If you’re a B2B sales professional trying to spice up your cold outreach, you've come to the right place! In this article, I’m going to dive into the world of emojis to help you answer the age-old question– to emoji or not to emoji?

I'll be breaking down the following:

  • The top emojis that will add some zing to your emails and subject lines
  • The best times to use them (and why)
  • The hot takes and whether or not you should worry when using emojis in your emails.

Ready? Let’s do this! 🔥

Should You Use Emojis in Your Emails?

The short answer is: yes! However, it’s a bit nuanced, so you need to keep these things in mind before you go throwing emojis in your email all willy-nilly:

  • Know your audience: It's vital to know to who you're sending these emails. Different people appreciate different emojis (with some who don’t appreciate them at all), so check your lead list and make sure your target audience is cool with it.
  • For example, if you're reaching out to highly-formal audience members, the dancing banana emoji might not be the best choice. 🍌 Take a simpler approach (or skip emojis).
  • Younger people (millennials and Gen Z) are more receptive to emojis than people 65+.
  • Match your outreach style: Your emojis should match the overall vibe of your cold outreach. If you're going for a more casual approach, you can get a little wild with your emoji choices. But if you're targeting a more formal crowd, keep the emojis simple and professional (or skip them).
  • What's the goal? Think about what you want to achieve with the emojis you choose.
  • Do you want to add a touch of mystery with the detective emoji? 🕵️ Or be more friendly with a tears of joy emoji? Make sure your emojis match the message you're trying to send.
  • Don't get mixed in with spam: Avoid the typical email marketing emojis whenever possible. Your goal is to make your cold outreach stand out, not end up in the Promotions tab.

Of course, the real key is testing different approaches to see what works and what needs to be left on the cutting room floor.

The Benefits of Emojis for Emails

Emojis in emails can work wonders for your cold outreach efforts, but how do you know if they work for you? The answer is simple– test, test, test! 🔍

  • Improved open rates: Emojis can grab the recipient's attention and make your email stand out in a crowded inbox. By testing different emojis, you can see which ones result in higher open rates.
  • (Research in 2020 found that 33% of people in the study clicked on emails with emojis in the subject line vs. 9% who clicked on ones with no emoji.)
  • Increased engagement: Emojis can make your emails more personable and engaging. Testing different emojis can help you find the ones that encourage the recipient to take action, such as responding to your email or booking a demo.
  • (Adobe found that 88% of people felt more empathy towards others who use emojis.)
  • Better understand your audience: By testing emojis, you can get a better understanding of what resonates with your target audience.

So, don't be afraid to get a little emoji-crazy.

Now, let’s get to the fun part and discuss what emojis to use!

Examples of Emojis for Email Subject Lines

To Emoji or Not to Emoji

I’ve chosen 8 of the most popular emojis you can use in your cold email subject lines. Check these out:

  1. The fire 🔥 emoji can show you have a hot deal to offer. You can also use it to share a controversial take that might provoke a reaction (or agreement) from your leads.

🔥 Boost your sales with [product/service]

  1. 😎 Sunglasses emoji: Conveys a sense of coolness or confidence. Typically, I use it when I want to emphasize how simple verifying emails can be with Findymail.

😎 Unlock the secret to [desired result]

  1. 🕰️ Clock emoji: Highlights the limited-time aspect of your offer.

🕰️ Limited time offer for [product/service] just for you!

  1. Padlock emoji: Suggests security and trustworthiness.

🔒 Secure your future with [product/service]

  1. 🛑 Stop sign emoji: Suggests there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

🛑 Stop wasting time on [problem]; switch to [product/service]

  1. 😃 Smiling emoji: Adds a friendly, personable touch to your subject line. It’s excellent for follow-up emails, too.

😃 Let's chat about how [product/service] can help your business

  1. 👀 Eyes emoji: Draws the recipient's attention and creates intrigue. They’ll feel like you’re letting them in on a secret – just ensure you make good on your promise.

👀 Don't miss out on [opportunity]

  1. 🔑 Key emoji: Conveys a sense of unlocking potential or value.

🔑 Unlock the full potential of [product/service]

Of course, there are hundreds of emojis to choose from. Test different ones out and see how your leads respond to them.

Mistakes to Avoid when Using Emojis for Emails

Here are a few things I see cold outreach pros do all the time - and it’s costing them their conversion rates:

  • Don't use emojis that are irrelevant or confusing in relation to the content of your email. (If you’re sending an email about the contract, you should probably not use emojis.)

Emojis with expressions come loaded with emotional context, so make sure you don’t make a mistake like Chris's example above.

  • Don't use emojis in a way that could be perceived as inappropriate or offensive. (Peach or eggplant emojis are just a huge no-no. No, not even when you’re 99.99% sure it might work.)
  • Don't overuse emojis in your subject line or body text, as this can make your email look spammy. Plus, every other emoji subtracts from the value and makes you look unprofessional.
  • Don't use emojis in professional or formal settings unless you are certain they are appropriate.
  • Don't assume that all recipients will understand the meaning of a particular emoji, as different cultures and regions may interpret them differently. (Be careful with hand and finger gesture emojis - avoid the biceps emoji as it can be interpreted as vulgar in some cultures.)
  • When choosing emojis, pay attention to your target audience and the tone of your cold outreach efforts.

Wrapping Up

To wrap things up, using emojis in cold email outreach can be a powerful tool if you want to stand out in the crowded inbox.

The thing is, if you still land in the Promotions tab because you’re not using the correct email warmup methods or verifying email addresses, it’ll all be for nothing.

Establish the foundations first, and then connect with your audience. Whether you're aiming to add a friendly touch, convey urgency, or highlight the benefits of your product or service, the right emoji can help you do just that.

Give emojis a try and see how they can spice up your cold email game. Who knows, they just might be the key to unlocking more open rates and conversions! 😎


Q: Are emojis in emails unprofessional?

A: It depends on your audience. As mentioned above, emojis are more acceptable to younger than older people. Use your best judgment, and don’t overdo it in either case.

Q: How do I put emojis in emails?

A: If you’re using your phone, there’s an emoji icon on your keyboard. On PC, the easiest way is to copy and paste them. Different email clients have different methods for adding them.

For Outlook on Windows, you can add emojis by pressing Windows Key + ; (semi-colon) or Windows Key + . (period) and the emoji panel will open.

For Gmail, you can add emojis by clicking the smiley face button located at the bottom.

Q: Do emojis show up in Gmail and Outlook?

A: Yes, emojis are supported by both Gmail and Outlook. However, remember that they will appear differently depending on the recipient's device. They also might not appear in some email clients, so avoid using emojis instead of words.

Q: Can emojis trigger the spam filter and reduce my deliverability?

A: Excessive use of emojis in the subject line can trigger spam filters (as does the use of all caps or multiple exclamation points). Use them sparingly.