How to Localize Emails: Run Multilingual Email Campaigns

20 mins read

Best practises for email localization

Email marketing is a popular way to reach out to potential or current customers and promote your business. You can make international versions of your successful email marketing campaigns with email localization to see if you can get reasonable conversion rates in other markets or try to improve current ones by localizing your email results everywhere.

Email multilingual marketing may seem hard at first, especially if you don’t speak the native language of your audience. In reality, though, it’s not as hard as you might think. Let’s find out in this localization tutorial what email localization is, what it can do for you, and how you can make this process easier and even automate it.

What Is Email Localization?

Email localization is adapting your email marketing content to local languages and cultures so recipients can easily understand your product. It requires more than just translating subject lines and messages word for word to make emails more likely to get people’s attention worldwide and get them to act.

People are more likely to open your emails if they are written in a language they know. But remember that not everyone will open an email whose subject line is lost in translation. When email localization is done right, every part of your target audience gets a catchy and exciting email in their language.

There are a lot of challenges that come with email marketing translation of content, so you should always work with a language service provider that does excellent work. You can only get the right message to the right people if you work with professional linguists.

The Importance of Email Localization

Only about 20% of the people worldwide speak English well or as their first language. Translation and localization can help you reach your expansion goals if you want to communicate well with people who don’t speak English.

In 2019, 3.9 billion people used email, and by 2023, it is expected that half of the world’s population will have at least one email address. Email marketing is known to have one of the highest returns on investment compared to other channels like social media or online ads because of these numbers.

If you’ve used email marketing to get the word out about your business to people who speak English, you already know how valuable this channel is. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to market right now because it can bring in up to $38 for every $1 spent.

What to Remember When Localizing Emails?

Writing clear, concise communications that enlighten, advise, and persuade readers in the era of email and instant messaging may be tricky. Also, email etiquette in different countries can vary a lot. In some countries, email correspondence is expected to be very formal, while in others, it is expected to be a friendly conversation. It can be hard to know how to talk to your international colleagues.

Use Plain, Concrete Language

You might already know this is a rule we recommend for all business communications. But it’s crucial when you’re writing to people who speak English as a second language.

English is full of word groups that native speakers use naturally, but it can confuse people who don’t speak English. For example, we often use short, informal phrases that stand in for certain verbs (words that mean “to do” or “to be”) but don’t describe them literally. These are called “phrasal verbs.” Some examples are “look up to,” “put up with,” and “top up.” Together, these groups of words mean something specific to native speakers. But even if your reader understands each word on its own, a literal translation f the group won’t make sense.

So, replace the phrase with a simple one-word alternative, like

  • “put up with” for “tolerate.”
  • “admire” instead of “look up to.”
  • “fill” instead of “top up.”

Also, keep an eye out for single words that might confuse you. The word “firm” can mean more than one thing. If you mean “business,” say “business” instead. (However, from a legal point of view, a “firm” is not the same as a “company.”)

Use short, easy-to-understand sentences. Also, use verbs instead of nouns, and concrete words instead of vague generalizations or abstract words. Nouns that describe an action, condition, quality, notion, or emotion are examples of abstract nouns. Meeting thought, rage, freedom, study, and a problem are the things that don’t exist physically.

You don’t have to ban them completely, but try not to use too many of them in each sentence. You can often change long noun phrases into verbs, making your sentences shorter and easier to understand.

Example:

Before: The outcome of the meeting was an agreement to commission research into the subject of long-term Vitamin D deficiency to find out its effect on cardiovascular health.

After: During the meeting, we agreed to research long-term Vitamin D deficiency so we can find out its effect on cardiovascular health.

Don’t Forget about the Design of Your International Emails

Aside from general best practices for design, there are a few other things to consider when making an international email template. These include having a simple design, using tables for layouts, using inline styles, and giving all images names with alt tags.

Email templates for people in other countries must:

  1. Have text areas that can change. When you translate content from one language to another (from the source language to the target language), the length of your sentences may change, which can affect the design as a whole. To avoid this problem, you need to use flexible text areas, not just for the main text boxes but also for the header areas. When you translate content into a language that is read from right to left, it will also change the way it looks.

  2. Skip images that have text in them. Because it’s hard to translate text that’s already in an image (because you have to translate the image text and save and upload the image for each new language), it’s often easier to skip these images altogether. Hiring someone else to do your design work could also save you money.

  3. Use buttons that can take a bullet. Users can turn off images in most email programs; some even do it automatically. Use bulletproof buttons instead of image-based buttons to ensure your email can still be read and important call-to-action (CTA) buttons can still be seen even if images are blocked. So, even if an email program blocks your images, the CTA text link will still show up and work.

Connect the designs you create with the tools you already have. With only one click, extract material from your designs. Prepare translations for Crowdin projects from inside your favorite design program, for example, Sketch, Figma or Adobe XD Plugin.

Challenges with Email Localization

  • More languages and steps of localization make things more complicated.
  • Poor quality controls process.
  • Uncertain analytics and return on investment.
  • By hand, using spreadsheets and templates to manage content.
  • Voice/tone, terminology, branding strategy, design, cultural nuances, and other things that don’t match up.
  • Problems with getting everyone to talk to each other at the same time.
  • Design problems, like not being able to think about the character count, reading from right to left (RTL) or left to right (LTR), etc.

There are a lot of rules to follow there. On top of that, when companies try to localize emails the old-fashioned way, by hand, the following things happen:

  • For accurate translation, several people review and approve the content in the workflow.
  • So someone is always looking for someone else to move things along.
  • All translations are kept in a spreadsheet, which can cause files to get mixed up, have duplicates, be overwritten, etc.
  • There is a template for each locale your company supports. The stakeholders are manually reviewing, revising, re-translating, and testing each locale when there are even small changes to be made.
  • Manual translation management is slow, and if there are delays in the localization process that weren’t expected, the time it takes to get to market is also slow and hard to predict.

Improve your team's approach to localizing emails.

The Solution to Email Localization Challenges

The problems we’ve discussed above can make a business’s localization and internationalization strategy go off track and cost more money. So here is how Crowdin’s solution for you on how to localize email content at a large scale: a platform for managing email localization.

Crowdin gives translators direct access to your brand’s glossary terms, style guides, and translation memory. You can set up the processes the way you want and customize your brand guidelines, information about source content, and terminology in your termbase so that all of your past and future translations are up to date, even if changes have been made. It ensures that your brand is always reflected in your messages, that the translators create high quality content, and that your brand gives your customers the user experience you expect.

Crowdin Editor brings together all the information translation teams might need while working on the content. There are suggestions from the MT and TM engines, comments, search, filters, context, a preview of the file, and terminology. All of it in one place. Here is an example of a birthday email localization. You can also look at how your email will look in another language and find the best translation variants.

Localization of customer's birthday email

These automated steps make it possible for human translators to use machine translation to speed up the translation process.

How to Automate Multilingual Email Campaigns?

It’s been a long time since the days when you had to transfer files back and forth to your teams, translators, and proofreaders. Whenever new content is added to Crowdin and has to be translated into another language or modified, it is promptly sent to proofreaders and translators.

In addition, you can upload the localized version to the cloud storage provider you employ using Crowdin’s connection. You are also able to provide the necessary members of the team with a link to the relevant folder or file. Localizing and adapting material for marketing purposes has become easier to access.

Crowdin apps to synchronize marketing content:

The Crowdin team considers automation the driving force behind any successful localization endeavor. No matter the subject matter or the nature of the product being localized. If you can find a way to automate some of your team’s mundane chores, they’ll have more time to focus on the significant initiatives.

Keep everything in sync at all times

Incorporate several systems so that the original and translated files are always in sync. Since content curation is perpetual, automating content turnaround is facilitated by the continuous localization workflow that can be established using Crowdin.

Include some background for the translators

In the Editor, translators will be able to compare the original and translated versions of documents such as blog posts, emails, and more (a place where all the translations take place). You may also attach screenshots to provide further context to translators.

