Sep 20 2018

Delight customers with emojis in subject lines

I was on the train into work the other day, and it was standing room only.

I love people-watching on my commute. I was looking around at all the faces tilted town towards phone screens, eyes scanning.

I hoped they were boppin’ to Prince too. But more than likely, they were catching up, and quickly. On Facebook. On memes. On news sound bites and on email. With limited real estate and time, marketers need to stick out and make audiences pause.

People check email way more on mobile devices. Character limits in subject lines are between 30 and 40 characters. By the time you write “Don’t miss awesome…,” you’ve already lost half your space!

Emojis are a simple and charismatic way to stick out in an inbox. They’re naturally fun, and can convey emotion faster than words. We’re visual beings, after all.

While no one is definitive about if emojis are here to stay, an emoji in your subject line can help you:

  • Better open rates: More than half of brands using emojis in their email subject lines had a higher unique open rate.
  • Save space: An emoji is worth a thousand words.
  • Convey emotion: Good marketers spark feeling in customers. An emoji can move the right reader.
  • Stand out in a crowded inbox: Images are more influential than words. Colors and shapes stick out.

There’s lots of ways to make a great subject line. But these five best practices for putting emojis in your email subject line are sure to make customers 😂, 😱 and 👏.

Best Practices: Subject Line + Emoji

  • Know your audience
  • Be purposeful
  • Keep it tight and creative
  • Use A/B testing
  • Stay on brand
  • Check device compatibility

Know your audience

Think about your target personas, or ideal audience. Emojis aren’t going to work for everyone. Some personas might see emojis as unprofessional. If you do use an emoji, make sure it helps to convey what you’re saying.

Be purposeful

Not every audience nor every email is a perfect match for an emoji. They should catch someone’s attention. But use them too often, and your emails will get deleted FAST.

Emojis can help boost blasts. They’re perfect for holidays 🎄, special occasions 🎁 and exciting news 🎉. Just remember to provide value in your email, not just sell to the reader.

Keep it tight and creative

What will you do with all that extra real estate? Now, you have room embrace your creative freedom. Personalizing the subject line, using less-common emojis, and staying under 40 characters is a challenge, but can reap great engagement. See this example:

"John, life is good!! 🏈🍺🙌"

Use A/B testing

Testing the subject line before sending an email can help you see what’s working—and what’s not 👀. A/B testing, or sending the same email with different subject lines, gives you real data to make a decision on.

Stay on brand

Whether you realize it or not, your businesses has a clear brand. A luxury car company catering to sophisticated people wouldn’t use the poop emoji in a marketing email subject line. But a clothing company getting ready for summer sales might see great open rates from 👙.

Check device compatibility

Emojis use a special language for showing up in web pages and emails called Unicode. But since not all systems 💻 are created equal, different operating systems render Unicode differently. Here’s how the most common operating systems (OS) read emojis:

  • Windows XP/7: Limited support. Instead of emojis, subscribers see ☐.
  • Windows 8: First Windows OS to support emojis. Colors and most shapes supported.
  • MacOS X: Full emoji support. Apple mobile OS/iOS has supported emojis since version 4.0
  • Android: Extended emoji support. Users with OS older than Android Kitkat 4.4 won’t see colors.

Email clients also have different rendering. Consult this chart to see support.

Where can I find emojis?

Use shortcuts

Copy and pasting emojis from websites like,, and is fast enough. But did you know there’s a keyboard shortcut as well?

On a Mac 💻:

Click your cursor where you want the emoji. Hold down Control+Command and hit the space bar. This will pull up the palette of emojis to choose from, with several skin tones available for many.

On a PC 💻:

Click the keyboard icon in the lower-right corner to activate the Touch Keyboard. Click the smiley face icon.

On a smartphone 📱:

Smartphones have emojis built into the keyboard. Just check the function is on in the phone’s settings.

Ready to get started? Test out your emoji-kissed 😘 subject lines with ExpressPigeons’ easy email marketing service!

Posted By Aiden Kent