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Stores and websites are constantly prompting us to provide our email addresses. From a marketing standpoint, this is good: Businesses recognize the benefits email marketing has over other channels, like social media or paid advertising.

However, this also means you need to compete with dozens of other companies for your subscribers’ valuable attention. Those little email subject lines are your main weapon when it comes to beating competitors. Basically, your subject lines have to be the top email subject lines.

How can you capture attention in just 40 to 50 characters (way less than the standard blog headline)? Emojis might be the answer.

In this post, we’ll show you the top email subject lines of 2018 with emojis. We’ll also let you know how you can use emojis in email subject lines to boost your open rates.

5 key tips on how to use emojis in email subject lines

Emojis are a unique tool for both your subject lines and your emails, too. There are times when you should use them, and there are definitely some times when you shouldn’t.

Let’s be blunt: Using the wrong emojis or implementing emojis at the wrong time can create completely tone-deaf messaging. Take a quick scroll through certain Reddit threads, and you’ll find a slew of unintentional (and inappropriate) emoji mistakes.

Even with the best intentions, using emojis incorrectly won’t deliver the results you want—and could even backfire.

But by using emojis in the correct context, you could very well create the top email subject lines in your industry. Yep, you read that right. Not only do emojis capture interest, but they can actually boost your emails’ response rate, too.

Let’s take a look at some tips for using emojis in email subject lines.

1. Figure out what works for your brand.

We know what you’re thinking, “But I work for a tax/law/B2B/accounting company, surely using emojis in email subject lines isn’t appropriate for my audience.”

Not necessarily.

Sure, in some instances emojis might not be the best choice for getting your message across to subscribers. But your industry alone shouldn’t dictate whether emojis can work for your emails.

You have a broad range of emojis to choose from: calculators, stop signs, numbers, money clips, clipboards, clocks, and many more. This leaves plenty of room to find the right emojis for your company.

2. Use emojis in subject lines to create urgency or trigger emotions.

An established brand like Pizza Hut may not have to get especially creative with emojis. They can easily use a pizza emoji in virtually any subject line and still communicate very clear messaging:

Pizza hut email subject line with emoji - top email subject lines, top email subject lines of 2018, emojis in email subject lines

The rest of us, however, need to strategize our emoji usage.

To do this, think about what kind of emotion you want your subscribers to feel. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Clocks or red sirens to create urgency for emails with time-sensitive coupons.
  • Heart emojis to add warmth.
  • More money emojis—more savings.

You can even use emojis to shorten your subject line length by replacing words like “yes” or “no” with thumbs up or thumbs down emojis.

Notice how Groupon uses a thumbs up in their email subject line:

best email subject lines in 2018 and 2019

3. Send test emails.

You’re ready to boost open rates, increase engagement, and optimize conversions by placing a cute little emoji in your email subject line. You carefully planned and selected just the right one. It’s perfect.

You send out your email and—oh no, half of your subscribers got an empty box instead of a fire emoji. Or even worse: the emoji you chose looks completely different than the emoji displayed in inboxes.

Here’s the good news: Almost all email clients with the exception of Outlook 2003 support emojis. Here’s the not so good news: There’s no guarantee your subscribers’ device and email client will display the same emoji you see on your end before you send the email.

Gmail, for instance, might display two totally different emojis on mobile or web browsers. The key here is to send test emails first to ensure everything is displayed properly. It also helps to know which email clients your subscribers use.

4. Segment your audience.

Maybe you shouldn’t use emojis in email subject lines for your entire subscriber base. Or, maybe you should use different emojis for different subscribers.

There’s no rule that says you have to send the same email subject line to every subscriber. Break your subscriber list up into different demographics by age, gender, location, and interests.

You can even develop some top email subject lines for re-engaging subscribers with dwindling open rates by using the right emoji at the right time. Let’s be honest—if you aren’t segmenting your audience to create personalized emails, your brands are missing out big time.

5. A/B test for optimal results.

At the end of the day, you won’t know what works best for your subscribers (or segments of subscribers) until you get your hands dirty.

Run a few A/B tests to see how subject lines with emojis perform. From there, you can tweak your tactics to create the top email subject lines for your brands.

The top email subject lines of 2018 with Emojis

No one likes a copycat, but inspiration is vital when making your brand the best it can be. Use these top email subject lines of 2018 as inspiration for incorporating emojis into your email marketing strategy.

