822 Emoji for your Newsletter Subject Lines: Gmail & Outlook.com Cheat Sheet

Emoji created lots of buzz lately. For example, Google now shows emoji characters on its search engine result pages, and Instagram and MailChimp did some interesting research:
Instagram Emoji Research MailChimp Emoji Research
But what emoji could you use in your subject lines, and how do you use them?

Popular emoji

In 83,019 subject lines, which reached my inbox within the last months, these have been the top 20 emojis by unique senders:

 hearts  sunny  heart  snowflake  heavy check mark
 airplane  tm  envelope  soccer  relaxed
 hourglass  scissors  cloud  hotsprings  ballot box with check
 arrow forward  eight spoked asterisk  diamonds 🍀  four leaf clover  arrow right
 v  clubs  point up  alarm clock 🎉  tada
 exclamation  sparkle  heavy multiplication x  spades  coffee
 black small square  watch 🏈  football 🎁  gift 🍕  pizza
 eight pointed black star 😜  stuck out tongue winking eye 😎  sunglasses 💰  moneybag 💡  bulb
💜  purple heart 👭  two women holding hands 👬  two men holding hands 👍  thumbsup 🏀  basketball
🎅  santa 🎄  christmas tree  star  arrow up  question
 sparkles  pencil2  raised hand  tent  golf
 zap  anchor  umbrella  arrow backward  white small square
 hourglass flowing sand 🚤  speedboat 🚙  blue car 🚁  helicopter 🙈  see no evil

emoji-explain
The table above needs some explanation. Each cell contains up to three images:

  1. The black one on the left is the raw character, which you can copy and paste into your subject line, preheader or email body;
  2. the next one is the Gmail.com emoji image;
  3. and the 3rd one is the Outlook.com emoji image – if available.

Use CTRL-F in your browser to search for keywords like ‘heart’ or ‘plane’ and find the most suitable emoji for your campaigns.

Subject line examples

Emoji are quite common among the pros. Here are some subject line examples for the top 10 emoji from williams-sonoma.com, lillypulitzer.com, wetsealnewsletter.com, giggle.com, retailmenot.com, sears.com, photojojo.com, abercrombie-email.com, posterjack.ca, abercrombie-email.com, golfbreaks.com, tigerdirect.com, LEGO.com, lillypulitzer.com, sears.com, abercrombie-email.com, papajohns-specials.com, finishline.com, sears.com & markandgraham.com:

  • A New Twist on M♥M’s Day Gifts + More Great Savings In Stores & Online
  • Be Mom’s Favorite ♥
  • Sundaze ☀ Last Call for $10 Shorts!
  • ☀ sun’s out, sale’s on!
  • How well do you know M❤M?
  • Open ASAP — (you’ll ❤ this!)
  • Make Snow Your New Fave Model ❄️ with 4 Snow-photo Tips!
  • ❄ A Winter Advisory you NEED to check out →
  • ✔ 30% Savings for Mom Ends Today @ Posterjack
  • Up to 50% Off: ✔ off those 2015 Style Resolutions
  • ✈ Fabulous Flight-Inclusive Offers from £269! | Your Sunshine & Golf Await… ✈
  • ✈ Tech To Go: $199 Laptop | $79 Tablet | $10 7-in-1 Charging Kit, plus $128GB SSD $59 | 55″ LED TV $499
  • Exclusive LEGO® Star Wars™ Offers Coming Soon!
  • Introducing Lilly Pulitzer Luxletic™
  • ✉ [Official Announcement] You’re going to love this: Save HUGE on Apple devices
  • ✉ Open for something BIG!
  • ⚽ Score Pizza With A FREE Kick!
  • ⚽ 40% off. Wednesday steals! Don’t flop…
  • (Attention, please!) ☺ You’ve earned these amazing deals
  • Mom deserves a Getaway ☺ {with free shipping today!}

In Gmail, those subject lines should* translate into:
(*They don’t necessarily when copying & pasting, see the screenshots in the cheat sheet below; however, html entities trigger all emoji successfully within the email body. Debugging encoding issues is a pain…)

  • A New Twist on MM’s Day Gifts + More Great Savings In Stores & Online
  • Be Mom’s Favorite
  • Sundaze Last Call for $10 Shorts!
  • sun’s out, sale’s on!
  • How well do you know MM?
  • Open ASAP — (you’ll this!)
  • Make Snow Your New Fave Model ️ with 4 Snow-photo Tips!
  • A Winter Advisory you NEED to check out →
  • 30% Savings for Mom Ends Today @ Posterjack
  • Up to 50% Off: off those 2015 Style Resolutions
  • Fabulous Flight-Inclusive Offers from £269! | Your Sunshine & Golf Await…
  • Tech To Go: $199 Laptop | $79 Tablet | $10 7-in-1 Charging Kit, plus $128GB SSD $59 | 55″ LED TV $499
  • Exclusive LEGO® Star Wars Offers Coming Soon!
  • Introducing Lilly Pulitzer Luxletic
  • [Official Announcement] You’re going to love this: Save HUGE on Apple devices
  • Open for something BIG!
  • Score Pizza With A FREE Kick!
  • 40% off. Wednesday steals! Don’t flop…
  • (Attention, please!) You’ve earned these amazing deals
  • Mom deserves a Getaway {with free shipping today!}

Emoji Cheat Sheet Download

To see in detail how all emoji look in Gmail.com, Gmail for Android and Outlook.com, subscribe to my weekly email marketing news and get the full emoji cheat sheet as a welcome gift. It also includes a list of animated symbols, which you can use in Gmail subject lines. Of course you can always unsubscribe from the newsletter, if it’s not your cup of tea. Others did that before ;-) . But I’ll be glad if you’d give it a try – most people like it.

I’ll include the sheet’s download link in the welcome email. (If you got problems with the download, just drop me a line and I’ll send you the package.)

emoji-cheat-sheet

Emoji grab attention, but they don't work across all email clients. Sign up for my newsletter and receive the helping Emoji Cheat Sheets as a welcome gift: (archive♞)
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18 Responses to 822 Emoji for your Newsletter Subject Lines: Gmail & Outlook.com Cheat Sheet

  1. Thank you very much

  2. …cool

  3. How did you create the two cluster diagrams at the top of the article?

  4. I’m trying to get some little images to show in the subject line. Hoping this will help me :)

  5. …Thanks

  6. …great info

  7. Hope the icon arrive.

  8. …it worked. thanks

  9. …i dont easily see the instructions on HOW to do it. I see all the icons you CAN use. thx

  10. why some of the emoji like cars or cristmas tree doesn’t appear properly , is there any solution because i wanna use them in my mail subject thanks.

  11. … Thank you very mcuh

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