Keeping Cultural Differences In Mind When Sending Emails

Part of an email marketing campaign is sending emails to a large group of people at once. While most strategies involve segmenting audiences based upon what they want to read or how often they want to receive your messages, few segment audiences by culture. There are really two reasons why this isn’t common practice: First, most companies do not know where the subscriber lives or what culture he/she belongs to (usually because they do not ask), and second because it doesn’t have to matter. If you are aware that people from different cultures will be reading your emails, there are easier solutions that trying to segment every culture in addition to the groups you’ve already created.

Unfortunately, not many businesses pay much attention to the type of content and type of messages displayed in regards to different cultures. This can sometimes be a deciding factor in whether or not someone continues to subscribe to your emails, so it’s important to step back and try to create message that will resonate with all of your readers.

Things to Consider in Your Messages When Considering Other Cultures

The first thing to remember is that if you are sending an individual email, as in not a mass email through an email marketing campaign, you should put a focus on that person’s specific culture. However, you have to create some sort of blend when you’re working with an entire campaign.

Below are a few things to keep in mind when creating your email messages:

  • Address – How you address the person makes a different from culture to culture. Starting an email off with a person’s name isn’t always the best idea because it implies that you know the person (which you do not). It is therefore best to go with someone generic like “Good morning” or “Dear Sir/Madam.” The latter is a bit more formal, so analyze the feel of your message.
  • Length – Not all cultures are as good at small talk as Americans, and so some prefer to see a message and be able to get the point right away. This is why bullet points and brief language is extremely important. You can have a little introduction for your American readers, but make sure it isn’t too overwhelming and you get to the point (in fact, many Americans will also appreciate this).
  • Signature – Many businesses have quotes or funny jokes in an email signature, but for some cultures this isn’t appreciated. This gets back to the “get to the point” idea discussed when you’re creating your content. In most cases, links to a Google+ profile or other social media channels is acceptable (and a great idea).

There is nothing easier to misunderstand than a message through email. You’re missing body language as well as tone of voice, so wording is everything. However, it is still a good idea to try ad analyze where your readers are coming from if at all possible. This will help you determine just how important culture awareness is in your campaign.

What are some things you do to help make sure that your messages are not misunderstood by different cultures? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger at Highervisibility, nationally recognized as one of the best seo companies in the country. Connect with HigherVisibility on Google+ and Twitter to learn more!

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Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for HigherVisibility, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.

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