  1. Bermuda Press: 👋 Hey, remember how cool lapel pins are? Well, if not, take a look! 👋
  2. BAMP Project: 🔥 Shows this week: low ticket warning!
  3. Hello Merch: 🌊 Catch A Wave with DIIV + New Items From Your Favorite Artists 🌊
  4. Hungry Howie’s: 🏈+🍕= Sunday Funday
  5. Club Quarters Hotels: Leave Your ❤️ in San Francisco
  6. Runtastic: 🕙 If not now . . . when, Randi?
  7. Journeys: 🎁 $10 off your next purchase! 🎁
  8. Lucky Brand: 👀 You up? It’s time to shop!
  9. Jet’s Pizza: 🍕 Tummy Rumbling?
  10. PayPal: Introducing PayPal Instant Transfer 💨
  11. Hotels.com: 📝 You made the list… here is your 10% coupon
  12. Hello Merch: 🍂🍃🍁 The leaves are droppin’ and our NEW merch is poppin’ 🍁🍃🍂
  13. Runtastic: Running before breakfast: 👍 or 👎?
  14. Patreon: You’ve been chosen to help on a secret project 🤐
  15. POP Fit Clothing: ❄️Free Thong 3 Pack and Free Priority Shipping⛄️
  16. Planned Parenthood: Send the Lame Ducks a Pink Slip 🦆🚫
  17. Cafe Press: 🐾 PAW-SOME pet gear is 25% off! 🐾
  18. eBay: 🌴 Get saving with the End of Summer Sale … what do you want for up to 70% off
  19. UNICEF: 🎉 The 2018 Photo of the Year 🎉
  20. Runtastic: 🚫 Don’t ruin your run with these 5 habits
  21. Hungry Howie’s: The Most Famous Combo Ever 🍕🧀🍞
  22. Hurst Publishers: 📚 New Season from Hurst 📚
  23. Ticketmaster: 🎆 Summer Ticket 4-Packs Are Waiting Just “4” You
  24. TurboTax: 💢 Email Confirmation: Please Sign in With Your User ID & Check out What’s New.
  25. MyFitnessPal: How to Lose Weight, 20 Minutes at a Time ( 🙌)
  26. Western Union: Randi, you don’t want to miss this 💲- saving tip!
  27. Cafe Press: 📺 & chill! Take 25% off your favorite TV gear
  28. Runtastic: The 8 Ultimate Dos 👍 & Don’ts👎 of Running
  29. Live Nation Concerts: Summer’s Almost Over – Stop what you’re doing and go to a concert! 🎤🎸
  30. POP Fit Clothing: 😱 48 Hours Left 😱 Shop our Back 2 School Sale
  31. Credit Karma: Randi: New Score Alert 🕒
  32. Parallax Press: Bring mindfulness to the classroom & home this fall 🍂
  33. Facebook: 📷 James Carey added a new photo
  34. Jet’s Pizza: ✈️🍕 Fly away for our 40th! ✈️🍕
  35. Sumerian Records: 🔥 NEW MUSIC TO KICKSTART YOUR WEEKEND 🔥
  36. Hello Merch: 👂 Did you hear? La Dispute has a limited edition release….. 👂
  37. Bermuda Press: 🌠 When you wish upon a star and open this email…..your accessory dreams will come true 🌠
  38. Lucky Brand: 🎉 Start 2019 with a bang!
  39. Ulta Beauty: YES! Great hair is as easy as 1️⃣ 2️⃣ 3️⃣
  40. BAMP Project: 🚨 Eminem on sale NOW
  41. eBay: 💵 Your wallet will thank you, eBay shopper! Big savings to enjoy. 💵
  42. LIDS: 🚨 NEW items added! NOW 35% off! 🚨
  43. Hulu: 👏 It’s confirmed! Your offer is waiting…
  44. Irene’s Myomassology: Randi, did you know Jeanette is National Massage Teacher of the Year! 🙌
  45. Cottage Inn Pizza: Vote: ✅ Eat 🍕: ✅

There you have it. 45 excellent examples from a broad range of industries demonstrating how to properly use emojis in subject lines. Now you’re prepared to get to work and create some top email subject lines for your brands.

Wrap up: What did you learn from the top email headlines with emojis from 2018?

Your subscribers are busy and their inboxes are flooded with other companies competing for their attention. That tiny email subject line is all you have to capture their interest and entice subscribers to actually open the email.

Yes, it’s important to provide your subscribers with high-quality content inside the email, too. But they’ll never actually see your valuable information or amazing deals if they don’t feel inspired enough by the subject line to actually open the email.

Using emojis in email subject lines—when appropriate—is an excellent way to trigger some kind of emotion or draw your subscribers’ attention to the email. These top email subject lines of 2018 with emojis are a great place to start for some inspiration.

Are you in need of an email service provider to help segment your audience and develop killer subject lines? Check out some of our features to find out how Campaign Monitor can help take your email marketing to the next level.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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