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Should you add symbols to subject lines? If so, how?

Examples of email marketing techniques from other agencies and businesses

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approached this year, my inbox was full of emails with subject lines which included symbols.

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These symbols, or emojis, add spice to a subject line and, according to many studies, increase open and response rates. This blog post cites a few studies that report improved open rates for emails with symbols in the subject line.

Caution

Before you load you subject lines with symbols, however, consider some risks. Not all email clients will display symbols properly. We ran some tests and confirmed that Outlook 2003 does not display subject line symbols at all, and some mobile devices (including the iPhone and iPad) may replace selected symbols with a word, such as “emoji.”

Our Recommendation

Give it a try. Test your emails with and without subject line symbols and see if you have positive results with symbols. Start by sending yourself the emails and see if they display properly. Test them in as many email clients as you can. If you proceed with an email campaign, split test with and without symbols and see if you get better open- and click-rates with the symbols.

While we have advised caution above, we also know that Outlook 2003 is more  than 12 years old. We think the benefits ogf better response rates can outweigh the risk that a small percentage of your recipients won’t see the symbols properly.

A Simple Way to Add Symbols

We found a great website — Facebook Symbols — that offers a huge library of emojis for free. Here’s how to add a symbol to your subject line:

  1. Go to the site.
  2. Browse until you find the symbol you want (symbols are organized by categories).
  3. Click on the symbol. A message will pop up that says, “Copied. Now paste anywhere.”
  4. Paste the symbol in the subject line.

This works in MarketVolt and in most other software you might use to create an email.

 

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