Should Hotels Use Emoji in Email Marketing Messages?


You may have noticed in your personal inboxes that some brands are experimenting with using emoji in their subject lines and elsewhere in their marketing messages. It’s an interesting tactic – when it works, a well-placed emoji can make a subject line stand out in your guests’ inboxes with a pop of color and whimsy.

But, when deciding whether to start experimenting with emoji in your hotel’s marketing messages, one thing it’s important to ask is, how do consumers feel about seeing emoji in marketing messages? Do their feelings toward emoji change depending on the type of message in which the emojis are included?

To find out, Appboy surveyed more than 500 individuals about their emoji perceptions, habits, and preferences.

Consumer Perception of Emoji

Their results? Fairly positive: Over 64% of people like or love emoji, while only 6% dislike or hate them.

Additionally, males are more likely to have a negative perception of emoji use in general compared with females, the analysis found. Some 72% of women surveyed say they love emoji whereas just 63% of men say the same.

Although consumers age 14-24 have a more favorable view of emoji overall, people age 25-44 are least likely to dislike them.

The perception of emoji use by brands is generally favorable, with 70% of consumers saying it is fun, relatable, or normal.

Women are more likely to have a positive perception of emoji use by brands compared with men, and younger people are more likely to view it as normal.

As for the method of delivery, consumers are most open to brands including emoji in text messages (SMS) and social media posts.

One Caveat

Normally, this would be the point where we would say something like, “If you’re thinking about experimenting with using emoji in your hotel’s marketing messages, go for it! The data clearly shows that consumers are generally in favor of them.” But, there is one caveat: Emoji don’t always appear the same on every device or platform.

Fortunately, there is some level of uniformity – emoji are standardized by Unicode to prevent cross-device miscommunication, so you won’t ever have a situation where you mean to send a cute heart, but because you have an iPhone, some of your guests with Samsungs receive a pile of poo. But, the Unicode standard leaves some room for interpretation. Enough room that the variations in emoji across different brands can totally warp the meaning of what you’re trying to convey. Check out this article, this one, and this one for some hilarious examples.

The Verdict

Overall, we at Revinate are absolutely in favor of experimenting with emoji use in your emails, social media posts, and SMS messages PROVIDED you stick to a certain set that are more or less consistent across platforms. A great resource is Emojipedia, which serves not only as an emoji dictionary, but also shares the latest developments and news in the emoji world. Before you use any emoji in marketing messages, it’s a good idea to double check how it looks across devices and platforms by looking it up on Emojipedia.

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