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Emojis In Your Emails: How Does it Affect Performance?

Emojis in their current form can be dated back to the 1990s, when Japanese designer Shigetaka Kurita created 176 emoticons to be used on his new mobile platform, however, the idea of replacing language with imagery dates as far as back Egyptian Hieroglyphics, over 4000 years ago. 

Their recent rise in popularity throughout the early 2010s has made these simple emoticons a household name, with everyone and their nan utilising the little yellow faces.

Emojis are everywhere.

Combining emojis with email, a once particularly formal & professional communication channel, can transform your email communication into a more versatile and expressive form of interaction.

But when it comes to email marketing, do emojis help or hinder the performance of your email campaigns? 

In this blog we explore the impact of emojis in your emails and how they can affect performance.


The Rise of Emojis in Email

Emojis have quickly become a staple in our digital communication, and email is no exception. Originally developed in Japan, emojis are now a universal language that transcends borders and linguistic barriers. People use emojis to express emotions, add a touch of humour, and enhance the overall tone of their messages.


In emails, emojis can serve various purposes:


Emotional Expressiveness:

Emojis help convey emotions that plain text alone might struggle to communicate. They add a layer of depth to your message, helping the recipient better understand the sentiment behind your words.


Clarity and Tone:

Emojis can clarify the tone of your message. For instance, a friendly email with a smiley emoji can prevent misunderstandings, while a serious email can be emphasised with a straightforward expression.



Emojis can make your emails more visually appealing, potentially capturing the recipient’s attention and encouraging them to read further.


Branding and Personalization:

 Businesses often use emojis in emails to reinforce their brand identity and create a more personal connection with their audience.


The Advantages of Emojis in Emails:

Emojis are Universal:

Emojis transcend language barriers meaning no matter what language you speak you will be able to understand the communications and tone using imagery. 

This can be especially useful when using language features such as humour or sarcasm within your marketing messages that can vary greatly depending on country/ culture.


Can Improve Communication and Make Your Tone of Voice Clearer:

Using emojis can effectively clarify the tone of your message. 

For instance, a friendly email with a smiley emoji can prevent misunderstandings, or a sarcastic email with an emoji makes your language a lot more clear. 

Emojis can help bridge the gap in digital communication, making it easier to convey emotions and intent, which can lead to better understanding between sender and recipient.

Emojis can help create a more personal connection with your email recipients, making them feel like they are communicating with a real person rather than a faceless corporation.


Enhanced Engagement:

Emojis can make your emails more appealing leading to higher open rates and better response rates.

They add a touch of personality to your messages and the bright vibrant colours make your emails stand out in crowded inboxes full of text. 


Brand Identity:

When used thoughtfully, emojis can reinforce your brand identity and make your emails more memorable. For example, a pizza restaurant using pizza emojis can create a stronger association with its brand.

Picking an Emoji and using it consistently throughout your branding will also allow users to easily search for any communications you have sent, by simply searching for that emoji. 


The Cons of Emojis in Emails

Misinterpretation & Accessibility

While emojis can enhance communication and clarify your tone of voice , they can also be misinterpreted. 

What one person perceives as a friendly gesture, another might interpret differently, leading to awkward moments and potential misunderstanding.

Additionally, various devices & email clients have their own version of the emoji keyboard meaning that clients will see emojis displayed differently depending on what device they read your emails on, again, potentially leading to confusion and miscommunication.



In certain contexts, excessive use of emojis can come across as unprofessional.

Depending on your industry using emojis in your email marketing can be considered inappropriate and immature

In such cases, it’s crucial to strike a balance between expressing personality and maintaining a formal tone.

Using too many emojis can also make your emails look tacky and cluttered. 

Be sure to use them sparingly to avoid overwhelming your message and appearing unprofessional.


Tips & Tricks For Using Emojis

To harness the power of emojis in your emails effectively, you need to strike the right balance. Here are some tips:


  • Know Your Audience: Consider your audience and the context of your email. Tailor your emoji usage to match the expectations of your recipients.


  • Be Mindful of Tone: Ensure that the emojis you use align with the tone of your message. A serious business proposal and a casual conversation require different emoji choices.


  • Don’t Overdo It: Resist the urge to fill your emails with emojis. A few well-placed emojis can have a more significant impact than an excess of them.


  • Test and Analyze: Monitor the performance of your emails. A/B testing can help you determine whether emojis enhance or hinder your email campaigns.


  • Stay Current: Emojis evolve and new ones are added regularly. Keep up with popular emojis and trends to stay relevant.


Wrap Up

In conclusion, using emojis in your email copy can have both positive and negative effects on performance, depending on how they are used.

They can enhance communication and understanding across different languages and cultures, but they can also lead to misinterpretations and a lack of professionalism if used inappropriately. 

In order to harness the benefits of emojis, it’s essential to use them thoughtfully and in a way that aligns with your audience and message. 

Ultimately, emojis can be a useful tool in your arsenal when used wisely.

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