Part 1: 🔮 An Overview of Emoji Domains

A Digital Marketer’s Guide to the Power of Emoji Domains

John Harrison
May 16, 2017 · 11 min read
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👼 Emoji aren’t just for kids

On the same day, about a month ago, 2 emails stood out more than any others. One was from my dad and the other was from my accountant. Both of these men are in their late fifties and both of them included emoji in their messages to me for the first time.

Now you can own a single character emoji too!

Here’s a few up for sale:

⌚.ws 🚢.ws 🚚.ws 🇪🇺.ws 🔞.ws 🔑.ws 🦔.ws 🇸🇬.ws 🇩🇰.ws 🧕.ws 🧘.ws

🤯 Emoji domains? ?

This may be news to some so yes, emoji domains are possible in a few restricted extensions, the most adopted being the country code for Western Samoa, .ws. I mean, if Coca-Cola chose to go to market with an emoji domain on .ws then it’s pretty clear .ws is the go-to extension for emoji.

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Coca-Cola emoji domain marketing campaign

🤔 Brevity, Recall & Memorability

First of all, they are short as hell. A single character emoji domain is only 4 taps away. The emoji, the dot, the ‘w’ and the ‘s’ It’s one of the shortest possible ways to link to your company. But why is short good? To start with, just like regular domain names made of boring letters and numbers, the shorter they are, the easier they are to remember. Take the watch brand, Audemars Piguet, for example. What’s easier to remember? Their brand name or ⌚.ws?

“The picture is the most important structural element in magazine advertising, for both consumer and business audiences.”

Childers and Houston in 1984 follow up with:

“Visual ads require less exposure than verbal ads for long-term memory effect.”

These studies were completed in the pre-consumer internet era but could the effect extend to online advertising and emoji domain names?

🗣️ Language

Another obvious but extremely powerful benefit emoji domains have is that they transcend language. The words الة تصوير, Kamera, 相機, Камера and camera are all summed up by this one domain, 📷.ws.

✨ Isn’t this just a gimmick?

To better understand the potential of emoji domains we need to better understand emoji themselves. For traditionalists, they are superfluous cartoons clogging up respected ways of communicating. The problem for this group is that most people like to use them.

‘Market for the year you live in’


‘Native storytelling’

Phrases like these that often appear in his keynotes never get old. Businesses need to market for the year they live in, concentrating their efforts in the places people naturally inhabit. Right now, people are in their phones. While watching TV, when they’re in a taxi, waiting for a bus, at work, just before bed and probably upon waking. Even while they are on the 🚾

🚚 Emoji as infrastructure

To me it makes plain, logical sense that an emoji domain is going to resonate with people and reflect how they are already communicating. Its one way a business can show that its a collection of people with ideas rather than a robotic profit-making machine. Remember the sentiment ‘people do business with people, not businesses’? Shouldn’t businesses do all they can to communicate like people?

💬 The rise of messaging and what it means for emoji domains

On a recent Mixergy interview ✎ Andrew Warner quizzed Ezra Firestone of Smart Marketer about the power of chat bot marketing. Ezra revealed that by reaching his customers in Facebook Messenger he had 99.6% delivery rate of his chat bot message, a 96.8% message open rate and a 55% click through rate. To anyone that has sent any sort of marketing messages to their customers and had a less than under-whelming experience these numbers will sound outrageously good. Even adept marketers are only achieving a 25% open rate on their email marketing- a place we consumers traditionally guard highly. (note: Ezra does make it clear that these customers are engaged, bottom of the funnel customers so percentages will naturally be higher than those further up the funnel. However, chat bot Facebook Messenger marketing is showing his highest engagement rates)

Adding short URLs that link directly to Messenger could have a tremendous impact on a brand’s ability to convert their shoppers into buyers. Social media teams could change every bio, post or image link to land directly in a message thread with a brand or business.

Steve Greenwood’s company- Brewster- was brought internally to RBI (owners of the Burger King and Tim Hortons brands) to run their digital transformation. He writes an impassioned article about the potential of chat bot messaging for these mega-brands. What about food delivery service chat bots? Could they take advantage of 🚚.ws or could Papa John’s use 🍕.ws for example? What could Burger King do with 🍔.ws?

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Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed the article it would mean the world to me if you hit the 👏 button below. It will help other people see the story and they might learn its OK to look at your 📱 on the 🚾

🐦 Say hello on Twitter

🎥 Check out our emoji URL shortener 🎥.ws for #vloggers, #filmmakers and #storytellers

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