Matt Zajechowski
Matt Zajechowski 23 September 2016

Adding Emojis To Your Email Messages

Unless you lived under a rock for the past year, you couldn’t help but notice that emojis, emoticons, smiley faces, or whatever you choose to call them exploded across the internet.

Let’s start with the basics. What is an “emoji?” Emojis are pictographs—images that represent facial expressions, weather, emotions, or activities.

Here are some examples:

Who created the first emoji?

Shigetaka Kurita first created these images in the 1990′s. He was involved in the launch of the world’s first mobile internet platform.

There are as many as 1,800 emojis currently supported on various platforms, and thisn umber is set to grow. An indicator of their popularity is Facebook’s global adoption of emojis in early 2016. They are called “reactions” under Facebook posts.

Facebook Emojis:

In short, language is changing. Don’t be surprised if, in the not so distant future, children use emojis as part of their creative writing classes. Even the dictionary has its own specific area for emojis.

How is all this relevant to email subject lines?

Put simply, brands using emojis in their subject lines saw a 45% increase in their unique open rates, according to a report by Experian.

Why are Emojis so effective in increasing open rates?

Aside from being new and shiny there are several reasons why emojis are increasing open rates for brands.

Space savers:

Space is at a premium in subject lines, especially considering the increased number of email users on mobile devices. If you want your entire subject line to fit on a mobile device, you have about 30-40 characters to use max. Emojis save space. You can communicate more with less!

Convey emotion:

Brands are constantly working to make an emotional connection with their customers. Words can’t always convey emotion, but emojis do.


Creativity is infectious. Subject lines grow repetitive as they compete to entice users. Emojis provide the opportunity to include creativity to attract your audience.

Stand out in a crowded inbox:

Inboxes are increasingly full. It requires ongoing effort for your emails to stand out from the crowd. Emojis increase the visibility of your message and email above others.


Emojis are an innovative development in how we speak to each other. Utilizing them shows your company is an innovative and forward-thinking communicator.

Word of caution…

As with anything, it’s a good idea to assess the suitability of your marketing methodology. For example, if your email is addressed to a high net-worth firm of lawyers, maybe the below set of emojis are not appropriate. Perhaps it’s better to leave them out.


Don’t go overboard

While you might be on the emoji bandwagon, these fun little images aren’t something you want in every subject line or you’ll risk emoji burnout. Use in moderation.

Wrapping up…

There you have it. Language is changing, and in turn so are subject lines. When executed correctly, Including emojis can have a dramatic effect on your email open rates.

To learn more about Reachmail and using Emojis in your email marketing click here

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