How to Use Emojis & GIFs to Promote Your App

Natalya Ustymenko

When words fall short, emojis help you express yourself and deliver information in a no-boring manner. The fact that the laughing emoji was selected by the Oxford English Dictionary as the word of the year in 2015, even though it is not really a word, indicates how much they influence our day-to-day lives. 

Promotion emoji xamples

Research has shown that people of all ages, from 18 to 65, use emojis/GIFs on a daily basis. Furthermore, 72% of people between 18 and 25 believe that it is simpler to communicate emotion using emojis rather than written words.

In this article, we will elaborate on how to use emojis and GIFs to promote your app and create a better overall user experience.

The Role of Emotions in Digital Marketing

Let’s have a look at how emoji usage can help increase traffic in digital marketing: 

Catalysts to Decision-Making

The common notion might suggest that every purchase choice is grounded in logic and supported by sensible and coherent thinking; in reality, this isn’t always the case. Thoughts and sentiments might have a significant impact on the process. Emotional purchases are usually spontaneous and may center on a tremendous desire for a certain product or a strong feeling toward a brand. That’s what brands bet on with emotional advertising, which involves evoking emotions via advertising emojis to drive sales.

Initiating a Call to Action

The incorporation of emotions, with the help of emojis and GIFs, are effective psychological underpinnings for a “call to action” (CTA). This opens the door to more successful promotion of your application and increased traffic. 


How to use emoji?

How Emojis & GIFs Can Boost App Engagement

Here’s how the use of emojis and GIFs can boost user engagement. Let’s take app emoji marketing as an example.

Generating a Friendly User Experience

When you include feelings and communicate with emoticons in the same way your users do, you shift from an immobile platform to an engaging app that provides suggestions. Emojis create a sense of friendliness and generate a positive aura around any idea. 

It is quite simple to regard emojis as being childish or unimportant. However, these drawings of happy people, cartoon animals, and mouthwatering foods really represent important things. Instant digital communication is effortlessly available via emojis. 

In addition, when your users can fully grasp the meaning of the instructions you provide, they will immediately establish a relationship with your company. 

Every positive encounter with a consumer, no matter how insignificant it may seem, contributes to the formation of a favorable impression of your brand. It’s a teeny-tiny dosage of bonding between you and your users, and all those little moments add up to produce a pleasant UI experience that will stick with them for a long time.

Adding a Bit of Personality to the Mix

Our body language and facial emotions significantly affect our nonverbal communication. It’s how we demonstrate empathy and develop connections that last longer. 

Nevertheless, one essential component is lacking when we communicate over the internet, and that is a face. 

According to research, when you look at a human face or an emoji of a smiling face, your brain establishes trust, just as when you look at a real person’s face. As a result, marketers can use emoticons as a great tool to humanize their brands and give customers a sense that their push notifications are both personal and expressive.

How to Use Emojis & GIFs for Your Mobile App: Ideas & Best Practices

Using emojis can make your app look more interactive and create a positive vibe, leading to more sales. Below, you will find some creative ways through which you can seamlessly integrate emojis into your application. 

Add Spice to Loading Screens

According to, half of all users will abandon their cart if it takes longer than 5-6 seconds to load, meaning that slow-loading pages can cause you to lose multiple customers. This might also give existing users the idea that your app is pointless and takes a long time to start/process data.

One great solution to overcome this issue is to use emojis or GIFs that could pop up while your app or a page is still loading. This will keep them engaged, and users will be less likely to leave or uninstall the application from their devices.  

You can also couple this with a quote, funny message, or tips on how to use certain functions of your app. 

Interactive & Responsive GIFs and Emoticons

Interactive and responsive GIFs and Emoticons can help to boost app engagement in several ways. First, they can add an element of fun and excitement to your app, making it more engaging for users. Additionally, they can help to encourage and reward user interaction, further boosting user engagement levels. 

Finally, they can provide a visual cue that helps users understand which actions they need to take to complete a task or achieve a goal. Ultimately, by incorporating GIFs and Emoticons into your app, you can create a more engaging and enjoyable experience for users, leading to increased app usage and customer retention.

Some areas where you can deploy this are: 

  • Product pages where users can react with an emoji.
  • Landing pages for company ratings. These may display responsive emojis whenever someone interacts with them. 
  • Live/floating emojis over the app UI, which allow you to keep track of the number of items in your cart and other data. 
  • GIFs in email marketing to attract user attention.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Emojis & GIFs

Creating an app experience that resonates with your user base is highly imperative. There is a very thin line between using emojis in social media to convey your message and using the wrong emoji that does not align with your intent. Look out for these common mistakes when using emojis and GIFs on your platform. 

Emojis Aren’t Universal 

Certain emoji examples may be suitable in one context, but that doesn’t mean they always deliver the message they are supposed to. There is no consensus among the general public on the meanings of individual emojis.

Individuals add their personal experiences to how they perceive an emoji. So even though you might use an emoji with gushing tears after something that you consider to be really humorous, someone else might question why you’re unhappy. This is quite common if your target demographic is older than forty. 

Targeting the Right Audience 

Make sure you are familiar with the demographics of your audience before utilizing promotion emojis. For instance, if your target audience is of a more mature age, they might feel awkward using emojis or just be unfamiliar with what they represent. 

Emojis may also not be suitable to use if you are working in a business environment or if your app is for working individuals. Research more about emojis for business and emojis for marketing to learn the distinction and to better identify when to use what. However, if your target audience is the younger generation, emoji usage could greatly increase interaction and traffic. 

All in all, the key is to identify proper brand emojis that best capture your business intent and help with outreach. 

Avoid Overuse of Emojis 

Ensure that you moderately use emojis and GIFs; otherwise, your users may become exhausted from constantly seeing the same emoticons. You can display them only after a predetermined amount of time has passed and on specific application pages. Or consider focusing on email emoticons only. 

Examples of Brands Using Emojis & GIFs in App Campaigns

We have seen multiple brands use emojis and GIFs in email marketing, brand campaigns, in-app UI, and other platforms. This is because it’s a simple, universal language that everyone understands. Below, you can find some examples of popular brands that used these attention-grabbing icons to drive sales and create engagement. 

1. Disney

Disney and animation are two terms that go hand-in-hand. People love Disney, so it was only a matter of time before the company realized how powerful it could be if it made its own emoji keyboard. But unlike conventional marketing options, this came with a twist. 

Disney added a gaming element, so users could only get the emojis if they won points in a game called “Disney Blast Blitz.”

Creative emoji use

2. Pepsi

The “Say it with Pepsi” campaign was based on the same idea as Coca-Cola’s — ”#Share a Coke” campaign. It was meant to promote a line of Pepsi cans and bottles with emoji designs.

Instead of putting people’s names on the product, Pepsi added emojis for different moods and countries to get people to share images on social media. 

It’s a simple strategy, but the fact that emojis can be understood by people who don’t speak the same language made it the basis of a successful global campaign.

3. Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s has been using emojis in business and in all its major marketing campaigns to make things easier for its customers. Consumers place repeated orders with just one pizza emoji on Twitter.

Though millennials might call it a gimmick, people who are new to this technology surely found a way to order pizza easily! 

Emoji for marketing

4. Duolingo 

Duolingo has heavily adapted various emojis as a form of marketing language in their app. For starters, they use relevant emoticons in in-app notifications that they send on your mobile. This helps increase engagement and click rates. Aside from this, Duolingo also has an option called ‘Friend Updates’ to celebrate learning milestones by picking from a selection of fun emojis.

Emojis in business

Final Thoughts

Now that you understand the importance of creative emoji use and GIFs in email marketing for promoting your app, it’s time to start using them in your own campaigns. When used correctly, they can help you boost engagement, connect with users on an emotional level, and increase conversions. If you need some aid, Reteno experts are here to foster your marketing initiatives. 

Alex Danchenko


October 31, 2022

Maya Skidanova


August 26, 2022

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