*bzzz* It's my phone going off — another notification. Personally, I have my notifications set up in a way where only the most important things are allowed to vibrate: calls, texts, personal emails and Twitter notifications. This one was an email. It's a Sunday afternoon, so the last thing I want to deal with is a newsletter or a marketing message, but as I go to swipe it off of my screen, I have to pause.
It's a coffee cup emoji. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I love coffee — and not in that "yeah, but everyone loves coffee" way that you're thinking. It's serious. So serious that the email in question is from a resource called Barista Hustle, which features tips and content on how to make the absolute best cup of coffee or shot of espresso. And if it weren't for that emoji, I probably would have breezed right past the sender and subject line and automatically deleted another nondescript email.
Instead? I opened and read the entire email — and even clicked through to the site, all while I was out somewhere in town. The difference was the emoji, what many would consider to be a trivial or kitschy addition. Just after this happened to me, our blogger Gary Hennerberg devoted an entire post to the topic, which I would highly recommend as a great primer on emojis.
MailChimp has even been researching to see what the most popular and effective ones are, for email subject lines. While the usual suspects grab the top spots, keep in mind that something more tailored to your content will turn more heads than the standard smiley face. As Barista Hustle proved, a cup of coffee is a huge motivator for clicks, when it comes to members of their dialed-in audience like me.