American Marketer


Push notifications with emojis see 85pc higher open rate: report

March 1, 2017

Affluent consumers leveraging digital Affluent consumers leveraging digital


By Danny Parisi for Mobile Marketer

A new report from Leanplum suggests that the simple addition of mobile-native emojis to push notifications can lift engagement more than even illustrations.

The report took a look at how brands can boost the engagement on their social marketing, particularly when it comes to mobile. With app revenues rising and more and more consumers engaging with brands on mobile, it is imperative for brands to be able to wring the most amount of use out of every campaign.

"Understanding how users respond to content is an important part of building a healthy relationship with them," said Shipra Mahindra, product coordinator & growth marketer at Canva. "In a recent A/B test, we learned that including emojis with plain text in our in-app messaging lifts engagement more than including illustrative images.

"Thanks to Leanplum's easy-to-use messaging solution and automated insights, we can effectively engage more users, with content that resonates."

Emoji power

As mobile has proliferated and become the dominant digital channel among consumers, it has become increasingly important for marketers to adjust their strategies to get the most out of their mobile campaigns.

That means that mobile marketers not only need to change the way they think about marketing, they have to account for new angles that do not exist on other channels.

One aspect of this is push notifications and specifically how marketers can optimize them to get the largest amount of consumers to open them.

Leanplum took a look at the data behind push notifications to determine the best way for marketers to do this.

What they found was that push notifications that used emojis in them had an 85 percent higher open rate than notifications that did not.

To determine this data point, Leanplum analyzed data from more than 2.6 billion push notifications.

Emoji popularity is rising

The report also found that push notifications with emojis led to a slightly higher conversion rate if the notification had a call to action.

Finally, the report suggests that emojis can even help with app retention, providing a 28 percent lift in that statistic compared to apps that used no emojis.

"Improving re-engagement and retention are two of the most impactful ways that publishers can get the most out of their apps," said Amir Ghodrati, director of market insights at App Annie. "When you see examples of emojis helping to contribute to a 28 percent increase in day two user retention, that goes a long way toward increasing the lifetime value of every single download for those apps.

"It's important for mobile marketers to note how significant push notifications, and the creative methods that go into driving users back to apps, will continue to increase interaction," he said.

CTR boost

When marketers think about mobile, it is important to consider the ways in which mobile is unique compared to other channels, in addition to the ways it is similar.

Emojis are something that originated on mobile and customers experience them mainly through mobile.

On mobile, emojis even outperform illustrations and images as a way of driving engagement.

Some of the other ways emojis have been deployed by consumers includes emoji keyboards, such as the one employed by Sephora a few months ago (see story).

Android edges out iOS for emoji push notification engagement

Additionally, brands that use messaging platforms as marketing vehicles have had success with emoji keyboards, such as the one Hallmark hosted on iMessage (see story).

These campaigns show the way marketers are embracing emojis as a mobile-first marketing tactic that young consumers are attracted to.

"Today's app users demand delightful content to engage with," said Momchil Kyurkchiev, Leanplum co-founder and CEO, "This means marketers have to deliver mobile messaging campaigns that resonate with emotion on an individual level and at scale.

"This report confirms, along with first-hand conversations with customers, that emojis help drive higher open rates, greater conversions, and deepen user connections."