3 posts categorized "Multi-National Email Campaigns" Feed

Tips for Sending Multi-Language Emails to Clients Around the World

Localized e-mails are a key part of an effective customer communications strategy, driving immediate revenue and opening the doors to future branding and sales opportunities. However, you need to be prepared to address critical technical and creative issues as you create your communications strategy.

Email clients
Many of the same browsers (Explorer, FireFox, Netscape, etc.) and e-mail programs (Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo, Google, etc.) that dominate the U.S. marketplace are also commonly used by the rest of the world. If you are adhering to standard, recommended best practices for e-mail coding, you should be fine in most cases. However it is important to research regional options that exist and determine what share of the marketplace they have in relation to your list for that country. If significant, include that option in your regular quality assurance processes for e-mail deployment.

Special characters
There is no easy way around consistently rendering ASCII or “special” characters. Cutting and pasting from a program such as Microsoft Word will create ASCII characters, which some e-mail clients will not be able to read, even if the .doc file is exported as HTML. For example, “é” may display incorrectly or not at all so you should use the HTML equivalents instead. The downside to this is production time is likely to increase. One option is to copy and paste content into the design panel of Macromedia Dreamweaver. The application will automatically convert special characters to their HTML equivalents.

Creative aspects
It is essential to find a translation provider that is familiar with the language and has a broad understanding of cultural preferences. With the nature of the global workforce, it should be relatively easy to find a copywriter and translator, but most agencies have dedicated partners as well that can help you out.

Be careful to avoid expressions or slang that may not translate well into another language. The worst thing that can happen is you send an e-mail that unintentionally offends the recipient or is unclear.

Aside from the e-mail copy, you should take into account potential cultural differences around images. Be sure to consider whether images of different genders, certain colors, regional holidays or hand gestures might be offensive to a recipient.

Spam regulations
Though the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act is generally broad enough to ensure compliance for most countries, you are still responsible for complying with all the laws for each country to which you intend to send e-mail. Be sure to check with your legal resources as well as your e-mail deployment provider to determine the best approach before sending anything.

Source: btobonline.com

I deal with multi-language emails and special characters all the time, so here are some more tips:

  • If you do a simple copy-paste from Word to Dreamweaver you will get in trouble. Not only with special characters, but even with the ' character. I always choose the "Paste Text" option in the Edit menu to paste text in the Dreamweaver Design view.
  • To have Dreamweaver automatically convert special characters to hexidecimal values you need to set the URL encoding to "Encode special characters in URLs using &#" in the Edit > Preferences > Code Rewriting tab.
  • It is not enough to find "a translation provider that is familiar with the language", the copywriter has to be a native speaker.
  • If you're living in Europe, you'll know that Dutch Dutch and Belgian Dutch (Flemish), German German and Austrian or Swiss German, French French and Belgian French are in fact all different. If you would send Belgian Dutch copy to a Dutch reader from The Netherlands, he will mock you. Believe me, I've been there! The language is the same, but the words that are used to say something are different.
  • Never just "translate" email copy from one language to another. You need to "localize" the content.
  • ALWAYS have an in-country person that is a native speaker validate the content of the email before you send it out.
  • Send out your messages in UTF-8 encoding.
  • Make sure your email service provider supports special characters.
  • Test, test, test: some errors you won't see until you have sent out test emails to various email accounts. Characters that don't render correctly will show up as a question mark.

Check out also these tips from Ken Takahashi.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

E-mail Marketing To Customers And Prospects In China

There are three primary considerations when it comes to e-mail marketing to customers and prospects in China: deployment, design and device. Despite the approximately 110 million Internet users in China, the growth of e-commerce still lags behind the West—thanks in part to the sheer size of the country as well as the lack of an online payment system that can handle credit card transactions safely and efficiently. Retailers, however, continue to establish operations in China and therefore continue to push goods and services through e-mail marketing efforts

1) Deployment. No longer simply about getting “lost in translation,” e-mail marketing campaigns have gotten much more complex. Successful global e-mail campaigns now involve customization at every point in the e-mail from the subject line—certain messages that appear in an e-mail’s subject line don’t resonate globally—to the message that’s contained within the e-mail. Both must take into account the specific cultural awareness of each country, which means that now, more than ever, marketers need to have a very clear understanding of what products and services work in each individual market.

2) Design. On the design side, styles in China are much richer than the clean lines often used in Western e-mail and Web site designs. Asian designers often incorporate many messages and graphics within an e-mail; in the West, however, users prefer much simpler, clearer messages. Even in Asian portal designs, the message will be incorporated into the design much higher up in the e-mail so that the reader receives the message instantly.

3) Device. The number of Chinese consumers who access the Internet via mobile devices trumps access via desktop more than 3 to 1. With this in mind, marketers must consider eCRM programs that connect via mobile devices as well as traditional e-mail.

Source: BtoB Email Marketer Insight

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

To Go International, Start Thinking Local

By Ken Takahashi (VP, Corporate Development, Return Path)

Emails cross borders everyday, yet most marketers remain blissfully unaware of this fact. While ignoring your international constituency may not be hurting you (yet! … or maybe it already is), paying more attention could definitely help your response rates and start to open new, exciting markets.

One note of caution: be sure to work with an attorney who is skilled in overseas laws regarding privacy, data collection and email. Many countries have passed legislation that is very different to what you are used to here in the U.S., so you'll need to understand what is and isn't okay when considering exporting your marketing efforts.

We recommend these 7 steps to start exploring the world beyond U.S. inboxes:

Continue reading "To Go International, Start Thinking Local" »

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!