4 Reasons You Should Use Emojis in Mobile Marketing

By: Samantha Bedford

Emojis? *gasp!* How could that even be a suggestion? They’re so informal and txt language-esque–a marketing taboo that shouldn’t be broken. But who wrote that rule into the handy marketing handbook? Wait, you didn’t receive the manual either? Oh, that’s because it doesn’t exist. Mobile marketing is what works best or you and your target audience, and not what “industry experts” assert.

Reasons You Should Use Emojis in Mobile Marketing

There is no overall high council sitting in some nebulous part of the search marketing world, dictating what is and is not acceptable in mobile campaigns. So, emojis are not as much a social taboo as they appear on the surface. In reality, quite the opposite is true. Here are 4 reasons you should consider using emojis in your mobile marketing campaigns.

1) They Increase Engagement

Push notifications and emojis go hand-in-hand. In fact, in an analysis by Leanplum, push notifications with emojis saw an 85% higher open rate than those sent without the use of emojis. Emojis feel more friendly than just a block of text. Interestingly enough, though, this same report noted a difference between Android and iOS users. Android users open push notifications with emojis 135% more than messages without them, while iOS users only open them 50% more often. While there isn’t currently data to explain this disparity, emojis clearly induce more engagement.

2) Brand Loyalty Skyrockets

Thanks to emojis, more people open push notifications and engage with the content. The same can be said with other facets of mobile marketing. Emails certainly benefit from the use of emojis, as well! As you begin to capture users more frequently, and encourage them to engage with content, or click a call-to-action, your company comes to mind when thinking about your niche, product, or service. A great example of brand loyalty is with facial tissue. Many people refer to it as “Kleenex”, rather than “tissue”. Along the same lines, position yourself in such a way that your brand comes top-of-mind.

Emojis make people feel as if they’re conversing with a friend, instead of a company. Capitalizing on this thought process is easy–what emojis would you include if you texted a friend? Adding emojis randomly to a message isn’t a smart strategy; I’m looking at you, dads. Pants and a horse had nothing to do with the fact you wanted your kid to take chicken out of the freezer. Instead, select relevant emojis to your message. Any variation of hearts are a great choice, or find something specific to the content itself. Take a look at Staples’s push notification below:

emojis in mobile marketing

They did a great job of keeping it short, sweet, to the point, and added some emojis to boot. It’s important to keep the number of emojis to no more than three per-message. More than that, and it comes across as excessive and over-the-top. Creativity is key to build that brand loyalty.

3) Conversions Increase

When building brand loyalty, you’ll see a spike in conversions. Users engage at a significantly higher rate with the use of emojis, which leads to a natural increase in the number of conversions your brand receives. People have confidence in you as a brand, and complete more actions on your website or app. So, by setting up an effective funnel to complete a given goal, more customers will follow that path.

Deploying a targeted mobile marketing strategy in tandem with the use of relevant emojis is an effective route. In fact according to Leanplum, emojis in push notifications spurred a nine percent increase in clicks to a given call-to-action. This speaks to the fact that as a user feels more comfortable with a brand, in this case because of emojis, she is more prone to completing a given action on a website.

4) App User Retention

User retention rates are a real, persistent issue in the world of mobile apps. Developers understand that users engage with the app initially, but their use of the app quickly diminishes thereafter. Finding a way to put a stopper in this ever-present issue is of the utmost importance. Emojis, however, are the answer to this app use blackhole. Leanplum noted a 28% increase in the number of day two users with the use of emojis in push notifications. This allows mobile brands to constantly update and adapt to new marketing ideas, and retain users for a longer period of time.

So what does this mean for mobile marketing strategies?

The evidence is straightforward about the use of emojis in mobile marketing. Finding a targeted strategy that works for your users is absolutely key. Remember, people like emojis because they feel familiar and less intrusive. But it’s also important to be cognizant of the fact that too many emojis is downright annoying. Take, for example, a press release from Chevy that flopped.

emojis in digital marketing

Sure, it was a cool concept in that nobody else had ever done it….but there’s good reason for that. It’s too much. It’s pretty obnoxious, when it comes down to it. They released a “decoder” shortly thereafter, but also asked people to attempt to figure it out on their own. In the end, it didn’t receive the fanfare and excitement the PR team must’ve anticipated. It’s apparent, though, why it didn’t make a big splash.

As has been mentioned multiple times, people want emojis their friends would send–not kitschy, gaudy, unnecessary amounts of emojis. Three should be the maximum. People don’t like to be confused about the message. They want a clear idea of what you’re trying to say. Of course, Chevy’s press release is a bit different, in that it’s traditional marketing, as opposed to mobile marketing, but the same concepts still apply. Emojis can be powerful regardless of the medium.

Conclusion

Determine the emojis that fit best with your mobile strategy. Test out various emojis to see which resonate the most with your audience. Connecting with them is of the utmost importance, so don’t just assume you can throw whichever emojis suit your fancy. Ensure that the ones you choose are relevant, and you don’t use too many of them. Emojis are the key to reviving apps, boosting engagement, and increasing overall mobile success–a marketing taboo no more!

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