In the past couple of weeks, there’s been a social media frenzy after LinkedIn added the ‘laughter emoji’ 😄 in their ‘reactions’ emoji suite. Interestingly enough, it was one of the top requests they had recently received.
So, why was this a big deal?
Humans are social beings with an innate desire to connect with others and express themselves. And when it comes to virtual communication, what’s a better way to do that than emojis?
A few years ago, would you have imagined a professional platform like LinkedIn offering emoji reactions? Probably not.
According to Unicode, the global IT standard for text and emoji, 92% of the world’s online population use emoji.1 Furthermore, a recent study by TextAnywhere indicated that more than 44% of Britons use emojis in their workplace texts and emails.2
Emojis have steadily gained worldwide acceptance, from being used in daily text messages to now being used in workplaces and even customer engagement campaigns.
If you’ve been thinking about implementing emoji marketing in your marketing strategy, here are the key benefits, examples, and best practices to get you rolling.
Consumers associate emojis with the expression of emotions. This makes them one of the most personal forms of virtual communication.
Just including a few emojis adds depth and realism to your messaging. It allows you to connect with your customers in a fun and creative way, making your brand relatable and approachable.
In face-to-face communication, humans can express their feelings through different facial expressions.
Facial expressions act as contextual cues, along with gestures, body language, tone of voice, etc., to convey a message. But in the virtual world, with these contextual cues missing, emojis equip you with the right arsenal to ace your digital communication.
Emojis are a universal language, which means anyone from any part of the world can understand them. So, even when words fail to convey your messaging, emojis can help you set the correct meaning, tone, and brand voice.
Furthermore, as virtual communication styles are changing rapidly, emojis can help you speak in the language your customers love to talk.
Social media is one of the best places for brands to have personal conversations with their customers. No wonder it is the place where emojis are most commonly used.
Here are some examples of brands that have their social media emoji game on point:
|🔍 Note: If you look at Primark’s Twitter account, you’ll notice that even though they use emojis in all their social posts, the formats of the posts are varied. While some posts announce product additions and prices, others are fun polls and ice-breaker questions. When planning your social strategy, look at how you can spice up your social media profile by experimenting with different emojis and types of posts.|
How do you make your email communication stand out in a world where every other brand is trying to drive more engagement through email marketing?
The solution: Add in an emoji or two in your email subject lines and preview text.
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Email subject lines and content without emojis can appear bland. But adding emojis to your email marketing strategy helps to give character to your messaging.
Take the example of The Hustle, a media company that sends 5-minute newsletters daily to its subscribers with stories on business, tech, and the internet. The Hustle uses clever, highly relevant emojis in all their subject lines. These emojis work to get their emails highlighted in an inbox filled with multiple emails, increasing the chances of them getting opened.
|🔍 Note: See how The Hustle uses minimal emojis, which are also relevant to the email’s subject line and preview text. This catches the reader’s attention and reinforces the subject of the email. Ensure the emojis you use in your emails aren’t there just for the sake of it but add some value.|
Some brands also leverage the space in the email body to increase engagement. A good example is Moka, Canada’s leading saving and investing app. When a customer gets onboarded on the Moka app, they send out an email describing all the activities they can do with their Moka accounts. Since this is an important, lengthy email, Moka uses different emojis to make the email fun to read and engage the reader.
We’re seeing an increasing number of brands experimenting with rich media in their push notifications. But studies show that simply using emojis can boost push notification open rates by 85%. 3
No wonder, along with emoji use in its WhatsApp marketing, Duolingo also leverages them in its push notifications. It sends daily streak reminders, leaderboard updates, and friends’ accomplishments on the Duolingo app. Adding emojis to these notifications grabs the reader’s attention and the messaging spurs healthy competition, motivating customers to keep returning to the app.
|🔍 Note: See how Duolingo maintains consistency in its messaging across different channels, by using emojis on WhatsApp and in its push notifications. Aligning all your customer touchpoints ensures a smooth experience for your customers.|
Text messages as a marketing channel have been gaining momentum in Europe and North America. Yet it is one of the least popular channels for emoji usage.
Why? Because using emojis in SMS requires the whole text message to be sent through the Unicode standard. This limits the character count, preventing marketers from sending longer messages.
Nevertheless, brands like Doe Lashes, a California-based beauty brand, and Bones Coffee Company, a Florida-based coffee company, use emojis heavily in their SMS marketing. This works well for them because their SMSes are personalised to the recipient and contain eye-catching emojis.
|🔍 Note: When it comes to SMS marketing, you already have limited real estate to engage your customer, so make sure you use the space wisely. Limit the emoji use to one emoji per text.|
Now that you have some inspiration for your customer engagement campaigns, let’s look at some of the best practices of emoji marketing:
Emojis are a powerful way to connect with your customers, although you must use them cautiously. Remember, insights are key to creating a successful customer engagement strategy. And just because something works for one brand, it doesn’t always have to work for you. Make sure you first use your customer engagement platform to understand your customers and then test out different variations of your message to see the best approach for you.
MoEngage’s insights-led customer engagement platform allows you to understand and engage with your customers across channels such as push notifications, WhatsApp, Facebook, SMS, and Email.
If you’re a customer-obsessed marketer, book a demo with us now to create hyper-personalised journeys for your customers.