How to Create an Effective Multilingual Email Marketing Campaign
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Today, going multilingual is an integral aspect of powerful email marketing, particularly for businesses operating in global markets. Yet, this is quite a challenging thing to do that requires time and effort.
So, why make your email marketing multilingual? Indeed, why add new languages to your strategy if you can only run emails in English (or any other language)?
1. Boost your email performance
Recipients are more likely to engage with email content in their native language. So, for some companies going multilingual results in the following:
- conversion rate increased by 30%
- 56% of the people surveyed said they preferred content in their native language over a price
- open rate (OR) increased by a whopping 100%
Related: How to Launch Your First Email Marketing Campaign and Get the Results You Want
2. Enhance personalization
At the heart of effective email marketing lies personalization: delivering the right message to the right person at the right moment in time. This is also known as the 3R rule.
And the “right” message is:
- right context
- right data
- right language
3. Reach a wider audience
Simply knowing your customers’ geographical location is not enough. It’s crucial to detect their language preferences or even directly ask them, as they may have diverse cultural roots. For instance, one in five Americans speaks a language other than English, indicating that relying solely on English is not enough to reach the entire US population.
Related: 3 Quick Steps to Get Your Message Out to a Wider Audience
4. Comply with local regulations
In some countries or regions you are entering, there may be specific language requirements for marketing communications.
In Canada, for instance, the Official Languages Act provide customers the right to receive services in the official language of their choice.
5. Understand your audience better and stay competitive
Running email marketing campaigns in a few/many languages can help you gain insights into the preferences of your target audience from different countries, allowing you to optimize your strategies accordingly.
How to run multilingual campaigns properly
There are a few core things that businesses need to know to effectively communicate with their global audience.
1. Align email with other communication channels. Before starting your multilingual email journey, you should make sure your website/product is available in the necessary languages.
If it’s not, and if you’re just planning on translating your website into these target languages, make sure all the necessary landing pages, like thank you and unsubscribe, are available in them.
You might also want to run social media and Help Center in all necessary languages.
2. Ensure accurate and consistent translations. Accurate, high-quality, consistent translations are crucial to avoid miscommunication and ensure the message is well-received. Provide professional translators with your glossary of terminology relevant to your niche and terms used across your website.
3. Localize emails. You do not just translate emails. You need to localize them. Translation is the process of communicating the meaning of a source-language text by using an equivalent target-language text. Localization is a more in-depth approach that considers the cultural, visual and technological elements of the target audience. It goes beyond word choice and can affect how your email presents information and is designed (colors, pricing, images, etc.).
Localization requires businesses to consider the following:
- Cultural differences — as a result, you sometimes need to use different visuals for your emails, stick to different tones of voice for different countries, or even send emails on different dates. For example, most European countries celebrate New Year in December, while Israel celebrates it in September. Another example, Americans prefer an informal tone of voice in communication, whereas French, Germans and Japanese prefer it formal.
- Units of measurement — in the US, they use ft and lbs, while in Europe, they use meters and kilograms.
- Currency — converting the prices when reaching people worldwide will be best.
- Dates — different regions use different time and date formats. Europe uses DD/MM/YYYY, while the US uses MM/DD/YYYY. Convert dates or specify months in letters. (Eg., Fri 5 May 2023.)
- Time zones — this looks pretty obvious, yet worth mentioning. Consider the time zones of the recipients to ensure emails are delivered at the most appropriate time for the recipients.
- Technical compatibility — ensure localized emails are compatible with different devices across various regions. This includes dealing with text directions right-to-left (RTL) and left-to-right (LTR) and character encoding.
- Current situations in countries — adapt your email localization strategy to accommodate the rapidly changing global landscape, such as economic fluctuations, political events or public health crises. These situations may require adjusting your messaging, tone or approach to ensure that your emails remain relevant and sensitive to the needs and concerns of your target audience.
- Legal regulations — familiarize yourselves with local laws and regulations, such as privacy policies, anti-spam laws and advertising regulations. It will be helpful also to create a glossary of words forbidden in some countries.
With multilingual email marketing, you acknowledge and respect the diversity of customers, fostering strong connections, building trust and ultimately driving business success.