Tips for Testing Emojis in Your Email Campaigns

Posted by Patty Atwater on

Happy world emoji day! To honor this special day, we’ve put together some tips on incorporating emojis into your email program 

While including emojis might spark additional engagement from your subscribers, there’s also a chance their use could turn subscribers off your content completely. So, if you are interested in trying emojis in your email subject lines, it’s important that you take it slow and be strategic about it.

Keep the following tactics and considerations in mind as you start to incorporate emojis into your email program.

1.Test on a small sample.
Don’t start sending emojis to your entire list right off the bat. Test the impact of adding emojis on a sample of your list and compare it to a control sample using the same subject line minus the emoji. This allows you to accurately measure the impact of including the emoji on the campaign while excluding other influencing factors.

2. Don’t overdo it.
There’s a certain novelty factor seeing emojis in one’s inbox. As an email marketer, don’t be surprised if performance from use of emojis wanes over time. Avoid using the same emoji(s) every time, and stand out from other emojis in the inbox by avoiding widely used ones.

3. Make sure they make sense in context and for your industry.
While the poop emoji may have had the highest read rate in our study, that doesn’t mean it will necessarily go over well with your subscribers. Be conscious of your company’s brand identity and be careful about how you use each emoji. Most likely, a subscriber would not be happy to see 💩 included in an email alerting them about their latest credit card statement.

4. Make sure the emojis render properly.
While an emoji might cause subscribers to open your email, a subject line with a broken emoji is more likely to get deleted or generate a complaint. Make sure you check that the emojis you are using are supported by the mailbox providers and devices your subscribers use.

5. Know where you emails are landing.
In most cases, higher opens are correlated with higher inbox placement rates. Before you conclude whether using emoji was a success or failure, make sure you are also checking where your messages are landing.

6. See how your competitors are using them.
There are many options when it comes to using emojis in email subject lines, so keep an eye on what others are doing, and how they’re performing for them. You might be able to borrow some ideas for your own program—or avoid making similar mistakes.

For more emoji insight. Download our recent report. Emoji Use in Email Subject Lines. Inside we take a look at the most popular emojis used in email marketing and how they resonated with subscribers. Take a look to get some new ideas for your next campaign.


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About Patty Atwater

Patty Atwater is the Content Marketing Manager at Return Path. She loves digging into email data to discover new marketing insights and craft new, informative ways to tell the story. In her spare time, Patty loves traveling to new places, hanging out with friends, and continuing her mission to find the best guacamole in NYC. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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