Should I Use Emojis in Emails?

Emojis and bitmojis — a type of cartoon avatar that you can customise to look just like you — are showing up everywhere. People put them in texts, social media posts, emails, and even on resumes.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that many young adults are putting photos, illustrations, and yes, emojis onto their resumes to try to stand out. 

But are emojis too ubiquitous to seem funny and unique? Are there some places where emojis just shouldn’t be, like in marketing emails and emails sent to clients? 

Today, we’re going to discuss some of the pros and cons of using emojis as part of your email marketing strategy so you can make an informed decision. 

Pros of using emojis in email marketing

Adding emojis can increase engagement

According to Campaign Monitor, just adding an emoji to your email subject line can increase engagement. Over half of all brands using emojis in their subject lines had higher unique open rates.

But one thing to keep in mind is that a cute emoji can’t save a bad email subject line. As Jilt points out, spammy subject lines can look even worse with the addition of a few fire emojis. 

So if you’re going to use emojis in your emails, make sure that your copy is already great without an emoji, and that the one you pick actually fits your message and brand identity. 

Emojis can help you relate to your customers worldwide

Another great reason to use emojis is that they help you relate to your customers and break down language barriers. 

Around 92% of Internet users are regularly using emojis in their social media posts and online messages. So if you want to speak the same language as your customers, emojis are a great way to do it. 

Emojis are also a great way to connect with customers who don’t speak English very well. Emojis mean the same thing across most cultures because they represent emotions like happiness and sadness. 

One study even showed that we react to emojis the same way we’d react to a person making that same facial expression. Believe it or not, they can make us feel happy, sad, or angry and have real effects on our emotions. 

So when used wisely and in the right context, emoticons can set the tone for your email and serve as a powerful marketing tool across cultures. 

Emojis can help highlight special offers

If you don’t usually use emojis, putting them in email subject lines to highlight special offers can make a big impact. 

A study by Return Path showed that maintaining a sense of novelty is important when using emoticons. They’re much more likely to increase email open rates if you use them sparingly. 

So if you have a special offer that you want to highlight, you should consider putting an emoji or two in the email subject line. 

But don’t be tempted to start using them regularly if you see higher open rates on that email. Doing that will only reduce their effectiveness.

Cons of using emojis in emails

Your customers may be sick of emojis

That brings us to our next point about emojis — no matter how sparingly you use them, some of your customers are already tired of seeing them. 

A survey conducted in 2015 found that 30% of people were sick of seeing emojis in their inboxes. Since then, emojis have become even more hated because of The Emoji Movie franchise and their general overuse. 

While your brand can’t appeal to everyone, it’s worth considering if using emojis is worth alienating a pretty large percentage of the general population. 

Emojis can make it seem like you’re trying too hard

Here’s another danger of using emojis — they can make it seem like your brand is trying too hard to be relatable. 

According to a survey by YouGov, half of all people think brands that use emojis in their emails and ads are trying too hard. 

While you can mitigate the risk of looking uncool by using emoticons that match your brand identity and messaging, this statistic may want to make you rethink using them in your emails. 

Emojis look different on every platform

Another drawback of using emojis is that they look different on every platform. 

The same emoji can look different on Twitter and Facebook. Mobile phones can also mess up the look of your emoji and make it convey a very different emotion than you intended. 

The “person frowning” emoji, for instance, looks extremely sad on some platforms, and downright angry on others. 

And since you’re using emoticons to set the tone for your emails, even subtle design differences can really impact your messaging. So make sure you test the emoji you want to use on different platforms to make sure it’s consistent. 

Emoticons can be a powerful marketing tool that conveys emotion and compels your customers to open your emails. Just make sure that you don’t overuse them, or else you might end up alienating some of your customers and looking behind the times.