Where Words Fail, Emojis Speak: How to Use Special Characters in Your Email Marketing
By Kristen Dunleavy March 5, 2015
Emails with special characters aren’t just a blast to write, they could potentially help your emails get more opens and clicks – if you’re using them correctly.
Emails with special characters aren’t just a blast to ✎ write, they could potentially help your emails get more opens and clicks – if you’re using them correctly. We wanted to give you a few ☞ pointers on how to use them to your best advantage.
Not All Special Characters Are Created Equally ☹
Unicode characters are special characters and symbols that allow you to write in different languages. They also let you create symbols beyond your standard exclamation points and asterisks – think hearts, stars, diamonds – everything you can find in a box of Lucky Charms and more. ♡ ★ ♢ ®
Emoticons (or emojis), those colorful little icons depicting everything from kissy faces to sushi, are the next level of special characters.
It’s important to note the difference between the two, because not all browsers and email providers support both. For example, certain versions of Chrome don’t support emojis, but they do support other unicode characters, like the stars you see in the example below.
Pro-tip: Get the lowdown on which systems support emojis here.
Some email providers don’t support any special characters at all. If you send an email containing special characters in the subject line, this is what they might see:
One day, we will live in a world where all unicode characters are supported equally. Until then, just stay on top of which types of technology your subscribers are using.
Pro-tip: Do an A/B split test to see which types of special characters (regular unicode vs. emoticons) have a bigger impact on your open rates.
Now let’s have some fun with special characters.
How to Use Special Characters in Your Emails
Grab Attention for Last-Minute Deals
Special characters stand out amid a sea of boring subject lines. If you’re sending a time-sensitive email, special characters in your subject line will naturally draw your subscribers’ eyes and create a sense of urgency. Note that in the example below, the special character heart doesn’t replace any text – so even if the message didn’t display properly, the subscriber would still understand the subject line.
Pro-tip: Use special characters sparingly – too many could cause subscribers to tune you out!
Show Off Your Personality
Have you ever heard the quote, “Where words fail, emojis speak?” This applies to all special characters. Your brand isn’t a machine and you aren’t a robot. Special characters in the body of your email add personality and can make your brand more approachable.
Pro-tip: Don’t just lean on special characters to tell your story. You still need top-notch content!
Create More Visual Emails
Since 90 percent of the information transmitted to your brain is visual, it’s natural that emails with images receive better engagement. Emails with special characters can satisfy that need for visual stimulation – and they’re fun! Use them to enhance your existing content.
Pro-tip: Test every email you send with special characters to make sure your subscribers can see them.
Oh, did we mention that it’s super important to test each and every email you send that includes special characters? Just wanted to make sure. 😀
Special characters are still new to the email game, so it’s hard to say how they’ll affect your email marketing in the long-run. One thing’s for sure: We ❤︎ them!