BirchBox Does April Fools’ Day with Style (and an Animated GIF!)

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When companies add personality and life into their emails, subscribers are able to see that there are actual people behind the brand they are interacting with. Furthermore, it helps foster relationships between subscriber and brand. And, isn’t that exactly what companies aim to do when sending email — build relationships with their subscribers in order to encourage them to take a particular action?

While BirchBox may not have been been selling anything “real” in one of their latest emails, they definitely showed their personality and humor! And, better yet — they did it style! Let’s take a look.



If you aren’t familiar with Birchbox, it’s a monthly beauty subscription that sends deluxe samples based on the subscriber’s preferences. So when they launched a “new subscription service,” on April 1st (aka April Fools’ Day), I’m sure their subscribers were very excited!

Upon opening the email, subscribers were welcomed with the headline, “You asked, we delivered: New! Birchbox for Boxes.” For a mere $20 a month, subscribers can receive deliveries of gorgeous boxes of all shapes, sizes and color — what’s better than that?! With the simple click of a button, you can “start stockpiling now.”

I’m sure some subscribers were confused at first, but after clicking into the email for more information, they were brought to an “April Fools” page, which shed light on the purpose of the email. Regardless of whether subscribers realized it was a joke from the get-go or not, once they figured it out, I’m sure they really enjoyed the thought and effort put into the email.

How nice is it to receive an email from a company that isn’t strictly promotional? It’s a nice way to show your subscribers that you care about them and would like to put a smile on their face. It also shows them that you actually have a personality and aren’t just a robot! Between the humorous language of the email and landing page, this email is a win in my book!


One of my favorite aspects of this email is the fact that Birchbox still took the time to carefully craft a “joke” email. Their branding is still present and it’s a sleek, attractive email. The email has plenty of white space for easy viewing, as well as limited text and a clear CTA. Regardless of the content or purpose, it’s on-brand and beautifully designed!

The animated GIF shows off numerous of the “Birchbox boxes” and makes them look really cute and appealing (who knew you could make boxes look cute?!). The best part about animated GIFs is that while video and CSS3 animation have mixed support across email clients, animated GIFs have generally good support, especially across common consumer email programs.

Birchbox also gets bonus points for using styled ALT text on their logo image.


Birchbox uses a similar template for their emails, including this one-off email for April Fool’s Day. I’m don’t know if Birchbox has a high mobile open rate, they could make simple changes that would make their emails easier to view on small screens. For example, in its current state, the navigation bar, social sharing links, and text are hard to read on an iPhone.


To make the social sharing links and navigation bar more mobile-friendly, BirchBox could consider removing these items, making them larger, or using responsive elements to “hide” them when viewed on a mobile device. In addition, while the body copy in the email is 15px, since the email is 600px wide, the whole email scales down—including the text. The wider your email, the bigger your fonts need to be in order to scale appropriately on an iPhone. Also, since the preheader is 10px and the footer 12px, they are really hard to read on a mobile device. We recommend using a body copy minimum of 16px and 22px for headlines.


Do you have an email that you’re especially proud of that you’d like to be featured in our inspiration series (don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be April Fools themed!). Send them to us at