You’ve seen them all: the happy face, the sad face, the shocked face, and you may have used one or two of them while emailing a family member or colleague. But, are they appropriate in a professional environment? Even more specifically, are they appropriate in marketing emails?
There’s no denying that the emoji has great appeal – everyone from your pre-teen to your grandmother has used them. Research shows that 92% of the online population uses emojis! They allow you to convey emotions that are sometimes lost through the written word, especially through text messages and emails. You may be saying something that could be interpreted in any direction, but that smiling yellow guy added to the end of it tells a different story. Even the Oxford Dictionary chose the word “emoji” as its word of the year in 2015.
Facebook launched a new batch of emojis, based on research that people want to have an easier way to add emotion to their messages. This is great news for those who do social media marketing, as emojis are generally widely accepted there. If the question was asking if emojis were appropriate for social media marketers, the answer would be a definitive yes. But, do people want to see emojis in their emails? And do emojis make people want to connect with your brand, click through to your website and in the end, buy your products or services?
Is there a place for emojis in email marketing?
The answer is simply: yes. Major brands have started using emojis in their marketing schemes, in an effort to make their marketing a little more fun. Since the start of this year, the use of emojis in marketing messages has grown 20% each month! Not only are more brands using emojis in their advertising, this strategy is definitely working to engage customers.
Research found that emoji-enabled ads have a 20x higher click-through rate and that campaigns that leverage emotional content, like emojis, perform twice as good as those with rational content.
It is definitely easy to see why these little characters appeal to everyone, but why are emojis making them want to click and eventually buy? Research shows it is because consumers find ads using emojis to be:
In an article for Business 2 Community, Ronn Torossian says when using emojis “marketers reach audiences in a casual yet effective way by demonstrating the ability to connect with potential customers at various levels”.
What makes them so effective?
Torossian says that emojis are great because they essentially break down linguistic barriers. Those who can’t read well or who have a first language that is different from the marketing text are still able to capture a feeling from an emoji. “Emojis transcend language barriers,” he says. In marketing campaigns they:
- Attract attention
- Ensure immediate recognition
- Reduce print space
- Provide opportunities for creative messaging
What are the challenges?
As with anything, using emojis in marketing does come with its own set of challenges. First of all, emojis are subjective. People (consumers) decide how they want this emoji to make them feel. Different people can interpret the same emoji very differently. This means your message could be misunderstood, which has the potential of annoying or worse, offending your audience. As well, over time the meaning of each emoji could change, so marketers are apt to keep up with the change in trends, which is always a smart move anyway, but particularly smart in this case.
Emojis definitely have a place in email marketing, at least for the time being, as long as they are used correctly and not overdone.