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Get Personal: Marketing with Emojis 🤗

A couple of months ago I posted an Infographic about improving your email marketing strategy. Point #2 on this list is “Get Personal” and it is worth noting one very important aspect of email personalization that I skipped in that list: using emojis.

Reports from 2016 indicate that the use of emojis in marketing messages has increased 775% year over year.  😮 That is an incredible growth rate. And marketing experts all seem to agree that emoji use is likely to continue rising.

Did you know that Tuesday, July 17th is 🎉  World Emoji Day? 🎉

Yeah, I didn’t either. 😐

But it’s pretty cool, as we’ll all take a moment to appreciate everything the emoji has done to support and expand our ability to communicate. Sponsored by Emojipedia, World Emoji Day is a great excuse to stop and think about how you can utilize emojis to boost your author brand and book marketing efforts.

Personalization First 🎯

The most important aspect of any marketing campaign is personalization. Technology has evolved to a point where it’s easy collect user information and use it to personalize content automatically. Gathering data that allows for personalization happens, regardless of whether or not you use this data.

According to Marketo, personalization in email increases open rates by 26% alone. Add 1 extra open out of every 4 emails sends simply by adding personalization? You’d be a little crazy not to do this. 🙃

Another method to employ is “segmentation.” Segmenting your email list will allow you to create different messages for different types of users. For example, if you recently collected email contacts at a conference, you don’t want your first email sent to them to be exactly the same as the email you’d send to people who signed up for your mailing list on your website. Segmenting lets you tailor the messaging and content to speak to specific groups of subscribers. Use the conference to create a personal connection with them.

Segmentation and personalization is not just a good idea, but it can deliver 5-8 times the ROI on spending and 6 times higher transaction rates over generic emails. Sending an email with relevant content to a smaller, yet highly engaged list will boost performance.

Pro Tip: 💥 Don’t batch & blast! 💥

Personalization is very clearly the direction marketing campaigns and website design is heading. Don’t get left behind the times by sticking with antiquated strategies.

Instead, keep up the pace by utilizing personalization to make your emails and social marketing friendlier and inviting. Specifically, let’s look a little closer at how emojis can leverage that personalization to make you stand out even more.

Why Emoji Marketing? 🙈🙉🙊🐵

Well, that 775% statistic shows that the use of emojis has increased massively over a long period. Marketing professionals wouldn’t keep doing something if it didn’t increase their sales and engagement. So they must be working.

In fact, Phrasee performed a controlled study recently and discovered that emojis helped with email open rates 60% of the time. Imagine doing something as simple as adding an emoji to your subject line to improve the open rates on 6 out of every 10 emails. That’s huge!

It boils down to two important points:

  1. Adding emojis is relatively simple and requires little effort
  2. The return on the effort can be huge, especially over time

Here’s a quick list of the most popular and effective emojis

How to Emoji Like a Pro 💼

To celebrate World Emoji Day and continue helping you step up your marketing game, let’s touch on the basics for using emoji marketing to enhance the personalization of your emails and social posts.

Mailchimp chart of the top emojis in 2017
Image courtesy of Mailchimp
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Emoji marketing in Emails 📧

The first and most promising location for your emojis will be the subject line of your emails. Why? Simply put, the 40-50 characters you use for subject lines may be the most important words to your commercial success.

Don’t take this the wrong way. I know as an author you’ve spent countless hours agonizing over words in your book. And you likely know that the most important line in that book will be the first one. It has to hook the reader and suck them into the story so they want to read the rest. Right?

Well your subject line is the same deal for your marketing campaign. Email is the most effective and widely used means of reaching people and if you’ve taken the time to build a large email list; you want to make certain you pitch to them with your best content.

Emojis are perfect here because they can effectively represent an entire word or phrase with a single character. More than that, they convey feelings and emotions through a simple icon. Adding an emoji to the beginning or end of your subject line spices up the content, emphasizes your messages, and makes the email stand out from all the rest cluttering your reader’s inbox.


Pro tip:  You can also add emojis in the teaser!

You might have even noticed Lulu is in on the emoji+subject line game.

Pro tip: Be careful not to add too many emojis in your emails, as they most likely will get flagged as spam. Just take a look in your spam folder…you’ll see exactly what we mean.

If you want to learn more check out Email on Acid’s list of 5 Emoji Best Practices:

  1. Does the emoji make sense and will my subscribers understand the content?
  2. Are enough of my subscribers on devices or systems that support emojis?
  3. Am I starting with a good subject line?
  4. Am I testing the use of emojis and how they affect my email performance?
  5. Does my subject line make sense if the emojis don’t display?

Before you start slamming emojis into your email subject lines, be sure you can answer YES to all five of these questions.

Emoji Marketing in Social Media 📱

Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, LinkedIn…if all your social media platforms are making your head spin 🤢, know that it’s not just you. Maintaining and growing a Social Media presence is a lot of hard work.

Emojis can help make it a little easier. Use them in much the same way you would for an email subject line: add the emoji to emphasize a specific piece of text and draw your follower’s eye to that text. And just like using emojis in subject lines, you’ll want to employ them sparingly in your social media. Don’t try to force one into a post if it doesn’t fit.

As a general rule, Instagram is the platform most friendly to using emojis, as it is already a visually focused social media tool and you don’t have to worry too much about character count in your caption. Platforms like LinkedIn, that focus on professional development are probably not the best place to use emojis.

Emojis Everywhere 🌎

Your email subject lines are the best place to start learning how to utilize emojis, but where else should you be adding them?

The short answer is: very few places.

That’s because emojis cannot replace your written or visual content. Consider this finding from Phrasee’s study:

“It is important to note that what emojis really do is amplify a subject line’s message. Incorporating an emoji will make a bad subject line worse, and a good subject line better.”

Take that message and apply it to emojis everywhere. In general, you should think carefully about how you’ll place your emojis, always looking for ways to use emojis with these best practices in mind:

  1. Keep the emoji in context 🦑
  2. Use the emoji to express a relevant emotion 😰
  3. The emoji should emphasize text that prompts a reaction 👍

While you’re celebrating the awesomeness of emojis, think about how you can use them in your own work to grab attention, increase engagement, and make your readers smile.

Tweet us with your favorite emojis for promoting your book! 📚 Or just the emojis you like best 💯 

Paul H, Content Marketing Manager
Paul H

Paul is the Content Marketing Manager at Lulu. When he's not entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person but considers himself cat tolerant.

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