Emojis and emoticons – you probably use them all the time in your personal communications. So why not use them to make your marketing messages pop and feel a bit more personal?
Before we dive into why using emojis and emoticons is a good idea, you might be wondering: aren't emojis and emoticons the same thing?
Well... not quite.
An emoticon is an ideogram composed of a sequence of typographic characters. In other words, it is simply a graphic symbol composed of characters, such as :)
Emojis, on the other hand, are graphic icons (actual "drawings", so to speak) that represent facial expressions, animals, food, plants, activities, and much more. Following the same example as above, its emoji equivalent is 🙂
Both of these are useful to express not only emotions or feelings, but also other things that are hard to do using only text, such as conveying a specific "tone of voice", illustrating abstract concepts, or just catching the readers attention. And they work like a charm!
The secret to their success lies in our brain, in an area that activates when we see human faces. Research has even shown that just looking at an emoji (or even an emoticon) is enough to cause a reaction in our minds similar to seeing the same facial expressions in real life. This in turn is reflected not only by our own facial expressions, but also by our emotions – which is why emojis and emoticons are a tiny, but extremely powerful marketing tool!
Why use emoticons and emojis in Marketing messages?
Emotions are an essential part of any form of communication. They allow you to reinforce your message and give it the desired overtones, which leads to building a closer relationship with the recipients of your message.
Although emoticons and emojis allow you to express both negative and positive feelings, the ones with a positive tone are most often used in online marketing -- which makes sense, since most people tend to favor and trust sources of positive messages rather than negative ones!
Research shows that people who use positive emoticons or emojis on social media tend to be much more popular (they have more friends, likes, and shares). Interestingly, these people are considered not only friendlier but also more competent! That's just another reason to use emoticons and emojis when having conversations with your customers.
Emojis and emoticons also spark more interaction. After all, it's much faster and easier to express feelings using one symbol than writing a few words. Facebook, for example, has boiled down some of the most basic human reactions to a handful of emojis, and this represents the majority of interactions on the platform. Companies even encourage users to interact with their posts using the full range of such reaction emojis, because Facebook rewards posts with interactions that go beyond the standard "like" by expanding their organic reach. Furthermore, these interactions are also a good way for companies to quickly determine whether a given post was received enthusiastically or not.
In summary, adding emoticons and emojis to your marketing messages is a good idea because:
Emojis grab readers' attention
They help shorten the distance between the brand and the customer (we want to see people and their emotions)
Emojis increase engagement. According to studies by WordStream:
Using an emoji in a tweet can increase engagement by 25% compared to tweets without emojis.
Using emoticons in your Facebook posts can increase the number of interactions with the post by 57% and the number of shares by 33%.
Push notifications containing emojis are opened up to 85% more often and convert 9% more when compared to plain-text notifications.
According to an Experian report, in Email Marketing, 56% of the brands surveyed reported increased email open rates when they used emojis in the subject line
Interestingly, according to research, emoji used in private correspondence make the recipient perceive us not only as more sympathetic, but also competent.
How to use emoticons and emojis on Marketing messages?
Here's a list for you to use as a general guideline. However, as always, our recommendation is: make some tests, check the results, and determine what works best for your business.
Use emoticons sparingly. Use them a few at a time, in strategic places. You don't want to risk irritating the recipients or reducing your message's readability.
Know your audience. Take into account various factors: industry, relationship with customers, subject and, above all, age, the elderly may not always be well-versed in what is behind a particular emoticon.
Reciprocate. If the customer was the first to use an emoticon or emoji in a conversation with you, do the same when answering their message.
Consider the subject of the message. Emoticons can add lightness to messages, signal sarcasm, provoke liveliness, or spark curiosity.
When in doubt, do not use an emoticon or emoji. It is especially recommended to avoid emoticons in serious correspondence, such as complaints or return policies.
Know exactly how the emoticon or emoji will be interpreted. Some of them may have a completely different meaning than you think. Be extra careful when sending messages to people from very different age groups and/or cultures. If you're not 100% sure, see tip #5.
One last thing: you probably can easily find emojis on your smartphone, but they are not so easy to find when working in a computer. But don't worry, there are online emoji repositories that make it easy to find and copy the exact emoji you're looking for, even showing how they might look in different devices.
Here are a few of the best ones:
Need some inspiration? Here are a few examples of subject lines using emojis:
🍾 Grab your free gift and celebrate our birthday with us!
Take a look 👀 at this week's hottest deals 🔥
Get ready for summer 🌞⛱️🌊 create your perfect beach look
Discover our innovative 3-in-1 hybrid nail polish 💅
The bestsellers our clients love 🎀
Need more help?
If you have any further questions about emoticons and emojis, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org