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Should You Incorporate Emojis in Your Text Message Marketing?

December 22, 2015 12:00 am by

Emojis have become so common that the Oxford Dictionary recently named an emoji (Face with Tears of Joy) as the official word of 2015. The designation of a symbol rather than an actual word in this category by one of the most highly regarded dictionaries represents a resurgence of the importance of visual communication. As this type of communication becomes standard practice by consumers, especially with text messaging, it begs the question as to whether or not emojis should be used in professional text messages from businesses.

What are Emojis?

Emojis can add some fun to your messages and impart a certain emotion.

For those who are not familiar with emojis, they are small cartoons used to convey an emotion or message as a shorthanded way to communicate something. As opposed to emoticons, which use punctuation and other text to convey emotion, emojis use pictures and are governed by the Unicode Consortium. They have become increasingly popular to use in social media and text messaging, especially as they help to convey emotions that may be more difficult to do through words. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

When to Use Emojis

Emojis impart a sense of fun, so they should only be used in messages with a humorous or lighthearted tone. Any time you use an emoji, it should be relevant to your message. If you plan to include some, then focus on one or two, unless they are part of a larger picture. Brands whose target audiences are Generation Z or young Millennials probably benefit the most from the inclusion of these symbols. They work the best when used in an interactive way. For example, you could send out an emoji-coded message and ask people to solve it as part of a contest.

When to Avoid Emojis

If your brand sends mainly serious messages or uses a more professional tone, then incorporating emojis could backfire. Emojis do not work well with messages that have a serious tone. It is also harmful to use an emoji as a keyword. Not everyone has an emoji keyboard, so potential customers may not be able to opt-in to your campaign. Some users may also not be aware of the emoji and become confused as to what to text. Your text message marketing service may also not be able to incorporate emojis.

Other Considerations

Not everyone has a phone compatible with emojis.

One important consideration when choosing whether or not to incorporate emojis is your demographic. If you mainly focus on business to business relations or your target audience is business professionals, then it may not be the right choice to use emojis in your messages. Your audience will expect a higher level of professionalism out of your communications, making emojis seem out of place in your messages. Additionally, when you use emojis, they may not show up on everyone’s phone the same way. This is especially true for those who do not have smartphones or other phones with emoji keyboards.

Occasionally incorporating emojis in your messages for a bit of fun may be a good idea for your company, or it could end up hurting your hard-won efforts. If you plan to use them, start slow with one or two emojis sent to a targeted test audience and review the results before launching a full-scale campaign. Additionally, it is best to use emojis occasionally, and make sure they fit the tone of your messages. If you are unsure whether or not adding emojis to your text communications would benefit your business, then it may be best to err on the side of caution.

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