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Content Marketing, Technology, Digital Marketing

Adding Emojis to your Marketing Emails

Today we are going to discuss emojis, also known as emoticons or emotes. The world’s first emojis were released back in the late 1990’s, which may feel like forever ago. But this feature is not a fad that is going away any time soon. The use of emojis has only become more prevalent with companies rushing to release a new set of emojis each year. But why do we like them so much?

An emoji can say so many different things without saying anything at all. They give users a way to express themselves in a way which we all universally understand. They are fun to use and they allow us to communicate easily. Most importantly, they give marketers a powerful tool to convey their brand and tell stories across all channels, including email.

We’ve detailed the various ways you can incorporate emojis into your marketing emails.

Emojis in Email Subject Lines

Using emojis in email is a great way to show expression and add humor or much more to your email! You will want to make sure you select the perfect emoji as it will be the first thing your mailing list will see.

In today’s world, marketers know better than anyone how difficult it can be to grab consumer’s attention and stand out in their inbox. Using emojis in a subject line is one way to cut through the noise. “Emojis definitely stand out in a crowded inbox, and grabbing the reader’s attention is an important element of email engagement,” said Tom Sather, Return Path’s Sr. Director of Research.

We have created a tool that will allow you to add emojis to your subject lines. This tool allows you to add the emoji of your choice to a subject line with a quick reference. While this may seem pointless, it is essential because you cannot simply copy and paste an emoji into a subject line in Marketo. You can only use emojis in email when they are in an encoded string, which is exactly what this tool will provide. If you copy and paste an emoji into our tool, it will provide the encoded string that you need to include in your subject line.

When you paste this string into the subject field, it will appear as an encoded string. However, when you send a sample or launch the program, the email will be sent with the emoji.

Another helpful resource is Unicode’s Full Emoji List, which is constantly updated with all the newest emojis. You can use this resource to find any emoji you are looking for, as well as seeing what the emoji looks like on different devices and software.

This is important as you will want to know what your emoji will look like to all of your recipients. The same emoji can appear significantly different, depending on if the user is using a PC browser vs iOS vs Android.

Using Emojis in Email Copy

Want to use emojis in your email copy? You’ll have to use a script token. Don’t be put off by the word “script”! It’s quite easy. Use our tool to get the emoji’s decimal code, then copy and paste this into an email script token.

Select an “Email Script” token from the menu on the right and drag it in

When you add your new Script Token, hit “Click to Edit” which will pop open a window for you to enter the decimal code of the emoji you want.

Here I’m using the decimal unicode for the grinning face emoji – you can use either the hexadecimal or decimal. You can ignore all of the other items on the right.

NOTE: Do not forget the semicolon at the end of the code!


UTF in the subject line with Unicode Script Tokens in the body copy

Subject line in Gmail:

This is what it looks like when it’s opened – note that the emojis in the body copy render as the Android versions

Despite the benefits to using emojis, the majority of companies still don’t use emojis in their emails. We recommend you to experiment and see how they do for yourself as testing is key for innovation. As always, moderation is massively important. Don’t go from using no emojis to using an emoji every single email. It’s always good to start with some testing and see what works best for you! Regardless of the results, you will have a takeaway you can learn from.

Reach out if you want to chat about how to optimize your email content with emojis and more!

Jack Laushway

Jack is a Marketo Certified Associate who is passionate about delivering success to clients and supporting their marketing efforts through creativity and innovation.

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