emoji vs. eNOji

  • July 17, 2023

By The Phrasee Team

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Since 2015, Phrasee’s customers have live-tested emoji vs eNOji on billions of their own customer interactions. To celeberate World Emoji Day, our data scientists dug deep into the Phrasee data vault to uncover the emojis conquering digital conversations with customers. 

Here are some key findings: 

  • For 2023, 🍫 is the best performing emoji while 🕺 is the worst  
  • People don’t want to see a 🎄 in January – but they DO want to see a 🌴 in December  
  • Healthy summer eating starts in May – 🍕 is worst performing for the month 
  • August is the time for planning both your travels and your nuptials. The ✈️ and the 💍 are customer favorites 

To unpack the results, we sat down with Phrasee’s Head of Content Rachel Belsham to hear her take on emojis.  

Based on the current data around emoji open rates – what emojis are likely to heat up throughout the second half of the year?  

We’ve seen consistent themes in the emojis that have been popular with marketers over the last 4 years. Emojis relating to money, such as 💰 and 💸, dominate the emoji game when promoting sales and discounts. Another big player is hand symbols, such as 👍 and 👉, which are instantly recognizable. Neither of these trends will come as a surprise as they can be incorporated into countless marketing communications.   

What emoji do you feel will be “The Emoji of 2023” or the most used by companies in their marketing efforts? 

Over time, we’ve seen a greater representation of overtly positive and welcoming emojis, such as 😍 and 👋. One emoji that’s currently on an upwards trajectory is the 🙌 emoji. As well as conveying a positive emotional response, the emoji’s traction on social media undoubtedly contributes to its popularity with marketers, making it one of the go-tos for 2023. 

Why do the most successful emojis change year over year? 

When it comes to performance, we’ve seen that the top emojis are more illustrative of specific themes in the copy. We’ve often seen that top performers relate to food e.g. 🍫 or wildlife e.g. 🐡 – both topics that tap into people’s passions and interests. Choosing an emoji with a strong link to your copy can really take it to the next level in terms of performance. That’s why picking an emoji should never be an afterthought! 

“Choosing an emoji with a strong link to your copy can really take it to the next level in terms of performance. That’s why picking an emoji should never be an afterthought!”
Rachel Belsham – Head of Content, Phrasee

What external factors/trends have driven this change? 

There’s no magic emoji that will guarantee success. Each year we’ll see different emojis drive engagement. This can be influenced by the latest hot topic, cultural shifts and also wider global events. Not only that, as marketers harness their creativity to identify emojis that will stand out, we see new top performers emerge. 

Learn more in the press release

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