National Emoji Day is this month, on July 17th. Emojis have an interesting history, dating back to 1990s chat rooms. By 1999, the characters put together to express emotions in a chat room were given a name. “Emoji” comes from the Japanese words for “picture” and “letter” – only coincidentally sounding like the word “emotion.”  More than 20 years later, emojis have only taken a firmer hold. There are approximately 3400 emojis in use today and it’s hard to imagine a society without them.

At 3 Steps to Start Up, one of our “three steps” for supporting innovators in West Virginia is entrepreneur education. Reflecting on National Emoji Day makes us think about the importance of effective communication when it comes to entrepreneurship. Emojis provide a valuable tool for communication. In written communication, they allow written communication to transcend words’ plain meaning. 

Using emojis in business settings has increased in acceptability over the years. Most people think that using emojis improves their communication in the workplace, but there are generational differences when it comes to the interpretation of certain emojis. For example, the most universally accepted emoji is the “thumbs-up” emoji, but older generations might disapprove of or even misinterpret more specific emojis. The “loudly crying” emoji conventionally means overwhelming sadness, but some in younger generations use it to convey something they find extremely amusing. 

As entrepreneurs, communication is everything. We want to be able to use the headline of a newsletter or email subject line to communicate more than just the plain meaning of words. After all, our efforts are fruitless if our targeted reader doesn’t read past the headline. There is some data that supports the idea that including an emoji in an email subject line increases open rates, but many question the appropriateness of using emojis in a business setting. 

This article stresses that while emojis are okay to use in business, you need to know your audience. This means that entrepreneurs should feel relatively secure that their use of emojis won’t be a turnoff.  Emojis inject playfulness and relatability into communication. Evaluate what you want your brand to convey – are you communicating directly with consumers? Or are you communicating with other businesses? If the latter, more formality might be called for.

The choices you make about inserting an emoji in a subject line are more nuanced than, “should I, or shouldn’t I?” When a good emoji is used, open rates for emails could increase more than 50%.  On the other hand, if you use the “wrong” emoji, your open rates could plummet. Because emojis enhance communication, extra care should be taken to ensure that you are giving plenty of extra thought toward what you are communicating and who you are communicating with. Below, see some emojis we consder helpful for use in email subject lines:

😃: the smiley emoji

The smiley face emoji is a classic, and it communicates happiness and excitement. This is a great way to preview good news or something to be excited about. 

👍: the thumbs up emoji

This is the most commonly acceptable emoji in business setting communication one-on-one. In a newsletter headline, it means “we approve, and you will too!” It communicates something positive happening.

👀: the eyes emoji

The eyes say “look at this! You’ll want to see what we’ve got to say.” 

⏰: the clock emoji

With the clock emoji, you tell your recipients that the clock is ticking. Something exciting is happening and they better make sure they don’t miss out! This is a good one for a marketing email, and if you are in retail, sending this indicates a time-sensitive sale.

💥: the explosion emoji

Another good emoji for marketing, this is an exciting emoji for communicating a blowout sale or something that is fleeting. The explosion emoji also tells readers to “look at this! Wow!”

👋: the hand waving emoji

Waving hand emojis can signal that you are saying “hi,” and is especially effective after some time away. This emoji is friendly and grabs attention. 

✅: the green check mark emoji

A green check mark shows that an item has been checked off a list. Having this in an email subject line indicates that the potential reader might be able to check something off their to-do list by reading the email, which would yield a positive response. 

🔓: the padlock emoji

An open padlock shows that you are “unlocking” something for the benefit of your recipient. Further, that “something” is valuable. The idea is that when the recipient opens the email, they are unlocking something important.

Emojis make your communication possibilities endless! For more entrepreneurial advice check out our other blogs. 3 Steps strives to provide the support needed to open West Virginia businesses and ensure their success! Our network of experience and expertise are resources we want to share with the statewide entrepreneurial community. Contact us today if you think you might want to take advantage 😊.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,