Emojis have taken the world by storm since their inception in the 1990s. Due to their massive adoption and popularity, it was only natural that smileys and other emojis would make their way into email marketing.
Read this article to find out how you can use emojis to benefit your email marketing program.
Can you use emojis in email marketing?
Statistics show that the integration of emojis in emails has grown rapidly by 775% every year. With the evolution of email marketing, it has also become harder to grab people’s attention.
Email inboxes are cluttered with endless promotions, offers, and marketing emails. Adding emojis in your subject line or message will help you stand out and grab the attention of your followers.
Why do marketers add emojis in email messages?
People love emojis. So much so that they even created a holiday for them, World Emoji Day. But that’s not why email marketers have adopted them in their email marketing program.
In order to draw attention to their mail, email experts have incorporated emojis into the subject line of their emails. This made them stand out from any other word-based message by adding a splash of color to the inbox.
All it took was a few clicks of the keyboard for their email marketing efforts to make a significant difference. Studies show that adding emojis to your email subject line can increase your email open rate by 29% and click-through rate by 28%!
Over the years, as more people started using emojis and higher quality emoji characters were developed, operating systems also developed easier ways to access them.
The easiest way to insert an emoji into your email is to copy and paste it from an emoji database like Emojipedia.
However, different operating systems and email service providers have different shortcuts for accessing the emoji keyboard:
Using emojis in Outlook
Outlook for Microsoft 365 includes a small set of emojis. You can use a text code for an emoji from this list to insert it. Typing 🙂 converts the smiley face into a smiley emoji.
Using emojis on Windows
In Windows 10, there is a much larger set of emojis. To access the Windows 10 emoji keyboard, press and hold the Windows key + the period (.) or semicolon ( 😉) key simultaneously to bring up the emoji menu.
Using Emojis on Mac OS
Make sure the app you want to type in is running, then place your cursor where you want to type the emoji. Simultaneously press Control + Command + Spacebar on your keyboard or right-click and press “Emoji & Symbols”. A small overlaid window appears with a bunch of Emoji characters.
Using Emojis in Gmail
Click on the smiley face emoji at the bottom of your composer to access the emoji keyboard. You can also use the shortcut Command + Shift + 2 to see the emojis.
Should you put emojis in email subject lines?
Yes, you can put a single emoji (or two) in your message subject line, but start by perfecting your writing style to suit your audience. See which tone works best for them, then (if appropriate) add emojis sparingly to make your subject lines more effective.
Keep in mind that most emojis are best suited for B2C e-commerce emails, as they can look unprofessional and inappropriate in B2B commercial emails.
Here’s an example of how emojis can fit into your email subject lines:
Ajoutez un emoji comme préfixe à votre ligne d'objet.
🥰 Buy new models!
"Enveloppez" les emojis autour de votre ligne d'objet
🐾 Perfect Paw Gifts 🐾
Utilisez-le comme suffixe à votre ligne d'objet.
Claim your free gift! 🎁
Where else can you insert an Emoji into an email?
Here’s another example of a few ways you can implement emojis in your messaging outside of your email subject line:
Incluez un emoji (ou deux) dans votre texte de pré-en-tête.
Check out our Buy 1 Get 1 Free Friday Sale and save 35% on our most popular lipstick shades! 💋💄
Ajoutez un emoji à votre message de bienvenue.
Hey Brandon 👋
Termine avec un emoji dans ta salutation.
Emojis on their own should not impact your email deliverability. However, if you send marketing emails with lots of emojis, bold capitals, and excessive punctuation in your email subject line, your email clients may think you’re sending spam.
This can significantly reduce your open rate and impact your ability to connect with your subscribers in the future.
Therefore, you should follow best practices when deciding whether or not to include an emoji in your email messages.
Best Practices for Using Emojis in Email Marketing
As using an emoji in emails has exploded in popularity, it’s essential to follow these best practices to ensure you’re using emojis effectively in your emails. It can be the difference between an emoji helping or hurting your marketing emails.