Don’t change the tone of your voice

Automatic quality assurance checks on translated words and a standardized brand voice may be achieved using Glossaries. Localization projects now generate Translation Memories, allowing you to reuse previously completed translations easily.

Get the group working together

Localized marketing initiatives need cooperation among departments. Crowdin Apps allows for the synchronization of data across disparate platforms, such as those used by engineering teams (such as GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, and Azure Repos) and those used by design teams (such as Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD.)

Braze

Braze is one of the newest additions to the Crowdin Apps store, and this integration is ideal for modern marketing departments. When your organization uses Crowdin with Braze, you can simplify the process of localizing your multilingual campaign.

For translation, choose an email template from Braze, add it as an HTML file to your Crowdin project, and then submit the revised file to Braze. The preview feature on Crowdin helps check a file’s overall context and for final approval to the translated version.

Synchronization of Braze content

SendGrid

The marketing team may use SendGrid to send transactional and promotional emails to their current and future consumers. When you add the SendGrid app and begin syncing your material, Crowdin will generate a new folder labeled SendGrid integration. All the files you’ve chosen to localize from your Design library or Dynamic templates will be located in these directories. The translated and original files will be posted in HTML with a preview.

HubSpot

Marketing teams use HubSpot to conduct comprehensive inbound marketing campaigns, including developing audience-specific marketing content. In addition to translating blog posts (including meta descriptions), forms, emails, and other files stored in your HubSpot account, the HubSpot app also allows for their globalization. Files in XLIFF format will be imported into Crowdin, and after they’re done being worked on, they may be exported and uploaded to HubSpot.

In other words, the blog posts won’t be published in their translated form immediately. Before making them accessible to your audience, you may give them one last once-over on HubSpot.

Mailchimp

Email marketing and automation platform MailChimp is widely used. Convert more consumers worldwide by working together on email marketing campaigns in different languages using the Mailchimp app.

Your MailChimp email templates will be uploaded to Crowdin as HTML files, so your translators and proofreaders will be able to see both the original and translated versions of the emails in the Editor as they work. The translated emails will be included in the same MailChimp campaigns as the originals.

Mandrill

Welcome emails, password resets, purchase confirmations, and other transactional emails can all be sent with the help of Mandrill, a Mailchimp add-on.

The Mandrill app is similar to the Mailchimp app in that it enables you to submit HTML email templates to Crowdin and then have Crowdin send back the translated versions. Crowdin’s preview will provide both translation and source email templates. To allow translators to view any accompanying visuals in an email message and to allow proofreaders to remark on whether or not the translated versions still require any visual fixes.

Iterable App Iterable

Iterable connects with Crowdin, so you can easily translate and localize your multi-channel marketing templates.

With this integration, you can sync email, push, in-app, and SMS templates from your Iterable project to your Crowdin localization project. You can translate and proofread your content with the help of translation memory (TM), machine translation (MT), translation agencies, and internal localization teams.

ActiveCampaign ActiveCampaign

Crowdin can translate your ActiveCampaign emails so that you can run campaigns in more than one language.

Save time on manual tasks. Your original emails and translations are automatically in sync, so you don’t have to send files back and forth with translators. Crowdin lets you take charge of the whole translation process.

You can invite translators, manage user access, see a list of the top contributors, create tasks, make translation progress reports, and more.

In Crowdin’s online translation Editor, translators can make translations, vote for or against them, and approve the final ones. The Editor can be used from any computer, phone, or tablet.

Conclusion

No matter in what language you are localizing your email templates, there is no longer a need to juggle multiple files and engage in back-and-forth multilingual email conversations with stakeholders. Or perform laborious copy-and-paste jobs into spreadsheets. It is true regardless of the language you localize your email templates into.

Instead, using Crowdin with integrated human translation is the most cost-effective and quickest approach to release high-quality translated content to your different regions across the globe. It is because it integrates human translators into the translation process.

Ready to use email localization to connect with more people worldwide?

Crowdin will help you to adapt your email content with ease.
Julia Herasymchuk

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