Using emojis in email marketing

Emojis have taken over the world since their inception in the 90’s. Due to its massive adoption and popularity, it was only natural that smileys and other emojis made their way into email marketing.

Read this article to find out how you can use emojis to take advantage of your email marketing program.

Can you use emojis in email marketing?

Statistics show that the incorporation of emojis into emails has grown rapidly by 775% each year. With the development of email marketing, it is also becoming more and more difficult to get people’s attention.

Email boxes are full of endless promotions, offers, and marketing emails. Adding emojis in the subject line or message will help you stand out and grab the attention of your followers.

Why do marketers add emojis in emails?

People love emojis. So much so that they even created a holiday for them, World Emoji Day. But that is not the reason why email marketers have adopted it in their email marketing program.

In order to draw attention to their email, email experts have incorporated emojis into the subject line of their emails. This made them stand out from any other word-based message by adding a splash of color to their inbox.

All it took was a few keystrokes for their email marketing efforts to make a huge difference. Studies show that adding emojis to your email subject line can increase your email open rate by 29% and click-through rate by 28%!

Over the years, as more people started using emojis and higher quality emoji characters were developed, operating systems also developed easier ways to access them.

The easiest way to include an emoji in your email is to copy and paste it from an emoji database like Emojipedia.

However, different operating systems and email service providers have different shortcuts for accessing the emoji keyboard:

Use emojis in Outlook

Outlook for Microsoft 365 includes a small set of emojis. You can use a text symbol for an emoji from this list to insert it. Typing 🙂 turns your smiley face into a smiley emoji.

Use emojis on Windows

In Windows 10, there is a much larger selection of emojis. To access the Windows 10 emoji keyboard, press and hold the Windows key + the period (.) or semicolon (😉) key at the same time to bring up the emoji menu.

Using Emojis on Mac OS

Make sure the app where you want to type is running, then place your cursor where you want to type the emoji. Simultaneously press Control + Command + Spacebar on your keyboard or right-click and press “Emoji & Symbols”. A small overlay window appears with a set of Emoji characters.

Use Emojis in Gmail

Click on the smiley face emoji at the bottom of the composer to access the emoji keyboard. You can also use the shortcut Command + Shift + 2 to see the emojis.

Should you put emojis in email subject lines?

Yes, you can put one (or two) emoji in the subject line of your message, but start by mastering your writing style to suit your audience. Find out which tone suits them best, and then (if appropriate) add emojis in moderation to make your subject lines more effective.

Keep in mind that most emojis are best suited for B2C e-commerce messages, as they can appear unprofessional and inappropriate in B2B commercial emails.

Here’s an example of how emojis fit your email subject line:

Ajoutez un emoji comme préfixe à votre ligne d'objet.

🥰 Buy new models!

"Enveloppez" les emojis autour de votre ligne d'objet

🐾 perfect gifts bao 🐾

Utilisez-le comme suffixe à votre ligne d'objet.

Get your free gift! 🎁

Where else can you insert an emoji in an email?

Here is another example of some of the ways you can implement emojis in your messages outside of your email subject line:

Incluez un emoji (ou deux) dans votre texte de pré-en-tête.

Check out the Buy 1 Get 1 Free Sale Friday and save 35% on the most popular lipstick colors! 💋💄

Ajoutez un emoji à votre message de bienvenue.

Hey Brandon 👋

Termine avec un emoji dans ta salutation.

cheers ☕️

Cather M.

Emojis by themselves should not affect the deliverability of your email. However, if you send out marketing emails with a lot of emoji, bold capitalization, and excessive punctuation in your email subject line, your email clients may think you’re sending spam.

This can significantly reduce your open rate and affect your ability to connect with your subscribers in the future.

Therefore, you should follow best practices when deciding whether or not to include emoji in emails.

Best Practices for Using Emojis in Email Marketing

Since the use of emojis in emails has become so popular, it is imperative that you follow these best practices to ensure that you are using emojis effectively in your emails. It could be the difference between emojis that help or harm marketing emails.

