April Fools’ Day: A whole day dedicated to shenanigans, tomfoolery, and laughs. Plenty of companies showed they could recognize the holiday in their email marketing. While some brands kept it simple with subject lines, sales, and promo codes geared toward the holiday, others went all out.

While it could be construed as risky to send an entire email campaign filled with fake info, here are some well-thought-out campaigns from several brands that showed they knew their audience and knew how to have some fun.

Brand: Redbox

Subject line:  Introducing Petbox.

Redbox hit subscribers’ inboxes early in the morning to introduce its newest venture: Petbox. According to the email, “Petbox carries the latest movies & games your pet will want to sit and stay for.”


Subscribers who clicked through the email were taken to a website with the various movies and games available. When clicking on a movie or game suggestion, the joke was revealed. Redbox went one step further, encouraging subscribers to interact with the hashtag #Petbox, which kept the joke going all day long.


Brand: Darby Smart

Subject line: JUST LAUNCHED: Prafts 

Darby Smart, a website that helps customers do DIY crafting, sent an email introducing “prafting” – pets who craft. Subscribers who clicked through the email were taken to Darby Smart’s blog post about prafting, complete with photos of puppies and kittens (of course.)


Brand: Groupon

Subject Line: Grøüber: Transportation Right Meow

Groupon’s April Fools’ joke was subtle – their subject line and banner were the only hints in this email. However, subscribers whose curiosity got the best of them were given the opportunity to learn about Groupon’s newest transportation option: laser-guided cats.  Similar to Redbox, Groupon also kept the jokes going on Twitter.


Brand: Indigo Wild

Subject Line(s): Tadoy Olny! ALL DRTIY 30 DAELS! 

Today Only! Get All of the DIRTY 30 DEALS!

Yes, you’re reading that right – or are you? Indigo Wild, which makes all-natural soaps and aromatherapy products, celebrated April Fools’ by making their subscribers look twice. First, the company sent the email below beckoning for some double-takes. A few hours later, Indigo Wild followed up with its subscribers with another email that was a little more forthright.


Brand: Lot18

Subject Line: Medical marijuana is coming! Introducing Pot18

Why not mix April Fools’ with politics? Lot18, which allows customers to buy fine wines online, informed subscribers about “Pot18”. Supposedly, Pot18 would allow customers to sample six types of marijuana. Subscribers who clicked through the email were taken to the company’s website, and a $15 credit, which expired the next day, was added to their account. Looks like It pays to be curious.


Brand: ParkMe

Subject Line: ParkMe Launches First Drone Assisted Parking App

ParkMe, an app that allows users to reserve parking spaces, told subscribers that the next big thing was here: Drone-assisted parking. While the concept isn’t true, subscribers did have the opportunity to use a special April Fools’ promo code valid on April 1.


Brand: West Elm

Subject line: Thanks for your order! 

The furniture and décor retailer had some fun sending subscribers a “confirmation email” from their own future. Once subscribers opened the email (which likely had a higher overall click-through-rate than most of their promotional emails), the email content told subscribers about the extra savings they could find that day.


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