Should You Use Emojis in Ad Copy?

by Kedet | July 13, 2022

Did you know that 92% of the online population uses emojis? It basically transcends language and culture!

Emojis are a fun way to express ourselves online when communicating with others. Not only does it make conversations with friends online easier, but emojis can keep your branded messages fun and engaging too.

July 17th is World Emoji Day so we figure there’s no better time to talk about emojis and advertising. Can you and should you use emojis in ad copy? Let’s find out!

Here are the topics we’ll cover:

What are Emojis?

According to Oxford Language, Emojis are ‘small digital images or icons used to express an idea, emotion, or reaction.‘ They are most frequently used in electronic messages and sometimes on web pages. Emojis have become increasingly popular since their inception in the late 1990s, and in 2022, there are over 3000 emojis out there!

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Why Do People Like Using Emojis?

People like using emojis because they are fun, expressive, and can help communicate a message without using words.

For example:

  • Thank you again for the gift! 🥰
  • I can’t wait to see you tonight 😘
  • Are you kidding me?!?! UGH 😤
  • What’s your favorite animal?” 🐶🐱🐸🙈🦭
  • Do you agree? 👍 👎
Emojis can also make your ad copy more visually appealing, which can help draw attention to your brand’s message.

Plus, emojis are diverse and inclusive, which increases the versatility!

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Who Should Be Using Emojis in Ad Copy?

Aside from using it to slide into people’s DMs, respond to a Tweet, or a Group Chat on WhatsApp, brands also use emojis to keep their branded messages engaging and personable.

It can be hard to stand out in a world where people are constantly bombarded with ads on social media. But that’s where emojis come in. Adding emojis to your ad copy could give your captions or headlines extra oomph.

Using emojis in ad copy would be a great strategy for B2C and B2B businesses, like eCommerce and SaaS companies.

For businesses or industries with a more formal setting, such as law, financial institutions, or religious groups– emojis might not be appropriate.
We recommend evaluating your Brand Guidelines and voice to determine how many emojis to use (or even use them).

Benefits of Using Emojis in Ad Copy

If you’re thinking of incorporating emojis into your ad strategy, we highly recommend focusing on social media ads, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok!

Benefits of using emojis in ad cop includes: higher Click-Through Rate (CTR) and potentially lower Cost-Per-Click (CPC).

We recommend A/B testing a version of the ad copy with emojis and one without. Let it run through the learning phase to get data on which is performing better. Keep all the other ad elements the same, and only test one difference per test. So think: ad caption with emoji vs ad caption without emoji – and keeping the photo, and headline the same.

A few years ago, Scoro conducted an A/B test for a set of their ads, one with emojis in the copy, the other without.

They kept all other ad elements the same, except the headline: Version A had just the headline, and Version B had an emoji + the headline, like this:

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For this campaign, they observed a whopping 241% higher Click-Through Rate (CTR) on the ad with the emoji in the headline!
AdEspresso by Hootsuite continued to create an A/B test with their Facebook posts to test the theory that emoji content performed better. They shared that the posts that used emojis had a 30-40% higher CTR and 20% lower Cost-Per-Click (CPC) than posts with no emojis.

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However, in another experiment, results showed a 12% higher CTR in emoji ads, but the ad with no emojis had a lower CPC. So as you can see, your mileage may vary.

But that’s the joy in digital marketing, isn’t it? Creative experimentation and analyzing data to find out what works most effectively!

Tips For Using Emojis in Ad Copy

Emojis Needs to Add Value

When crafting your ad copy, get the written part done first. Then, think carefully about what emoji you’re going to add and why:
  • Does it provide more context?
  • Is it to be funny?
  • Is it meant to relay an emotion?
  • Will it make the post more relatable?
  • Is it highlighting something important you want the user to see?
If it doesn’t add any value to your ad messaging, perhaps it shouldn’t be there. We don’t want to waste precious ad space on something pointless.

It needs to be strategic and enhance the communication of your ad copy.

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Keep It Simple

Do you want to see an ad that says, “Winter Sale on now: Everything is 15% off or more!!!!!!!!!!

We appreciate the enthusiasm, but that’s a bit too aggressive on the exclamation marks, right?

Think of emojis as punctuations. Use it sparingly and purposefully to avoid overkill or confusion. Keep it simple. 👍

Don’t Use Emojis to Replace a Word

Emojis are meant to enhance your message, not replace it! Don’t replace entire words with emojis. It makes it harder to read (we’re not here to decipher glyphs like Indiana Jones) – the purpose of ads is to communicate effectively.

Also, if the emoji isn’t able to be shown on the users’ phone (rarely, but possible), your ad will essentially be gibberish to them, which means wasted ad spend!

For example, which did you find easier to understand:

  • 10 🚩to 👀 When Buying a 🏠
  • 10 Red Flags to Look Out for When Buying a House 🚩
Don’t use emojis to replace a word. Use emojis to enhance your text.
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💡 Use an Emoji to Start a Headline or Bullet Point.

Did this catch your attention? The emoji helps the headline pop out and grab the viewer’s attention. As we mentioned in an earlier section, A/B test it out!
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Use Emojis to End a Caption. ✍️

Note here we said “emojis” as in plural. A caption is longer than a headline and has a longer message. So, you can use emojis to end your message with a bang! It can be as simple as asking “Free Shipping to Canada 🇨🇦” or “We can’t wait to see you on our patio this summer! 🍻 ☀️😎”
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Tell a Visual Story with Emojis

As we said before, emojis aren’t meant to replace words. But we read this on AdEspresso’s blog and loved the example so much we wanted to add it on as a bonus tip:
“Skyrocket your revenue with awesome Facebook ads 🔥 😵 👉 💰 🚀”

It adds a fun touch and helps the sentence pop. There is satisfaction as a viewer to understand the story that’s told visually!

So, should you use emojis in ad copy?

We say, most definitely – don’t knock it till you try it!

The main purpose of this blog was to introduce the idea that emojis aren’t just for texting but could also be a viable option for engaging ad content creation.

When it comes to emojis in ad copy, your mileage may vary. But emojis will likely make users slow down their scrolling to and sneak a peek at your paid social ads! Give it a try today!

Subscribe to our newsletter to get more digital marketing tips every week!

PS. Looking to write effective copy? Check out two of our other awesome resources, “170+ Power Words for Emotional Ads” and “A Guide to Creative Best Practices“!

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