15 June 2023

Email localization: How to get ready to work with a translation agency

Speed up multilingual email production

In the previous articles on this subject, we’ve discussed the importance of going multilingual, covered the core rules to make it right, and examined the ways to deliver emails in the right language.

Now, we’re gonna share some tips on how to get prepared for collaboration with a translation agency to make sure your email copy is flawless in all the languages.

Our today’s guest is Kristaps Lapiņš, a localization advisor and the CEO of Language Inspired.

Kristaps Lapiņš, Language Inspired

1. Do you have a checklist of what a client needs to provide you with when translating email content for the first time? If yes, can you share it, please?

As with any kind of content, we always ask the client to provide a detailed brief before localization starts. A proper brief should contain information on:

  • your brand, what you do, and what your values and goals are;
  • your product or service, what purpose it serves, and what solutions it offers;
  • who your target audience is;
  • the tone of voice;
  • the brand message, slogans, catchphrases, and important headlines;
  • brand name, should it be translated?
  • glossary with predefined terms;
  • SEO, which keywords to use and which ones should be avoided;
  • reference materials — any links or additional content the linguist team could.

Benefit from delivering the best possible localization (website, social media, imagery, blog posts, brand guidelines, etc.).

Effective multilingual email marketing

2. What should be translated first: an email or a website?

An effective approach would be to create a localization strategy that encompasses the entire customer experience, implementing it step by step. This would include both email localization and website localization right from the get-go as you decide to enter a new market and reach a new audience.

Hence – the localized website. Both forms of content should work hand in hand and supplement each other if you want to reach the best results.

3. Is there any difference between translating an email into a new language for the first time or when you do it regularly?

First-time localization may be more time-consuming, as is with any kind of content creation. It can take longer to grasp the little details and get them right for the first time. The client should remember not to rush the process but invest the time in sharing their knowledge and preferences. Moving on, email localization will be a smoother process once the groundwork has been laid. In addition, if building a translation memory is an option, that will surely pay off over the course of the collaboration.

4. How should marketers maintain term consistency across different email campaigns and keep text aligned with a website?

  • Set goals for your company that you aspire to achieve, and then create a localization strategy for the entire process. That will definitely set you on the right path. Don't treat localization as an isolated process that should be applied either to emails or websites exclusively. This way, it is easier to maintain consistency;
  • invest in a terminology management system that maintains a database of words and terms commonly used in your company;
  • remember to always share your brand guidelines and marketing brief with the localization team or your localization partner.

5. How do you help your clients cope with wording? And do you have any recommendations on how to optimize this process? (A little example: in EN a button says, “Discover Now.” In FR it is, “Découvrir Maintenant.” You can’t use it as it will be too long).

This situation is very common. Most languages produce longer phrases than their equivalent in English. So it’s important the client is aware of this and allows room for adjustments in their design.

Most translation management systems (TMSs) have a feature where the client can set a character limit for a string, and the translation will have to match this limit. But the character limit will not help if the email is translated into Arabic or another language which also changes the whole design.

Therefore, the best option is to localize the email marketing campaign already in the design stage.

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6. How should marketers deal with dynamic content in emails?

In our experience, the most important part of dealing with dynamic content is providing context. It enables linguists to gain a comprehensive understanding of the text and accurately handle any placeholders or plurals within it.

7. What is your advice to companies that only start their multilingual email marketing journey?

Email translation is no different than localizing other content. As always, communication is key. To get started, we recommend getting the localization brief ready as soon as possible.

Ensure to include every detail — the deadline, the source text, the goal of the localization, the target market and audience, tone of voice, and other information. No detail is too small and will help make the localization process as smooth as possible.

But don't worry if it's your first time creating a localization brief. We will provide you with a sample and assist you if needed — then pick up the localization process from there.

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