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Emoji Marketing Best Practices

Updated on June 17, 2024
Posted on March 8, 2021 by Michael White

Read here to learn the best practices for using emojis in marketing by The Creative Momentum- emojis in the background

In the marketing days of yore, seeing a little yellow smiley face would have given some business professionals a heart attack. Using something as “unprofessional” as an emoji in your marketing material would have been considered a faux pas.

Well, times are changing.

Emojis in marketing material isn’t frowned upon ☹️ anymore.😄 In fact, it’s encouraged in certain situations. According to a study, using emojis in a Tweet can increase engagement by 25.4%. Improving engagement by 25%? Where do we sign up?

If you’re ready to harness the power of smileys and thumbs-ups to strengthen your messaging, here are a few of the best practices for using emojis in your marketing.



Read about why you should use emojis in marketing. An emoji wheel displays different emojis and reasons to use them.

Why Use Emojis in Marketing?

Asking why you should use emojis in marketing is like asking why businesses should use social media. What was perhaps once seen as unprofessional is now perceived as approachable, welcoming, and furthermore, expected.

Communication strategies continue to evolve. Consumers resent stuffy, obvious marketing that push products and services at them. They want brands they can relate to and trust—brands that act like their friends. According to research, 92% of online consumers use emojis on a daily basis, so maybe your brand should too. Here are three benefits emojis can bring to your marketing campaigns.


1. Emojis Boost Customer Engagement

At the most basic level, emojis are just fun. People love to interact with and express themselves using emojis. In the marketing world, there’s no easier way to increase your customer engagement than by throwing in a few emojis. Just look at these stats:

No matter where you put them, people are more likely to engage with your marketing if emojis are included. You can use them in social media, email marketing, SMS, chatbots, or anywhere else you want to engage with potential customers.


2. Emojis Convey Ideas that Words Can’t

Emojis are great at conveying ideas that words can’t.

Which sounds more sincere: “I can’t wait!” or “I can’t wait! 🤩" The words are identical, but the smiling, star-eyed emoji punctuates the excitement in a way words alone cannot express. It’s impossible to display that emotion using text alone.

Use emojis in your marketing to add that little extra oomph to persuade, excite, intrigue, or enforce your message’s true meaning.


3. Emojis Add Personality

Consumers love brands that show off their fun side. Emojis are a great way to inject some personality into your messaging. Not only are emojis cute and entertaining, but they add a splash of color to your otherwise black-and-white text-based marketing.

With emojis, your brand will stand out both visually and emotionally, which helps you connect with customers.



When should emojis be used - marketing best practices - large emoji face over background of digital marketing tool logos

When to Use Emojis

Like many “hip” modern trends, there’s a right way and a wrong way to use emojis. If you use them incorrectly, it could make your brand look like it’s trying too hard.

Here are three of the “right” ways to use emojis in your marketing.


1. Social Media Posts

Social media and emojis are like macaroni and cheese; they’re meant to be together. It’s easy—and effective—to toss a few emojis into any type of social media post. It’s also not a bad idea to encourage your followers to use them too. That’s key to fostering more engagement.

Here are some social media emoji best practices to drive engagement:

  • Use emojis in your posts. This one is obvious, and it’s a good idea.
  • Ask your followers to respond using emojis right in the post. For example, “Comment 👍 if you agree!”
  • See if your audience can describe something using just emojis. Or you can create a little emoji story of your own and see if your audience can decode it, like 🏠🍬🏠 (home sweet home).

All of these are fun ways to engage with your audience—with very little effort on your part.


2. Emails

Most marketing emails are left unopened. What if there were an easy way to boost open rates? That’s where emojis come in!

Using emojis in email subject lines have been shown to boost open rates in about 60% of campaigns, usually by about 25%. While they might be a powerful tool, use them carefully. If you use too many, or the emojis aren’t in line with your brand, it could actually hurt your open rates.

If you use emojis in emails, make sure they’re appropriate. Think about your audience, use them sparingly, and make sure they’re related to your email and brand’s message.


3. Customer Service

Since emojis have been shown to increase engagement, customer service seems like a logical place for them. Positive customer service is essential for any business. It’s what helps keep customers around and encourages them to talk about your business, what they think of it, and what you could improve upon.

Emojis can help you engage with customers on a one-on-one basis, especially in chats or emails. Using a simple smiley face or a surprised face can show that you’re emotionally invested in the conversation and what they have to say.

Even showing concern for a problem is better with an emoji. For example, if a customer sends a complaint to your online chat, which sounds more concerned: “Oh no” or “Oh no 😲”? Emojis can create stronger connections with your customers.


A Word of Warning: Know Your Audience

The key to knowing when emojis are appropriate is to understand your audience and your message. For example, if you’re a law firm that works with car accident victims, using the 🚗 emoji in your messages is in bad taste. It might seem like you’re making light of their serious situation. It’s not the right audience or message; stick with text.

If you’re a shoe retailer with a killer deal on new athletic shoes, a few “👟👟👟” wouldn’t hurt. Your customers are athletic, energetic people, and the emoji is consistent with the message. Let it rip!



Use Emojis to Supercharge Your Marketing

Emojis are a powerful marketing tool in the right context. They can increase customer engagement and add some personality to otherwise boring text. If you want an easy way to inject a dash of excitement into your marketing strategy, emojis are hard to beat 💪!


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