Case Study

Emojis as Valid Feedback

In early 2021 Mindful Appy rolled out the first iteration of the Net Emotional Index system, an emotional data technology. Collecting feedback from a group of people by using a modern version of the experience sampling method was so novel that we needed to have people try it for themselves.

Person holding a smartphone and scrolling through text messages. The emoji keyboard is open on the smartphone screen.


Compay Name: Mindful Appy
Date: August – December 2021

We hoped to prove that feedback in the form of emojis is both valid and valuable. Asking conference session attendees to participate in the science we were presenting them provided a great opportunity to have people try experience sampling for themselves and gather meaningful feedback on the presentations Michelle Stinson Ross was giving to the Digital Summit audiences.

Target audience & strategy

For this proof of concept testing, we asked digital marketers of all skill levels and experience to take out their smartphones and opt in to a dedicated SMS number. This one number was used at several speaking engagements all across the country. After the conference session we would trigger one question about how the audience felt about either Ms. Stinson Ross as a speaker or how they felt about the topic of Emotional Branding.

The strategy was to test several theories about how people would use emotional data technology:

  • How easy it was for people to participate
  • How many people would choose to opt in when prompted
  • How many people would respond to the immediate prompt
  • How many people would choose to remain subscribed and continue to engage in other prompts
  • How could we use the feedback to refine and improve the presentations over time

Implementation & Creativity

The creativity was in how we embedded the technology into an interactive in-person experience. Since the whole series of speaking engagements was about the role of emotion in making purchase decisions and long-term brand affinity, showing an audience how a purely emotional response could give them instant feedback about an experience could be part of the presentation. The entire talk revolved around explaining the connection between emotion and decision making.

The full presentation can be downloaded here – Emotional Branding Presentation for Digital Summit

In order to do this with the Digital Summit audiences we programmed a Conference Attendee group in the emotional data web app and scheduled feedback questions shortly after the end of the conference session.

Screenshot of the Mindful Appy Groups and Members dashboard highlighting the conference group participating in this case study
Screenshot of the Mindful Appy Project Dashboard highlighting the custom question created for the case study

The Results



Opt In


Response Rate


Continued Engagement


Positive Feedback

How easy it was for people to participate

  • Most people have their smartphone with them at a conference. Consistently 60 – 70% of people in the room willingly took out their phones and opted in when prompted.

How many people would choose to opt in when prompted

  • Depending on the number of people in any one session (spaced and masked per covid precautions) we would get 40 to 70 people opting in per show

How many people would respond to the immediate prompt

  • Given that the prompt was usually served right after the talk in a noisy conference environment we were consistently getting response rates of 20-40%

How many people would choose to remain subscribed and continue to engage in other prompts

  • 80 – 90% of participants chose to stay actively engaged even when reminded that they could opt out.

How could we use the feedback to refine and improve the presentations over time

  • The emotional sentiment (positive or negative) and the moods (happy, thankful, skeptical, confused, etc) were the most helpful in fine tuning the presentation. We quickly established an 80% positive response rate and maintained it across 6 speaking engagements from August through December of 2021

Along with testing things we planned to test, we were also able to validate that this type of feedback is most meaningful when tied to a specific audience (customer) engagement. It was very easy to interpret the feedback and make adjustments because we knew that the feedback was in response specifically to the 30 minute conference session. We can be confident that the same feedback for other touch points (live demo, landing page, blog post, chatbot thread) would enable a business to make adjustments to those specific touch points and improve the customer experience.

As a speaker the most compelling aspect of deploying emotional data technology in this way was to get the feedback I was missing from the audience in the room. People spread out and all wearing masks tended to be quiet and reserved and not as responsive as I had become accustomed to. It was very helpful to collect data and verify if what I had to share was hitting the mark and verify that people felt satisfied with the time they spent in my conference sessions.

Michelle Stinson Ross

Public Speaker, CMO, Feelalytics

Interested in beta testing our customer feedback data?

Feelalytics’s anonymous and automated system calculates sentiment, mood, and a Net Emotional Index Score using the most common way people express themselves: emojis.