Using Humor To Generate Leads

Blog Categories:  Content Marketing  

Content Marketing Requires Interesting Content

Some companies can be so focused on sales that they look at site visitors mainly as a way to create leads. They often forget about providing content that is not only useful but also enjoyable — failing to give their potential customers an experience worth generating a lead.

Humor is one of the most enjoyable types of content, and not surprisingly, it has one of the highest response rates, whether in lead generation for websites or in traditional marketing.

Cartoons are some of the most accessible forms of humor, as they require little time investment for the reader, and people have a hard time ignoring them.

With written humor, there is no highlighted area saying “laughs ahead — if you’re skimming, be sure to stop and read this.” But cartoons are easy to spot — and it’s part of why content that uses them has a very high readership and share rate.

In fact, the inbound marketing guru folks at Hubspot Inc. have said “cartoons are one of our favorite types of content to publish.

Links and quotes help illustrate, to an extent, but I have a sense that I’m now venturing into boring verbiage, so I’ll pipe down and get to the subject at hand, with a few examples of cartoons that my clients have used to help generate leads:

A cartoon created for eMoney Advisor. (Some people do indeed work hard for leads.)


A cartoon created for a telecom company, discussing a subject that no one likes — if it happens to them, anyway. Discussing it happening to others, well, that could be amusing. It did help generate leads for the company's services.


One of several cartoons created to help publicize and garner leads for a new technology at Cisco.


A financial adviser cartoon used by Northwestern Mutual and also Blackrock Funds to generate leads. (Everyone in every field has to deal with questions about what makes them any good at what they do. Some are hard to answer on the spot.)


A cartoon published in Strategy magazine, and later licensed for use by Adapstrat Inc. (Co-created with Straight North’s Brad Shorr)


Back to more words, because it’s time to wrap up. If you skipped to this paragraph, here’s the Cliff’s Notes summation: Making your content more engaging and fun builds readership, which goes a long way toward creating leads. The fun can take many forms. Of course, after getting leads, you need to do something with them:

About the Author

Mark Hill is a Boulder, Colorado-based cartoonist and illustrator, and he began creating cartoons when he was old enough to hold a crayon without also eating it. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Forbes and Wall Street Journal. His corporate clients include Bayer, Cisco Systems, GM, Google, Intel, Merck, Pepsi and Time Warner. Mark’s website is

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