Emoji in subject lines
in working with and
testing emoji in your
email subject line,
please contact Jenn
Crewell to work on
the project with you!
Trying to compete for opens and clicks in an crowded mailbox can be tough. A new thing to consider is selective use of special characters (called emoji) in your subject lines.
Emoji are little emotion-conveying graphics that you can insert into text. They are very common in texting and social media, and less common in email marketing - but they can be very effective if you use them with proper consideration.
Do's and Don'ts
- Emoji do not render in all email clients. Always test to see if the emoji are properly inserted in various clients, and know
which ones are the most commonly used by your target audience.
If the symbol is not supported by the email client, recipients will typically see a little box character instead - ☐ .
Emoji are supported in:
- Outlook 2007/2010/2013
- Outlook.com (although some are not rendered as expected)
- iPhone/iPad (although some are not rendered as expected)
- Apple Mail
- Yahoo Mail
- Windows Mail
- Android Mail
- Know your target audience! If the demographics are not likely to respond well to emoji,
don't use them. Think about 15-18 year olds versus 50-80 year olds - which group is
more likely to delete an emjoi-styled email without opening it?
- A/B testing is absolutely crucial when using a feature like emoji - one subject line
should include the emoji, and another subject line should not. Keep records of results,
so that you know how your target audience behaves.
- Keep it simple - don't include multiple emoji, choose just one.
- Remember that different symbols mean different things to different people - choose
carefully to avoid having your intent garbled in translation, and consider your target
audience carefully when choosing.
- Don't include emoji just to have them in the subject - replace a word or add extra
- Don't over-use emoji - keep them occasional so that they retain their effect.
Places to find Emoji
How to Insert Emoji
- Find your desired emoji, and then copy/paste the symbol into the subject line of your
- Test extensively to see how it renders in various email clients before sending!
- Email Monks blog
- 10 Findings on Symbols in Subject Lines
- The best words and emojis to boost open rates (targeted toward business emails, but some applicable thoughts)
- XVerify blog
- Direct Mail for OS X blog
- Campaign Monitor
- AdExchanger blog