Translated releases a short film about the wonders of language

Marketing, Translation

Translating means allowing everyone to understand the world and to be understood. This is a real gift that people working into the localization industry offer every day to everyone who needs to communicate or understand a message in another language.

The ability to produce and understand language makes humans unique. That opens doors to people, cultures and ideas. Linguistic diversity shouldn’t be
 a barrier to understanding, but an opportunity to create a future in which everyone can communicate more easily.

Lara is the story of a girl with a special gift – she can speak all the languages in the world. And she does so simply and intelligently, with a fundamental human touch (being kind and generous when it comes to helping people). The importance of understanding between people lies at the heart of this project, and Translated, who produced this video, and chose Auge, an independent creative agency based in Milan, to develop the concept.

Since this is the first film in the brand’s history, they made a joint decision to focus on values rather than services, striving to convey these values through a fully-fledged short film rather than just a commercial, in which translation becomes a wonderful and magical gift that improves lives and allows people to reduce the distance between themselves and the world.

The film is a surreal fairy tale set on a remote island in the Mediterranean, A child is born with a special gift: being able to speak every language in the world. A gift that she generously and positively chooses not to keep to herself, but to share with her whole community to help people in a host of situations.

The character of Lara and her relationship with the island’s residents constitutes the key element of this film, in which our aim was to portray Translated’s digital service through a wholly warm and human story with an analogue and timeless spirit like any fairy tale, one in which we don’t know where the myth ends and reality begins.

Every element of the film serves this message and aims to communicate this warmth and humanity: the choice to use only local residents rather than professional actors; the realistic approach to the direction; and the music, made specially for the film, played entirely by an orchestra of analogue instruments and closely tied to the musical traditions of the Mediterranean.

The result is a tale that seems impossible, but that all translation workers bring to life every day. That’s why the whole film is dedicated to all those who work as translators, project managers, software engineers and others who make our lives easier and global communication more meaningful.

The production
The commercial was shot in Salina, a small island in Sicily, during a break in the 2020 lockdown. It was directed by the Belgian director Koen Mortier, who also creates feature films — in fact, he’s working on a new film right now. Thanks to his natural and decidedly human touch, he approached the story with sensitivity and substance.


The short was shot over four days of production, with a cast made up mostly of locals who were acting for the first time in their lives. For example, a school teacher played the medical specialist, the town’s pharmacist played the role of the general practitioner, and two pairs of sisters played the main character Lara at different stages of growing up.

The music was composed specially by two Italian musicians, Michele Braga and Emanuele Bossi, who are already working on several film soundtracks. The scores were then played by superb musicians, some of whom have previously been part of the orchestra of Maestro Ennio Morricone.

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Director of Sales and Advertising at | + posts

Marjolein realized early on that the Netherlands was too small for her. After traveling to 30+ countries over the span of 10 years she moved to the United States in 2014. She holds a degree in Communication from the University of Rotterdam and has long had an affinity for creative writing.


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Friday Roundup | December 18, 2020

Business News, Language Industry News and Events, Localization Technology, Marketing, Personalization and Design, Technology, Translation Technology, Uncategorized, Weekly Shorts

Smartling announces new Adobe integration

Translation management system provider Smartling has announced its latest Adobe tools integration. In the past, the platform has connected to Adobe Experience Manager Classic, Experience Manager Touch, Illustrator and Photoshop. As of Wednesday, December 15th, clients can now connect to Smartling from inside Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service, a version of Adobe EM that’s exactly what it sounds like: a cloud-based version of Experience Manager.

This is the fifth new tool integration Smartling has announced in less than a month.

XTM International hosts digital conference

On Wednesday, XTM International hosted a remote customer conference, XTM LIVEStream. In addition to representatives from the translation management system provider, speakers included staff from Eventbrite, The Gap, Common Sense Advisory, SYSTRAN, Lilt, and Women in Localization, among others.

Multilingual Connections rebrands

Multilingual Connections, a translation, transcription and multimedia localization provider, has rebranded. And to celebrate, the company is donating $1 to No Kid Hungry for every user who visits its new website. No Kid Hungry is a US-based nonprofit attempting to end childhood hunger. The charity was selected by a vote among Multilingual Connections staff.

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MultiLingual creates go-to news and resources for language industry professionals.


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How experiential marketing is gaining momentum

Marketing, Multimedia Translation

Experiential marketing is a tactic that goes beyond promoting a brand’s products or services. In this form of marketing, the consumer doesn’t sit passively and listen to the marketer’s message like in the case of traditional TV, radio and newspaper ads. This kind of marketing involves engaging the target customers thoroughly and exciting their five senses. It is a highly personalized marketing tactic brands use to create a relationship with their customers. That means customers can see, touch, smell, listen to, and where appropriate, taste the product before making a purchasing decision.

