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Yo Noguchi

5 Tips on Crafting Emails for the International Market

Apr 08 2011, 04:47 PM by

Localization and segmentation are extremely beneficial when marketing internationally. Knowing a country’s most common language and respecting the differences within their varying cultures will substantially improve the results of your email marketing campaigns. The following are 5 tips on how to craft emails for the international market.
1. Familiarize Yourself with Spam Laws
The US CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 has influenced countries around the world to adopt similar anti-spam laws giving governments the ability to prosecute spammers. Primarily differing in matters of consent, most of these laws apply to similar topics but refer to them in different ways or have varying penalties and restrictions. Sometimes different countries' laws can overlap, so keep abreast of the major laws and act accordingly.
2. Focus on Time Zones and Days of the Week
Obviously time zones must be taken into account but also remember that timing affects regional and cultural variations. Find out what days constitute the weekend and be mindful of holidays from country to country.
3. Check Your Tone
The tone and length of your content deemed appropriate will vary from one country to another. For example, newsletters in the United States commonly include article overviews with links to the full articles, yet some countries will expect all content to be presented in full. Similarly, some countries are used to a more straightforward type of sales email, while others cringe when an ad is too bold. Take time to craft your email newsletters to cater to the expectation of your readers.
4. Get It Right on Shipping Laws and Taxes
Familiarize yourself with the shipping laws of countries where you conduct business. Domestic norms will not always apply abroad and inconsistencies regarding finances can be distressing for both sides - especially when it is not clear who is at fault.

For example, it is common practice in the United States to post prices excluding tax. In some countries this would be considered illegal. In France, it is common practice for the recipients to print a confirmation form and return a fax whereas in other countries this may be considered a nuisance.
5. Study Language Issues
Language preference is not always as clear as you’d like to believe. Many countries commonly practice multiple languages and the one you support in particular situations can be very important. Certain audiences may prefer to communicate in English by email, but even so, there are still differences between British English and American English and even South African English. This is when attention to detail can make or break a connection with a potential client.

The bottom line is that increasing globalization will create a market in which online relationships will be the crux of success for your business. It is no longer acceptable for ignorance to excuse shortcomings when catering to international clients. Start with these simple tips and make the effort to localize your wording and acculturize your content whenever possible.

Posted in Tips & Resources

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