There are 580 million Internet users in the world, and virtually all of them (94%) use email. To put this into perspective, the number of Internet users in the world is more than twice the entire population of the United States.
This comes as a surprise to many people in the U.S., but the majority of Internet users live OUTSIDE the United States. In fact, the U.S. represents less than 30% of the total Internet population.
Yet too many marketers focus their efforts exclusively on North America (U.S. and Canada). As a result, they’re missing out on potentially 70 percent of the entire market.
And when they decide to finally go multilingual, the first language most U.S. companies choose is Spanish — because they think Spanish is the second most common language used on the Internet.
HERE’S THE SHOCK: IT’S NOT SPANISH
But here’s the little-known “shocking” truth about the global use of the Internet: the second-most frequently used language isn’t Spanish, it’s Chinese.
It’s not hard to understand why: China has over a billion people. And they’re increasingly buying computers and activating email accounts. In a decade, Chinese might very well be the No.1 language used on the Internet. If you have a product, service or technology that can be marketed to Chinese-speaking ‘netizens, you have tremendous market potential that’s worth exploring.
ENTER ASIAN MARKETS
Depending on what kind of product, service or technology you’re offering, investing in an Asian marketing strategy could quite easily be one of the most successful business decisions you’ll make this year.
But it’s not just about THIS YEAR. Eventually, nearly every successful marketing firm will need to tackle the Asian markets. You can’t argue with a billion people, and why would you want to anyway? Those folks have credit cards that work just the same as U.S.-issued credit cards. Money knows no borders.
But how do you take advantage of this? After all, you probably don’t speak Chinese, right?
On this point, I’m going to simultaneously make a recommendation *and* plug a company I’ve been involved with for several years. My recommendation? Hook up with a translations firm and start translating your email campaigns and website landing pages into multiple languages.
My plug? Arial Global, Inc. (http://www.ArialGlobalReach.com) It’s a high-tech translations firm specializing in Asian languages. They can take your email marketing and web marketing campaigns and rework them for the Asian markets, allowing you to tap into a whole new global market.
They’ve handled projects for Intel, HP, and dozens of other major firms, and they were recently awarded a GSA contract from the U.S. government. They even received the “Localization Vendor of the Year” award from Intel. Arial Global handled all the translations of my own company’s site, and as a result, we’ve seen our Asian sales increase substantially.
Even if an Asian marketing strategy isn’t right for you today, keep an eye on this. The Chinese language will continue to gain share in the years ahead, eventually emerging as the most common language on the ‘net. The time to start thinking global, if you’re not already, is right now.
Limiting yourself to English-speaking customers is simply TOO limiting in this global marketplace.
CONDUCT YOUR EMAIL CAMPAIGNS IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES
Whether you use Arial or another firm is beside the point. The important thing here is to consider the untapped revenue potential in conducted your permission email campaigns in multiple languages. With a bit of investment, you could be emailing your permission campaigns in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French, German or any other language. Your recipients would be reading your messages in their *native* language instead of their second language (English, usually).
Suddenly, your credibility takes a leap.
Watch out for this trap, however: if you send emails in another language, make sure you can handle email replies in that language. Otherwise, your customer will soon realize they’re talking to a brick wall. Also, if you have clickable links in your multilingual email campaigns, make sure they point to web pages written in each appropriate language.
NEXT: THE REAL REASON PEOPLE OPEN YOUR EMAIL
Ever wondered what causes people to actually open and read your email? Some people think it’s the email subject. Other are convinced it’s the opening paragraph of the email content. In fact, it’s neither. There’s something else that’s the #1 factor in determining whether your email gets opened. And the combination that works is different for men than women. Want to find out what this is? I’ll reveal it in the next issue. Stay tuned!