4 Reasons to Use Emojis in eMail

UPDATE (01/22/2021): A friend just shared an article about NOT using emojis for professional / office email. After reading the article, I’d say know your audience. I agree I wouldn’t use emojis for the office, but I would use them for friends and for a lot of MPD emails (I would not use emojis for first contacts).

4 Reasons to Use Emojis in eMail

I hope this post encourages you to use emojis and gives you some helpful tips to engage people with your emails.

First, a little history about emoticons and emojis. Emoticons came first (1982). If you type a colon and a parenthesis, you’ve made an emoticon, using your keyboard. Emojis are small graphic images. Emojis started in Japan in 1999. Emojis spread on to different platforms and around the world in the early 2000s. “”Emoji” in Japanese means “a picture character.”

Now, here are four reasons to use Emojis and some how-to’s.

Emojis Bring a Personal Touch

We react to emojis like we would to a real face. A scientific study showed an emoji or emoticon of a face (when right-side-up) activates the same areas of the brain that a real face does. Choose an emotional emoji wisely. Make sure your emoji is relevant to who you are.


I use Emojipedia to find them. When you do a search for the emoji you’re looking for, you’ll see all the varied appearances of it. That is, your smiling-face-with-heart-eyes emoji which you sent from your iPhone will display differently for your friend on their Samsung. Emojipedia shows the look of your emoji on all the platforms, including social media.


You may want to add a personal touch with emojis of planes, penguins, or pumpkin pie. Copy the code from Emojipedia and paste into:

  • email subject lines,
  • the body of the email,
  • social media posts, and
  • MailChimp subject lines and pre-headers.

An email I received at Christmas used emojis in the body of the email, one with each of two headings. It was enough to catch my eye and provide a little decoration.


Have you ever received a message written only with a string of emojis? It can be a fun laugh to share with family and friends, but others may not be able to decipher the message.

Emojis Increase Open and Click-Through Rates

Other research also shows emojis can increase the open and click-through rates for emails. (A click-through rate is the ratio of people who click on a link to the total number of people who view the email.)

Use one emoji relative to the content. Too many emojis can annoy a reader or even mark your email as spam.

Stand Out from Other eMails


Use one emoji to attract attention to your subject line or pre-header. (A pre-header is a peek into the content of an email. MailChimp and other marketing email providers use these teasers to encourage people to read the email.)


I don’t recommend you use an emoji to shorten a subject line.

It’s tempting to replace a word with an emoji so your subject line is short enough to view on a phone, but it might not display at all. You don’t know how an email carrier or a phone will display your emoji.

Since 41.9% of emails are read on phones, a mobile-friendly email subject line will help. Make your first two words the most important. All other words  and the emoji come after. Put the emoji at the end or next to a word it illustrates.

What about Fun and Creativity?

The fourth reason? Maybe it’s just fun to be creative and playful with your email.


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