Digital Marketing: Can Emojis Speak Louder than Words?

Do emojis have a place in modern marketing? Yes — especially if your goal is creating fun and engaging content.  

Emojis speak a language that transcends generations, borders and reading abilities. As such, they’re changing the way we communicate across digital channels. There are currently over 2,823 emojis in use, including the highly-anticipated redhead emojis introduced this past year.

Not only can they make a big difference in email open rates, click-through rates and general engagement levels, emoji usage is a simple way to breathe new life into your brand and the way it’s marketed.


Emojis in email: The secret to increased readership

When the average person receives 97 emails per day, there simply aren’t enough hours to read each one. That’s why it’s important to make sure your emails grab their attention.

The eye is naturally drawn toward images, so incorporating emojis in your subject lines is a great way to make a reader curious. But don’t forget the need to exercise caution. For example, you might want to refrain from an emoji-heavy subject line if it’s an email going out to prospects. Wait until you know more about this audience, so you can more accurately predict how they may respond.

At d3 digital marketing agency, testing conducted by our clients revealed that the use of emojis increases open rates in prospecting emails to most target segments. Another recent study found that over 50% of brands saw an increase in email opens when subject lines included emojis. To test out emoji effectiveness for your brand, split test emoji-filled subject lines vs. emoji-free versions.


Mastering the art of the emoji

Emojis can be can be clever and effective, or inauthentic and tacky. Sometimes, they can communicate a message better than words. When it comes to the best emojis, there’s a right way to use them for your benefit.

  • Represent emotions. It may sound obvious, but that crimson angry face or “laugh ‘til you cry” emoji has the power to set the emotional tone for your message. If your creative relies on sly wordplay or is designed to generate enthusiasm, there’s likely an emoji to convey that exact feeling.
  • Provide an extra push. Emojis can reinforce the meaning of your message. Sure, you can tell your customers to do something, but why not add an extra element of intrigue, persuasion or fun?
  • Increase brand awareness. Does your brand lack personality? Emojis can help your marketing stand out in the crowd, making your offers more memorable.

When are emojis not appropriate? When they don’t fit your brand voice. For example, the love-struck smiley face may not go over well for more serious or high-end offerings. You don’t want to leave room for misinterpretation, so be sure to consult the emojipedia if you’re unsure of an emoji’s meaning.

Remember, when using emojis, less is more. Most recipients don’t want an entire message spelled out in images. Be strategic and intentional without being over the top.


Adding emotion to customer service, too

Customer service is grounded in establishing a connection with the customer. And since emojis intensify emotions, they can help give customers a feeling of genuineness, especially in transactional email interactions. Be sure to use emojis alongside company-approved messaging to help ensure that messages aren’t misconstrued.


Getting social with emojis

Using an emoji in a tweet or Facebook comment is a no-brainer, but to intentionally drive engagement and results, encourage your audience to use them, too.

  • Pose a question and ask your audience to respond using only emojis
  • Give your followers an emoji message to decode, like a secret sale location or exclusive discount
  • Create a poll asking your customers to respond via emoji


Creating engaging digital marketing content is a 🍰

There are proper emojis for everything: feelings, family, food, fitness…just to name a few. If you’ve been looking for ways to humanize your brand, emojis may be the just the slice of creativity you’ve been missing.