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Easy as 🍰: How to Boost Engagement with Emoji Push Notifications

April 14, 2017

By (Brittany Fleit)

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One night, I re-wrote an entire Sublime song in emojis.

Yes, seriously.

I can’t remember what prompted me — maybe I was just bored. But I spent a few hours and spelled out Sublime’s “What I Got” in its entirety with the tiny images.

Here’s a snippet of the song:


Ridiculous, maybe. But there are also lessons here:

  1. Emojis are fun and relatable — everyone can understand them.
  2. Emojis can convey a lot more than words — especially when you’re not face-to-face with your audience.
  3. When used correctly, emojis can make you feel something, whether that’s excitement, recognition, or happiness (🙌 ).

Here at Leanplum, we were eager to explore how emojis can help mobile marketers communicate with users in a more personalized fashion. After all, we all use emojis every day — in our texts to friends, work emails, social media posts, and so on.

But what happens when a marketer sends an emoji?

To find out, our data science team analyzed 2.6 billion push notifications containing emojis. We looked at every facet of engagement — opens, conversions, retention. And we found some interesting results.

We crunched the numbers to create a data-backed guide to using emojis, designed for mobile marketers.

Why Do We Love Emojis?

For one, emojis are great for conveying tone, facial expression, emotion — and in my case, even song. When you have a conversation with a friend face-to-face, it’s easy to express sarcasm. But on the internet, it’s a little tougher.

According to scientists, when a person sees an emoji in a message, their brain lights up the same way as when they see a human face. The brain recognizes emojis as nonverbal information, and as a result, emojis are then processed as emotions. Emojis have the power to change the mood of the reader.

If someone sends 🤘, 🙌 , or 😂 in a push notification, it will spark the warm-and-fuzzies in whoever reads the notification. Naturally, more people will want to click on something that makes them feel good.


In our data, we found that the library of emojis that marketers can use has increased in size by 108%. This makes sense, considering hundreds of new emojis were added just last year. Now, it’s easier than ever to find an emoji that relates to you, and even looks like you.

The list of new emojis includes some of our all-time favorites, like the rainbow flag 🏳️‍🌈 , a David Bowie tribute👨🏼‍🎤 , and new options for genders, races, and diverse family representation emoji-diversity.png.

With this in mind, emoji use has increased dramatically across most communication channels, including advertising, social media, email, and mobile push notifications. Let’s take a look.

How Emojis Have Evolved on Each Channel

Emojis in Advertising

There’s absolutely …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog