Emojis in Email Subject Lines {Surprising Results)

Ever wonder how to get that cool emoji in the subject line of an email? Well, we here at the Marketing Meathead team have you covered.

Step #1 Find the exact emoji you want by CLICKING HERE 

Step #2 Head over to Cylog and paste it to get the code the submit.

Step #3 Paste the code in your email subject line, depending on your email service provider. We like the Active Campaign ESP.

Now let’s talk about some results of putting emojis in the subject lines.

Here is the full article from Search Engine Journal referenced in this article blog and the video:

“Well, actually, there’s little evidence to support the claim that emojis increase open rate. ”

“More importantly, emails without emojis were considered to have more value.”

Here is the test sample: 3,893,391 emails measured from 17 email campaigns.

Every email was A/B tested, most (but not all) with three variations:

  1. Emoji at the front of the subject line
  2. Emoji at the end of the subject line
  3. No Emoji in the subject line

The Open Rates: ?

The comparison of wins for emoji versus non-emoji returned the answer that subject lines without an emoji had a higher open rate at 52.94% to 47.06%.

That said, what constitutes a win for each campaign was often marginal.

The CTR or Click Through Rate ?

Click-through results showed that when users did open the emails, there was a higher click-through rate for the emails that had an emoji in the subject line.

The campaigns that had a higher CTR was 64.71%.

Eleven out of fifteen campaigns had a higher click-through rate (two voided because they had equal CTRs).

These results could indicate that more users are adept and familiar with using emojis in the SEJ niche.


SEJ found the CTR surprising – this result was the strongest out of all the testing.

For unsubscribes, the results showed 70.59% compared to 29.41% in favor of the non-emoji emails.

The second surprise result.

These numbers indicated that emails with emojis in the headline had a higher unsubscribe rate.

Abuse Complaints

Abuse reports are the worst thing to happen to any email to many of these will give you a black eye when sending and with you ESP.

Emails with emojis in the subject line showed more abuse complaints, in 7 out of 10 campaigns having more abuse reports than non-emojis.

The Final Word

Thank you, SEJ, for a great and useful case study.

The main point here is you will have to test for your niche.

If you are in the financial or pain niche, then emojis might be a bit “childish.” If you are in a more creative niche like organic gardening or art, emojis might strike a chord with your avatar.

You will have to test, test, test.

Please like and share this blog post. ?

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