Improve Your Engagement Rates By Using Emojis

Woman with emoji balloons

Love them or hate them (it looks like a lot of people hate them considering the amount of dislikes the trailer for the Emoji Movie has got so far), emojis are here to stay. Not only are they part of the vernacular, but brands have also adopted them in order to appeal to their audiences. But how do brands use emojis in their marketing, and do they have any positive impact? Read this blog to find out.

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.

Want more like this?

Want more like this?

Insight delivered to your inbox

Keep up to date with our free email. Hand picked whitepapers and posts from our blog, as well as exclusive videos and webinar invitations keep our Users one step ahead.

By clicking 'SIGN UP', you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

side image splash

By clicking 'SIGN UP', you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy