Factors to consider when sending e-mail to multiple countries, each with its own language, culture, and social morays.
Last month I was part of a panel on international e-mail marketing at the Email Experience Council's Email Evolution Conference in San Diego. When marketers think about sending e-mail internationally, localization is obviously one of the first issues that come up. The discussion then often moves to the questions of translation and infrastructure support for "foreign" languages. In effect, localization is often equated with translation.
What struck me most during the panel was the consensus that translation isn't localization. The panelists all agreed that localization is vital to international campaigns' success, and they weren't talking about translation.
Localization, effectively, is a form of segmentation. When sending e-mail within a single country with a mostly common language and culture, we know there are significant differences between audiences. We also know that speaking to these audiences individually (segmenting) substantially lifts results. Clearly the same will hold true when sending to multiple countries, each with its own language, culture, and social mores.
Some localization issues that regularly present challenges internationally include:
In a tightening economy, many organizations centralize and close satellite offices to manage costs. What my fellow panelists made clear is that while such centralization of e-mail management can reduce costs and improve messaging consistency, it's essential not to lose the understanding of the places to which you're mailing.
At the end of the day, there's really no substitute for local knowledge to ensure effective international communications.
Until next time,
Want more e-mail marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our e-mail columns, organized by topic.
Want to learn more?
Join us at ClickZ Live New York this March 30 - April 1. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry leading events, ClickZ Live brings together over 50 expert speakers to offer an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today to secure your place and save $300!
Derek is the managing director of J-Labs, Javelin Marketing Group's technology skunkworks, a role that draws on his 20 years of experience and leadership in the fields of marketing and technology. A British expatriate based in Seattle, Washington, Derek is perhaps better known as the founder and technologist behind Innovyx, one of the first email service providers later acquired by the Omnicom Group. An industry veteran and thought-leader, Derek is a regular expert author, contributor, conference speaker, and takes an active role in a number of industry and trade groups.
Singapore, 5-6 March
Bangkok, 17-18 March
Hong Kong, April 2015
A Buyer's Guide to Affiliate Management Software
Manage your performance marketing with the right solution. Choose a platform that will mutually empower advertisers and media partners!
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
March 3, 2015
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT