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How Emojis Can Boost Your Marketing Strategy

We see them, we love them, we use them all the time. Those small digital icons that represent ideas or emotions: the Emojis. 
growthgirls ceo Effie Chatzigiannopoulou Bersouxsurrounded by emojis

It is said that when people see Emojis they feel like seeing a human face. In fact, when included in a text or a message Emojis even have the power to switch people’s mood when reading it.

When talking directly to people it’s easier to give the desired impression or pass the right message through your personal tone of voice or even your expressions. You can show emotions, make sarcastic jokes, give a friendly smile. However, all these things get limited when such conversations are written down, especially in a digital sense. Passing your message the right way or showing emotions that illustrate your thoughts becomes challenging. This is where Emojis come to play their part.
In time, Emojis have become a key part of our digital communication since a lot of people find them a quick, easy, and sometimes better way of communication. Digital marketers are no exception! It is widely known, and proven, that Emojis can offer significant benefits in digital marketing. Think of the feeling you get when receiving a friendly newsletter or an app notification with a happy, smiley emoji on the subject line or the copy. Who wouldn’t be tempted to click on that?

To get a better idea of the power of Emojis let’s take a deeper look at all the benefits they offer when they are included in brands’ digital marketing strategies.

They result in higher open rates

Several studies conducted on the efficiency of emojis have proven that those little digital icons can lead to a higher number of open rates when it comes to mobile and email marketing.

When it comes to mobile marketing, Lean Plum & App Annie’s study showed a significant difference (85%) between push notifications with emojis and push notifications without emojis. Specifically, the ones in the first category seemed to result in a 4.51% open rate while the ones in the second category resulted in a 2.44% open rate.

How Emojis Can Boost Push Notification Opens, App Annie

Talking about email marketing, on the other hand, Experian conducted a study on the use of emojis on the subject line of emails that revealed a 56% higher open rate on newsletters with emojis on their subject lines than letters with plain lines.

Furthermore, another research examining the use of emojis in email campaigns on holidays and seasons during the year revealed that subject lines with emojis had a higher open and read rate in cases.

For example, on Valentine’s Day newsletter subject lines with a “lips” emoji lead to a 24% open rate while emails with plain lines saw a 20% open rate.

How to Increase Your Click-Through Rate With Emojis, Semrush

Also, on Father’s Day, subject lines with a “wrench” emoji lead to a 22% open rate, compared to text-only lines that resulted in a 21% open rate.

How to Increase Your Click-Through Rate With Emojis, Semrush

They lift engagement rates

According to HubSpot, tweets with emojis see an increase in engagement by 25.4%, while Facebook posts that include emojis result in 57% more likes and 33% more comments & shares.

A study conducted by Quintly also revealed that Instagram posts with at least one emoji on their copy receive 47.7% more interactions. Comparing posts with emojis to posts without emojis, the analysis revealed a difference of 15% between the two, with emoji posts leading to an interaction rate of 2.21% while no-emoji posts having a rate of 1.77%.

Emojis Lead up to 47.7% More Interactions on Instagram, Quintly

The reason behind those numbers is this: emojis represent emotions. The point of communicating is to share a message, so when there are no emotions then this message can be misunderstood or even misleading. Using emojis to your messages can increase clarity, pass emotions, and – most of all – make them more personalized. And the more personalized your message is, the more possible it is for people to engage with it, which can then lead to higher open rates, more conversions, and of course greater connections with users.

They can decrease CPA when included Ads copies

Studies have shown that the same part of the brain that is activated when people see an emoji is the part that also activates when they see a human face. This means that our brain perceives emojis the same way as emotions.

Emojis have the ability to pass impressions and messages by arising emotions. And when emotions are involved, people are more likely to engage with those messages. So we see that emojis can speak to users in a quite special and unique way, a way that no ordinary non-verbal communication can.

In that concept, when we’re talking about ad copies, marketers should keep in this mind: the more engaging the copy is, the more desired actions will be taken by users. And the more the actions, the lower the CPA will rate.

The team of Up-Marketing conducted a series of tests in two of their clients to see whether emojis can encourage more user engagement. The first client spent the entire first quarter of the year testing the adoption of emojis in their ads copies. This experiment led to a seven figures reach to their ad budget as well as an increase in almost 100 million impressions. The second client also succeeded in the use of emojis in their ads strategy. Their CPA decreased by 16% and they kept on hitting CPA levels that were almost 50% below their goal.

They help improving marketing campaigns increase brand awareness

s the use of emojis is spreading more year-by-year, many businesses have started to include them in their marketing strategies. According to Lean Plum, the average number of emojis used in email marketing and push notifications has increased in 2.23, while 30% of the messages contain at least 1 emoji.

5 Key Insights Every Marketer Needs to Know About Emojis, Mobile Growth

Also, there are many examples of popular brands that embraced emojis even more by creating their own, customized emojis or set up new systems based on the reach that emojis would offer them.

In 2015 Dominos launched a new revolutionary model for orders, where people could easily order their favorite pizza simply by texting a pepperoni pizza slice emoji. People started using the pizza emoji to order their food 4 times more often than Domino’s other text-to-order system, “Easy Order”.

In September of the same year, Coca-Cola partnered with Twitter creating its custom hashtag #ShareaCoke that generated a branded emoji of two Coke bottles shaking together. From its very first day, the hashtag was used more than 170,500 times all over the world.

Share a Coke (Emoji): Social Media Marketing Roundup, YPulse

As Daniel Braddock, content marketing manager at Oxford Dictionaries says: “Sometimes this can be received as a desperate attempt to relate to younger demographics, but the results speak for themselves. We’ve seen examples of email open rates increasing when the subject line contains emojis, we’ve seen engagement rates in social media improve when emojis are used.”

They help speak the user’s language

Casper Grathwohl, president of dictionaries at Oxford Dictionaries, says: “Traditional alphabet language has a hard time keeping up and adapting to our needs here. The idea of a pictogram communication form like emoji, coupled with traditional alphabet languages, allows for a deeper subtlety and richness.” And according to linguist Dr. Neil Cohn: “So, people are now provided with a ready-made vocabulary of visual elements that can be used to enrich or enhance their communication.” This means we’re living in a new linguistic reality where people have found unique and various ways to express their thoughts and feelings in unprecedented ways.

Businesses need to adjust to this new era, and the slang – one could say – of emojis is the best way. Because they allow brands to speak the same language as their users. And who else engages more with emojis than Millenials.

According to Lean Plum & App Annie’s study, on average people aged between 13-24 spend 20% more time in apps than 25-44 year-old ones, and 70% more time than an average user over 45 years old. Those numbers make it even more essential for brands to start adopting emojis into their marketing strategy.

How Emojis Can Boost Push Notification Opens, App Annie

They do not take a lot of space

How many times did you want to tweet about something, but 140 characters were just not enough? Or, how many times did you have to keep your message short? And let’s face it, getting the right message in limited text is no easy task.

Do not worry though, cause in cases like that emojis have got your back. A single emoji often may represent a meaning, an emotion, or a message that in the traditional way would probably take more than one word to be expressed. So this way, you can say what you need or want to say in a simple, quick, and fun way while also staying under limits. As it is said, a picture is worth a thousand words.

And remember: a topnotch use of emojis, both in quality and quantity leaves a better impression in users’ minds which leads to higher engagement and retention rates.

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