I said garbage.

Liz Lemon Nerd RageJust because April 1 is some kind of unofficial-official holiday of pranks, jokes and general ridiculousness does not mean every marketer with access to an email subscriber list should use the day to test out their sad-excuse attempts at humor.

Nine times out of 10 it falls flat, latches onto a cheap joke and is as disastrous as that guy at open mic night with big-time dreams of doing stand-up for Comedy Central. Knock. It. Off.

“Whoa, Melissa,” you’re saying. “That’s some serious vitriol you’re spewing. It can’t be all that bad.”

Well, let’s take a look.

April Fools Day email from Third Love
Just … no. I’m sorry, this email is ridiculous, and honestly kind of gross. I don’t care if it does include a dog, it’s not cute. When you click through on the “Shop Now” button, you’re taken to a landing page for “Pawfect Fitting Dog Bras.”

Here’s the thing: Third Love makes slightly higher-end bras that are made of high-quality materials and designed to fit a variety of shapes and sizes. Nothing about this brand is cheesy, or funny at all. Yet, they decided to spend time and energy not only creating an April Fools’ Day email featuring dog bras, but a landing page and product pages.

I’d love to know what marketing manager signed off on this gem. Because it’s an off-brand, off-putting joke campaign that has actually lowered my interest in trying out Third Love products in the future.

April Fools Day Email from PlatedPlated thought it would be cute to spoof dating apps … but there already are foodie dating apps. So again, it’s a lame idea with a somewhat okay execution. The landing page even includes a video for the dating service. Eye-roll. Again, time could have been better spent elsewhere.

April Fool's Day email from King Arthur FlourAll my crankiness aside, I must tip my hat to King Arthur Flour for the email it sent on this most foolhardy of days. Every year, KAF features its annual baking blunders blog post in an email sent to subscribers. As a baker, it can be nice to see that you’re not the only one who mis-measures the flour or burns the pizza crust from time to time (misery loves company, right?).

So King Arthur Flour stayed on-brand with its email, and offered me relevant content that honestly made me laugh. Nicely done.

But, truly, if we want to talk about the experts at April Fools’ Day emails, you’d be remiss to not mention ThinkGeek.

Author: Melissa Ward

Melissa Ward is the managing editor for Target Marketing, and she has opinions! More importantly, she's a nerd for great copy and design, a disciple of authenticity, and really loves it when marketers get it right.

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