April Fool's Day - Big Business Spoofs

In light of April Fool's Day being almost here, I thought I'd share some classic marketing April Fool's Day pranks by big businesses. 

Have you been witness to any of these?
On April 1st 2013 Twitter announced, "Starting today, we are shifting to a two-tiered service: Everyone can use our basic service, Twttr
, but you only get consonants. For five dollars a month, you can use our premium “Twitter” service which also includes vowels. We’re doing this because we believe that by eliminating vowels, we’ll encourage a more efficient and “dense” form of communication. We also see an opportunity to diversify our revenue stream."
According to, "Looking back to April 1, 1996, fast food chain Taco Bell bought ads in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Dallas Morning News, and The Chicago Tribune announcing the company's purchase of the Liberty Bell."  Taco Bell's announcement claimed it as an effort to help the national debt. They assured readers the Liberty Bell would remain open to the public for viewing and would now be called the Taco Liberty Bell. also reports,
"The Museum of Hoaxes has ranked the Liberty Bell stunt the fourth-best April Fools' joke of all time." Read the behind the scenes story and all the hub-bub this prank caused.

On April 1, 2009, YouTube gave users a look at a new “viewing experience” when they selected a video within certain areas such as the “recommended for you” section. This new interface caused the whole layout including the video you were watching to flip upside down. A page on “tips for viewing the new layout” suggested users hang their monitors upside down from the ceiling.

In 2015 Miz Mooz Shoes advertised Selfie Shoes (Which USA Today fell for and printed an article on the shoes after receiving a press release as an early April Fools' Day joke sent as legitimate news!) Well played Miz Mooz - here's a fabulously professional video announcing the shoes.


So what have you got in store for your audience this April Fool's Day?

Touchpoints and Touchdowns

Wikipedia defines marketing touchpoints as "any way a consumer can interact with a business, whether it be person-to-person, through a website, an app or any form of communication. When consumers come in contact with these touchpoints it gives them the opportunity to compare their prior perceptions of the business and form an opinion." (Stein, & Ramaseshan, 2016)

People choose to do business with those they know, like and trust, and that does take some time and multiple touches to build that relationship.

Different industries will find the methods that work best for reaching their target market; rarely is only one approach enough. Think of each marketing method as a player on your team and each teammate has an important role, working together, handing the ball over from one to another, touchdowns are made. 

Incorporating different marketing vehicles, creates a solid structure that illustrates Aristotle's observation, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." When both traditional and digital marketing techniques are used to enhance each other, results are magnified. With an integrated marketing mix, a message can not only be spread across a variety of channels and seen by different kinds of customers who otherwise may not have heard about your business, but it also allows the opportunity for multiple touchpoints and the development of the know-like-and-trust process.

For example, placing an email list sign-up link on your social media pages grows your list, which allows  you to actively stay in touch with prospects and customers, giving them the opportunity to get to know, like and trust you and your business. 

In turn, having social media buttons on your email promotions, website, and blog, leading them to your social pages, offers another opportunity to continue fostering your budding relationship.

As for print, from brochures and business cards handed out at networking and educational events, to meeting leave-behinds and cold call follow-up mailers, printed materials can prompt phone inquiries, drive traffic to websites, and grow email lists.

Combining marketing mediums, each feeding and boosting the effectiveness of the other, maximizes your visibility, keeps you top-of-mind, nurtures leads, and encourages sales far beyond what would result from isolated efforts.

If you haven't already, I encourage you to build a team that plays well together and go for the gold. 

Email, Schmeemail, what's so great about it?

The success of email marketing is multi-faceted.  Email marketing is a relationship builder, it's extremely affordable, can increase your customer base by electronic word-of-mouth (readers "forwarding to a friend"), is trackable, showing you how many opened your email and who, as well as which links they clicked on. This yields concrete data you can then use to continue to improve your marketing, and many aspects can be automated.  It’s immediate; no long lead times and the return on investment can be tremendous.

According to the Direct Marketing Association email marketing has been averaging $38-$44 return on investment per U.S. dollar spent. They also say, "When done well, email stands up as one of the most effective ways to reach target audiences, but it’s changing, and this change is making it more vital, more effective." -  Direct Marketing Association 2015 Report

Maximize your time, effort, and advertising dollars by being where your customers are every day - in their InBoxes.

Use email as your marketing nucleus 

Email Marketing Your NucleusBy having all your marketing efforts lead to and from your email marketing, you can grow your email list and therefore your exposure exponentially. Have an email sign up opportunity at every touch-point. Let's take the most common 5 marketing methods shown to the left. From each of these 5 efforts, if you offer a way for interested parties to sign up to your email list, you will have the ability to communicate with them when you choose, rather than waiting for them to contact you.

Offer something free and valuable for subscribing to your email list; (most businesses can offer a tips sheet which can provide valuable information to new subscribers and doesn't cost a penny to create). Place this offer and a link to your email list sign up on your social media pages. Then you can also place "follow us" links in your emails, leading your email readers to join you on your social pages. Print collateral can include a scannable QR code and a number to text to join your email list. When you joint venture with other businesses, your business gets exposed to other businesses' audiences and you can reciprocate by exposing those businesses to yours. Make the most of every opportunity and encourage these audiences  to become your audience too. Encourage people to sign up to your email list with every client acquisition method you use: article marketing, referral programs, your website, direct mail, etc., and see how fast your list of prospective clients grows - along with your profits.

How easily can you create a professional looking email ma
rketing template? 

Using a bulk email service provider has many benefits. One of which is professional looking, easy to use, drag and drop templates. You can use the pre-designed templates as is, or you can customize them to the colors of your logo and create the same feel as your website. Just as in a Word document, highlight the text you want to change, use the drop-down menu, and select your color. Drag in a photo or two and you'll be amazed at how professional your email promotion can look*. Once your template is created, each time you want to communicate to your customers and prospects, simply paste in your new content and send. No technical experience necessary. You can even schedule your email promotions ahead of time and they'll deploy automatically. 

Professional looking email promotions can raise the perceived value of your business.
See examples here.



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