Don’t overuse emoji

It is important not to abuse this popular trend. According to statistics, 59% of customers between the ages of 18 and 34 believe that companies use too many emojis. Emails that use too many or use too many emojis look like spam.

Also note that when you add an emoji to the subject of your message or emails, it’s best not to repeat it too many times as it has less impact this way.

Don’t use emojis to replace words or phrases

Digital marketers should realize that not all email clients know the meaning of a particular emoji.

Emojis are not a static means of communication and are better suited to evoke emotions than to replace actual words. Sometimes, emojis can be misunderstood or misinterpreted, which can cause confusion or abuse.

So, when sending a mail, instead of typing an email subject like “2️⃣0️⃣% 🔥 discount new 👕👚 now‼️✨” you should write “Buy 20% off new styles now! 🔥” Less is always better when it comes to using emoticons. Expressiveness in the subject line.

Don’t use emojis in the subject line if your branding has a serious style or tone.

You know your audience better. If you typically address your customers in an informative, scientific, and factual style, for example, it wouldn’t be a good idea to include inappropriate emoji in your message. This can reduce your credibility and professionalism.

On the other hand, if you’re running an e-commerce business that treats its subscribers like friends, that’s an entirely different story. Your followers may prefer this type of communication over verbal messages.

If you notice that including an emoji in your subject field improves your unlock rates, feel free to do whatever works for you.

Consider your audience

Subscriber demographics are an important factor in keeping open rates high and reducing spam complaints. Not all subscribers like to receive the same type of messages. Email clients have different tastes when it comes to email.

Here is an example of some of the factors that can affect your email open rate:


It should come as no shock that millennials are more receptive to seeing emojis in email subject lines. Studies have found that 68% of millennials view emojis favorably, compared to just 37% of followers over the age of 65.

Avoid using emojis in every campaign and save them for special occasions. And if you decide to use one, be wary of the emoji you choose and limit yourself to one emoji per subject line.


Women generally react more favorably than men to having emojis in their inbox. Although men have a lower rate of openness than women when it comes to seeing emojis in subject lines, in general both men and women are more likely to respond positively than negatively.

Companies and Individuals:

Be careful when sending work emails that contain emojis. A third of CEOs think emojis are unprofessional and unsuitable for the work environment. Even some professionals are embarrassed by the simple smiley face emoji.

In turn, consumers support the use of emojis for marketing reasons. 64% of customers who use emojis want to buy products like food, movie tickets, and clothes from marketing emails using emojis.

Test your email subject lines

Always test your emails with and without emojis when sending a campaign. Split testing (or A/B testing) allows you to test a single variant with a small portion of your campaign recipients and see which one works best. The best-performing variant will dominate its competitor and will be sent to the rest of the hashed email list.

Another reason to test your emails before sending your campaign to the entire list is that not all subscribers will see the same thing. In a perfect world, there would be a universal emoji system, but emojis are presented differently on different devices.

If new emojis are developed on one operating system, they may not exist on another yet. So if you’re using a newer emoji that another system hasn’t developed, the recipient on that system will see an empty box like this ▢.

Here is an example of how emojis are displayed differently on different devices:
Emojis are displayed differently depending on the OS.

Who supports emojis?

Emoji support depends on the operating system (OS) the user opens your email on, rather than on the email client. Most operating systems have developed their own emoji keyboards with their own style.

Windows supports emojis on Windows 7 or higher, including Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11.

Neither Windows Vista nor earlier versions support emojis, although some emojis are converted to emojis.

*** Gmail is an exception. Gmail always shows emojis, regardless of the operating system.

Using an emoji, if used correctly, can increase your email open rate this year. Emojis are great for getting people’s attention and helping your emails feel more personal.

Whether you’re using emojis to add a bit of personality to your subject lines or trying to grab your subscribers’ attention, emojis have had a huge impact on the future of email marketing.

Leave a Comment