Do Your Customers Want Emoji in their SMS Messages?
Earlier this year I wrote about the technical challenge of using emoji in your SMS marketing. But what I didn’t mention was how your customers might feel about getting them in the first place.
That’s a big question. Fortunately, there’s some research that hints at how your customers might like, or not like, seeing them.
Attitudes Towards Emoji
Appboy, a marketing automation company, published a report on emoji usage and attitudes. The results are based on their internal data (brands that use their platform). And they also surveyed individuals around the world to understand how people felt about brands that use them.
Year over year, the number of emoji being used by brands is up 609% as of June 2016. This only includes push notifications and email though. They don’t have specific data on usage in SMS messages from brands.
So while impressive, the growth in emoji usage may or may not reflect usage by brands using text message marketing. But the rest of their analysis focuses on how people feel about emoji. That is much more interesting.
When asked how to describe their feelings towards emoji, 64% say they like or love them. This varies with age and gender to some degree. Relatively few harbour negative feelings towards them, while around a quarter to a third say they don’t have strong feelings either way.
Things get a bit more complicated though, when asked what they think of brands using emoji. Around 72% of people have what I call a positive response. In other words, they have good thoughts about brands using emoji. You can see the breakout in the image below.
Nearly a third though, have what I’d call a negative response. Most brands don’t want to be called childish or inappropriate. However, if you look at the age breakout, you can see that the negative responses definitely get larger with age. If your customers are in the older demographic, you might want to do your own research to see how your customers feel before jumping into using them.
Finally, the survey asks if people have any preference when it comes to the type of format the emoji are sent. Remember, the initial data all came from push notifications and emails. But in their answers to this question, the format (think channel) most people prefer is text messages.
What I find interesting about this data is the differences between the age groups. While text messages are the main choice for all age groups, the percentage varies. The youngest group is probably more likely to be on social media, so their preference for emoji is weighted almost equally between it and SMS.
Overall, I think it means people want brands to use emoji. And they are most open to them being used in a text message, but are happy to see them in other places too.
Using Emoji in SMS Messages
Now that you know it’s likely your customers would approve of your brand using emoji, should you start plopping them in every SMS message?
If you’re used to seeing emoji in your message app, email, social media, or wherever, you might be disappointed to know most of them aren’t compatible across systems. At least not when sending to a variety of different models and manufacturers of phones. You can check out this page on Unicode.org to see the differences.
Which brings me to the other main point of why you can’t just throw them around willy-nilly. Emoji are defined in the Unicode character set (as seen on the linked page above). Most mobile phones though, support the GSM character set. While some do offer support for both, or at least some combination, you can’t be sure which ones your customer has.
That shouldn’t dissuade you from using emoji though. It just means you need to educate yourself before you do.
So if you want to know more details about the technical issues, read my previous blog Are Emoji the next big thing in SMS marketing? But here’s a short summary of what you’ll find there. If you want to use emoji in your SMS messages, stick to the ones supported in the GSM character set. And you’ll want to do some testing before you send out any bulk messages. Otherwise, you might end up feeling ?.
Is SMS marketing a viable strategy for SMEs to grow their businesses? A recent article by a US SMS provider suggests not but we debunk that view. Read how and why Fastsms can help small businesses can succeed with SMS marketing without breaking the bank.
SMS messaging offers some of the highest click through rates in mobile marketing. But did you know it could be even better? See how one retailer improved their click rates by offering their customers different options in their messages. Then see how you can do the same.
SMS marketing is not quite like most other marketing. You have such a limited space to get your point across, just 160 characters, more or less. It’s not unlike having to create a print advert for a small space, but somehow it can seem more intimidating. That’s why sometimes it seems like marketers forget one basic rule about writing offers: Always lead with the offer! Sounds simple, right?
Emoji are showing up everywhere. Should you be using these cute, fun, and illustrative icons in your SMS marketing? Your customers probably want you to. Around 72% of people have positive feelings about brands who use emoji. But before you get started, you’ll want to find out the details in this blog.
In a previous article I shared two examples of SMS marketing messages I received and how their call to action worked, or not. This time I want to share two more examples to help you in crafting the perfect call to action for your SMS marketing messages.
SMS marketing can be an incredibly useful tool for successful mobile marketing campaigns. However, it is not without its pitfalls. We have compiled a list of six of the worst SMS mobile marketing faux pas, so that you can avoid them and text your way to marketing success.
Whilst some businesses still offer physical sales, many companies have an online presence as well. Whether they trade solely on the internet or maintain physical stores, it’s vital for businesses to cater for online customers. In order to increase sales and turnover, companies rely on a range of marketing methods, such as offline advertising or digital promotions. Whilst these can be effective, many businesses are overlooking the potential of SMS marketing.