It’s a world gone global, quite literally. People the world over can connect to each other…and your brand. Which means international email marketing might make your priority list soon, if it hasn’t already.
Picture international email marketing as email segmentation on steroids. Not only languages differ, but cultures, expectations and coding too. So don’t go it alone with any ol’ ESP. Your best bet for international email marketing is finding enterprise email marketing solutions, and by that I mean an ESP that’s built to handle the job, and to help you along the way.
What does international email marketing require?
If you think international email marketing simply means you send emails to subscribers in Spain in Spanish, you’re going to have to seriously rethink that notion. And, sure, getting the language right is one component of international email marketing…one tiny component. You’ll also need your coding to be translated into Spanish, plus make sure your content is culturally appropriate. Your preference center and landing pages must be localized too. Trust me on this one. You can’t be too careful. (Even the big brands get international wrong, often on a big scale!)
And a note about coding: If you’re not coding in the right language, you’re more likely to look like spam to the ISPs in that country, damaging your email deliverability.
International email marketing: things to consider
There’s more than language to consider, however, even if you get all of your content, coding and interfaces translated. Jordie van Rijn points out that inbox behavior varies between different countries, and the results you get in one country won’t necessarily be the same in another. Jordie also says the way people sign up for email lists differs per country and that has a direct impact on the quality of the subscribers. Plus, your brand might be stronger in some countries than others.
Then there’s the advice of this old ClickZ post, dating back to 2008. It might be ancient in Internet terms, but the things to consider when doing international email marketing still ring true today. In addition to language, you must consider other factors that might differ between countries and cultures, such as:
- How much and what type of content
- Use of personalization
- Send time
- Local customs and norms
- Local laws
- Language (Hint: They might not want the email in the language you expect!)
Above all, you’re going to need the right ESP
There’s a lot to take on when you take on the world! And there’s the logistics: As far as the actual day-to-day, you might want to consider whether centralized email marketing makes sense or localized or a combination thereof.
No matter which direction you go there, however, you’ll want to consider an enterprise email marketing solution in the form of a top-tier ESP.
An enterprise-level ESP like ExactTarget, for example, is fully prepared to help you with international email. A lesser ESP likely can’t. And do you want to risk the potential fallout of getting international wrong? If global is the direction you’re going, then getting an enterprise ESP lined up first is a smart move.
Also remember to do your email analysis. Email analytics should play a role in any email marketing initiative, but particularly in international email marketing, where your audiences might be especially diverse, for all of the reasons mentioned above.
There’s a saying that’s popular these days: Go big or go home. You could apply this to going global too. If you’re going to go global, make sure you’re prepared with enterprise email marketing solutions and you’ve got your top-tier ESP lined up!