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8 Essential Ways To Use Emojis In Your Marketing

First created in 1999 by a Japanese designer, Shigetaka Kurita, emojis have evolved to become a huge part of our digital culture and our lives.

Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that these tiny, animated characters and faces are growing in popularity, so much so that July 17th has officially been named ‘World Day’.

But, history and origins aside, smart marketers who have noticed how emojis are now a dominating mobile trend are doing their best to try and understand that trend so that they can apply it in their businesses.

These days people can actually hold full conversations with just the use of emojis.

Some even use certain emojis as a sort of slang and depending on where you are in the world, there are certain emojis that people use to imply different things than what their creators intended.

For instance, some people use emojis of innocent pieces of food as representations of certain parts of the human anatomy. There’s even an emoji for the middle finger…

Even if, as a marketer, you have never used emojis for business, chances are that you have used them when communicating with friends and family via texts. You may even have occasionally used an emoji in a social media caption.

Interesting Emoji Stats

According to studies conducted, emojis are used by over 90% of the online population.

And it’s worth noting that the studies show that emojis are more regularly used by women than men, with 72% of women using them frequently, and only 50% of men being in that category.

With this in mind, it’s time to figure out how you can start using emojis to help improve your business (not just your texts).

In this article, we are going to look at ways of implementing a simple emoji strategy to help you improve your campaign’s click-through rate and ultimately generate increased conversions.

Without further ado, here is what you need to know about using emojis in your marketing:

8 Essential Ways To Use Emojis In Your Marketing

1. Use Emojis To Make Your Subject Lines Stand Out

Your email subject lines need to stand out if you want to improve your open rates.

After all, if your subscribers don’t open your emails then there’s no way your campaign can be successful, is there? A very effective way of using emojis to increase your clicks is to add them to email subject lines.

As a marketer, you spend a lot of time planning and creating your content, so don’t spoil that by slacking off when it comes to creating a great subject line.

According to research, 55% of brands saw a significant increase in their email open rates after adding an emoji to their subject lines.

They also experienced increased click-through rates, and reported that their recipients were much more engaged with the content in the email.

Choosing The Right Emojis For Your Emails

When it comes to choosing the most effective emojis to use in your business’s emails, you have to decide which ones will work best for your particular business depending on your industry, your brand, and the intention of your message.

For instance, using an airplane emoji or a gift emoji in your subject line would not make sense if you are a restaurant telling your subscribers about a new special on the dinner menu.

By adding relevant emojis to the subject lines of your emails, you create a winning strategy that helps you stand out from all the rest.

As you’re well aware, your subscribers’ inboxes are flooded with emails packed full of promotional content daily, and anything that you can do to be different and make your emails stand out will help your cause immensely.

This strategy has not yet been widely adopted by marketers, which means that your emails will definitely look different as they will likely be the only ones with an emoji.

Just make sure that you only use emojis that are totally relevant to your subject line. For instance, an email about summer and the sun being out can have the emoji of a smiling face with sunglasses.

2. Add Emojis To Your Ad Headlines

Emojis aren’t just effective for emails, you can also use them on the headlines of your ads to make them stand out.

If you are marketing your business through the use of sponsored ads, then you should consider adding emojis to your headlines. It sounds very simple, but the results you will see may astound you.

Try this with your promoted Facebook ads and you will see a huge increase in engagement.

One company found that by adding something as simple as a red flag emoji to their ad headline, it drew more attention to that headline, and it was enough to increase the ad’s clicks by over 240% when compared to the same headline without the emoji.

If it worked so well for them, I’d say it’s worth finding out if it could produce the same level of success for your business. Start A/B testing your upcoming ad headlines using emojis to find out which ones work best for your business.

3. Use Emojis In Push Notifications

If your business has a mobile app, then you have a huge edge over all your competitors who don’t have one.

But, you need to ensure that you are getting the most use out of those tools that you have at your disposal. One effective way to achieve this is to use push notifications to target your mobile prospects and customers.

These types of messages are sent directly to your app users’ devices which makes them a great way of contacting them with different promotions. But, as with your email subject lines, your push notification campaigns are going to be useless if no one clicks on them.

Some studies show that you can increase your push notification open rates by up to 84% by adding emojis and that these open rates are over 130% higher on Android mobile devices than they are on iOS devices – which is an enormous difference.

Since the character count in push notifications is limited, it’s vital to grab your app users’ attention using just one or two sentences.

In such cases, you could use something like the arrow emoji, which reflects a swiping motion, or if you’re offering your audience a hot new deal, you could use the face with the side smirk to imply that there is a sort of ‘secret’ or information worth reading inside.

You could also use the flame emoji to enhance your ‘hot deal’ offer.

This isn’t rocket science…

The trick here is just to keep it simple and take your time to find the most relevant emoji. There’s no need for you to design your whole strategy around emojis when it comes to push notifications.

All you need to do is to write down what you plan to say and then simply add one or two emojis which fit that description and you’re good to go.

4. Use Emojis With Your Chatbot

A little while ago I published a blog post on Chatbots, and if you still haven’t started using them in your business, you’re going to get left behind.

Implementing live chat will help you provide better service to your customers as it lets them reach you whenever it is convenient for them, and it also saves them from having to send an email or make a phone call.

For most businesses, however, it isn’t possible to have a customer service rep always available to respond to messages 24/7/365, and so they make use of chatbots.

You can program it so that a chatbox automatically appears in the bottom corner of your page as soon as someone lands on your site.

Whatever business you’re in, effective customer communication is vital to your success.

And since almost everyone who comes to your site has different needs and requests, using a chatbot to welcome them is a great feature. Yet another effective way of using emojis in your marketing is to program your chatbot to use them when communicating with your customers.

Adding emojis to the chatbot feature adds that human element to the communication (even though the conversation is with a robot).

This strategy has worked well for a lot of businesses including Air Tailor, who have used it in a superb way to get growth of over 100% each year. If it worked for them, it can work for you too.

5. Use Emojis In Your Meta Titles

You may not have considered it, but some people are using emojis in their search queries which means that adding emojis to your meta titles can actually help to improve your SEO.

It will increase clicks which will ultimately drive more web traffic to your site.

For example, if you’re a party planner, you could add an emoji of a birthday cake to your Google search. That immediately draws the eye of the searcher to that search result, which leads to more clicks and an even higher ranking in the search engine results pages.

By adding emojis to your meta titles and even the meta descriptions on your site, you increase your chances of Google ranking you higher.

6. Use Emojis Within Your Marketing Email Text

Earlier, I talked about how you can use emojis in your email subject lines in order to increase your open rates.

But getting your subscribers to open the email is only half your battle. Now you must get your recipients to consume the email’s contents, click on links, and ultimately convert.

Being able to increase email click-through rates is one of the top marketing objectives of most email marketers all around the world.

As a business owner, you understand that there is a correlation between conversions and clicks, which means that if you get more clicks it can help your business make more money.

These clicks can have a direct impact on new sales, depending on the objectives of your campaigns.

The studies conducted on using emojis in marketing reported that certain businesses saw a 95% increase in their click-through rates after they added emojis to the content of their emails.

This means that you can use emojis in email subject lines to help increase opens, but you should also continue to use them in the message body to generate click-throughs.

7. Use Emojis To Enhance Instagram Captions

An effective emoji strategy should change the way you operate on social media.

Add emojis to your captions on Instagram to increase engagement. Again, choose your emoji carefully and keep it relevant to your caption.

Instagram posts with emojis have almost 50% more interactions than those without, meaning that users are much more engaged with those posts.

The camera emoji is the one that is the most widely used on Instagram.

Users typically use it when giving credit to someone else who took the photo. If your brand encourages sharing photos that are submitted by followers, then you could use the camera emoji rather than typing ‘photo credit’ each time.

8. Use Emojis On Twitter

Twitter may or may not be your main marketing channel, but you still need an active account on that social media network where you can post content on a regular basis.

Use emojis to get creative on this platform and drive engagement on each of your posts so you can generate more clicks.

This is particularly true when sharing video.

By pairing an emoji and a video in your tweet, you will generate a much higher interest and increased emotional connection with your audience.

Even if you aren’t sharing a video, it’s still possible to use emojis to improve your posts.

Getting creative with emojis on Twitter will help you increase engagement, get more retweets and expose your posts to a much wider audience.

This increase in exposure obviously translates to more traffic to your site, and ultimately, more clicks.

In Conclusion

Emojis are a great way of gaining an advantage over your competitors.

And since it doesn’t look like this trend is going away anytime soon, you may as well use the emoji trend to help you promote your content accordingly.

Start using them in your marketing strategy today and you will undoubtedly stand out from all the rest.

Businesses are just starting to adapt to this trend, which means that this is a strategy that hasn’t been implemented by a lot of marketers yet (but they will…).

Emojis bring a much-needed human element to marketing strategies, and they are a great way for businesses to appeal to their customers and make them more comfortable dealing with their brand by showing them that they don’t take themselves too seriously, no matter how big they are.

It’s possible to use emojis and still be professional.

Whenever consumers see emojis in marketing campaigns, they feel as if they are getting messages from their friends. So get on the emoji bandwagon now before your competitors have the chance to catch up with the trend.

Feel free to post your comment below.  An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!


Updated: Originally published September 6th 2018

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Danny

    I’ve seen a bit of discussion about the use of emojis in marketing around the web recently so it’s cool to read such a well researched piece. 

    I personally feel that emojis can be used, however only in scenarios where doing so wouldn’t seem unprofessional. 

