You may groan at the idea of using emojis in your marketing, but studies have shown that using emojis can improve results - they can generate a 25.4% increase in engagement on Twitter, and 17% higher interaction rates on Instagram. This isn’t to say you should dive right in and start forcing emojis into all of your marketing efforts. According to research by YouGov, 58% of consumers think marketers are trying too hard with emojis in ad campaigns, so usage should be carefully considered and tested before full implemention into your marketing. For an example of how not to use emojis, try watching the Chevrolet advert below without wincing:
So how should you use emojis in your marketing? While most people use the standard “emoticon” emojis, brands use attention-grabbing emojis that are related to what is being marketed. A good example of this is how Topshop uses different colour hearts to highlight the colours of the clothes in their post. This subtle use of emojis enhances the content of the post and draws attention it as a whole, rather than just drawing attention to the emoji.
This isn’t to say that emojis are only for B2C brands on social media however. Having a quick look in my inbox, dotmailer seem to be making the most of emojis in their email marketing. And as email is their whole thing, they must have noticed emojis have a positive effect on open rates. You can see in image below how they have experimented by using emojis in the subject line, from name, and teaser text:
The top and bottom emails in this screenshot don’t use emojis - I included them to try and give a sense for how well the emojis can make your emails stand out in an inbox (particularly for a business email address).
As with nearly everything in marketing, it’s important to test emojis before fully implementing them. As I sometimes have emails forwarded to me from another address, I coincidentally received 2 variants of a split test, one where the word “impressions” was replaced by the eyes emoji.
While we don’t know which variant performed better, the eyes emoji certainly has the potential to catch your attention more than the blank text version. Additionally, there’s a chance the reader might get puzzle-solving satisfaction from decoding that the emoji means impressions, increasing the chances that they’ll open the email.
Regardless of how you feel about emojis, they can bring positive results. While they aren’t appropriate for every brand or audience, they are definitely worth considering. As mentioned earlier, it’s very easy for emoji usage to come across as “trying too hard” - it seems that people react very negatively to marketing where emojis are the main focus. Instead, ensure your marketing has substance, and that you are using emojis to enhance it rather than distract from it.