There’s a big world out there and as an email marketer you should be well aware that while the eight out of ten of the largest global internet properties such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Wikipedia, Apple, Yahoo and more are located in the United States, 81% of the users of those sites are from outside the USA! These major brands are capitalizing on the enormous amount of international traffic that they are attracting, and so should you!

Many emerging nations show greater growth than the USA

There is little doubt that the massive growth in the online market is not in the United States but in various major nations around the world. The top emerging markets responsible for the growth in online utilizations are China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Russia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Brazil, and Mexico. All of these nations are showing considerably greater growth than the United States. That is a very powerful reason as to why you should be spending an ever greater amount of time and effort targeting international email marketing consumers as the growth rates in many of these countries are significantly higher than those you will find in the domestic market.

International email laws can severely penalize US-based marketers

The primary factor in any international email campaign is to assure that it is going to be in full compliance with any and all regulations in the countries where you are targeting consumers. No matter how well constructed your email campaign may be and how perfectly it abides with all of the United States’ CAN-SPAM regulations, you can run into a legislative boondoggle if you fail to adjust that campaign to the laws which regulate email marketing in other nations. The European Union nations and Canada are among the countries which have arguably the most severe email legislation on Earth and you have no choice but to be intimately informed as to the legalities in those nations or you could be facing penalties in the millions of dollars. Just because you’re based in the United States is no excuse, as the long arm of the law in these nations will reach you no matter where you are based.

Learn to respect the cultural norms of the various nations

Even if you are in full adhesion to the laws in the nations where you’re reaching out to consumers, you still have to ensure that your email marketing campaign is coherent with the cultural norms of the nation and you are completely avoiding any national taboos. Different cultures around the world associate various colors, images, numbers, and languages in an either very positive or very negative connotation. For example, while the number 8 is considered extremely lucky in China as the Cantonese pronunciation of it sounds very similar to the term “fortune” the number 4 is the exact opposite as it is considered very unlucky. The pronunciation of this number is similar to the term “death” and is therefore shunned!

Consider national preferences

There are literally countless aspects which need to be taken into careful consideration when engaging in international email marketing:

  • Personalization – Some nations’ customers prefer your emails to be personalized while others may deem it a violation of personal privacy.
  • Language – If your email campaign is promoting a technical or scientifically based product or service you’re usually better off sending in English rather than the national language.
  • Tone – If you are translating your email into the national language you should pay close attention to whether the tone is formal or informal. Are you using the French tu, or are you opting for the more formal vous?
  • Numbers – You can actually confuse or offend your audience based on how you express your numbers. While one million is $1,000,000.00 when written in the USA it’s 1.000.000,00$ in Continental Europe.
  • Tax – While it is common in the United States to post your pricing as exclusive of tax, many nations have VAT type taxes which are always integrated into the price of the product or service.

    While the benefits for international email marketing can be extremely lucrative, pay close attention to the national preferences or risk failure!