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Emoji Usage in Email Marketing: Dos and Don’ts

Emoji Usage in Email Marketing: Dos and Don’ts

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Although one of the oldest channels of digital promotion, email marketing is far away from becoming obsolete. On the contrary, marketers are constantly creating new ways to enrich email campaigns, so now they use emojis to make the messages look more appealing.

An emoji is any of various small images, symbols, or icons used in text fields in electronic communication to express the emotional attitude of the writer, convey information succinctly, or communicate a message playfully without using words.

There are over 2.6 thousand emojis in the Unicode Standard as of June 2017. Almost half of the top 500 brands already use these symbols on Facebook and Twitter, while the trend is gradually shifting to emails as well.

But it’s doesn’t come as a big surprise since brands only follow the path created by their followers. To date, more than 440 billion emojis have been sent on iOS-based devices alone and the figures are way higher if we take into account all other platforms.

If you want to design modern marketing campaigns, you should definitely consider including emojis in your emails. In this post, we will show you the purpose of emoji usage and its dos and don’ts in email marketing.


Why Use Emojis?

Emojis in email subject lines give you several benefits – they look good, save space, and inspire users’ emotional response.

Michael Jackie, an Email Marketing Specialist from EduGeeksClub, recently noted: “Most marketers think that 65 characters are the ideal length of an email subject line, but the average length is actually around 45 characters. This happens because brands want to make sure that their titles are readable across all devices”.

In such circumstances, it is clear that emojis can significantly reduce the number of characters and even replace an entire headline on some occasions.

Besides that, visual symbols in email marketing evoke emotions among receivers, particularly on the positive side of the emotional spectrum. Anti-spamming algorithms already recognize the new trend in email marketing and don’t treat messages containing emojis as spam.

The best thing about emojis is that they are simple and easy to use. You only need to copy and paste these symbols . Additionally, some email services have their own catalogues of emojis, so it’s even simpler to insert them in textual content.

Now that you’ve seen the reason why you should use emojis in email marketing, it is time to check out the dos and don’ts of this strategy.


4 Dos of Emoji Usage in Emails

  • Know your audience

Before you add visual icons to email messages, make sure to know exactly what your audience wants to see. For instance, you don’t want to send “Face with Tears of Joy” to middle-aged housewives who are not familiar with online humour. Get to know an average receiver and adapt emails so they fit his preferences and expectations.

  • Reveal personality through emoji usage

The primary reason to use emojis in emails is to reveal your personality and inspire people to familiarize with the brand. Show them a human side of the business by adding emojis that express real emotions. Of course, you should stick to symbols that reveal positive emotions and use sad emojis only if there is a special reason to express anger or sorrow.

  • Keep emojis in context

Every emoji you use in email campaigns should serve its purpose and fit the context. You can insert a shamrock leaf if you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, but it will probably be meaningless on some other occasion. Therefore, you should be careful to use the right emoji at the right time.

Emoji Usage in Email Marketing: Dos and Don’ts

  • Use words

Although very attractive, emojis cannot fulfil the purpose without words. As the matter of fact, emojis are there only to augment the message and make it more convincing, so make sure to use enough words and enable receivers to completely understand your emails.


4 Don’ts of Emoji Usage in Emails

  • Overuse emojis

Some marketers fall in the trap of emoji overuse as soon as they see the first benefits of this tactic. But you don’t want to take visual icons too seriously – emojis will make your email campaigns more appealing only if you know when and where and why to add them to the text.

  • Misinterpret the meaning

With more than 2.6 thousand emojis available online, people sometimes get confused and make the wrong choice. You shouldn’t allow yourself to make such mistake in email marketing, so be careful while choosing the emoji to supplement the message.

  • Follow the big players

You should never do things just because you’ve seen the big brands doing it. The likes of Coca-Cola or McDonald’s carefully analyze their audience and create their own marketing strategies, but it doesn’t mean that your campaigns must follow the same pattern. On the contrary, you should use emojis in email marketing only if you know that it will boost brand awareness or increase lead and sales generation.

  • Send without testing

Emojis don’t display the same way on all devices, so it’s essential to test them and confirm that everything functions properly. Do it every time you send emails with emojis because even the smallest mistake can damage the reputation of the brand.

Emoji Usage in Email Marketing: Dos and Don’ts


Emojis are one of the trendiest ways to create more interesting and engaging email campaigns. But if you want to add this tactic to your marketing strategy, you must understand the purpose of visual icons and how to use them in email messages.

In this post, we showed you the dos and don’ts of emoji usage in email marketing. Do you think emojis are a good way to promote your brand? Do you have other suggestions to share with our readers? Feel free to leave a comment and we’ll be glad to discuss this topic with you!


About the author:

Warren is a marketing enthusiast and a blogger at EduGeeksClub, who loves music. If he doesn’t have a guitar in his hands, he’s probably embracing new technologies and marketing techniques online! You can meet him on Twitter and Facebook.