A Tale of Two Transactional Emails: For Spanish, Read Below


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Language_bubbleAs you know, we like to seek out email examples and share our thoughts on what makes the emails great and what we think could be improved to make them even better.

Here is an interesting find from Vonage, the VOIP telephone service. What we discovered is that Vonage sends two versions of their monthly account notification email – one in English and one in Spanish. These two versions are sent within the SAME email communication. But here’s the interesting part. To alert Spanish speaking users that there is a message for them, they include a note above the email message header that says, “Para Español, lea abajo” – “For Spanish, read below.”

English_Vonage

Spanish_Vonage

So how do we feel about this strategy? Let’s start by listing the pros and cons.

  • Pros: We applaud Vonage for providing content for their Spanish speaking audience. Clearly they are trying to address their multilingual community–we assume that their Spanish speaking audience is large enough to warrant the creation of a separate email. Given that Spanish is one of the top ten languages surpassed only by English and Chinese, it’s smart to address this audience with meaningful and relevant content in their native language. At a time when companies are struggling to come up with global strategies to address their various constituents, Vonage has found a relatively simple way to communicate.
  • Cons: We are preachers of targeted email and so, we would prefer that they ask their customers to choose their language either at sign up or by asking users to update their preferred language in their email preference center. This way they could deliver a much more targeted email instead of a catchall message for their users. There is also the possibility that Spanish speaking users might miss the note at the top of the message header asking them to look below.
  • What to Improve: Again, we love the fact that Vonage has both a Spanish and English version of this unique transactional email, but here’s the rub–the subject line reads “Vonage Monthly Account Notice” in English. Hmmm….subject lines are the main driver of an email open. Therefore, if they were trying to capture the Spanish speaking audience, they would likely miss most of them with an English subject line.

Multilingual email is certainly a challenge as companies strive to communicate with customers in their native language. Consider these stats taken directly from the Harvard Business Review Blog Network:

  • 72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language.
  • 72.4% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language.
  • 56.2% of consumers said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.

Even American-based companies are no longer exempt. This graph by Flurry Analytics shows that 15% of apps used in the U.S. attract a large group of Spanish speakers.

Flurry_study

Given these stats, providing content in your users’ native language can help develop strong bonds between you and your customers. So companies should be mindful of their audience and develop a multilingual strategy if needed.

To learn more about strategic ways to message to your audience, download our free Email Segmentation Strategies guide.


Carly Brantz is a veteran in the email deliverability space working to make email simple and easy for developers by regularly writing whitepapers, research briefs and blog posts about email, technology and industry trends.

Carly Brantz on Twitter

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