Can using emojis boost your engagement rates?
To use emojis or not to use emojis - that is the question.
The debate rages on as to whether emojis should have a place in today’s professional communications.
Almost half of young adults aged between 18 and 29 believe that it’s acceptable to use emojis in emails and other communications. Yet, before your rush back to your workstation and start peppering your emails with smileys and tears of joy, 39% of senior managers still see emoji use in the workplace as unprofessional.
In recent years, the number of emojis leaping out at me from my inbox has definitely declined, but there are still some brands happily slapping emojis across their subject lines. So, what is it with emojis? How did they win us all over so quickly and why do we swap out the safety of traditional words for these easier, smoother, Sean Connery-esque alternatives?
Why use emojis anyway?
Emojis are simple pictures and, in a world where a picture’s worth a thousand words, why wouldn’t Emojis be beneficial?
The brain processes emojis as non-verbal information, interpreting them as emotional communications. This means they can be processed faster than words; in as little as 13 milliseconds, according to one MIT study.
In addition to this, around 70% of people believe that emojis express their feelings better than words. And with more than 3019 emojis in the further 217 emojis set for launch in 2021.
This could explain why 10 billion emojis are used every single day.
However, 900 million of these are sent through Facebook Messsenger, so should emojis be confined to social media?
The benefits of using emojis in the workplace
Everyone likes to make friends and influence people at work and with around half of young professionals perceiving emoji-users as more fun, approachable and kinder than colleagues who choose to stick to words, maybe this alone is a good reason to use emojis in your emails. The Adobe Trend Report 2019 found that 78% of people felt emoji use makes you more likeable, whilst 63% say that emoji use increases your credibility.
The benefits don’t end there. According to Larry Kim, emojis used in a Tweet can boost engagement by 25.4%. And if you consider the sometimes rather restrictive (said like a true writer) word limit, the benefits that Emoji use brings to tweets is profound. In Facebook, with it’s more generous word allowances, emojis still play their part with reports of increasing engagement by 57%.
Then there’s email. The age-old quest to boost opens and click throughs in nurture email campaigns and lead generation emails continues, and it’s here that emojis could really bring something to the party. Research conducted by Brandwatch has found that emoji use in a subject line of an email increases the open rate by 29%. Even more interestingly, the use of emojis in a subject line increases click through by 28%.
A word of warning
However, before you dash off to reformat those emails, a word of warning. There are still some critics out there who believe that businesses are overdoing emoji use.
If you are going to use emojis in your marketing make sure:
- They fit your brand – In the same way that you need to be aware of the tone of voice that your business uses, you need to ensure that any emoji use is on brand. Taking a premium prestige brand such as Waitrose or Jaguar and using acronyms such as JK, or Lol, or throwing in words like ‘awesome’, would make readers doubt the authenticity of the communication.
- You choose the right emoji – failing on this one could be a faux pas that’s tough to live down. Check out the emojipedia to avoid any drama.
- That you consider your customer – If your business’s target consumer is 50+, using emojis is only likely to make you appear unprofessional in their eyes. However, if you’re a fun and dynamic brand with a target consumer in their mid-twenties, emojis are much more likely to increases your open rates and drive up your engagement.