Ever got an email from Santa Claus? Me neither, but in this day and age I’m assuming it’s just a matter of time. And when I do, I want to see his face in the ”From”-field. Yes, I said face, not name.
When writing an email in Gmail, my quickly typed 😉 easily transforms into a graphic smiley. Reinforcing my attempt to create a feeling with the reader. If I’m typing on my smartphone I might also include some other emojis like the ❤️, the 👍 or a 🍩. And then I send it to, for example, firstname.lastname@example.org . Until now, when I actually can send it to, or from, 🎅@northpole.com .
The character encoding known as UTF-8 makes it possible to include emojis in email addresses, and all possible characters, such as for example the Swedish å, ä, ö. The latter is certainly more useful than the first, but to any marketer (or jokester) it will most definitely be a fun detail to include when sending someone an email. In the upcoming Halon 4.0 we will include support for SMTPUTF-8 (RFC6531).
But what about …
Typing an emoji on your smartphone is obviously easy but what if you are on desktop? A Mac-user will press ctrl+cmd+space, but a simple Chrome plugin or even copy/paste from an emoji library website will also do!
Conversion to letters?
Regular email addresses are almost always converted to lower case, to make filtering and routing work. For Halon 4.0 we will convert UTF-8 to upper- and lowercase alternatives. Because there is no guarantee that a next-hop SMTP server will support the SMTPUTF8 extension, use of the SMTPUTF8 extension always carries a risk of transmission failure.
Halon 4.0 will be keeping the team busy during the holidays, until the release, sign up for the newsletter (in the website footer) and make sure you don’t miss the release or any interesting articles on the world of email. And from all of us, to all of you, merry Christmas and a Happy New year!