Should you be using emojis in your emails?

Emojis. They are everywhere, in your text messages, and all over your social media channels, but should they be used in your email marketing? We’ll way up the pros and cons of using emojis in email marketing and help you decide whether you should add your favourite emoji to your next campaign.

Origins of emojis

In 1999 Japanese artist Shigetaka Kuritaka is said to have created the world’s first emoji. While working on a mobile internet platform for one of Japan’s mobile carriers named DOCOMO. He started by designing 12 icons to be descriptors for phrases like “cloudy’ and wanted to create mini icons that people could use like characters. 176 characters later, more developers across the globe took notice and took up the charge on how to incorporate these characters into more applications - and the rest, as they say, is history.

The world of emojis at present

Emojis are now commonplace across platforms and are more inclusive than ever before. The Unicode Consortium. acts as a governance body for text and emojis across devices and platforms and aims to make the Unicode language a standard across the world. The consortium meets to discuss which emojis or characters will be added and has strict standards for emojis to define when they should be included into the Unicode language or not.

Purpose of emojis

Emojis are popular as they enable people to add more context and emotions in their communications. Messages that would otherwise be interpreted as being blunt or harsh can now be softened by using this visual language, giving users the ability to convey tone in a much easier way. Phrases such as “I love you” can now be replaced with a simple ❤️.

Things to consider when choosing an emoji

There are many considerations when it comes to using an emoji in your emails. First and foremost whether it suits your brand and brand tone. This will depend on your industry as well and you may find that using emojis can tarnish your brand rather than build it.

If you decide that emojis do suit your brand, you can follow these guidelines:

  • Consider what value your emoji is adding to your subject line or body copy
  • Would a reader still understand your text if they didn’t see the emoji?
  • You could use emojis to convey tone and feeling. An example of using emojis successfully in a subject line is: The 10 most loved new product launches from July ❤️
  • You can also use emojis to guide your reader to the next step you want them to complete by using an arrow or a hand pointing.

When you shouldn’t use an emoji

Emojis can be interpreted differently by different people so it’s worthwhile to consider which emojis suit your brand, if any at all. If you have a serious brand tone or are in an industry that deals with sensitive matters, it may not be a good idea to use emojis as they can be misconstrued in your email marketing.

Tell us in the comments below whether you are including emojis as part of your email marketing content.


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