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Workplace blogs

Five Ways to Add Humor to Your E-mail Messages

Five ways to add a bit of fun to your e-mails:

  1. Encourage people to read them by using creative subject lines that mimic song titles, newspaper headlines, or breaking news reports.
  2. Add a humorous quote to your signature file, such as,”How can you make coffee until you’ve had coffee?” Molly Cox
  3. Add an alternative job title below your official title (such as these real life examples: “The Director of First Impressions,” “The Queen of Fun and Laughter” or “The Manager of Vibe”)
  4. Open with a humorous or offbeat salutation: “Dear fellow homo sapiens,” “To my beautiful, dedicated, and nice-smelling colleagues” or “To my all time favorite customer…”.
  5. Write like you’re an actual breathing human being. This doesn’t mean you should be sloppy with your writing (you don’t want the grammar police busting your chops) but given that research shows that 50% of all e-mails have a “tone issue” wherein the person on the receiving end isn’t quite sure what to make of your tone, take the time to think about the tone you are conveying. Be conversational. Write the kind of e-mail you’d like to receive!

Michael Kerr, Humor at Work, October 2015.

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