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How to effectively use emojis in email marketing

Emojis can be a powerful marketing strategy, and they're often neglected by marketers. Mailbutler gives you some tips on how to best use them.

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    By Tiffany

    Tiffany studied Language and Economics, and now likes to write about business topics and conduct interviews with interesting people. She spends her free time looking after her plants and with her dog.

    Emojis – silly little pictures that Millennials use to convey emotions they can’t through words (or express a euphemism on Twitter), right? Wrong! Emojis aren’t just for the under-thirties: they are also a powerful tool for conveying messages when marketing products and services. There are over three and a half thousand emojis in the Unicode Standard, all of them helpful for your marketing messaging. In this post, we would like to share with you some of the ways through which you can use emojis in your marketing emails.

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    7 ways to effectively use emojis in email marketing

    1. Adding emotional value

    Sometimes words just can’t convey the full range of emotions your marketing message includes. Marketing campaigns can seems robotic, monotonous and mechanical. So why not add some emojis to lively up your email? Emojis aren’t a replacement for high-quality marketing copy, but they augment your email and can add emotion. Don’t overdo them – you don’t want to come across as immature – but an astutely placed star or heart-eyed smiley can do wonders.

    2. Audience preferences

    Catering to your audience’s preferences can bring miraculous results. It’s easy to send out endless copies of cold emails to hundreds of clients, but they won’t be the style of message which gets you the best results. Instead, study your prospects. This gives you an edge as it will enable you to communicate in a more effective manner with the person you’re contacting. Emojis fit into this, too: maybe you’re emailing a sixty-year-old CEO of a corporate company who wants strict professionalism; in this case, emojis might not be your best bet. However, what if your lead is an edgy new startup run by ambitious twenty-somethings who are glued to their smartphones? Emojis could be a perfect match. Customized and personalized emails always have a higher chance of succeeding than the same old and boring memo format that others follow.

    3. Staying on trend with specific emojis

    Sometimes emojis, like certain words, are in vogue. For example, the emoji known as the β€œperson tipping hand,” had its own worldwide trend going for the past five years. It’s available on all platforms and is instantly recognizable to emoji-lovers around the world, but particularly in the USA and UK. If you head to Emojipedia’s stats page, you can get an overview of which emojis have been the most popular over the last year. Using emojis which are popular, following the trend, so to speak, can improve your click-through rates.

    4. Emojis in subject lines

    There have been a lot of surveys conducted in the past that shows a positive correlation between emojis in subject lines and readers opening those emails. However, it might come to you as quite a shock that the same study shows that only 2% of companies use this tactic. Subject lines are a delicate area – get them wrong, and you ruin your chances of getting opened. Most companies don’t feel it’s worth the risk of trying out new things and stick to tried and tested techniques. That being said, those who dare, win.

    5. The changing face of click through rates

    Images and videos have fast become the ways most people want to consume their content; the content form that receives the most hits from global audiences is audio, visual, and video-centric. Emojis fall under this banner, too. They break the monotony of a wall of text, separating your copy into easily-digestible chunks, and appeal to our visual senses. If you want to improve your chances of engagement, images and videos are the way to go; emojis are a great first step towards improving this aspect of your marketing strategy.

    6. Appropriate context

    There’s no doubt that the wrong image can cause havoc in the marketing world. Don’t use any emojis which are widely known to be euphemisms or double entendres, of which there are a few. A quick Google of ’emoji euphemisms’ can show you which ones you should be avoiding. You don’t want to cause any offense, and more importantly, you’ll be using these emojis in a business context: you need to stay professional.

    7. Staying mobile-friendly

    Emojis save space, which is why they are considered significant for sending users push notifications on their smartphones. Within the confines of limited display sizes, emojis can pack a punch and add more value to your message while leaving more space for other information. With 5G wireless technology, emojis may very well become a standard of communication for many businesses who seek to target people on the move with smartphones in their pockets.Β 


    Emojis can be powerful when used in the right context. It depends a lot on how you apply them to different scenarios in order to reap the maximum results. Hence there is a delicate balance that defines their usage and how your audiences perceive them. In other words, your execution matters a lot. Emojis help breaks the ice and offers a lighter note of things so that you can communicate with your customers and clients more candidly. Using emojis in your marketing emails while keeping a check on their trends can help you observe better results with them. Just remember to stay away from the eggplant emoji!

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