There are many theories on email marketing. But here is one subject that may not have been given the analysis it deserves: The use of emojis in email newsletters.
The practice seems to be widespread, although we haven’t seen emojis in any hard news-driven e-letters.
“Lovely pictograms of smileys, people, animals, food, drinks and much more mark every other email newsletter these days,” according to Emojis in Email Newsletters: What You Need To Know, an advisory by Designmodo. “It is an excellent way to add a human touch to the conversation.”
Take the subject line — it becomes “an eye-catcher with emojis,” and their use creates a sense of urgency, it says. And they can easily pass through spam filters.
Still, SendGrid reports that emojis in the subject line depressed engagement around Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year.
Then there’s the message copy. Here sobriety reigns.
Designmodo says that “the use of emojis in the copy should be selective and scarce. Much like email newsletter GIFs, emojis can be overwhelming even though they are tiny pictures.”
SendGrid also warns that emojis do not render the same on every device — on some, they may not render at all, and here, Designmodo agrees.
“Emojis render differently,” it writes.” Each pictogram is presented as a simple code.”
For example, “U+2764 is code for a red heart; U+1F602 is a face with tears of joy and U+1F970 is a smiling face with three hearts. Although Unicode unifies and assigns each code for each emoji so that every operating system can read it and interpret correctly, no one tells Google or Apple how to draw them.”
One graphic problem is that operating systems support emojis differently. According to Designmodo, “Windows 7 will show them in black and white, and Windows XP will show a hollow rectangle.”
But mobile devices, despite SendGrid’s warning, are best at rendering them, it continues.
“It becomes evident that if your targeted audience prefers mobile phones for opening email newsletters, then there is a big chance that subscribers will get all the emojis safe and sound,” Designmodo says. “But if your audience uses PCs or laptops then be ready to deal with a lack of support.”
The good news is that Gmail supports emojis “no matter what,” it notes.
Designmodo claims that emojis “can even increase the open rate. However, they should not be abused. Too many emotions can lead to bad outcomes.
It advises brands to “test emails to see how the audience perceives your tone since it can be inappropriate. And do not forget about the lack of support across various operating systems.”