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Surfing the emoji 🌊: how emojis can boost user acquisition and retention

Advanced ASO

Surfing the emoji 🌊: how emojis can boost user acquisition and retention

We all love emojis and use them daily: it’s non-verbal communication that conveys emotions so much better than words could. It’s no surprise of course that marketers started thinking about taking advantage of those in their marketing messages, and it looks like it’s working!

A 2018 report by LeanPlum based on data from 2017 and 2018 from mobile apps has revealed a few very interesting points.

  • 16% of emails with emojis were opened, vs 9.7% for emails that didn’t include any.
  • 10.7% of push notifications with emojis were opened, vs 3% of push notifications without emojis.
  • There was a 66% positive increase in open rates of emails that contained at least one emoji, and a 254% increase in open rates of push notifications with emojis, both compared to their last report.
  • Apps that use emojis in their messaging had 26% fewer uninstalls than those who didn’t.

Basically, messaging with emojis engage app users significantly more and the trend seems to keep growing. In addition to that, emojis also improve app retention.

Convinced? Us too! And if it works so well in messaging, why not try it in your metadata? App Store Optimization is never boring : add an emoji relevant to your app’s activity in your app title or subtitle, to help users visualize what your app does. Stay clear of emojis that convey sadness, panic or disapproval and go for emojis that are linked to happiness, wealth and excitement.

Very few apps already do that, so it might be your chance to get ahead!

Our overview tool on AppTweak lets you check easily the metadata fields of all your competitors, so you’ll see very quickly if any of them are already trying it out in their name or subtitle! And if you need a quick refresher of which metadata fields are important and why, check here how to boost your app visibility in 2018.

You agree using emojis in your app would be cool as hell, but you’re worried about Apple’s reaction? We all remember the (relative) buzz about apps banned from the Apple App Store in February 2018 following their use of emojis, but we have some good news!

Since the WWDC in June 2018, Apple guidelines now officially recognize the right to use the emojis in your metadata, although in a specific and controlled way. The article 4.5.6 of the Apple guidelines states that “Apps may use Unicode characters that render as Apple emojis in their app and app metadata. Apple emojis may not be used on other platforms or embedded directly in your app binary”.

{UPDATE, NOVEMBER 2018: ASO Stack Slack member Johannes von Cramon reported that adding emojis was possible in the iOS 12.1 beta version but that Apple later removed it. We will keep you updated when we have more information about this.}

So, what are you waiting for? Go, go, go 🚀

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