The number of emails we receive is crazy. In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, the average full-time worker receives 120 emails per day and only responds to 25% of them. (ouch!)  But, for those marketers who have mastered the attention-grabbing subject lines, the pay-off is big, with email delivering a whopping 42:1 ROI. And one of the rising eye-catching trends? The use of emojis.

AI tech company Phrasee analyzed 2 million emails over the course of twelve months and found subject lines tested with emojis outperformed their no-emoji counterparts 60% of the time. 👀  As a marketer, I find emojis in the subject line intriguing. I mean, who isn’t looking for new ways to get noticed and boost open rates? Emojis have permeated all aspects of the internet, cropping up in more and more B2B communications. So why not jump on the emoji bandwagon?

As a Marketo user, the question often asked is, can you use emojis in your Marketo communications? 💯  Yes! Let’s dive into the specifics.

Marketo, Emails, and Emojis…Oh My!

Though emojis can be a fun twist on a normal email, nobody wants to end up with a ☐ symbol from a compatibility fail. Marketo does support emojis in email subject lines and body copy, provided you follow the steps explained below. Emojis can also be used on landing pages should also want to use them on a page that your email references.

Of course, it goes without saying, be sure to test your emoji compatibility on all major devices and operating systems.

Using Emojis in Email Subject Lines

When it comes to incorporating emojis in your subject lines, you have a few options with Marketo. If you’re using an option from an original set of emoji-like symbols, you can simply copy and paste the symbol into the subject line.

Inserting an emoji into a Marketo email subject line

However, if you choose to use a symbol outside of the widely-adopted symbols list, you’ll need to encode it in UTF-8Q. UTF-8B, or UTF 16LE formats will also work, but it’s harder to find an encoder for those. We recommend copying the desired emoji and running it through a UTF-8 Q encoder for use in your subject line. After encoding, your emoji string will look something like this: =?UTF-8?Q?=F0=9F=9A=80?=

Inserting an emoji in a Marketo email using Q-encoding with UTF-8 format

Using Emojis in Email Body Copy

When using emojis within the body copy, “you simply need to emit the HTML entity from Velocity,” according to Sanford Whiteman. Simply create an email script token and paste the HTML entity into it.

And before you go emoji crazy, remember that emojis will render differently between various platforms. For example, the Unicode rocket on an Android will appear very differently than a rocket on Apple devices. It doesn’t matter if they’re Q-encoded or not, in the subject line or body copy. Emojis are…well, fun little character symbols and that’s what defines them. Even the yellow lightning bolt symbol in the screenshot above will look different across devices.

Tips for using Emojis in Marketo

To cut down on any surprises before you hit “send,” be sure to test your emails thoroughly. Using a tool like Email on Acid will reveal differences in rendering between devices.

🚨 Pro tip: For subject lines, create a text token containing your encoded emoji if you plan to use any particular symbol regularly.

Using Emojis on Marketo Landing Pages

According to Interactive Marketing Inc, you only have 8 seconds to make an impression on a landing page. Or, to state another way, our attention spans are less than that of a goldfish,  so your marketing strategy needs to draw in visitors right from the start. Emojis convey what words can’t, and they add personality to your landing page copy.

As I mentioned earlier, emojis are supported on Marketo landing pages, and the process for creating them is much the same as email. Here again, you have two options:

  1. Copy and paste the symbol with the editor of your landing page
  2. Copy and paste the character code into your HTML.

🚨 Pro tip: Don’t overuse emojis. A well-placed emoji can help grab attention, but too many can be off-putting or look unprofessional. Be selective and make sure they are relevant to your communication.

So there you have it…everything you’ve always wanted to know about using emojis in your Marketo emails.

I’ll leave you with one last tip and a free takeaway, too— as you look to improve your Marketo email performance, according to Litmus, brands that use an extensive checklist before deployment improve ROI by 26%. Even smiley face emojis won’t help offset embarrassing errors, and I’ve found the checklist offered below to be incredibly helpful. Happy marketing, and I’ll see you in the inbox!

Free Campaign Execution Checklist

Get 33 essential pre-launch checkpoints sent to your inbox.

Special thanks to Sanford Whiteman, for his contributions and input on this blog post.

Want to talk more about Marketo? From managing high-volume campaigns to safeguarding against campaign errors, eliminating infrastructure uncertainties, and solving tough tech integrations, our team of Marketo consultants is ready to help. Start the conversation!