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3 Ways Emojis Can Save Your User Retention

March 14, 2017

By Today’s Industry Insider


For mobile apps, message engagement is critical for retention. Push notifications are one of the best ways to keep your app top-of-mind. In fact, data has shown that app publishers who send push notifications can boost retention rates 20 percent, and 7x if they personalize those messages.

But there’s another secret to push notification engagement that too often goes overlooked: emojis .

This might come as a surprise, but hard stats show that mobile users love emojis even when they’re used in marketing messages. Push notifications that include emojis experience more opens than their emoji-free counterparts — up to 85 percent more, in fact. And since emojis are so effective at boosting push engagement, they have a direct impact on long-term user retention.

With these three tactics, you’ll see how emojis can work wonders for your mobile marketing.

1. Emoji-Powered Push Notifications Are Opened 85% More Often

Comparison of push notification open rates with and without emojis

Believe it or not, emoji-powered push notifications really are more effective than their emoji-free kin. Open rates are almost twice as high in messages that feature emoji — that’s almost twice the number of people returning to the app.

But why do push notification open rates ✉️ matter? Some would call open rates a vanity metric, and there’s merit to that. Users might open a spammy or attention-grabbing push notification, but if the message doesn’t provide the expected value, they may revoke push permissions out of frustration. What really matters is how push opens affect conversion and retention metrics.

Luckily, there’s a quantitative link between push notifications and retention. The simple act of sending push notifications can increase 30-day retention by 20 percent. Considering that most users never return to the app after their first use, boosting 30-day retention increases the odds that users will stick around in the months to come.

average-retentionAverage 90-day retention rate

There are many finer points to the art of push notifications. For instance, Marketing Land explains that time-optimized ⏱ push notifications offer a 7x lift in retention. It’s important to optimize both message timing and message content.

Anecdotally, some mobile teams have already started experimenting with emoji-powered push notifications. The results are looking good. One team increased day two retention by 28 percent, just by including emojis in a push notification.


In summary, there’s a concrete link between emojis and retention, so it’s worth investing in an emoji-powered messaging strategy 🚀.

2. Emojis Resonate on an Emotional Level

It’s great to know that users love emojis, but why is that? As it turns out, the science behind emojis explains that our brains process them as non-verbal communication. This adds an emotional dimension to your copy that’s hard to capture through text.

In a way, emojis are the successors of old-school emoticons like the classic smiley :-). It’s hard to convey sarcasm and humor over the internet, so emoticons …read more

Source:: Kiss Metrics Blog