Taking your e-mail marketing overseas

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When it comes to e-mail marketing, Americans are more sophisticated than almost all their European counterparts. This is significant, according to a new JupiterResearch report, "E-mail Marketing Adoption: Assessing Multinational E-mail Marketing Sophistication," because it may give U.S.-based marketers an edge as they move into international markets.

If you’re thinking of making a move into international waters, there are a few key things you can do to increase your odds of success, said Nate Elliott, senior analyst at JupiterResearch. Here are a few pointers that can help you along:

1) Consider an e-mail service provider. “Once a marketer hits a certain size, they outgrow their homegrown e-mail applications, and should look into an ESP,” Elliott said. ESPs, according to Elliott, allow senders to include dynamic content with their messaging and perform highly targeted segmentation. Because 50% of all European marketers said they have no plans to change their e-mail technology and another 18% said they plan on building a homegrown application, an ESP could give American marketers a solid leg-up on the competition.

2) Pay extra attention to the mobile market. The adoption of messaging on mobile devices is “notably higher” in the U.K., and U.S. marketers need to be thinking about how they can bring their e-mail messages to the handheld format. Marketers, according the report, should look into using WAP-formatted e-mail messages and landing pages as well as SMS (short message service, or text messaging) marketing to fill this need. An added bonus: Once this technology takes off in the States, you’ll be ahead of the competition here, too.

3) Give them a landing page of their own and see what they do with it. European marketers are more likely to employ batch-and-blast tactics; they’re very rarely looking at click behavior, analytics or other outside data. This is a mistake, according to the report, because what people do when they come to a site or a landing page can be indicative of if they will buy or how you can best sell to them.

4) Go local. When it comes to targeting, Elliott said, non-U.K. European marketers tend to use a single team and strategy, segmenting their lists by country. Unfortunately, they often forget that different countries have different dialects, language preferences and currencies. If you take a little time to think like a local—and give recipients e-mail copy that shows your knowledge—they may be more likely to click through. “European marketers use geographic data more heavily than U.S. peers, but they’re not using it to segment correctly,” Elliott said.

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