Emojis on phone
Image: MEgo-studio/Shutterstock

When push comes to shove, emojis in push notifications are a win-win

28 Feb 2017

Emojis are the currency of the digital age, and a new survey has found that open rates of push notifications increase 85pc with an emoji.

With thousands upon thousands of apps on various stores vying for your attention, push notifications are the primary means of activity for many users, be it a messaging app or a game.

The only challenge is to make them enticing enough for people to open, but this has so far failed to really work, as less than 3pc are ever opened.

This is according to a new study from Leanplum and App Annie, which found that when push comes to shove, the best attitude to take is to put some emojis in the notification.

Even with just the simple addition of a smiley face emoji, a survey of 5,000 push notification campaigns and 2.6bn push messages found that this open rate jumped to 4.51pc.

Marketers have already copped on to this, however, with the number of emoji-based notifications growing by a factor of 163pc between 2015 and 2016.

Interestingly, the reactions have been found to differ between platforms, with Android users considerably more keen to open notifications than iOS users.

Android v iOS

According to the survey, emojis were found to boost open rates in Android phones by as much as 135pc, whereas iPhone users were more resistant, though rates still increased by 50pc.

This has been put down to the mechanics of notifications on both platforms. On Android, a notification is more likely to hang around at the top of the screen for future viewing, compared with Apple notifications, which stay largely hidden in the background.

A similar boost can be noted with in-app messages, which see a 9pc increase in interactions when an emoji is included.

Why are people more responsive to emoji notifications? For the same reason that emojis are popular to begin with: they tap into our brains that are wired to read emotion from faces.

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

Colm Gorey
By Colm Gorey

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic. He joined in January 2014 and covered AI, IoT, science and anything that will get us to Mars quicker. When not trying to get his hands on the latest gaming release, he can be found lost in a sea of Wikipedia articles on obscure historic battles and countries that don't exist any more, or watching classic Simpsons episodes far too many times to count.

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