Don’t overuse emojis
It is important not to abuse this popular trend. According to statistics, 59% of customers between the ages of 18 and 34 believe that companies use too many emojis. Emails that use too many emojis or use them too often look like spam.
Also note that when you add an emoji to your message subject or email messages, it is best not to repeat it multiple times as it has less impact that way.
Don’t use emojis to replace words or phrases
Digital marketers should be aware that not all email clients know what a specific emoji means.
Emojis are not a fixed means of communication and they are better suited to evoke emotions than to replace actual words. Sometimes emojis can be misunderstood or misinterpreted, which can cause confusion or offense.
Therefore, when you send a mail, instead of writing an email subject like “🙌😱2️⃣0️⃣% off 🔥 new 👕👚 now‼️✨”, you should write “Buy 20% off new styles now ! 🔥 » Less is always better when it comes to using emoji in your subject line.
Don’t use emojis in the subject line if your brand has a serious style or tone.
You know your audience best. If you normally address your customers in an informative, scientific and factual style, for example, it wouldn’t be a good idea to insert irrelevant emojis into your message. This can reduce your credibility and professionalism.
On the other hand, if you run an e-commerce business that treats its subscribers like friends, that’s a whole different story. Your followers may prefer this form of communication to verbal messages.
If you notice that inserting an emoji in your subject field improves your open rates, feel free to do what works for you.
Consider your audience
Your subscriber demographics are an important factor in keeping your open rates high and your spam complaints low. Not all subscribers like to receive the same type of messages. Email clients have different tastes when it comes to email.
Here is an example of some factors that can affect the open rate of your emails:
It shouldn’t come as a shock that millennials are the most receptive to seeing an emoji in email subject lines. Studies have found that 68% of millennials view emojis positively, compared to just 37% of followers over 65.
Avoid using an emoji in every campaign and save them for special occasions. And if you do decide to use one, be careful which emojis you choose and limit yourself to one emoji per subject line.
Women, in general, react more positively than men to the presence of emojis in their inbox. Although men have a lower open rate than women when it comes to seeing emojis in subject lines, overall both men and women are much more likely to respond positively than negatively.
Companies and individuals:
Be careful when sending work emails containing emojis. A third of senior executives believe that emojis are unprofessional and unsuitable for the work environment. Some professionals are even embarrassed by a simple smiley face emoji.
In contrast, consumers are more supportive of using an emoji for marketing reasons. 64% of customers using emojis are willing to purchase products such as food, movie tickets and clothing from marketing emails using emojis.
Test your email subject lines
Always test your emails with and without emojis when sending a campaign. Split testing (or A/B testing) lets you test a single variable with a fraction of your campaign recipients and see which one performs the best. The top-performing variant will dominate its rival and be sent out to the rest of your segmented email list.
Another reason to test your emails before sending your campaign out to your entire list is that not all subscribers will see the same thing. In a perfect world, there would be a universal emoji system, but emojis are rendered differently on different devices.
If new emojis develop on one operating system, they may not yet exist on another. So if you’re using a newer emoji that another system hasn’t developed, the recipient on that system will see an empty square like this ▢.
Here’s an example of how an emoji might render differently on different devices:
Emojis are displayed differently depending on the operating system OS.
Who supports emojis?
Support for emojis depends on the operating system (OS) the user is opening your email on, rather than the email client. Most operating systems have developed their own emoji keyboards with their own style.
Windows supports emoji on Windows 7 or higher, including Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11.
Windows Vista does not support emoji, nor did earlier versions, although some emojis are converted to emoticons.
***Gmail is an exception. Gmail always shows emojis, regardless of operating system.
Using an emoji, if used correctly, can increase your email open rate this year. Emojis are great for grabbing people’s attention and helping your emails feel more personal.
Whether you’re using emojis to add a bit of personality to your subject lines or trying to grab the attention of your subscribers, emojis have had a huge impact on the future of email marketing.