Should you use emojis in your email marketing subject lines? | Agital
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Should you use emojis in your email marketing subject lines?

First seen in Japan in the late 1990s, emojis have become a huge part of how we leverage technology for interpersonal communication.  

Fast forward to the modern day. It was only a matter of time before we started seeing emojis in the professional sphere, namely in emails, ads, and other online marketing materials. This poses a very important question, should you be using emojis in your email marketing subject lines?  

We outlined a few things that you should know before determining if using emojis in your email subject lines is a good move or one that’s not a good fit for your brand.

Know Your Audience

When it comes to emojis in email marketing, it all boils down to one key factor, your audience. Look at the demographic and sociographic breakdown of your target audience to get an idea if emojis would resonate with them.  

According to The Pipeline, studies show that 92% of the online population uses emojis daily. 64% of the population says that they open messages with emojis in the subject lines and are likely to purchase items such as clothing and food from these messages. That percentage goes up even further if you use their favorite emoji! But be careful, 59% of consumers from the ages of 18 to 34 stated that they are not fans of companies using emojis in email subject lines because they think it’s overkill.  

Upsides of Using Emojis in Email Subject Lines

One of the top key performance indicators for email marketing is open rate. Given that the first thing a reader sees is the subject line, it’s a crucial part of earning opens. Improving open rates leads to other serious benefits such as increasing clicks and conversions. 🤑  

Engaging With Your Audience

Remember when we said, “know your audience”? This is why! By using emojis in place of or to complement words, you can engage with your audience on a whole new level. When it comes to email marketing, engagement and your relationship with your audience is everything. The more unengaged subscribers that you have, the more likely they are to unsubscribe or that your emails will be filtered as spam.

Standing Out in Cluttered Inboxes

On any given day, the average person’s email inbox can look like a Walmart Supercenter on Black Friday. Between personal and promotional messaging, this leaves your subscribers having to scan through their inboxes. But most will only open the emails that stand out on quick glance.  

Emojis offer an opportunity to catch your subscriber’s eye. There are studies showing that perhaps the extra attention that emojis bring is not necessarily good. Some users may find them annoying and even mark your email as spam upon sight. To combat this, you have to understand your audience and use emojis sparingly and in situations where they make sense.

Downsides of Using Emojis in Email Subject Lines

Just like everything in life, there are pros and cons to using emojis in email marketing. Although we are firm believers in bringing a refreshing and innovative feel to email marketing, sometimes emojis are just not the best move. Here’s why:

Possibility of Veering Off Brand

Earlier we mentioned how important it was to know your audience. Failing to do so can affect your open rate negatively, whether you use emojis or not. The same rule applies to any and every aspect of your emails, whether it’s the preview text, banner images, or brand colors used.  

If your audience doesn’t relate to something about your brand, they won’t give your message the amount of attention you’re looking for. It’s all about making sure the ✨vibe✨ of the email aligns with your brand and is consistent across all channels, especially where they are clicking to land from the email message. Connect the dots and do so in a way that looks and feels consistent.

Risking Spam Reports

If you use emojis when they do not align with your target audience, you run the risk of being marked as spam by the recipient or even the email provider. Too many spam complaints can be detrimental to your sender reputation. A poor sender reputation can cause your emails to land in the spam folder for everyone on your list or even get you blocked from sending. If your subscribers do not see your emails, they can’t open them. No opens means no clicks and no conversions.

Conclusion & Next Steps

If misusing emojis can negatively impact your sender reputation, then why do it? Because it’s just as feasible that using emojis will bring great rewards. But you have to know your audience.  

Propose a hypothesis on how emojis in your subject lines will impact your open rates. Then start testing. Only then will you know if emojis are the right move for your brand. If proven successful, it could help you stand out and appeal more to your audience. If proven unsuccessful, you could end up in everyone’s spam folder. What’s your risk tolerance and how are your testing skills?  

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