Silvestras from MailerLite

Silvestras3 min readNew features and updatesSeptember 23, 2015

Express yourself with Emoji!

Express yourself with Emoji!

Great news! You have been asking about emoji for a while and we listened. MailerLite now offers a possibility to add emoji in the subject field.

Remember the simple combination of punctuation you used to express your emotions while chatting online? Accidentally or not, people were using these combinations since the 19th century.

Fast forward to 1998 and the first real emoji is born. Invented by a Japanese designer Shinegata Kurita, these cute little emojis have changed our digital communication. Can they be used in your email marketing? Let’s find out!

Emojis in your subject line

It’s no secret that more emails are opened in mobile devices nowadays. An obvious advantage of using emoji is that you can squeeze a lot of information in a single character, since subject line is limited to about 35 characters on mobiles.

Here’s how Product Hunt use emojis to help readers visualize the topic in subject line:

emoji in email subject line - product hunt emails - mailerlite

You can now do the same with your own subject lines in your MailerLite account. To add emoji, simply enter your subject line and select one from the drop down menu.

add emoji in subject line - mailerlite

Should I use it?

Emojis are still very much an uncharted territory. There is no significant data as of yet that proves a stable increase in your open/click rates using emoji.

Although according to Econsultancy, a perfectly timed snowman ⛄️ or sun 🌞 emoji can boost your open rate, a pointing finger 👉 can very well knock it down.

An important thing to consider is your audience. While Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber would be very much excited to see a screen full of emojis, your B2B partners might find it rather childish.

If you’re not sure about your audience, it’s a good opportunity to use A/B split test for different subject lines. You can think of various testing possibilities. Try subject lines with or without emoji, one emoji versus another, emoji in the beginning versus the end.

Email clients and emoji support

The tricky part of using emojis – not all email clients support them. You may find that some symbols are supported, while different ones – not so much. For example, Outlook 2003 does not support emoji at all.

If a particular character isn’t supported in the email client, your subscriber will see a ☐ character instead. Therefore, never use the emoji to replace the actual word – “You will ❤️ this ☕

Also, Windows Vista does not support emoji, nor does any version prior to it. To view color emoji, Windows 8.1 and above is required, and only in Internet Explorer. Chrome does not support native emoji on any version of Windows.

The good news is that iOS and Android have excellent emoji support. You can check your “Top Email Clients” section when analyzing reports to find out which devices are being used the most.

More on emoji support →

Final thoughts

Emojis can help your email marketing, but it can break it too if used without a proper thought.

Make sure to always test as much as possible. Check if your emoji will be displayed for recipients correctly. Minimize risk – take a small portion of your subscribers and do A/B tests to see if positive results are produced.

Finally, tell us your experiences using emoji in subject line. Did it help with conversions or was the effect only minimal? Love to hear from you!

Silvestras Armonaitis

Hi, it’s Silvestras, a member of MailerLite’s customer support team. As the first remote employee to join MailerLite in 2014, I was the guinea pig to test if remote work was a good idea. Today, MailerLite is a remote-first company so the experiment was a success! To all the other remote workers who have joined since—you’re welcome.