🚀 Emojis in Newsletter subject lines - Do they increase your open rate?

OK, I don't know the answer yet, but I have a guess. My assumption is that adding a relevant emoji at the front of the subject line will help to increase the open rate of my newsletters. Given that my audience is software developers, and all self-respecting engineers adore emojis 🤩.

Some context: One of my projects, LibHunt, has a total of ~13,400 subscribers of its newsletters. Some examples are Awesome Ruby Newsletter & Awesome Python Newsletter. The open rate has been dropping slowly over time and is ~42% right now.

As a simple measure to increase the open rate of the emails, I’ve decided to run a small experiment. Starting from this Friday, I will be inserting a relevant emoji at the beginning of all subject lines. For example, Ruby - 💎, iOS & Swift - 📱, Python - 🐍, Java - ☕, and 💻 for everything else.

Now, if you wish to take part in this experiment, you can write down your guess. (A) Open rate will go UP, (B) it will STAY as it is (C) it will go DOWN.

Then, I will report the results next Friday afternoon (Sydney time).

  1. 4

    What platform do you use to send the emails? This question seems like a classic case for an A/B test, where half of the users receive an emoji in the subject line and half do not. Just like a scientific study, this eliminates as many sources of variance as possible, isolating the one change that you are testing. Your email platform may offer a built-in tool for this, if you use your own tooling it also shouldn't be hard to implement.

    1. 1

      I use my own. You are right, I should build an easy way to A/B test similar things. Thanks!

  2. 2

    It depends how savvy your audience is.

    In my case, emoji in emails drastically reduce the odds I'd ever buy anything from you and increase the chances I'll dismiss it as junk mail. I might be more likely to open it the first time, though.

  3. 2

    I have read it's good practice for growth hacking open rate, but can't remember the source now.

  4. 1

    The first observations is that more than the usual amount of people are on vacation (based on the received auto-responses). As @philipkiely has suggested, the best way would be to A/B test the experiment with sending two different versions at the same time.

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