Have some fun with emoticons in your subject lines
Have some fun with emoticons
in your subject lines
Have some fun with emoticons in your
You probably already saw them appear in your inbox: an airplane icon in the subject line of a promotional
email from a traveling agency. Emoticons seem to be latest trend in subject lines. But does that really
work? And what do the spam filters think of them? And how do you implement them?
The use of those symbols is definitely not a new idea. But because most mobile devices are able to
display them, and we use those devices to read our emails, those symbols are becoming more and more
popular as tactic to get noticed in the inbox. And that’s understandable: a symbol gets attention in a sea
What do email clients do with them?
This is probably the first question that pops in your head, and you’re right. We tested the most popular
symbols in the most used email clients, and with the exception of Outlook 2003 and Lotus Notes they are
pretty well supported.
Extra benefit: Android and Apple devices, and Outlook.com take it up a notch: instead of just displaying
the standard symbols, some symbols, like are transformed into “Emoji”, or even small images.
Below, you can find an example of the adapted symbols in Outlook.com:
Just keep in mind that when an email client doesn’t support a symbol, your contacts will see a . Make
sure that you test your message in different email clients when you’re planning on using a symbol.
What do spam filters do with them?
Don’t worry, adding symbols won’t cause alarm bells to go off with the spam filters. As always you should
follow the same rule: don’t go over the top.
Are emoticons always a good idea?
If you want your email message to stand out between all the other email messages in the inbox of your
contacts, then yes, emoticons are a good idea. But always go for symbols that support your message.
Ask yourself the question if the symbol of your choice isn’t too playful for your audience. Symbols can be
less professional than just text.
How do you implement them?
You can find a list with symbols on websites like http://fsymbols.com/ or http://getemoji.com/ . Copy the
symbol as a character by dragging over the symbol and paste it in your subject line. Keep in mind that
every email client will display the symbol slightly different.