Why and How You Should be Running Multilingual Email Marketing Campaigns

Prestige Network Blog

Imagine having a worldwide reach to your audience, getting noticed and being understood clearly at the same time. The best way to do this isn’t a new technology, it’s actually very well established: it’s email.

If you’re looking to market internationally, here’s one one fact to remember: 9 out of 10 internet users always prefer their own language for online content. Customer have strong opinions on their language preferences, and it’s up to businesses to meet these needs.

As an efficient way to test the waters in a new market, or explore new ideas for existing markets, email is pretty much unrivalled. It’s instant, it’s impactful, and nearly three out of five emails double as a mobile marketing message. Email is also highly suitable for translation and use in international campaigns.

If multilingual email marketing is a route you’ve never considered, an idea that you’ve looked into before, or something you have already tried, we’ve assembled some key information – as well as 6 practical tips – to help you get started or improve what you’re already doing.

Why email marketing?

Email has been a staple of business communications for so long it can be easy to forget why it has endured. Here are some essential features of email that give it the edge as a marketing channel.

It’s easy to test

Few channels give you results as clearly as email. Key interactions can be interpreted easily whatever language your email is in, and results are immediate. If it’s performing well you will know straight away and if it isn’t working you can make a change immediately.

Campaigns can be self-contained

Using email for a stand-alone campaign makes it a simple task to recreate an email campaign for a different location, language or culture – much more than a whole website or other online channels. If it works for you, email campaigns can be run independently or as a wider programme – the choice is yours.

It’s cost-effective

There’s no escaping that cost is a key driver of business decisions, and if you’re looking to try something new, multilingual emails are perfect for proof of concept. You can run an effective email campaign with minimal investment – as long as you have the right platform, message and data it’s hard to go wrong.

Why run a multilingual email campaign?

There are many reasons to run email campaigns across languages, so rather than listing all of these, the most important are as follows.

Instant, cross-border access to your audience

Once it’s sent, your email will be right there in inboxes immediately. There’s no better way to increase the reach of your message, and it’s a highly efficient way to get around barriers to communication created by geography and time.

It’s all about the words

Email lends itself to translation because it’s short, clear and direct. However it’s presented, the essence of an effective email campaign is the words you use. You can control the message and make it clear in any language.

Scalability – on a global level

If email marketing works in one geographic region, it can be made to work in others. As long as you do it well there are genuinely no limits to the possibilities.

6 key considerations for international email marketing

Now you’ve got the idea and you’re probably ready to get going. Although you want to get started right away, there are some considerations before you begin.

1) Hit the target

This is important for all email marketing, but it’s vital for multilingual campaigns. You need to be sure there’s a market for your product in whichever country you’re looking to, so take the time to explore your international opportunities.

2) Check your message

Here’s where some local knowledge will be invaluable. For instance, does the target market tend to prefer quality over value? How well do they know your product? Are there any cultural reasons you might be misunderstood? Make sure these are all clear before you start translation.

3) Translate properly

It sounds obvious, but Google Translate just won’t cut it. A professional, human translation will more than pay for itself. In fact, if you’ve done everything else right, it’s one of the easiest parts of the process.

4) Think global, send local

Another simple but critical point, make sure your timing is right: your mid-afternoon might be evening Beijing; sending on the right days is important (for example Saudi weekends are Friday and Saturday); and always be aware of national public holidays. Overlook any of these and your campaign will suffer.

5) Keep it legal

Don’t fall foul of local laws – think GDPR in the EU, or strict German privacy laws. It’s not hard to double check email regulation, so ensure this happens.

6) Act on the results

If it all goes well then why not repeat? It’s simple and cost effective. If the results aren’t what you expected, it’s easy to try again.

So, how do you begin?

If you’re ready to get started, Prestige Network can help with planning, execution and expansion of your multilingual email marketing. If you’re not sure whether you’re ready to try it out, we are also on hand with advice to see if it could work for your business.

For more information or to discuss your requirements, please contact our Marketing Translation Specialist Jackie at jb@prestigenetwork.com.