Email Marketing

4 reasons to use emoji in email subject lines

4 minutes

4 reasons to use emoji in email subject lines

Just as big cities are full of people, users’ inboxes are crowded with dozens of emails. In these conditions, email marketers struggle to find new ways to make their newsletters stand out from others, and improve email open rates.

One of the methods is to include emoji in the subject line. Today, you’ll find out why and how to use emoji in email subject lines, while not overdoing it.

Reason 1. Emoji increase email open rates

Experian examined email subject lines with emoji and found out the following:

  • Including emoji in email subject lines leads to a 56% higher open rate compared to text-based subject lines.
  • The black sun ☀ increases open rates by 15%, and it is one of the most popular smileys.
  • The umbrella emoji ☂ improves open rates by 50%.

ReturnPath carried out its own research. The company tracked metrics of emails with emoji against traditional subject lines at different times of the year.

The results showed that emails with lips in the subject line sent on Valentine’s Day demonstrated an open rate of 24% against the 20% open rate of a text-based only subject line.

The research revealed that the Irish flag emoji had the highest open rate among other emoji on St. Patrick’s Day.

The company monitored email campaigns not dedicated to special events as well. In your opinion, what emoji outperformed the others given the open rates noted in the graphic? You may be surprised to learn that it was a poop emoji. This emoticon demonstrated a lead of 9% over the second most effective emoji — fire.

Swiftpage carried out an A/B test to check the efficiency of emoji in email subject lines. Half of the company’s subscribers received emails with emoji, while the other part of the mailing list received a text-only subject line.

According to the test results, the newsletter with emoji in the subject line demonstrated:

  • 29% growth in unique open rate
  • 28% increase in unique click rate
  • 93% rise in click-through rate

Reason 2. Emoji capture attention

The screen above contains 12 emails. Which ones captured your attention first? Probably, those with emoji in the subject line. Here, you have visual proof that emoji hook the audience.

For the record, only 2% of marketing specialists include emoji in their email subject lines. This fact indicates that smileys have not yet entered the mainstream, suggesting the obvious benefit of emoji – they attract attention to an email.

Reason 3. Emoji save space

Emoji allow you to convey more information with fewer characters. Sometimes, an emoticon can replace a word or even an entire phrase.

Joss&Main save characters in their newsletter by using a green heart instead of the word “love.”

Given that more and more emails are being opened on mobile devices, the subject line’s length is a particularly topical issue.

Mobile devices can display from 30 to 40 characters of an email subject line. You type “The new arrivals…” and that is already half of the available length. It turns out that to fit all the necessary words, win the audience’s attention, and disclose the content of an email represents a real challenge. That is where emoji are so helpful.

Rabbit’s emoji subject line contains 27 characters. This means that there are no reasons to worry about truncated words on mobile devices. Moreover, the emoji included helps subscribers realize the extent to which the coming things mentioned are strange.

Reason 4. Emoji convey emotions

Conveying emotions through subject lines is great, but it’s important to know when enough is enough. Spam-filters are sensitive to all-caps. In this case, smileys help in express or emphasize emotions without the risk of ending up in a spam folder.

Be appropriate for your audience

If your audience is used to a formal tone or receiving serious content, you can use more conservative smileys. Fortunately, there is a great deal of choice.

Shopify’s subscribers read newsletters about marketing trends and tips for e-commerce. It would be awkward to include funny smileys or hearts.

According to statistics, 30% of people don’t appreciate emoji in email subject lines, and even find them to be unacceptable for this marketing channel. The percent is rather high, so it’s better to play it safe by running an A/B test.

Send an email subject with emoji to 20% of the mailing list, and provide another 20% with the same subject line minus emoji. Compare the results, and there will be no more doubts concerning the perception of emoji by your audience.

Keep emoji relevant to your content

There is no need to insert the first available emoji in your subject line only to capture attention. Emoji work best when they are selected to perfectly match a subject line and directly related to the content. The variety of emoji available makes it easy to choose the most suitable one for your message, emotions and actions.

This ModCloth email with a cat emoji contains both a reference to the subject and introduction to the content – a National Cat Day special.

How to add emoji in email subject lines without copy-paste

From now on, you can add emoji to your subject line with SendPulse. Go to your account, start creating a new campaign and fill in all the required fields. Click the smiley on the right of the “Subject line” field, and you’ll see the list of available emoji. Choose the one that’s best for your campaign, and that’s it.

Be creative, experiment and send your newsletters with SendPulse!

Date of publication:

November 15, 2017

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