The emoji alphabet may be one of the world's fastest-growing 'languages', but new research shows that the messaging icons are swiftly becoming an important engagement tool for marketers.
Brits are 63 per cent more likely to open an email from a brand if it contains an emoji in the subject line, a figure which increased to 95 per cent when the choice of emoticon was juxtaposed with the content to indicate sarcasm.
The research was conducted by email marketing firm Mailjet, which used a segment of its mailbase to test the effect of the characters on 15,000 recipients.
The tears of joy emoji, which was named as Oxford Dictionaries' 'Word of the Year' for 2015, drove the most opens with a 41 per cent success rate, while including the crying emoji in a subject line delieved 39 per cent more opens.
Though Brits seem to have been won over by the emotional transparency the icons offer, other nationalities were a little more sceptical. For US customers, the open rate from emojis dropped to 43 per cent.
Amir Jirbandey, UK Marketing Manager at Mailjet comments: “Sarcasm, the research shows, has been unlocked by the growing popularity of these expressive little icons.
“But there are still a number of barriers to their use” he added, “not least of which are stark cultural differences when it comes to audience receptiveness, but also cross-platform compatibility. Marketers need to be aware of all the different platforms their email will be displayed on and test any icon they plan to use against these. Only when the icon is guaranteed to display correctly can a marketer expect it to add clarity and context to their copy.”