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July 15, 2021

Emojis in Donor Marketing? ๐Ÿง Know the Pros ๐Ÿ‘ and Cons ๐Ÿ‘Ž


Emojis โ€” the tiny graphic icons that live in your text messages โ€” sure have come a long way from the good old-fashioned emoticon. ;) Today, your online chatter can include everything from unicorns ๐Ÿฆ„ to UFOs. ๐Ÿ›ธ Most people agree that emojis are fun, relatable, and conversational. Youโ€™ll see them in emails, on social media, and in blogs. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

But do emojis have a place in fundraising?

Yes and no.


Hereโ€™s what we know:

๐Ÿ‘ Because emojis are fun and catch the eye, they can help increase engagement. ๐Ÿ‘€
๐Ÿ‘ They generally lighten the tone of your copy, which can serve you well in an affirmation message or friendly social media post. ๐Ÿฅณ
๐Ÿ‘ They can shorten copy. (โ€œHappy ๐ŸŒŽ Day!โ€)
๐Ÿ‘ And quickly express emotion. ๐Ÿ˜˜
๐Ÿ‘ They can make your email stand out in a crowded inbox. Thatโ€™s crucial on days like GivingTuesday. โค๏ธ


According to a report from Experian, using emojis in email subject lines increased email open rates by 56%. Thatโ€™s great news! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

But you should still test to see how your audience reacts. Here at TrueSense, weโ€™ve tested campaigns with emojis in the subject lines against text-only versions and had the results land both ways.

In our own A/B test, โ€œYou Can Do It ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ชโ€ performed better as a subject line than โ€œYou Can Do It.โ€ Throughout this particular series, emails that had emojis in the subject lines were opened more often than the same emails without.

But the cheery emoji-laden subject lines lost to those with no emojis in one of our clientโ€™s donor re-engagement series tests.


If youโ€™re thinking of using emojis in your donor marketing, consider that โ€ฆ

๐Ÿ‘Ž Emojis can render differently across browsers, email clients, and devices. Make sure your donor sees what you intended.

๐Ÿ‘Ž Too many emojis can quickly cause emoji fatigue. ๐Ÿ’ฉ

๐Ÿ‘Ž They can come off as flippant or insensitive when youโ€™re asking for support for an important cause or to address an urgent crisis.

๐Ÿ‘Ž Theyโ€™re small, so donโ€™t assume all your donors can see them. ๐Ÿ”Ž


Try using emojis when and where they make sense. A subject line with a timer emoji may serve you well in an email about a matching giftโ€™s deadline. An animal lover is sure to notice a cute dog or cat face in their copy. Try mixing a classic emoji โญ๏ธ with something unexpected ๐Ÿผ to get attention.

Just keep testing, because emojis make up a universal language thatโ€™s here to stay.

One more thing. Need a quick break? See if you can translate these emojis into movie titles! Have fun!

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