However, with experiential marketing, brands need to study their audience. For example, a brand that wishes to sell the product in the US and in China needs to target both audiences differently. Something that is humorous in the US is not funny in China. That’s why experimental marketing goes hand-in-hand with localization strategies.

Experiential marketing may also be given other names such as engagement marketing, live marketing, participation marketing and event marketing. The term is relatively new in most economies and has become particularly popular with the growth of social media. Also, the strategy is attracting more sales by pushing the right buttons in the modern consumer. It helps marketers to break the resistance that consumers have against new brands by allowing the consumer to holistically interact with a product.

For example, to generate buzz regarding the long-awaited TV show “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” Netflix created a campaign with 200 pop-up Luke’s Diners around the United States to serve refreshments. For those who have not seen the TV show, Luke’s Diner is an iconic place in the show where most of the scenes are recorded. The campaign was very successful, as long lines were created at each location. The event’s Snapchat filter was viewed 880,000 times.

In Asia, the chip company Lay’s created a pop-up claw crane machine for Japan, which allowed people to physically climb in the machine and grab things. It was a huge success as people relived their childhood memories with crane machines and were waiting in lines to give it a go.

Why should you consider experiential marketing?

It encourages consumers to share visual content online
When consumers take pictures and videos during experiential marketing events, they help brands to expand their marketing reach. After all, most of that content ends up in social media. Experiential marketing, to some extent, leverages grassroots marketing by appealing to people’s love for visual online content. And because we are living in the era of smartphones and the internet, this form of marketing will only keep gaining more and more momentum. One thing to keep in mind though is that if brands create online campaigns that go viral worldwide, they should bear in mind that they would have a wider reach if the content that they share would be translated and adjusted based on country location. There are companies that offer professional translation services for all types of content and who could be of great help.

TV and radio ads are irritating
Marketers have overused TV, radio, and print ads for so long that consumers now find them irritating. It is not uncommon these days to find people recording TV or radio programs so that they can watch them later and skip all the ads in between. How many times have you skipped YouTube ads when watching your favorite videos? Clearly, ads are unnecessarily irritating. Experiential marketing, on the other hand, has tailor-made messages that speak to the soul and mind of every consumer. The consumer is an active participant and not a passive observer, so he will rarely get bored or irritated.

It helps brands establish deep connections with their target customers
When people interact with your brand and have fun, positive connotations regarding your brand are developed. And because these experiences are memorable, people really enjoy being part of experiential marketing. It makes them feel valued, and that breeds unbeatable brand loyalty. Also, customers identify with your brand as a whole, not just the products they tasted or touched. Remember that when people become loyal, they are more emotionally attached to the brand than to the quality of its products. “If you can mix this strategy with localization and target a wider global market, that would generate an even more successful marketing strategy,” say experts from New Horizons Global Partners.

It generates authentic brand awareness
Brand awareness is an important aspect of marketing. People need to understand what your brand is all about and which problems your products seek to address in their lives. But brand awareness isn’t an easy agenda to execute partially because customers tend to be hostile and skeptical towards unknown brands and partially because your competitors offer clients endless options to choose from. But with experiential marketing, customers interact with your brand firsthand and know everything they need to know about it. That is the awareness that will enable them to make a genuine positive opinion about your products.

It can convert participants into unpaid brand ambassadors
Participants in an experiential marketing campaign are initially inspired to become loyal customers, and they may also become your brand ambassadors. They may share the memorable experiences they had with your brand, encouraging their friends and family to try your products. Word-of-mouth recommendations are a very powerful form of marketing according to McKinsey, which notes that they drive about 50% to 80% of new leads.


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Christian A. Kruse is a marketing and business expansion expert for Asian markets. Based in China, he has helped many companies expand in China, Singapore, Japan, the Philippines, and elsewhere. He has experience working in a range of industries and providing technical support in topics such as business growth, market expansion, and product development. Currently, he is also serving as an expert at GlobalizationPedia and provides technical advice for its China EOR solutions targeting US-based international businesses.


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Featuring translators into the new year

Marketing, Translation

Heading into the new decade of 2020, we can be sure of one thing: translation as an industry is on the rise, and is projected to increase further.

Translation, of course, is the life blood of global commerce and what we do. We acknowledge it, but don’t always actually feature translators when we talk about globalization. However, a coffee table book featuring translators called Move the World with Words is out from Smartling, and I like that Smartling has chosen to showcase these linguists in their brand strategy both online and offline.

