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Humor Me; Boosting Conversion Rates With a Smile

They say there are three kinds of people in the world: Those who can count, and those who cannot.

Humor can be a double edged sword. We have all tried to send a sarcastic text; where even the most valiant attempts at comedic emphasis can simply come across as anger. If you can pull it off however, humor is an amazing tool to use online to boost readership, trust, and conversion rates.


Oh, the Humanity…

There’s a reason humor works so well. It is an immediate identifier of humanity.  As much fun as it is to work through that helpful automated system anytime you dial a customer service line; there is always that immense feeling of relief felt when you actually hear a human’s voice on the other end. In a world of automated tellers, self-checkout stands, and virtual assistants, interacting with a human can be like discovering fire.

When your readers engage with a little humor on your site, it tells them one thing: someone actually wrote this. If only for a moment, it removes the guard that everyone has up surrounding websites and “being sold” something. A glimpse into your brand’s humor makes the reader feel like they are conversing with a friend rather than being targeted by a salesman. Big difference.

Potent Power of Positivity (and other alliterations)

The customer’s journey should be a positive one, right? There are few things more positive than a genuine smile. This is not to say that your design should include ten videos of cute cats, as this will definitely distract from your company’s message. But taking a humoristic approach is sure to keep readers in a positive frame of mind; which they then automatically associate your company with.

This positive frame of mind builds strong rapport with the reader from the get-go; and is the emotional response that many companies spend years and thousands of dollars on marketing trying to help their readers achieve.

Misery Loves Company; Happiness Loves a Crowd

That said, when a customer has an enjoyable experience, they are more likely to share your content with others. Genuine, relatable humor is a great way to target your audience; as the more a page is shared and commented on, the more you understand exactly which audience is interacting with your specific brand of humor. Add that to the fact that sharing increases awareness about your company and its message, humor may be your ticket to driving traffic and boosting sales.

It’s a Science, Really

There is a specific science behind humor. Take a simple bar joke, for instance, there is a reason why this humor is so engaging:

“Three guys walk into a bar…

At the beginning of a joke, the mind kicks into gear; activating various regions of the brain to figure it out. The frontal lobe processes the info, the motor functions associated with laughter are readied, and the brain prepares itself for the Aha! moment.

“…you’d think the third one would have ducked.”

When the Aha moment hits, endorphins and feel good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine kick in. These are the same endorphins released when looking at an image of someone you love. Feel empowered to be funny yet? You should. This is like having every customer’s best friend reading your website to them – the same areas of the brain are engaged. Ultimately, it is this familiarity which is going to build trust and boost conversion rates; and your company is worth a good laugh, isn’t it?

Do it Right (or not at all)

“A dyslexic man walks into a bra…”

Humor has to be executed correctly to be effective. For every success story of clever copy, there is an equally disastrous story of a company spending good money on clever copy to see zero results. Humor should not only be relevant to your company; you should be especially certain it is relevant with your target audience. If a company sells retirement funds, yet its humor targets 13 year olds, how well would you guess it is converting? Not very well at all. That same humor applied to a potato chip company? Sales are through the roof. When your humor matches your audience, you’ve got a recipe for split ribs and a high conversion rate.

How does your company engage your audience through humor? Do you take a subtle approach; or find more success with over the top cleverness?



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