What happens when you end up talking business with a Spanish client who takes your English to be French? Or a Chinese client who thinks you are speaking Tamil with them? You feel stuck in the midst of an ocean with no rescue and no companion to understand your pain, cause they don’t understand your language! Trust me, it’s not funny, you are trying to expand your business to every corner of the world and if language serves to be a barrier it is simply intolerable.
So is the case with email marketing for non-English speaking customers. I mean, the customer’s experience with your company is not smooth. And if the customer is not satisfied, how do you run your business!
The entire globalization has made business easy with countries you didn’t bother to know about before. Governments across the world have made business overseas a lot easier than before.
This open field of opportunity provides a huge base of customers no matter what business you are in. But, it’s humanly impossible to really go out there and everywhere to interact and engage with your customers. But you will still need a tool to make contact with them, nurture and convert. That’s where email marketing helps big time!
The only important change you need to make for emails to maintain your overseas customer database is to change the language from English to that of a natively spoken one.
- How does changing the language help?
Every single person in the world feels at ease when spoken to in their language. You see, that is why President Obama chose to open his speech on his India visit with a ‘Namaste’! Speaking in the native language not only breaks the first barrier to communication but also strengthens their trust in you.
An email in the native language makes your customer feel valued as they realize that you took the time and effort to write in their language. It will also give you the best business experience which becomes really difficult for a serious businessman to ignore.
So how should you go about email marketing for your Non-English speaking customers? Here are a few things to do.
- Segment and Target Your Email List :
The very first step to do is to segment your overall email list into country-specific or language-specific groups. For instance, if you are dealing with the South Americas, segment your entire South American email list into separate country lists like Brazil List, Peru list etc., or by language Portuguese, French or Spanish lists. This segmentation depends on the nature and intent of the email marketing campaign.
Send out targeted promotional emails to these segments instead of generic ones. In the sense, create targeted emails for each segment, while keeping in mind the communication needs of that segment. One very basic thing to do is to add an international keyboard to draft messages in the native language. This will take care of most of the communication needs.
- Individualize Emails for Non-English Speaking Customers :
Let’s say you have a gold mine of a Peurto Rican directory of email lists. You have got this wonderful copy of the email with beautiful images and concept that you want to share with them. You sit down to create your email. You have even added an international keyboard to help create the email copy.
After all these efforts, if you find that a particular character is not supported and the display is going all wrong, it can be quite disheartening! This is where you need to use Unicode characters to create your emails.
Unicode characters in simple language help you write in the foreign language. They even help in putting in a few accent character or emoticons.
Integrate email sign up forms that support Unicode character entries. Whenever a non-English speaking the customer enters his/her data, it’s all stored accurately for re-use.
You can use this data to send individualized emails even addressing with the first name of your customer.
- Choose the Right Email Client :
The popular email clients like Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook support the use of foreign characters. There are others like AOL which do not support. Before you set out to send your emails, it is important to choose the right email client. Do your bit of research to see which email client will support the specific language audience you have to cater to.
A foreign language email cannot be created in an external document like MS Word and then pasted in your email. It has to be created within the email to support all the special characters. So the email client is really very important.
Once you have done all these things, conduct a simple A/B test on your emails and look at the responses. This important step will help you avoid unnecessary trouble later on. It will also help you rectify any mistakes or make the email for your Non-English speaking audience even better.