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The evolution of emoji
Emoji is the fundamental tool for expressing emotions on social media platforms. Nowadays, it has started a new stage of its life cycle, and email marketing specialists use it as an instrument of grabbing customers' attention. Emoticons increase the open rate up to 70%, but at that same time, only 6.9% of subject lines include them. Why don't companies use such a powerful tool?

First, uncertainty about how even an ordinary smiley face will appear on users' screens. Windows 7 or macOS Catalina 10.15? Android or IOS 14? These operating systems display emojis differently, and the older platforms might replace them with empty black squares.

Secondly, email specialists are afraid of risk. They acknowledge voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa that verbalize the emojis meanings. As you know, some titles are weird.
Why do emojis increase open rates?

People are social creatures. We communicate, express our emotions, and use body language to clarify our attitude to the event or situation. 

We find it challenging to show our feelings while typing heartless black letters on a white screen. But human emotion is a vital part of communication with another person, and emojis come to aid here.
  1. They highlight the email among the black hole in our inbox. 93.1% of subject lines are pure "black and white," and emojis draw the eye right to your message;
  2. They add a friendly tone, and a recipient treats your email more positively;
  3. They show an emotional aspect of an email copy.
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How to use emoji in email marketing?

Marketing leverages psychology to understand customers better and make an impact. Albert Mehrabian's rule says that when it comes to personal communication, words account only for 7%. The non-verbal elements are the key players here. 55% of the transmission of feelings happens with body language. The movements of the small muscles around the eyes have meaningful roles as they transmit shock, doubt, or disgust. Hence, email marketers use smiley faces to display the mood of black and white symbols.

Emoji to shorten the text

If a subject line is too long, replace the word with emojis. This way, your subject line will fit the limitations and display fully on smartphone screens.


Your admirer has sent you a message → Your ❤️ has sent you a message
A 50% discount is waiting for you → A 50% discount is ⏱  for you
Emoji to express the mood

Diversify the subject line with emoticons to show what mood you want to communicate to the recipient.


Let your relationships be full of love → Let your relationships be full of love ❤️

We're happy to meet you → We're happy to meet you ⭐

Emoji to depict the goal of the email

Emphasize the purpose, importance, and awesomeness of your message by selecting the appropriate emoji.


Welcome on board, Jake! → ✨ Welcome on board, Jake!
Log-in alert. Is that you? → ❗ Log-in alert. Is that you? 
Free sushi delivery only today → ⚡ Free sushi delivery only today
The most dangerous countries for you [TOP 5] → ✈️ The most dangerous countries for you [TOP 5]
How to choose the right emoji?

At Sendios, we try to incorporate the latest trends into our newsletters and test them asap. We have prepared three questions you should answer before sending subject lines with emojis:

Do they reflect the meaning of the text?

Do not insert emoticons just to attract attention. They should have a purpose and be relevant to the topic.

Bad example:

Best ideas for cozy winter ⭐

Good example:

Best ideas for cozy winter ⛄

Do they match my interpretation?

A little reminder: voice assistants verbalize emoticons’ meaning, so they should match your interpretation and help users understand the text better.

Bad example:

Get 50% off the next flight ⛅

Good example:

Get 50% off the next flight ✈️

Do they match my target audience?

How to find out what your users prefer? Do an experiment:

1️⃣ analyze the audience and divide the segments by age;
2️⃣ create 3-5 subject lines and send them out;
3️⃣ check which option brings the best performance;
4️⃣ update subject lines using new insights.

Our A/B tests show that an audience aged 35-55 years prefers standard topics or personalized with their name. But, young people (18-34 years old) open emails with emoji in the subject more often.

Here are some sample subject lines with emoji from different companies:

Emoji is an easy-in-use and affordable tool that will help you improve your open rate. Start now and see the results tomorrow.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We are always ready to help!
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