How to Use Emoticons for Email Marketing

If an image is worth a thousand words, then why not use emojis for email marketing campaigns? Exactly when and how should you use emojis?

There was a lot of hype surrounding emoticons or “emojis” when it was first announced that they were being added to Unicode, and be available for email and webpages.

But it’s been a few years now, so are emojis still useful?

What the Data Says about Emoticons

When it comes to data on the efficacy of emojis, there’s no consensus. Just over half of brands that used emojis in their subject line had a higher unique open rate. The other half didn’t notice any improvement in KPIs.

It’s true that I find my eye being drawn to emails with emojis in the subject line. Emojis can also convey a message within a relatively small amount of space compared, plus they’re just plain fun.

Adhering to Brand Guidelines

You need to maintain a consistent brand identity. Knowing what’s acceptable is essential before deciding whether or not to use emojis in your emails.

For example, if you’re running a business that emphasizes personability, then emojis are a great way to convey a sunny disposition. But emojis certainly aren’t professional or formal – so if your emails are only going out to professional clients, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Consider Your Audience

Context is everything.

Study your audience and understand how they respond to emojis. Millennials and the digital generation? Great. Seniors or business professional? Probably not.

It’s essential to get the tone right regardless of who you’re targeting or what you’re announcing.

For example, ” ” would be great if there’s a fire sale. However, if you’re announcing a massive down-sizing at your business, then you’re asking for backlash.

Emojis are like little message-weapons. Their strength lies in their ability to convey humour and emotion — the provide that extra kick to your messaging. However, the right message with the wrong emoji will dull the impact of what you’re trying to say completely.

TEST, TEST, TEST!

You will surely receive a varying response if you ask your coworkers, but that could help you decide how to segment your email list to test emoticon use.

If your list is large enough, you can start conducting A/B or multi-variate testing to see how emojis affect KPIs for each segment. If they respond well, you can begin experimenting to see what emojis work best.

Depending on your audience, brand guidelines and message, an emoji could be the perfect way to complete what you want to say. Is it for everyone? Certainly not. Should you set up tests and look into using emojis? Definitely.

Maropost Marketing Cloud gives you the ability to personalize emails, which results in higher ROI.

Now take your email marketing to the next level by downloading this comprehensive guide to email marketing we did with Neil Patel: