With the growing popularity of emojis—World Emoji Day was celebrated July 17—marketers are increasingly incorporating them into their messaging to engage and connect with customers. Research on emoji use by marketing technology providers Appboy found that between second quarter 2015 and second quarter 2016, the number of messaging campaigns featuring emojis grew 609 percent. More than 800 million messages featuring emojis were sent in June 2016, compared to 145 million during the same month in 2015.

Appboy’s research has also highlighted the increased use of targeting in marketers’ messaging. In third quarter 2015, campaigns incorporating emojis had more than half a million recipients, on average. By the end of the year, that had dropped to 325,000 and has held roughly steady since then. Appboy suggests, “Brands are increasingly taking advantage of segmentation and message targeting to deliver messages with emojis to customers who are likely to be interested in receiving them.”

Marketers’ more accurate targeting appears to be working. Between June 2015 and June 2016, open rates for iOS and Android push notifications featuring emojis increased by 210 percent and 1,063 percent, respectively. Conversion rates associated with these campaigns increased 135 percent during the same time period.

In a poll of consumers, Appboy found that 64 percent like or love emojis, and only six percent dislike them. Furthermore, 87 percent use them in their own texts and messages, and 68 percent report receiving a message with an emoji at least once a day. Appboy reports that 39 percent of respondents said they would find it fun if brands used emojis in their messaging.

For more on Appboy’s findings and to download the report, click here.