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The Ultimate Guide to Using Emojis in Email Signatures

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We all know why emojis and emoticons are used. You probably already use them in your regular messages to friends, family members, and colleagues. And you’ve probably noticed that when businesses put an emoji in the subject line of their email, it results in a higher open rate.

So then you think it might be worth adding some emojis in email signatures used by your organization. However, you might want to think again.

Some think adding emojis to email signatures is a great way to show off their personality and stand out from the crowd. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional, you should only use emojis in email signatures for specific circumstances. There’s no denying that emojis are here to stay, but when it comes to professional email signatures, you must carefully consider whether it’s better to leave them out.

What are emojis and emoticons?

An emoji (also known as an emoticon) is a digital image of an object or character. These symbols are used in many different ways, but they convey emotion. Emojis and emoticons are often used in text messages and social media posts because they’re versatile; they can give meaning without having to write out entire sentences!

Emoticons and emojis can express your current mood or someone else’s. They can also replace words when messaging someone who speaks a different language and in place of letters in words that have been shortened.

Common emojis include:

  • Faces such as a smiley face or sad face
  • Animal faces such as cats, dogs, and monkey
  • Foods such as pizza slices and hamburgers

The word emoji comes from the Japanese words “e” (picture) and “moji” (character). The first emoji was designed in 1999 by Shigetaka Kurita as part of a cell phone service called i-mode (similar to today’s text messaging systems). These early versions consisted only of 176 characters designed for Japanese users who wanted to send each other smiles, tears, and other cartoonish images instead of words.

Today there are over 2,000 unique emojis available for smartphones and computers. You can find them on Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and other messaging apps which allow you to add an emoji keyboard. You can also find them in Gmail signatures or in the signature of any email you send out from an email marketing platform like MailChimp or AWeber.

Using emojis in email signatures

Emojis may be extremely popular, but they should be used in company-wide email signatures cautiously. Like with any other content, knowing when enough is enough is essential. While emojis and emoticons can be used to create a more engaging experience, they can easily be overused if you don’t consider their context. If you use too many emojis, your email signature will look like a cartoon.

Emojis in email signatures example

If you do wish to use emojis in email signatures, then keep these tips in mind:

Consider the context. It’s always important to think about the content of your email signature and who your target audience is. If you’re a teacher, using an emoticon in email signatures might not be appropriate if you’re communicating with parents. However, it may be if you work at a tech start-up focusing on user experience testing.

Use them sparingly. The more emojis you use in email signatures, the more it will look like a text message or something that a teenager might send. If you’re trying to be a professional, keep things simple and stick with one or two emojis at most (depending on the context).

Don’t insert emojis in every email signature. There may be some cases where emojis in email signatures have a purpose. However, if you use them too often, people will start to wonder what’s wrong with you. They need to have a purpose, not just include some unnecessary decoration.

Using emojis in email signatures for customer feedback

Avoid using animated GIFs. Your email signature is primarily designed to provide contact information and additional CTAs (calls-to-action), not small animations of cats laughing or dancing characters. There’s nothing more distracting than seeing emojis in email signatures that are animated; stick with simple graphics where possible.

Keep the size of the icons in proportion with the rest of the design. You don’t want emojis in email signatures to be too big or too small. Otherwise, it will impact the screen real estate on smaller screens such as mobile devices.

Don’t use too many colors. It’s also important to remember that some people have trouble distinguishing between different colors on white backgrounds. If you need to choose multiple colors, go with ones that aren’t likely to be confusing to people with visual impairments.

Using emoticons in email signatures for feedback

While professional email signatures shouldn’t be too silly or frivolous, they can be important in the context of 1-click feedback surveys.

Email signature branding makes you stand out

Most organizations still gather customer experience feedback using long surveys and forms. These typically only get a <1% response rate as customers are too busy and often don’t see the value. At the same time, the emergence of lightweight ‘1-click’ rating systems (embedded in Amazon, Instagram, Uber, etc.) garner much higher engagement among customers who now expect to encounter them throughout their buying journeys.

Using 1-click CSAT surveys delivers the best of both worlds, allowing customers to express feedback in real-time in a convenient way. This feedback can then be used to inform all manner of business improvements, including the customer experience itself.

1-click email signature surveys bring:

  • An early warning system that pinpoints dissatisfied customers so you can prevent churn
  • A total view of customer satisfaction at critical points in the buying journey
  • A visible sign of dedication to customer support and service

Learn more by reading Introducing Email Signature Surveys.

A final word

They might be fun, but emoticons in email signatures should only really be used for collecting feedback with 1-click surveys. Outside of this context, unless they are part of your brand, it does not make sense to use emoticons in email signature designs. Instead of using emojis in email signatures, it is recommended that you use them within the body or subject line of the message itself.

Using emojis in business emails is an effective way to create an emotional connection with readers. And while some people think they don’t belong at work, others say they should be used more often by professionals looking for creative ways to connect with clients and colleagues through digital channels. But for the most part, keep them away from email signatures 😊

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