Emoji for Email Marketing: Yes or No? 10 Rules to Use Emoji Symbols

Anton Shabatov - November 1, 2018 - 0 comments

Fun fact: in 2015 Oxford Dictionaries awarded emoji as a “Word of the Year”. This is a huge breakthrough for symbols and significant case to speak of. In online marketing in email emoji often are used freely today. They have crossed the line between personal and business communication. Now smiley faces have a huge impact on the written materials. We can see them in emails, articles, headliners and even in URLs and addresses! The situation makes us learn what aspects influence the usage of emojis in online marketing.

“The online email verification process allows you to determine whether an email address actually exists and whether it is regarded as a potentially harmful source of spam or other information that is automatically blocked by mail servers.
Validating emails for existence is carried out in 3 stages:
Syntactic verification of the existence of an email identifying and filtering out addresses in the spelling of which there is an explicit syntax error or that contradict the rules for using valid characters
Domain name validation the existence of email is possible only on officially registered domains, which during the check connect to DNS servers;
Email verify is actually an analysis of the response requested from the mail server, which, by sending a test letter, allows you to check the availability of email with the specified address.

Really important (or I emphasize it) the third stage is crucial in the formation of the electronic mailing list.
I hope this information helps you to keep your email list in good form.”

History of Emojis

Let’s start with the revelation that this is the first language that has been developed in our digital environment. They have drastically changed the perception of the text as now it can be completed with emotions. And the revolution started in 1999 with the help of Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita. His inventions of the small pictures added to the texts were simple but meaningful. With the adding emoji keyboard to the iOS, the real boom has started.

The convenience of the usage of these symbols enhanced their popularity. As soon as they have become part of our everyday communication, the set of updates and additions were caused. Every year the selection of emojis grows. Now we can even select the skin tones and sex of smiley faces, flags and multicolored symbols. And as experienced users of smartphones, we know that it is even possible to compose whole sentences using this new language.

Emoji for Emails

Marketing industry must follow every possible trend related to the target audience. Considering this, we cannot ignore the usage of colorful symbols in our work. You can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your newsletters and other emails by adjusting them to today’s reality.

However, we need to use them carefully anyway. Despite the friendly correspondence allows making mistakes and being inappropriate sometimes, business communication has to be free from flaws (except the ones we add on purpose). You can exclude smiley faces while writing a letter to your boss. But in email marketing, this approach can play a great part in building close relationships and leveling up brand awareness. You just need to take into account receivers.

Emoji in Subject Lines

The main place where to consider putting in emojis is a subject line. In email marketing, your task is to get the reader’s attention and such an unusual subject line can do this job well. Here are some versions:

  • use symbols at the beginning of in the end to highlight the message;
  • “wrap” the text with emojis;
  • use them as a pre-header to point out the key thoughts.

The truth is that such subject lines really help in improving your open rates. But you need to understand that using emoji in the email subject line just enhance the effect of the text, but does not do the entire job. Moreover, if your line is bad from the start, this approach can only make it worse.

We recommend you thinking of the following questions before using emojis in your subject lines:

  • Are they relevant to the meaning and do they make it understandable?
  • Will it be visible on devices of my subscribers?
  • Is my subject line good without any additional symbols?
  • Did I do enough testing before implementing emoji in my practice?

With positive answers prevailing, you can start using symbols in your campaign. According to numerous studies, you can expect from 10% to 65% growth in your open rates.

Reasons for Emoji Effectiveness

We have discussed the subject lines, but what about other parts of an email? Do we need to use smileys there? Yes! In fact, they can enhance the effect of your email body as well. Bellow, you will learn a few reasons you need to consider adding them to your messages.

  1. They are laconic. Space-saving qualities are perfect in our age of mobile devices. It can replace the whole phrase and the meaning will still be clear. With limits in 30-40 character for subject lines emoji in email allows fitting in the larger sentence. You not only save space for extra word but also make your email downloading faster in case of using mobile data by the receiver.
  2. Expressing emotions. Marketers often want to add some emotional shadow to their subject lines and the body of the letter. But there are not so many methods to do so. For instance, usage of Caps Lock can not only be annoying but also raise your chances to be marked as spam. Emoji, on the contrary, used wisely, are not annoying. They are not considered as a spam feature by detectors and allow making your message emotional enough without risks to be blocked.
  3. Simplicity. One of the outstanding features of emojis is their easy usage. They are understandable even to children and almost every device or computer can visualize it. Smileys can be added to the text by copy/paste method or via implemented email editor.
  4. Increasing open rates. This reason refers to the subject line section. People like something bright and friendly (in a wise way) and they more likely open the email with a happy face or some other nice picture. Moreover, it feels like something new. We all got used to the various subject lines and adding email emoji symbols to them can bring the sense of novelty in a way.
  5. They are noticeable. Imagine how many new letters your subscribers may receive daily. Your task is to make your email noticeable to stand out of the crowd of similar letters from the inbox. Little images will definitely make your letter easier to spot. So you will raise your chances for higher open rates.

