In the first of our series on how to create a winning global digital marketing campaign, we analysed how to choose the right website CMS for multinational businesses with distinct international markets.
Whether your business is already global, you’re about to expand into a new market or you feel your digital marketing strategy is not generating sufficient results, email marketing has a significant role to play in the international marketing mix.
Research shows that 59 per cent of digital marketers claim email has the highest ROI of any channel they use.
However, if your email strategy isn’t properly optimised you won’t see enhanced returns and your overseas operations will stall.
How should I approach global email campaigns?
Shouldn’t you just use the same email content translated?
Translating your source market email copy isn’t necessarily enough, but will come in useful where you offer the same products and services in a similar market, with shared cultural characteristics.
When translating your existing email copy, you should look to use local, native speakers, who thoroughly understands language nuances. Our translators are all based locally, and with our email translation services, you can grow your overseas operations with accurate and resonant email copy.
We have over 17 years of email translation experience and we’ll get your email singing all the way from the subject line to the call to action.
Localisation equals a higher ROI
Reports show that 72 per cent of people are more likely to buy a product from an email with information in their local language. But what can you do to go beyond simple translation? Thinking about localisation and the bigger picture for your local market is a good start.
A survey revealed that international email localisation is a low priority task for marketing managers; the survey from Marketing Sherpa highlighted that only 15 per cent of managers considered email localisation to be a high priority.
With the complex cultural differences between different markets, this is an oversight for companies looking for success in multiple markets. Email marketing is simply too valuable a channel to not maximise.
The Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) discovered that every $1 spent on localisation leads to an ROI of $25.Couple this with the vast potential of email as a channel and it’s clear that brands that fail to localise fail to maximise their ROI.
Concentrate on language specifics
Different countries, especially as you jump from the extremes of East to West, have vastly different cultures. For instance, here in the UK companies speak to their customers in a reasonably friendly yet professional manner. It would be considered unusual for a brand to speak in a stiff or overly formal manner to its customers.
Contrast this approach with how a brand talks to its customers in Eastern Europe and a much more formal approach is more common, as it is in Japan.
Knowing the language specifics in different countries is crucial. Consider the fact the French is spoken across France, Switzerland, Canada, Belgium and various African countries. Many of the words used in these countries will be identical, but many won’t. Using the wrong word at the wrong time can leave customers confused and your company red-faced. A pertinent example is that these countries all have their own methods of greeting.
Talking to customers in the way they’re used to should not be undervalued.
Understand cultural differences
You must be sensitive to the cultural differences between the markets you operate in. Knowing that Spain, many other Hispanic countries, the Philippines and parts of mainland China have a siesta, or daytime sleep, will influence when you decide to send your email communications.
And if you operate in countries with large Muslim populations, you’ll want to avoid sending time-sensitive or urgent emails during prayer times or on Fridays, as they may be unnoticed and unread.
Time zones are another vital consideration when timing your email sends. Just because you’re awake and at the office doesn’t mean your target market in another country will be receptive to an email you send!
Just as best practice dictates, you’ll determine the best time to send your emails through testing. Schedule emails at different points throughout the day, and with split testing, you will establish when your audience checks their email and when they are most receptive to your communications.
Track open rate, click rate and engagement time to understand when the ideal time is to schedule your emails.
Translation can throw tried and tested email templates out of whack – Dutch for instance is a notoriously wordy language, so translations of button copy needs to be carefully thought through. You might want to make the button size in your email template adjustable for particularly verbose languages.
The colours you use in your designs might not work in overseas markets. With a strong grasp of local colour theory, you can understand what the different associations of colours are in countries around the world. For instance, in the UK and other western countries red can indicate danger, however in China red has connotations of luck, so making a call to action button in China red may make more sense than doing so on our shores.
Understand privacy and spam rules
Finally, email marketing 101 is to ensure your email messages pass most email service providers’ spam filters with ease. However, you probably won’t be accustomed to the rules of email providers in different markets. Knowing what they consider to be spam will go a long way to ensuring that your customers receive your communications.
Email translation services
Get in touch with the expert team at Bubbles to find out more about our email translation services and to discuss your requirements.