Over the last decade, how we communicate digitally with friends, family, colleagues, and customers has drastically changed. Before technology’s rise into every aspect of our lives, we sent messages (whether personal or professional) on paper or over the phone. Now, there’s an endless stream of information and communication right in the palm of our hands. We can send texts, emails, share videos, and post on social media instantaneously — and all of this content looks a lot different than it did a few years ago. 

There’s something to be said for emojis. While they may have started as humble emoticons, emojis are now a part of our day-to-day communication – whether we like it or not. Emojis have moved beyond the text bubbles of our phones and are now a part of the marketing and copywriting world. Here, we’ll discuss why 21st century marketers shouldn’t look past the power of emojis, and how these little symbols can make a large impact on campaign performance. How large? In some cases, we saw a 2X bump in CTR from marketing copy containing emojis.

Why Use Emojis in Your Marketing Copy?

Let’s talk about why we should consider using emojis in our copy in the first place. While emojis may seem trivial, they really can hold their own in a social post, ad, email subject line, and more.

Make It Relatable

People use emojis in their everyday lives, so when marketers and copywriters use emojis in their content, it feels pretty natural to their customers. Now, this doesn’t mean that every piece of marketing copy warrants the use of emojis. It’s up to your discretion (and our data that we’ll get into later) to decide whether or not you think your content would benefit from an emoji.

Break Up a Stream of Text

Whether you’re posting on Facebook or sending out a promotional email, it’s likely that your customers or audience come across a lot (and we mean a lot) of content in their daily lives. From scrolling on social media to checking personal and professional inboxes, content seems inescapable these days. So, what better way to stand out from the rest with playful, relevant emojis. 

Highlight Your Brand Voice

Using emojis in your content is just another way to let your specific brand voice and tone and style shine. These little symbols carry a lot of weight when it comes to showing off your company’s personality, and it humanizes your brand more than dry sales copy ever could. 

Emojis In Action: The Overall Verdict

Before we dive into specifics, we first need to dive into how emojis can affect marketing copy performance overall. When looking at Anyword’s vast dataset of ads, we typically see an average CTR of 5%. This number is across a wide range of topics, industries, and publishers. But when we exclude all ads that don’t include an emoji, we see nearly a 2X bump in CTR. But that’s not all. Copy containing emojis also had a 27% lower CPC than those without. 

Emojis + Age: Have Certain Audiences Aged Out of Emojis?

We’ve taken a broad look at how emojis can impact our core metrics. But now it’s time to make our approach a bit more granular. How do different demographics resonate with the use of emojis? Let’s analyze separate age groups to see how emojis impacted CTR.

First, we have those ages 18-24 (or, most of Gen Z). The baseline CTR is 3.3%. But if we look at only ads containing emojis? That percentage bumps up to 9.1%.

We would expect Gen Z to be the age group that would be most likely to use emojis in everyday communication (texting, commenting on social posts, or even slacking coworkers). So, this big increase in CTR isn’t all that surprising.

And moving up in age, let’s see how younger Millennials feel about emojis. This age group coasts at a CTR of 4.3%, but you add emojis into the mix, and this number more than doubles. This trend continues as we take a look at the other side of the Millennial demographic. Those ages 35-44 normally have a CTR of 4.9%, but you put emojis in the mix and this goes up to 9.2%.

But the biggest difference comes from the much younger demographic. Looking at the age 13-17, we see over a 6X increase in CTR just from including emojis in the copy.

So, even though emojis are typically associated with younger generations (teenagers and young adults), we saw an increase in CTR across the board for all of these age groups.

Emojis + Content Types: Context Matters

As we mentioned above, emojis won’t work for every single topic and product out there. Because they are playful in nature, emojis probably aren’t the best choice for companies, brands, publishers promoting more serious content or products. Because of this, topics such as news, business, finance, and technology tend to stick to straight-forward, informative, and direct copy. Using emojis could make it seem to their customers that they are making light of certain serious situations. So, instead of analyzing content that we know doesn’t naturally lend itself well to using emojis, we looked at topics that play well with them. Here, we pulled copy that fell under the following categories:

  • Fashion
  • Celebrities
  • Travel
  • Food
  • Movies

When taking a look at how these topics fare with emojis in the copy, we see an average CTR of 10.6%. Without emojis? This drops down to 4.4%.

