Are you in two minds about using emojis in email signatures? You’re not alone. The emoji has gone mainstream. Once, it was like text speak of the early 2000s, largely the domain of teenagers and utterly unprofessional. Now, most of us use emojis, at least a bit, in our communications.
Still, there’s a limit. We know that too many emojis can seem unprofessional. We know that there are cases when an emoji has no place whatsoever. Like text speak, it’s all about common sense in moderation. You’d never email a coworker, ‘Go 2 conf room? C U L8R!’. You might use the occasional LOL, or WRT. The question is, are you really aware of when and where it’s okay to use an emoji? What about your email signature? Should you use it there?
In this article, we’ll explore some general guidelines about using emojis in email signatures. We’ll also look into the place of the emoji and other graphics on your business cards, and in other professional communications.
Emojis in Your Professional Email Signature: Should You or Not?
If you absolutely must have a definitive answer, then it’s ‘NO’.
Using an emoji at work is a risky proposition at best. On the other hand, this is a nuanced issue, so the real answer is ‘it depends‘.
Specifically, what business are you in, and what is the topic of the email? If you’re in a business that is ‘fun’, then an emoji could be a good fit. Likewise, if you are sending out an upbeat email that you know is going to be well-received.
So, an email from the director of a children’s museum announcing a fun event, is probably a yes. An email from your accountant with news that you are being audited is absolutely a no.
Ultimately, nobody is going to be upset with you if you don’t use an emoji in your signature. They will definitely notice if you use one when it is utterly inappropriate.
Are There Any Benefits to Using Emojis in Your Email Signature?
Okay, in specific situations, there may be benefits to having an emoji or two in your email signature. If your business will benefit from giving a more laid back impression, then an emoji can help. Likewise, emojis have been shown to improve moods and make people more receptive. Again, if you are in a ‘fun’ or ‘cheery’ business, you probably have more leeway when it comes to this subject.
You may also consider clickable emojis. These, in particular, can work well with customer support teams and marketing staff. By using a clickable emoji such as a happy or sad face, you can route your recipients to a survey or feedback form to give their opinion of your products and services.
Emojis as a Departmental Decision
In some cases, whether or not you should allow emojis in email signatures shouldn’t be a company-wide decision. Instead, it may be something that each team leader should determine. Whether or not to allow it could depend on the department’s function and target audience.
What About Using More Than One Signature?
One potential solution to this dilemma is to use more than one email signature. Then, depending on the circumstance you could pick the appropriate email signature.
There’s just one potential drawback. You have to remember to switch signatures, and that can be difficult. All it would take is sending out one serious email with a cheery signature full of emojis to cause quite a bit of embarrassment.
Email Signature Emojis And Corporate Branding
Corporate branding and personal style can absolutely clash with one another when it comes to emojis in email signatures. If you own the business, or you’re in the C-suite, you may have the freedom to choose how your signature looks. Otherwise, proceed with caution. Chances are good that your company wants you to have a signature that conforms with company standards. In fact, they may have created a signature for you.
What About Alternatives?
Because your email signature will be used in every email you send out and will be used to help communicate a wide variety of messages, it may not be the best place for emojis.
Instead, consider using emojis, where appropriate, in the body or subject line of your message.
How Else Can I Make my Email Signature Stand Out?
There are many ways to do this. In fact, if you have a great tool for creating email signatures, your possibilities are nearly limitless. You can add your profile picture to your signature, your company logo created with a logo maker, or any other image. You can also play with colors and fonts.
Looking to spice up your email signature? Use Gimmio.
What About Using an Emoji on my Business Cards?
Again, this is a personal decision. Many of the same considerations that we’ve addressed above still apply. It depends on the specific circumstances and the nature of your business. The difference is that with printed business cards, you are sort of stuck with your decision.
Do you want every business card you distribute to have a happy face, heart, or praying hands? If so, then go ahead. Otherwise, there may be better ways to give your business cards personality and to promote your brand.
Advice on The General Use of Emojis in Business Communications
Match Your Communication With That of The Recipient
If you’ve never communicated with someone before, take some time to better understand their communication style. If they tend to have a bubbly writing voice and use emojis in their communications, that style is probably welcomed from you.
When you use emojis, pay close attention to the response you receive. A client who consistently responds to your emojis with serious emails, and none of their own emojis, probably doesn’t appreciate your efforts. Don’t continue to bombard them with hearts, smileys, and beer mugs.
Don’t Overdo It
Think of emojis like hashtags. They add some punch to your content and correspondence, but too many are sure to be a bit irritating.
Never Use Emojis When The Conversation is Serious
Are you announcing that the coffee machine is down in the breakroom? By all means, feel free to include a sad face emoji. Are you giving a client bad news about a deadline? In that case, dispose of any emojis you might be tempted to include.
Use Emojis to Lighten The Mood
Let’s be honest. Email and other online communication can come off a bit harsh. A slight criticism can seem blunter than you intend. A simple smiley face can take the edge off, and help ensure that your messages are not misinterpreted.
Because you send emails out for so many different purposes and to so many people, email signature emojis might not be the best idea. Ultimately it depends on your branding, and the message you want to send.
In any case, you certainly have other options if you do decide to use emojis in your correspondence. Just follow these guidelines, and you’ll be able to use emojis effectively and professionally.
About the Author
Elisa Abbot is a professional content creator and translator for PickWriters. She aims to become the best translator in her field and always wishes to provide excellent quality content to her readers and clients. In her free time, she loves watching movies in different languages and traveling to various destinations abroad.