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BizReport : Email Marketing : April 21, 2016

Research reveals the effect on Brits of crying emoji in email subject lines

How do you get British people to open an email? Use emoji and sarcasm, according to the latest findings of research by email provider Mailjet.

by Helen Leggatt

Earlier this year, Mailjet research told us that Brits are not put off by cheeky email subject lines. In fact, according to the email provider's research, including an old-fashioned or 'soft' swear word such as 'numpty' or 'Gordon Bennett' in an email's subject line actually increased open rates by as much as 28.6% (when compared with the average open rate of emails sent to the same distribution list without any swear words included).

Now, Mailjet has released more data that shows Brits are 63% more likely to open an email that has an emoji accompanying the subject line - and, if that emoji contradicts or corresponds with the tone of the email subject line to indicate sarcasm, open rates almost doubled. An example being the subject line "Do your emails look this good?" accompanied by the 'crying emoji' which increased open rates by a whopping 95%.

In fact, crying emojis were found to generate the best results. The 'face with tears of joy' emoji saw open rates of 41% and the 'loudly crying' emoji 39%.

"Sarcasm, the research shows, has been unlocked by the growing popularity of these expressive little icons," says Amir Jirbandey, UK marketing manager at Mailjet. "By choosing an emoji that contradicts or corresponds with the message a marketer is looking to deliver, marketers can deliver far greater clarity in their intent to help, entertain or relate with their target audience."

However, don't expect this tactic to work as well outside of the UK. In the US, the increase in open rates from emoji use was lower (43% increase) - and in the case of using soft swear words, open rates actually fell in the US. In France, use of emoji in subject lines caused a decrease of 11% in open rates. So emoji use should be carefully implemented and certainly not used in lists that contain recipients from multiple cultures.

Furthermore, if planning to use emoji in email campaigns, they should be tested to ensure they will render on platforms they will be viewed on.

Tags: email content, email marketing, emoji, research, subject lines

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