Every little thing You Must Know About Emojis in Your Topic Line

Should you use emojis in your subject line? How do you know? Get answers to these questions along with best practices for using emojis in subject lines.

Emojis are such a common part of our digital life that it is hard to believe that I used to have to say that I am happy, sad or angry – with words 😳.

Nowadays, in text and social media, it’s common to just give a thumbs up 👍 and people will understand what I’m saying.

But what are the effects of using emojis in the subject line of an email? I see it every day – more and more companies are using emojis. Just check out these examples from my inbox on Tuesday.

Email assortment with emojis

So let’s dive deeper into the world of emojis in subject lines.

Should you use emojis in your email subject lines?

We wanted to find out. That’s why we analyzed 1,000 emails from 100 of today’s top marketers. The result: 6.9% of the subject lines contained emojis.

While that’s only a small percentage, according to Mark Asquith, using emojis could increase your open rates (Asquith was also one of the top 100 marketers whose emails we included in our research.)

“A well-placed smiley, timer, or contextual emoji, used with a well-thought-out subject line, will really make your message stand out in the busy inbox,” said Mark Asquith, marketer and founder of Rebel Base Media. who often uses emojis in his own subject lines.

Emoji in the subject line

When it comes to your own subject lines, our advice is: test, test, test.

Set up an A / B test of two emails – one that uses an emoji in the subject line and one that doesn’t – and see which version your subscribers prefer. This can help you optimize your open rates in the future.

Can emojis increase open rates?

The truth is – it depends. I know this is not the answer you were looking for. You love these cute smileys and wanted to put them all over your subject lines. But it is true.

When emojis first appeared in subject lines, they caught your attention. But they are so common today that they have lost their effect. That’s not to say that an emoji won’t increase your open rate. But as mentioned earlier, the only way you will know for sure is to test.

Best practices for using emojis

When it comes to using emojis, there are a few best practices that you should follow.

Understand your audience

A big factor in whether or not you should use emojis is your audience.

Emojis are not for everyone. Don’t assume that because you like emojis, your customers will appreciate it.

Keep the emojis relevant

Use emojis that are relevant to your subject line.

See how Paramount + uses a screaming cat emoji to improve the subject line and talk about what scary shows to watch in October.

Paramount + email subject line with a creepy cat emoji

Personalization Mall is another company that uses a Santa Claus emoji in its subject line for an ornament and hosiery sale.

Personalized mall email subject line with a Santa Claus emoji

Both are seasonal and relevant to the news.

Never replace words with emojis

Emojis are fun and can grab people’s attention, but you should never replace words with these cute little symbols. Your subject line must make it clear what the body of your email is about. Don’t lose anything in the translation by replacing a word with something not everyone understands.

Also, not all inboxes will display emojis, so the subject line will have to speak for itself without the emoji in case it doesn’t render.

Emoji placement

Add an emoji before or after the subject line to expand the subject. You shouldn’t put an emoji in the middle.

For example, “🛍 Black Friday shopping starts today!” Instead of “Black Friday 🛍 starts today!”

Here is an email I received from Domino’s Pizza that they didn’t use a word. They tell me what they want to say here. Should I open this email? Is there a relevant offer for me that I should be informed about? Needless to say, I didn’t order a pizza that night.

Subject line of Dominos Pizza with all emojis


Put a space between and copy your subject line. Otherwise, there is a risk that the emoji could easily overlap with the message.

Our friend Mark Asquith learned the hard way with this subject line.

Email subject line with overlapping emoji text

Don’t use emojis too often

If emojis aren’t part of your brand personality, and you know that using an emoji will always have higher open rates, then don’t use them too often.

Oh dominoes pizza

Domino's Pizza email subject line with all emojis

Here’s a quick way to add emojis to your email subject line

Get your party emoji 🎉 ready because once you figure out how easy it is to add emojis to your email subject lines, you’ll be popping a bottle of champagne.

You’ll soon be adding your favorite little hearts 💚, smileys 😆 and clapping hands 👏🏽 to your subject lines with one click!

Step 1:

Open your draft email in your AWeber account.

Step 2:

Go to the subject field in the top left of the drag and drop editor and tap the white smiley face inside. (It turns yellow.) An emoji keyboard appears.

Step 3:

Click an emoji to add it to your subject line.

GIF that shows how to add emojis to the subject line in an AWeber account

That’s it! It’s that simple. You can even use the keyboard to copy and paste emojis and paste them into your copy of email.

Pro tips for using the emoji keyboard in AWeber

  • The recently used emojis are saved at the top of the window.
  • Scroll through the emoji categories at the top of the keyboard. (Categories: Smileys and People, Animals and Nature, Food and Drink, Activity, Travel and Places, Objects, Symbols and Flags.)
  • Use the magnifying glass to easily search for emojis instead of scrolling through them all.
  • Hover your mouse over an emoji to zoom in and read its description.
  • Change the skin tone in the People emoji category by clicking the small dot in the lower right corner of the keyboard. A horizontal bar will appear with various color options. Select one to apply automatically.

Articles by Jill Fanslau

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