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Are emojis a smart marketing tool?

Emojis have wormed their way into our lives, whether we love using them or not. They’re an integral part of the texts and social media posts that most of us engage with every day – so it’s only natural that they’ve been adopted by digital marketing specialists, too.

Why use emojis?

With 92% of the online population using emojis, they’re hugely popular.

As a marketer, you can use emojis to speak your customers’ language when you’re in the digital environment. You can also use them to make an impact. When emailing your customer base, for example, your subject line is the most important part of your message. Adding emojis can make your message stand out in a sea of bland text.

If you’re clever with your choice of emojis, you can evoke an emotional response, whether you want to make your customers smile, feel excited about an upcoming event or see your brand in a new light.

Need some guidance?

Before you start adding a string of hearts, smiley faces and party poppers to every piece of communication, it’s important to plan and test your emoji strategy – or you may end up facepalming in real life.

Here’s a quick checklist for you as you explore this new marketing tool.

  • Save space
    An emoji often conveys a concept or emotion much faster than text. It also tends to take up a lot less space than words do – offering a smart way to express a lot in just a few characters. Use this to your advantage! Keep your text punchy and to the point. Then use emojis to add the descriptive or emotive element.


  • Stay relevant
    With over 3,000 emojis to choose from at last count, you can apply them to almost any message, even if you’re marketing in a business-to-business context. Just make sure that the emojis you choose are relevant and on-brand. They need to feel natural in that context. If your emojis seem forced or irrelevant, you could confuse or even alienate your customers.


  • Don’t overdo it
    A little light-heartedness goes a long way. When using emojis, be careful not to go overboard. If you use too many in one subject line or post, or you use them in every single piece of communication, they’ll get annoying – and you’ll run the risk of your emails landing up in a spam folder.


  • Run rendering checks
    When using emojis in your email marketing, it’s critical to test across multiple email clients, browsers and devices to make sure that the emoji looks good in every customer’s inbox. If you find that emojis are incompatible with certain email clients, this doesn’t mean you need to strip emojis out of all your emails, simply separate out that bunch of customers and send them an emoji-free version.


  • Split test
    The best way to know for sure whether emojis are working for you in the email context, is to conduct A/B split testing. Send half your subject lines out with an emoji and the rest without. Then gauge which batch got the best results. If emojis don’t seem to be working for your audience, put them on ice for a while. If they do resonate with your market, continue with your split testing over a few months to identify which emojis appeal most to your audience.


Ready to give emoji-powered marketing a go?
Kri8it can help you to identify the best strategy and conduct the necessary testing.

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Cape Town, South Africa

Tel: +27 21 797 8444

George, South Africa


Dublin, Ireland

Tel: +353 83 317 4599


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