In general terms, email localization is all the efforts you put into delivering the right content to the right people via emails. The concept is rather wide and includes numerous subcategories, and the more international your audience, the more factors you need to consider while localizing your email campaigns.
Geomarketing as a Key Strategy
Before making any localization plans, you need to segment your audience to understand who actually you’ll be writing to: where your subscribers live, what their native language is, what cultural differences there may be between various groups.
Such segmentation requires geolocation data, and here is how you can learn it:
- by asking your subscribers (in the subscription form, preference management, feedback emails, etc);
- from the IP address;
- from the browser language;
- from the device geolocation via the app.
Once you’ve acquired the data, start putting it in practice: build your contact segments using location as one of the main conditions when launching location-specific campaigns. For example, a Super Bowl promo will be applicable to your US subscribers; gifts for White Day will be of most interest to the Asian audience (particularly Japan), and discounts to celebrate the Independence Day of Brazil should be sent to the Brazilians only.
When employed well, geomarketing can help achieve many goals: send localized and, as a result, personalized campaigns, target only potential customers, avoid annoying the rest of the subscribers, and save you money on campaigns that are likely to generate zero response.
Multilanguage for Email
It’s a fact that people better perceive the information provided in their native language. And although English is a widely accepted language of the Internet communication, a campaign in the preferred language of the customer had more chances to prompt a response.
How to know the preferred language of your readers? The corresponding option can be detailed in a subscription form, preference management, or in a customer’s profile on the website or app. For clients of modern professional ESPs, their system can track the browser language and automatically fill in the language field in the contact profile.
Mind that multilingual campaigns differ from auto-translation, both technically and conceptually. It’s not just Google-translated phrases or sentences. To create an email in the preferred language, you provide the translation on your own (considering all the linguistic nuances) and insert in the template (making sure the layout won’t be distorted). This would help avoid misconceptions and possible cultural discrepancy as even the best translator tool can’t guarantee the context is translated as intended.
Any marketer knows that content localization goes way beyond the above mentioned multilingual approach. When you deliver emails to the subscribers from around the world, there are basic factors you need to consider:
- Template adaptiveness. If you send multilingual campaigns, you need to make sure the text in any of your languages would fit the necessary blocks and structures. The length of the translated pieces may differ from the original. For example, English Manage my subscriptions in Spanish would sound like Administrar mis suscripciones (21 vs. 28 characters). Included as an anchor link, this might not be an issue, while a CTA with a longer text may get distorted. Design of hieroglyphs and backward languages (Arabic, Hebrew) requires even more editing. Build your email templates keeping in mind the structural particularities of the languages you send in: the more adaptive the template, the less manual redesigns it will need.
- Image relevance. Text isn’t the only thing to consider for localized email campaigns; image fit is equally important. No nudes for conservative Muslim countries, more inclusive body-positive models for US and Western campaigns, more eco-friendly images for Scandinavian countries – each region has its own ethical and trendsetting requirements and you need to try to comply with them to deliver the more targeted campaigns.
- Cultural conformity. Colors, proper names, dates, symbols currencies, prices, social media – there are numerous small yet significant details that also need adaptation. For example, the meaning of colors and symbols aren’t always universal for all regions and situations; they may be linked to different emotions or even convey religious meanings. And in terms of time, some countries use a 12-hour system and put am/pm to define part of the day; some use a 24-hour format and don’t need such designations. 13:40 in Europe would be denoted as 1:49 pm in the USA or Canada.
- Laws compliance. Email regulations vary depending on the country and even on the state or county within one country: CAN-Spam Act and recent CCPA in the US; CASL in Canada, GDPR in European Union, Regulations on Internet Email in China, etc. To avoid spam reports, bans by email clients and fines, make sure you comply with every regulation valid on the territory of your marketing activity.
Proper Additional Channels
An email strategy is only a part of the overall digital marketing efforts. To get the most of it, marketers usually support email campaigns with other channels the company uses to communicate with customers: social media, web pushes, mobile pushes, SMS, messengers.
And in terms of localization here are also some things to keep in mind. While Facebook and Instagram remain the main social platforms, web pushes can be used by any business, and mobile pushes make a good tool for all brands with apps, a messenger choice requires a different approach. When opting for messenger campaigns, find out what particular service is popular within each region. Thus, WeChat works the best for China, Viber – for Eastern Europe and Asia, WhatsApp – for South Africa and South Asia, etc. Analyze your contact base to see what contact info prevails, and choose the corresponding strategy. There is no much use in launching mass WeChat campaigns if only 5% of your subscribers have the corresponding account.
Email localization is important for many reasons:
- it helps create more targeted campaigns and deliver relevant messages to the right people;
- it saves your time, effort and budget;
- it reduces the unsubscribe rate because people receive only the offers they’re really interested in.
Start segmenting your contact base by location to improve the overall email performance and generate more profit.
Author Name: Iuliia Nesterenko
Author Bio: Iuliia Nesterenko is a contributing writer at eSputnik. Her focus is on exploring current digital marketing trends and describing new strategies for email marketers.
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.