How to Add Emojis to Email Subject Lines

From stars and snowflakes to smiley faces and smiley poo, we’ve fallen in love with emojis. While we regularly see emojis in text and social media posts, these cute little icons are also valuable tools for email marketers.

what makes them so valuable? maybe it’s because emojis stand out in a text-dominated inbox. maybe it’s because subscribers can process images exponentially faster than text. Or it could be because icons communicate emotions more effectively than text. what we know from testing is that adding emoji strategically and sparingly to a subject line leads to higher open rates.

Let’s look at a single case study. Last spring, Cruise Entertainment Productions ran a promotion for their email subscribers. subscribers who booked a stateroom on the ’80s cruise during a promotional period won an unlimited beverage package during the cruise. We divide the list of recipients into two groups. group a received a subject line with a clinking beer mug emoji, 🍻. group b received a text-only subject line.

group a: book early and you could win unlimited drinks! 🍻

group b: book early and you could win unlimited drinks!

The group with the emoji had an 18 percent increase in open rates over the group without the emoji.

In a holiday email, a customer tested the use of the Christmas tree emoji, 🎄. this time, the emoji was used at the beginning of the subject line. group a received an email with the emoji in the subject line and group b did not receive any emoji. using the Christmas tree led to a 37 percent increase in open rates.

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things to consider before adding emojis to subject lines

Some emojis go a long way. We recommend that you add emojis to email subject lines only when relevant. using too many emojis in the subject line or using them throughout your email could cause subscribers to perceive your email as spam.

test to make sure your subscribers think you’re as funny and cute as you think you are. run a/b split tests with group a receiving the subject line with the emoji and the group b receiving no emojis will likely see an increase in opens (and subsequent clicks and conversions), but if they don’t, it’s best to reduce emoji usage.

run rendering checks on as many active inboxes as possible. we’ve found that yahoo is the most complicated email client for working with emojis. certain emojis appear as meaningless code in yahoo. aol can also be problematic as it will remove certain emojis from the subject line.

if this happens, you can either choose a different, more common emoji or exclude yahoo or aol subscribers from your main delivery and send them a version without the emoji. (Katey Charles Communications customers who need assistance with delisting can contact technical support for expedited assistance.)

how to add emoji

If you can copy and paste, you can add an emoji to your email subject line! just highlight the emoji below and hit ctrl-c. then place your cursor in the subject line field of your email marketing software and press ctrl-v.

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a word of caution: be sure to run rendering checks on as many active inboxes as possible. Different email clients render emojis differently. for example, some offer a color version while others are black and white. don’t trust rendering simulation programs.

These are some of our favorite subject line emojis.

Note: These instructions apply to the email marketing software we offer to our customers and may not apply to other email marketing programs.

we can help!

Want help with your subject lines and overall subscriber engagement? we’d love to get to know your business so we can help you create the email your subscribers want to receive. tell us what you need by calling 314-918-8088, ext. 106, or by sending an email

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