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August 13, 2020 |

What Is Email Localization and When Should You Use It? 

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways of getting in touch with potential or existing clients and promoting your business. With email localization, you can replicate your successful email marketing campaigns for international audiences and achieve excellent results globally. 

In 2019, there were 3.9 billion email users, and by 2023, half of the world’s population is expected to have at least one email address. Considering these numbers, email marketing is known to deliver one of the highest returns on investment compared to other channels, like social media or online ads. 

When translating and localizing emails, you get in touch with people from all over the world and boost the return on your marketing efforts. It’s a cost-effective way of increasing brand awareness, getting more subscriptions, and growing sales. 

What Is Email Localization?

Email localization is the process of adapting the content in your email marketing to local languages and cultures to provide a useful and relevant experience to recipients. It goes beyond a word-to-word translation of subject lines and messages to create emails that are more likely to capture an international audience’s attention and convince people to take action. 

People are more likely to open your emails when written in a language they’re comfortable reading. But keep in mind, no one will open an email that’s lost in translation right from the subject line. With email localization done right, every segment of your target audience receives an appealing and catchy email in the right language. 

Translating marketing content comes with a series of challenges, so you should always work with a language service provider that delivers top quality work. Only when working with professional linguists can you send the right messages to the right people. 

How to Adapt Emails to International Recipients

Email localization adds clarity and builds personalized relationships with your multilingual audience in ways that make people feel relaxed and satisfied when receiving information from you. So, how can you adapt emails to international recipients? 

1) Work on the Right Tone

Keeping your brand voice across multiple languages should be a top priority in translation. At the same time, you need to make sure you adapt your message’s tone to the way local recipients speak. 

In the U.S., for instance, people expect friendly emails that are mostly short and casual. In Asian countries, you need to pay attention to nuances and various levels of politeness. On the other hand, for Italians or French, a casual email needs to include a certain level of formality to trigger a positive reaction, without being excessively polite. 

2) Write Language-Specific Subject Lines and CTAs

The subject line is a crucial element of any email because it’s these few words that make a recipient decide whether to click on the message or delete your email without opening it. The subject line should be compelling and intriguing, so you need to work with a professional translator to create the kind of copy that can achieve the highest open rates. 

It’s the same for calls to action. You need to use the right trigger words to generate an action. 

3) Localize Visuals

If your emails contain photos, graphics, or other visual elements, you should localize them for an international audience. People with different cultural backgrounds respond to various types of images, so you want to make sure your content meets the recipients’ expectations before hitting the Send button. 

For some audiences, it’s wiser if you skip images altogether and focus on content instead, as not all people are used to receiving visual-heavy emails. 

Why Translating Emails Is Good for Business

Only around 20% of the world’s population are native or proficient in English. If you want to communicate effectively with non-English speaking audiences, translation and localization can help you reach your expansion goals. 

When localizing emails, you bring email marketing for international markets to the same level of quality as your English marketing campaigns. This way, all your recipients receive compelling messages, and you have higher chances of increasing sales in all target markets. 

If you’ve used email marketing to promote your business among English-speaking audiences, you’ll already know the benefits of this marketing channel. Email marketing can generate up to $38 for every $1 spent, which means that it’s one of the most effective options for marketers at the moment. 

With email localization, you overcome languages and cultural barriers in email marketing. You can significantly increase your revenues as you see a similar ROI in international markets. 

When You Should Localize Emails

You should use email localization for several types of marketing emails:

  • Transactional emails. If you have localized versions of your website, it’s only normal that welcome emails, confirmation emails, or other communication occur in local languages as well. This way, you provide all website visitors with a seamless user experience every time they interact with your brand.  
  • Newsletters. If you decide to send a digital magazine or newsletter to international audiences, it should be localized to meet the recipients’ expectations. This shows people you care about their cultural inheritance, and you’re interested in their preferences. 
  • Lead nurturing emails. These messages are designed to create a connection between your brand and the audience. So it’s essential they’re delivered in the languages that your audience prefers using, otherwise, you risk people not even opening your emails. 
  • Informational emails. You should localize these emails when you need your international audience to know about any product updates, new blogs localized for local languages, invitations to events that native speakers could be interested in, and so on. 

As a guideline, whenever you want to communicate with people that aren’t proficient in English, it’s wise to translate and localize emails. This way, you increase open rates, boost engagement, and, overall, you have higher chances of establishing a long-term business relationship with your audience. 

Stay in Line with Local Laws 

When sending marketing emails to multilingual recipients in various countries and regions, make sure you don’t break any privacy laws. You may already know, but it’s always useful to remember that email laws and regulations vary around the globe. Review all existing regulations, such as the European GDPR or Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation, to avoid fines and other legal issues.   

Remember that you should always have permission to email the people on your list and give recipients the possibility to easily opt-out from receiving further communications from your company. If you stick to the rules, create compelling localized content, and pay as much attention to all your audiences, you can achieve excellent results and a high ROI on your localized email marketing campaigns.