Adapt your email campaigns to local characteristics: 4 ways

“Cultural fit” isn’t just a term used in hiring. Emails should also adapt to the culture. Brands with a global audience need to ensure that their message is tailored to different target areas, even if it changes dramatically from country to country. This investment is worth it for any brand that wants to improve follower engagement and conversion rates.

Here are 4 ways to consider improving your international email strategies.

Meet the public’s expectations

While there are similarities in why people subscribe to newsletters, there are regional characteristics worth being aware of. For example, in the United States, it is estimated that more than 6 in 10 users subscribe to an email list to receive special email offers from brands. In France, it is only about 5 in 10 users, and if only 31.1% of French people sign up to receive news from brands, this rate rises to 48.3% for Spaniards.

A localized email strategy will identify and take into account the user’s reasons for subscribing to the brand’s newsletters, thus adapting the content of the emails to local specifics.

Understanding and complying with email regulations

Globally, there are many privacy and consumer data protection laws. The rules differ from region to region and brands must be careful to respect the specific characteristics of each region. Some may have specific rules regarding data collection while others do not. Within the European Union, email senders should pay special attention to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which requires companies to obtain prior consent from the recipient before sending commercial emails. However, the UK, which is no longer part of the European Union, still applies the General Data Protection Regulation for the time being.

Julie Passey, Director of Marketing, Pathwire

Marketers operating in the United States should be aware of the CAN-SPAM Act which sets out regulations regarding commercial email to protect users. But many US states have also adopted their own data protection laws. For example, California regulates consumer privacy through the California Consumer Privacy Act, and Virginia recently passed its Virginia Consumer Protection Act to better protect its residents.

While non-compliance can result in fines, email blocking, and damage to brand image, companies have no choice but to strictly comply with the regulations of the countries with which they communicate.

Do more research

Designing and writing an email requires consideration of different cultures, especially if the brand wants to be fun or bold. Many things can resonate differently depending on whether you are in Europe, Asia or America, and many brands have already fallen victim to these cultural “blunders”. It’s essential for marketers to work with local leaders to determine what works and what doesn’t during translation, tweak local references, and find out what holidays and events their target audience respects so they can adapt their strategy as a result. What should be treated with care and respect? What is considered taboo or disrespectful? Lack of in-depth research can lead to critical errors that will negatively impact campaign click-through rates, subscriber engagement, and overall brand image.

Adopt a book

Likewise, the email clients used vary by world region. Therefore, it is appropriate to target the preferred email clients according to each region, in order to deliver emails with better presentation, and therefore more efficient. Gmail is the most popular email client in the world. If Yahoo ranks second in the United States, France, Spain and the United Kingdom, it is Outlook that is the second most used messenger after Google.

Send emails at appropriate times

The majority of users check their emails at least twice a day and a quarter do so more than five times a day. However, even this frequent consultation does not mean that an email will be opened or that it will generate interest, especially if it is among all the daily emails the recipient receives. For best results, companies should make sure to send an email when the recipient is most likely to check their mail.

Americans and Brits tend to check their emails in the morning and evening. In Germany, users often check their emails in the evening, but never go to bed. In France, the vast majority of users check emails in the evening (44%), and rarely during their sacred lunch break. In Spain, the opposite is true: very few users check emails in the evening (barely 12%), and prefer to read them in the morning. Globally, the best open and click rates are observed around 3:00 PM UTC, especially on the three midweek days (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday).

Conducting international campaigns requires a proper strategy and requires knowledge of many details that ensure its success. This is why it is especially important to study your target audience before investing time and money in a new email campaign, in order to ensure that it resonates optimally in every area. Improving the message, choosing the best time to send, or even ensuring that regional regulations are respected are all keys to ensuring the success of the campaign.

Author: Julie BasseyPathwire’s Director of Marketing

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