Could A Smiley Face Be Bad For Business? Using Emojis In Your Copy

Emojis. Everywhere you look, there seems to be a new symbol popping up to greet you. Estimates state that 92% of people globally use emojis in their online communications. But as prevalent as they may be, are they appropriate to use in your business copy?

What is an emoji in the first place?

Emojis are based on symbols from Japanese comics. They express emotion and help people interpret reactions and meanings in digital writing. They're meant to help prevent miscommunication about the sender's meaning and intent.

Should you use emojis in your copywriting?

According to a an Adobe Emoji Trend report, over 50% of people surveyed were more likely to engage with brands who use emojis. 64% said they would be willing to make purchases using an emoji.
Seems like using emojis in your business copy are a sure bet, right?
Not so fast.
While one report shows people are willing to embrace the emoji in business, another shows that customers think employees who use emoticons lack competence.
Additionally, an OfficeTeam survey found that 39% of senior managers think it's unprofessional to include emojis in work communications. Your boss' opinion could ruin your reputation as an expert in your business.

What are the Do's and Don'ts of using emojis in business copy?

It may seem confusing whether to use emojis when writing for business, but there are a few basic rules you can use.


Make sure they reflect your brand. Not every emoji is suitable for every business. If they don't reflect the nature of your business, skip them.
Make sure they're relevant. Match your emojis to whatever it is you’re talking about in your copy.
Make sure you understand their meaning. Not all emojis mean what you think they mean. Some have innuendos and meanings that are best left out of your copy. (STAY AWAY from the eggplant and peach emojis!)
Make certain everyone has the same meaning for the emojis used. Is it a high-five symbol or a hands in prayer emoji? Don't let your emoji message get lost in translation or you'll cause confusion.
Use emojis in an email subject line. Emojis are a great way to have your marketing email catch a customer's eye in a sea of inbox messages. That attention can help increase your open rate.
Use emojis to break up text visually. Whether in the body of an email, a social media post, or a website page, using an emoji can make a visual impact. A skimming reader is likely to stop and have their attention drawn back to our content.


Don’t go emoji crazy! Don’t cram as many emojis as possible into your copy because you can. A little goes a long way.
Don’t stop using your words! This isn't Ancient Egypt or the age of Vikings. We don't speak in hieroglyphics or Rune symbols.
Don't use emojis with people you don't know very well. Be careful when messaging your boss, and particularly with customers. If you don't have an informal relationship with someone, don't use them.
Emojis are inappropriate to use when responding to a serious complaint or issue.
Don't use emojis if you are in a serious profession such as a legal or medical setting. Know your audience. Formal, professional settings aren't the place for little hearts or fist-bump emojis.
The bottom line is using emojis in your online business copy is a judgment call. Ask yourself if using them would enhance your brand or match your branding messaging. If the answer is yes, then break out your smiley face and use them to your benefit.