According to a 2019 DMA study, businesses tend to receive an ROI of 42 dollars for every dollar spent on email marketing. This makes email marketing one of the most effective digital marketing disciplines.
One of the main advantages of email above other channels, is how ubiquitous it is. Everyone needs an email account, from professionals to students, to anyone who wants to be online. With approximately 3.9 billion people having at least one email address, email is second to none when it comes to potential outreach. For comparison’s sake, Facebook, the most-used social media site on the planet, has 2.5 billion active users per quarter.
When you’re expanding your brand abroad, email marketing can be a great way to connect with new audiences. But it’s not without challenges. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the main aspects of a global email marketing campaign that you’ll need to have in mind to make it a success.
Global Email Marketing: It Always Begins with a Good List
Email marketing is permission marketing. It’s a direct way to offer value to those who’ve already shown interest in what you have to offer and want to know more. You might send out educational resources, or discounts and special offers. But, the great thing is that you know it’s something that your audience asked to receive and will be grateful for.
But effective email marketing is impossible if your messages are sent to your subscribers’ spam folder. Or even worse, if they’re blocked by their email services provider.
When disembarking in a new locale, some try to stuff their marketing & sales funnel by buying email lists. This isn’t just an ethically questionable practice that might infringe local regulation, but it’s also a one-way ticket to a blacklist – and all your subscribers’ spam folder.
Good lists are the heart of email marketing, and you want to make sure that your content is being received by those who want it. Garner emails by offering value. Keep a clean, high-quality list. Give your users the option to unsubscribe, and make sure you periodically remove invalid addresses or subscribers that never even opened your emails.
Segment your Audience & Localize your Content
How can you target your email campaigns so they’re delivered to the right subscribers?
Before you can do your usual segmentation, consider creating a different list for each location, and garnering leads through different landing pages.
Of course, email marketing isn’t but a part of a wider process. Your website should be localized, as well as all your marketing assets. Proper targeting and segmentation allow you to go all-in with Localization.
At first, you might think of localization as translation. But it goes beyond that.
By localizing your material, you’re making sure it meets linguistic and cultural, but also regulatory and technical standards for your target locale.
Most email marketing automation platforms provide tools to manage multilingual campaigns and international subscribers.
For instance, Mailchimp automatically stores your subscribers’ location information, making easy segmentation possible. It also includes auto-translation features, which help you create and organize translated versions of your content, and show the relevant one according to the user’s browser language. This isn’t exclusive to Mailchimp, Hubspot, for instance, also has tools that allow us to manage multilingual content. But these tools don’t translate your content. And, even if they did, it’s never ideal to rely on machine translation alone.
A localization professional is an essential partner to any business operating internationally. When it comes to your email campaigns, a localization expert can adapt your message to have the ideal tone, subject line length, and imagery. A localization professional might even help you meet your target locale’s regulatory and technical standards. For instance, it’s a best practice not to deliver the most important information through images – but this becomes especially important in locations where most users will see your emails on a smartphone with mid-tier or low-tier connectivity.
A localized approach will make your brand feel close to your new target audience, and help you stand out from competitors who might be going for a broader, regional approach. Properly targetting your email marketing campaigns will also help you make the most out of locale-specific business opportunities, such as national festivities.
Measure & Adapt
Send your emails when they’re most relevant – but when is that? You might make some assumptions considering who your target demographic is, and what your emails are about. But, once you’ve kicked off your campaigns, keep an eye on the data, and ask yourself (and your team), how you can turn it into concrete actions.
As with the rest of your marketing campaign’s assets (your website being one of them), A/B test, listen to your customers and be ready to learn and adapt.