Your Guide to Using Symbols in Email Subject Lines
One of the best ways to stand out in the inbox of your email recipients is to use symbols or emoji in subject lines. Despite the widespread support to display these images/icons on most mobile devices these days, usage is still far from reaching critical mass.
Keep in mind that there are some email clients which don't actually support symbols in the subject line, but that's unlikely the reason that more marketers don't use them.
In fact, the only email clients where symbol entities don't appear (or at least not consistently) is Outlook 2003, Outlook.com and the built-in email client for the iPhone and iPad. These email clients will typically convert some these symbols into their own special emoji.
The reason most marketers don't use the many available symbols (see the list below) is that they tend to be fearful of the response of their recipients. Negative responses typically occur when these characters aren't supported by the email client - which results in recipients seeing an empty box character instead. The best way to approach a test of symbols in the subject line is to take a sample of the audience list and test different emoji/symbols to understand the impact of their inclusion.
Most email service providers include at least some basic icons for use in email subject lines although it may require looking around. If you're unable to find any at the ESP you currently use, there are several destinations on the Web which provide supported symbols which can be copied and pasted into the subject line field when creating messages.
One of the best places we've found at Website Magazine is fsymbols.com, a website which features hundreds of these special characters and enables visitors to copy and paste them. These symbols/emoticons can also be used on popular social networks - from Facebook to Twitter. A few of these symbols have been included below - feel free to copy and paste them into your next email message and let us know how it goes.
❤ ❥ 웃 유 ♋ ☮ ✌ ☏ ☢
☠ ✔ ☑ ♚ ▲ ♪ ✈ ⌚ ¿
♥ ❣ ♂ ♀ ☿ Ⓐ ✍ ✉ ☣
☤ ✘ ☒ ♛ ▼ ♫ ⌘ ⌛ ¡
♡ ღ ツ ☼ ☁ ❅ ♒ ✎ ©
® ™ Σ ✪ ✯ ☭ ➳ 卐 ✞
℃ ℉ ° ✿ ϟ ☃ ☂ ✄ ¢
€ £ ∞ ✫ ★ ½ ☯ ✡ ☪