Estimated read time: 4 minutes
Emojis are certainly popular. So the question is should we use emojis in emails and marketing? This article and podcast dive into the topic and include expert opinions. There certainly are plenty of emojis out there to use and iOS keeps adding more. A few years ago Twitter even rolled out an emoji search function.
”I love using emojis in my digital marketing,” said Sarah Clarke. “It helps convey emotion, and gives a human touch to a post! Social media posts with emojis always get more engagement than ones without.”
Things to consider when using emojis in marketing
Of course, there are also some things to consider.
- Do the specific emojis fit the brand tone and voice?
- Some emojis have multiple meanings. Do they work in this case?
- Are they helping advance the messaging?
Just to name a few.
“For some brands, emoji and memes are acceptable as it goes with their brand personality,” said Fred Faulkner.
Where can you use emojis in marketing?
Of course, there are plenty of different content assets where we can consider using emojis. If there’s written copy, you might be able to use them. Let’s look at some.
Email subject lines
Jay Schwedelson, the founder of SubjectLine.com, said that emojis in email subject lines may feel too much for some marketers, but they actually work well.
They get attention and can be a differentiator. Especially, when other competitors are not using them. Keep in mind that some emojis may have different meanings from what you think they might mean so be sure you play it safe when picking emojis.
“The open rates (and sales generated) from emails using emojis in subject lines is outweighing the percentage of emails using them being sent to SPAM,” said Rob and Kennedy, the Email Marketing Heroes. “This will change as marketers break everything.“
Chantelle Marcelle reported that “according to a SalesLoft report, sales & marketing emails with emojis in the subject line have 51 percent lower response rates. But I tend to use emojis to improve readability by breaking up the copy in emails or social media posts. They can serve as compelling visual elements.”
Read next: How to write good subject lines
On some channels, the emoji doesn’t look as nice as I would like it to. For example, when I share the podcast to Instagram Stories.
I’ve packed emoji pillows for conference talks in Europe and Brazil before.
They were a hit when I threw them into the audience. Especially the swirly chocolate ice cream one … ?. All fun aside though, that one stands for CRAP (Content Really Annoying to People) during my presentation. It’s indeed an attention grabber.
Website and articles
I have used emojis on websites before but they can mess with your URL if you put them in the headline, and sometimes they look less than professional.
“I’m all for emojis in communications (subject lines, texts, tweets, etc), they add emotional perspective to your tone,” said Amy Knightley. “However, I’d say no thanks to emojis on a webpage or blog post. A page isn’t as conversational to the same level.”
I wrote one year’s April Fool’s Day content about all content moving to emoji content only.
I have actually had some success with emojis on Twitter. When you look at my highest performing tweets in a 28-day period over half do have emojis.
Barriers and getting started
A few years ago, a client asked me to add emojis – relevant ones – to tweets. That was new and I didn’t always agree, but they were right, and emojis draw attention.
➡️ Even this setup can work. ⬅️
I would try them. Of course, one hurdle for some content creators is that they create on a laptop only. There the emojis don’t show up as easily. I’ve had teams trying to find the best way to add emojis from laptops.
On PCs, you can right-click on the screen and get a menu of emojis.
On iPhone, you can scroll through the list, or you can write, and the iPhone will recommend emojis:
I typed “annoyed” in this tweet and I immediately get three options of emojis.
iOS adds new emojis all the time. Sometimes they even announce it in their updates.
Voice dictating an emoji
In addition, in iOS 16, you can now voice dictate emojis. Just describe the emoji and then say, “emoji.” If an emoji is available, it will show up automatically without manual updates, which used to be the case.
Overall guidance on emojis in marketing
There are opportunities – no doubt. Looks for those. Try emojis here and there, but don’t over or underdo it.
And please consider this word of caution from Sarah Clover: “Use them lightly. Some posts I see are so filled with emojis I can’t read the text so I scroll by without getting the message.”