Emojis + Emotions: The Bread and Butter for Strong Marketing Copy

We picked the following emotions: 

  • Curiosity
  • Attention
  • Desire
  • Excitement

Pooling copy with these emojis, we see an average CTR of 10% with emojis — without, this drops down to 4.2% for ads. And if we take a look at the difference between CPCs, the cost for ads with emojis was 23% lower than those without emojis.

Where To Use Emojis (And How to Effectively Use Them)

Paid Ads

When you’re looking to boost conversions, drive sales, or bring in more leads, emojis can be helpful for making your ads stand out among the rest. Your customer probably has a heavily-saturated feed with hundreds of promotional posts all saying similar things. By using emojis in your copy, you have a stronger chance of catching someone’s eye mid-scroll.

Email Subject Lines

Crafting an effective email subject line is one of the trickiest things for marketers to do (and do right). A lot of marketers have been using emojis as a way to have their promotional emails stand out in their customer’s inboxes. 

Social Posts

And of course, we use emojis frequently on social posts. Even if you aren’t promoting a paid ad social post, you can still throw in a relevant emoji (or two) to make your content more engaging and perfectly suited for whichever platform you are using.

Product Descriptions

If you’re in need of an Amazon or Walmart-style product description, emojis can actually work in your favor. Break up large pieces of text on your listing or landing page by putting a bulleted list (bullets being emojis) of your product/service’s main features and benefits. This makes it easy for your customers to understand quickly why they need your product in their lives, and it also just livens up your site.

Promotional Text Messages

While promotional texts might not be as popular as paid social ads or email marketing campaigns, they still have a purpose for many companies. And what better way to liven up your promotional texts than with emojis? Emojis were made for texting, so using them in this kind of campaign will feel natural to your customers. Plus, with texts, you have more room to use more than one emoji if you wish.

Now, How To Use Them The Right Way

The Emoji(s) Should Make Sense

It won’t do your content or your campaigns any good if you use emojis that don’t make sense in the context of your copy. The more specific and tailored your emojis are, the better effect they’ll have on your overall content performance.

Don’t Force It

Ever heard the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? The same goes for emojis in your marketing copy. If you feel in your gut that an emoji will only detract from your message, it’s best to leave it out. Yes, emojis make a strong impact on performance (as we’ve seen above), but only if they flow perfectly with your campaign.

Always Stick to Your Brand Messaging

Whether you decide to use emojis or not, it’s essential to always stay true to your brand’s core message and tone. If your brand has a more sophisticated tone and style, using a smiley or laughing emoji might not be the best choice. But never fear, there are plenty of options to choose from that would better align with your style.

Less Is More

You can accomplish more with one (maybe two) emojis than you can with five. For most channels and platforms, it’s best to limit your use of emojis. Your audience or customers likely won’t resonate with a post or product description that’s overrun with emojis — so be selective about the ones you do use.

Create a Custom Emoji

This approach is less universal, but certain social platforms allow brands and companies to create custom emojis for their promoted content and marketing campaigns. Take Twitter, for example. Twitter allows companies to use customized emojis at the end of hashtags for certain campaigns.

Let Anyword Do The Legwork For You ✍️

Sure, we can sit here and tell you to add emojis to all of your content, these little smiley faces and tiny images can only go so far. You need to have the quality copy to back them up.

Enter: Anyword.

Anyword’s AI Copywriting Platform leverages a unique data-driven approach to content creation. This top-tier AI writer allows its user to create a wide range of marketing copy across all needs and platforms. We’re talking ads, blog posts, landing pages, product descriptions, and more. But Anyword doesn’t just stop at the creation step. The tool also provides a Predictive Performance Score with each copy variation. These specific “grades” give you an idea of that text’s performance and conversion potential (before you even hit “Share”). This helps marketers and copywriters make better-informed decisions on their content, and ultimately leads to higher conversions, more sales, and better performance.

So, the next time you’re looking to see how you can use emojis to give your content a boost, turn to Anyword to do the heavy lifting for you. Create your social posts or ads on our AI copywriting platform, add in your chosen emoji (or sometimes, the tool will even generate one for you), and push out your content with confidence! Test the waters with a free, 7-day trial today. 😉