Incorporating localization in your email marketing

Incorporating localization in your email marketingIntro

When you perform email marketing on a global scale, there are some important things you need to be aware of such as culture, language, customs and so forth. What is acceptable in one country, could be a taboo in another. This is why localization plays a huge role in determining the success of your email marketing campaign. The global scene presents many challenges that a one size fits all approach will definitely fail.

Language barrier

The most obvious thing that everyone will think of in localization is of course the native language of your audience. People tend to read more of your emails when you use the local language that your readers are comfortable with.

Bear in mind, that you cannot use a machine translation of your English email content. Machine translations tend not to be able to convey the nuances of your email contents that a human translator could easily do. In addition, some countries may use a more formal tone in their email communications while others prefer a casual vibe.

For the success of your email campaign, you should ideally employ a translator who is native to the region you are targeting so they are aware of any subtle language differences that could make a big difference in the final translations.

Images and symbols

This is what some email marketers fail to take into account. When you have a nice beautiful email newsletter, you will have images and beautiful design patterns. Are you aware that some things are viewed negatively in certain countries?

For instance, in the Middle East, images of women should have a conservative feel to them. What this means is no bikini, no cleavage and most body parts should be covered up. Respecting local sensitivities shows that you respect your audience which goes a long way to gain their trusts and loyalties.

While beautiful, some flowers are associated with sad circumstances like funerals. Learn what is taboo in the region you are emailing then avoid such images. If you’re in Japan, lilies are a big no-no as they are usually sent to funerals and wakes.

You might have heard that some cultures read from right to left as opposed to the Western style of left to right. Keep that in mind what you present a series of images like in a storyboard. The end meaning may be interpreted differently depending on your audience.

Timing of your emails

Have you heard of siesta in Spain? If yes, then you will know that different countries will have different working hours based on culture or labor laws. Segment your mailing list into similar time frames so that you can ensure that your emails are reaching people’s inboxes at a suitable time. Avoid sending emails during religious festivities as your readers will most likely be busy fulfilling their religious obligations.


The above are just some of the things you should keep in mind when you perform localization in your email campaigns. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list but should cover the major bits. An easy way to make your localization work is to talk to a local resident in the region you’re marketing to. They will surely be able to give you great pointers on what to do and what not to do.

The important thing is always do your research and don’t take shortcuts. You should also make sure your mailing list does not contain outdated email addresses. Before any email marketing campaign, you should clean your mailing list with MailboxValidator.

See MailboxValidator bulk validation plans.

Bonus tip

Localization only works if you know where your audience is located. Most of the time, when your readers sign up to be on your mailing list, you should already have asked them where they’re from. Don’t worry if your signup form does not ask for this info. You just need to get your web visitor’s IP address and use IP2Location to find out their locations. It’s that simple.

Read more about IP2Location’s Geolocation.

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