Last week, business tech giant Salesforce announced support for emoji in its Pardot platform. You can now add the popular icons to subject lines and social postings within the marketing automation platform. According to Salesforce, the new functionality comes from customer demand as well as a growing sentiment that emoji are an effective way of engaging customers. We took a look at how to add emoji to Editors' Choice winner Pardot and explored some other examples of emoji being used in the business world. We also have some suggested dos and don'ts when it comes to business emoji use.
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Setup and Use
The emoji can be accessed by clicking on the Advanced Subject Composter. From there, you'll have access to any of the thousands of emoji in the UTF-8 standard that is also used in Salesforce's Chatter application. That's pretty much it.
This may not sound like much of an advancement, but emoji have become an important fixture not just in our personal lives but in business as well. If you've gotten any marketing emails recently, then you've probably noticed the little icons in your inbox, dotting all subject lines and messages. When we asked Salesforce for the inspiration behind this new feature, they said it was due to a couple of aspects.
"We continued to see requests for emoji support bubble up on our Idea Exchange, an online community that allows users to share their ideas and vote on others," said Nate Skinner, Salesforce's Vice President of Product Marketing for Pardot. "We ultimately want to help customers find more quality leads and drive engagement, and we found that emojis help by creating a more personalized experience."
Another reason Skinner gave us was found in "Emoji Use in Email Subject Lines," a guide created by email marketing research firm Return Path. The guide states that emoji, if used properly, can increase email open rates dramatically in email marketing campaigns. Essentially, the effective use of emoji is all about timeliness. For example, around Valentine's Day, the use of the "lips" emoji in email subject lines resulted in a read rate of 24 percent. That may not sound like much, but when you consider that text-only subject lines for the same holiday only got read 20 percent of the time, emoji use certainly makes sense.
Long after seeping into our communication with friends and family, it seems like emoji are popping up everywhere in our work lives. Whether you're an avid fan of the emoji movie or have never even opened your phones emoji keyboard, the icons can be used to communicate a more attractive personality for your business. Pardot's new emoji support is, in part, a response to the growing trend of personalization in digital marketing.
If you are a Pardot user, then you might be tempted to go hog wild with your marketing and put these icons throughout your messages. While it's certainly a fun way to get your customers' attention, there are guidelines you should follow. We asked Skinner for some general guidelines for the company's new feature. Consider these four suggestions for your emoji policy.
1. It's All About Context
A vampire emoji wouldn't make sense on Father's Day. At the same time, you wouldn't want to use a wrench emoji for Halloween. This sounds simple enough, but when you consider that there are more than 2,000 emoji available today, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to look at the entire emoji selection and find the most appropriate ones for what you're trying to say.
Consider your brand identity, too. The poop emoji may be the funniest (we all know it), but using it probably means you run the risk of looking unprofessional. If you're in a business that handles people's personal information, then they certainly won't think much of your company if the wrong icons are used in the subject line of an email.
2. Study the Competition
Seeing what other companies are doing is an easy and effective way to strategize marketing , and emoji use is no different. If you notice any good uses of emoji in marketing, then you can borrow other people's good ideas. On the other hand, looking at other companies' mistakes can be just as educational so you can learn what not to do.
3. Use Emoji Responsibly
Emoji are a novel way to communicate with your audience and have some fun. But they're exactly that: a novelty. If you overuse emoji, then their effect wears off and, worse, they might even become annoying to others. Consider keeping a limit on how many emoji you use per message. Additionally, stay away from using the same ones too often. Skinner told us that one or two emoji at a time work best.
4. Not All Platforms Are Created Equal
There are a lot of terrific resources for learning about all of the different available emoji. Emojipedia is a website that offers not just high-resolution views of each emoji but also lets you look at what each emoji looks like on the most popular platforms. If you want to make sure the birthday cake icon you're about to send on an Android phone also looks good on a Mac, then this website is a very helpful resource.