    For example, the Chatbot you mentioned is ideal for emojis, since it reflects the informal and 1-1 basis of the live chat. However, I personally wouldn’t use them in my actual site content because that is my ‘professional’ space. Does that make sense? 


    1. Steven

      You’re correct. You do need to exercise some decorum. Use them only where appropriate and where they won’t compromise your professional image. Their use won’t be good for some businesses but very useful for others, you have to decide if they fit with the image you want to project.

      Thanks for the comment Danny!

  2. Kabakov Mark

    There are completely new things, untested by my experience. And I’m stand in thought: “How to be?” 

    I am currently studying the article: ” 8 Essential Ways To Use Emojis In Your Marketing”

    I ask myself: “What, is it another new kind of animation?” After all, there are all sorts of emoticons, and the GIF- animation is already causing a yawn. 

    But I read this beautifully written and tastefully decorated article. I studied other articles and pages on the website. 

    And I understand the interest of the author, accept his erudition and authority. 

    and I tell to myself and others that is new and interesting. 

    Let people use and develop this auxiliary tool of interaction.  

    The article appeared today and the discussion will begin soon.

    1. Steven

      I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the article.

      Thanks for the comment Mark!

  3. Phil

    Adding relevant emojis in email marketing certainly makes sense, I can see that it can help emails stand out. We are all bombarded with mails every day, most of them I don’t even open. 

    I didn’t know that adding emojis to your meta titles could possibly help me boost rankings, did you try it yourself already? But of course it makes sense that we could higher CTR through this. However, I would suggest to be careful using this method, it can look spammy, if overused. 

    I would only add relevant emojis to a few posts, as it’s easy to overdo this. At least here in Germany many websites use symbols like ✈✓✆♥➨➔ in their meta title and description to boost their CTR. It’s so overused by now, that it really turns me off, whenever I see a page like this showing up in the SERPs I don’t click it. 🙂 

    1. Steven

      Agreed. Overuse will probably be an issue in the future if this catches on. I also see how you would avoid sites that use too many in titles. That would turn me off as well.

      As with any technique in marketing, moderation is the wisdom of the day and you should use them all with discretion.

      Thanks for the comment Phil!

  4. Norman

    Thanks for sharing such an interesting, and as I am realizing, potentially important subject. I had no idea of the impact emojis can have. In addition to the main topic of emojis, you also breached the topic of using emojis with chatbots. Now there are 2 things I find myself WAY BEHIND IN. I really appreciate this post as it got the wheels turning on 2 related subjects which had, up until about 10 minutes ago, been completely off my radar. Despite my age, I consider myself firmly entrenched in the Whatsapp culture, where emojis abound. I just never made the connections as you so clearly did in your post. Excellent work!

    All the best!


  5. Chris

    I actually spent a good couple of years trying my best to stay away from emojis – I would never have considered them on any of my blogs…

    But things change. 

    I got into a conversation with a fellow marketer/blogger one day and decided to keep up relations with them – they had a wealth of knowledge and I was learning a lot from them. 

    Before I knew it I was comfortably using emojis in my messages to her – without really realising I’d started. 

    I now see how well they stand out – they just looked childish before, but now they actually make certain paragraphs in my post zing and stand out! 

    I certainly agree with you that subject lines need to stand out in marketing, and emojis are able to do this easily. 

    I guess you don’t know until you try them out for yourself…

    1. Steven

      If you use them sparingly they can be fun and express personality. If you go too far though, their impact diminishes and they will seem childish.

      Use them carefully and they are a great tool to make you stand apart from the crowd.

      Thanks for the comment Chris!

  6. Emmanuel Buysse

    I used to be a person who didn´t enjoy emojis very much, but now I love them, they give a totally different look to the text, they help us add a little more fun and curiosity.

    Unfortunately there are people who doesn´t like to put or see emojis in a blog, in emails, letters etc, it is not professional, but now in this present time is something that identifies us and that most people like, the truth is that I think that always we should omit them when is talking about something serious.

    This post has helped us understand a little more about the use of this in emails.

    Good post.

    1. Steven

      I agree there is a limit to their use and you should exercise decorum. There is a risk of looking unprofessional if you overuse or put them where they shouldn’t be.

      I recommend using them sparingly, in a playful way, when appropriate.

      Thanks for the comment Emmanuel!

  7. Glenn Hodges

    Hello Steven,

    Exceptionally well written article, I must say.  Although I’m afraid I may need to read it a few more times before I catch on. I still have a tendency to use colon / parentheses for an emoji.  Although most programs change that automatically any more.

    I think I will start by using emojis throughout my posts from time to time. To add some emphasis when writing about something particularly frustrating or sad.  But then that’s what emojis are for, isn’t it?

    1. Steven

      They have become part of global culture and it isn’t unusual to see them pop up everywhere. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the article.

      Thanks for the comment Glenn!

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