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Emojis in Subject Lines: How Some Brands are Standing Out

Posted on 12.30.2015

Emojis are taking over the way people communicate – so much so that Oxford Dictionaries named the “face with tears of joy” emoji its word of the year.

Emojis are popular for a variety of reasons. Not only do they give people a way to express emotion without words, but they also are somewhat of a universal language, as a smiley face represents happiness regardless of where you are from or what language you speak.

Because of the type of attention emojis can garner, many brands have started leveraging these pictographs in their marketing campaigns – most notably within the subject lines of emails. To get some inspiration for your next campaign, check out how brands are using emojis with the four examples featured below:


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1. To save space.

Space is one reason to use emojis in subject lines. As more consumers are opening emails on mobile devices, subject line length is more important than ever. After all, the space available on the screen of a smartphone is much smaller than that of a desktop. Take apparel retailer Toms’ holiday message as an example. Instead of typing the word “present” or “gift” the retailer shortens its subject line with an emoji.


2. Be Festive

Instead of replacing a word with an emoji, some marketers simply include emojis in subject lines to align with the season or a certain holiday. Ulta, for instance, included two snowflakes in its subject line alerting consumers of a 20 percent off coupon. The snowflakes are relevant to the winter season and add a bit of festiveness to an otherwise plain subject line.


3. Show Emotion

Since emojis are a universal language, it is easy for brands to set the tone of their email by adding an emoji to their subject line. Best Buy, for instance, starts its email campaign off on a cheerful note by beginning its subject line with a happy smiley face. This smiley face represents the emotion that consumers will have once they open the message and find out that they have been chosen for exclusive savings.


4.Grab Attention

Most emojis are going to grab attention because they are different than the typical all-text subject line. That said, the right emoji can make an email stand out even more. TeeFury, for example, leveraged two arrow emojis along with an all-capitalized subject line to alert consumers of its Black Friday sale. Doing so helped the retailer stand out in the very crowded inboxes the day after Thanksgiving.


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