We think 5 reasons are enough to make you at least think of diversifying your marketing techniques.

10 Rules to Follow while Using Emojies in Email Marketing

Along with reasons, you need to be aware of some basic rules that will help you to implement symbols in your practice wise and exclude the chances of being misunderstood. Like any other approach or element of communication, emoji can bring good or harm depending on your actions. So let’s learn what we need to remember considering this aspect.

  1. Targeting. Sure, almost every “citizen” of the internet usually uses “smiles” and understands their meaning. And we have highlighted their ability to catch the eye. However, some receivers may consider this approach inappropriate and ignore your letters, or even mark them as spam. That is why before considering how to put emoji in email subject lines and the main text consider what your audience may think of it.
  2. Do not spam. You can level up the emotional tone of your email with emoji, but it is important to be wise in defining the proper amount of them. In 2016 Chevrolet has made an entire story using emojis. It may look fun, but in reality, many readers were confused. Moreover, too much and unnecessary usage of them may look needy or like an adult trying to talk like a teenager.
  3. Check the compatibility. Now we can define pretty accurate what platforms our readers use. Moreover, there are not too many options. Keep in mind the fact that people more likely check their emails via mobiles. So you can test your message on the most popular ones and make sure that every symbol is displayed properly.
  4. Make them relevant. You will not make your letter unique or interesting by adding random or the most popular smiley faces. It is better to create a selection of symbols and images that will be relevant to your industry (or universal ones but with limits) and use them mixing. Also, some typical emoji symbols for email like hearts, presents and other graphical objects can complete your message without exaggerating.
  5. Conversion metrics and retargeting. As in any other marketing activity, it is wise to arrange some conversion metrics to analyze ROI numbers. This analytical work will help to retarget your messages and enhance their effectiveness. For instance, if we use the particular symbols in our ad, people, who use them in their life will likely click on the ad. Such an approach helps to connect with your audience.
  6. Make your branding communication and sales more effective. Big companies use emoji to level up the recognition of their brand. We all know that Coca-Cola bottle which is the most obvious case. However, if your company deals with anything that is pictured in such a format, you can freely add them to your campaign. This aspect is connected with relevance but serves not as an addition, but as a solar element of marketing.
  7. Add some interactivity. Create a game of other engaging activity with your readers to make usage of emoji for email more entertaining.
  8. Use emojis to tell stories and for information sharing. Above we have warned you not to overuse the symbols in your communication and connect them with your text. A great example of this approach is The General Electric’s Emoji Science Campaign. They created the periodic table with emojis. By clicking on any of them, the user could watch a video on the selected relevant topic.
  9. Do not mix it with slang. It is tempting to keep using free language in your letters. But you risk overwhelming your readers with a combination of the emoji with the text of the same meaning. If you decided to add some smiles after the joke, there is no need to write something like “Ha-ha” or “Lol”. Again, you will sound like you are trying too much and readers do not like needy marketers.
  10. Testing. Like any other aspect of marketing, usage of such graphic symbols requires testing before final launch. You need to make sure that this approach will be welcomed in the target country or among the particular community. You need to realize that a bit of informality will be good at the gaming industry, sales, some entertaining services etc. But emoji email will be totally inappropriate in academic writing, jurisdiction etc.

Despite the relatively short period of emoji boom, we have learned much about them. Moreover, the marketing industry is evolving quickly. So keep updating your knowledge about the allowed level of informality in your communication with customers.

Feel Free with Emojies in Email Marketing

All these rules are simples and within the usual marketing routine. Adding emoji is similar to the subject line creation process or writing the body of your letter – in all cases, you need to take into consideration your audience, the key points of your message etc. The reality is the following: emoji communication has a strong position today and its influence will only grow for now.

As you may know, today emoji email addresses and URLs are available already. That is why little smileys are not something extra today. And it requires a serious approach. It may sound controversial, but to sound easy and friendly in fact you need to put a lot of efforts, especially if you are not an experienced writer.

We wish you to comprehend this method of communication and keep building strong relationships with your audience and leveling up their brand awareness.

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