For example, when you land on their Move the World with Words webpage, the company features freelance translator Oana — only her first name is given — who lives in Southern France. Like many other freelancers, she’s chosen to travel; she’s learning Spanish during trips to Spain, she says. She’s interviewed and beautifully photographed in the Pyrenees. Between the style of the prose — the first-person essay interview style popular with high-end celebrity profiles — and her first name (not Beyonce or Sia or Cher, but Oana), as well as her photos, I could imagine her being some kind of celebrity. And I don’t think this is accidental.

I had a couple of questions, and Adrian Cohn, director of brand strategy and communications at Smartling, answered them for me.

How did Smartling choose which translators to feature in the book?

We have built relationships with so many amazing translators worldwide — the people featured in the book were selected based on their experience, their customer base and their location. We wanted to showcase the way people live in different parts of the world, and with different lifestyles (urban and rural, single and family and so on).

Why is it important to feature the lives of translators?

Translators are the heroes behind global commerce. For too long, they have gone unrecognized for their part in making global businesses successful. It also helps to show there are real people behind the solution. Especially for those unfamiliar with translation, we wanted to demonstrate that while the translation process is automated, there’s still a person that we depend on to get the message right. Machine translation is certainly on the rise and a big part of how we think about scaling content for the enterprise, but humans will always play a big role.

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Katie Botkin, Editor-in-Chief at MultiLingual, has a background in linguistics and journalism. She began publishing "multilingual" newsletters at the age of 15, and went on to invest her college and post-graduate career in language learning, teaching and writing. She has extensive experience with niche American microcultures across the political spectrum.


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Better ROI with localized emails

Localization, Marketing

Language is one of the key challenges of sending emails to your international recipients. Email localization is a genius way in which global companies can reach all their email recipients without a barrier. It provides unparalleled functionality and ease of use.

It has also become a powerful tool with which global netizens and citizens are able to get accurate and timely emails — in a language they can perfectly understand and identify with.

How localization works for emails

Localization serves to bring the needed relevancy of your email to all your subscribers irrespective of native language or location. For instance, businesses operating in Saudi Arabia, Russia or Turkey get to easily understand what their international partners are communicating because the emails are written in their native language.

Localizing emails has also seen a higher ROI in ad campaigns. This is because subscribers understand and identify with the medium of communication, rather than if it was done say in foreign-to-them English or French, for example.

The most important consideration for email marketers is the ROI. Apart from that, before you embark on localization, check the actual benefits that come to your business with such a plan of action.

The clear advantage is that as you run your campaign on the international arena, localization gives you more accessibility.

Identify who your international audience is

Before starting to consider email localization, you need to conduct research into who your target audience is. For instance, you could be targeting a country where people speak Spanish or Chinese. If so, then you will have to tailor your localization toward these people while considering the spoken and written language of that state or locality. Also, make sure to factor in their cultural adaptations, use of simple words and especially how they address people according to gender, age and many other considerations.

Hire translation services

Accessing translation services that are professional and measure up to the work at hand is challenging. It requires that you to check out multiple possibilities until you find the translation company that fits perfectly with the job.

Another solution is to see if you can hire a trusted translator from the region you are localizing into. The advantage with local translators is that not only they are fluent in the language, but they also could be cheaper than translation companies.

If you go the route of translation apps, the question is how effective they are. Machine translation success is almost always questionable.

Guide your translator

Gather your initial research and give it to the translator for localization purposes. There needs to be continuous and close partnership with the translator to ensure that what you intended is what will be written in the target language. Things to be considered include the best ways of addressing readers based on gender, age and family name, among other things. How you address a person on the first contact can make or break future communication and partnership.

Avoid snafus

Email localization is indeed a good way to reach as many subscribers as possible. Companies may find it easier to run their campaigns and get in touch with their customers quickly.

Even so, it does come with its own type of challenges and restrictions. For instance, finding and hiring a professional translator is not as easy it might seem.

As you localize, you must consider sensitive factors such as culture, images used and even color. Despite that, with good teamwork, email localization is a good way some businesses can conquer the global market.

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Rilind Elezaj is an experienced digital marketing specialist in the marketing and advertising industry. He integrates web development and other digital marketing solutions to create hybrid strategies.


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Five advantages of using marketing localization for your business

Localization, Localization Strategy, Marketing

marketing localizationMarketers are often plagued with a dilemma when reaching out to a new market: to standardize or to localize? To standardize is obviously easiest from an operation standpoint, meaning that you use the same marketing style and theme for all your products and services regardless of where you’re marketing them.

There are disadvantages and advantages on both sides, but when reaching out to a new market, it’s actually more advantageous for marketers to choose localization.

With marketing localization, you are able to create linguistic and physical adjustments to your existing products or services so it fits in with your new target market’s specific needs.

It takes a lot of work to customize and make adaptations of existing products and services, especially if there are multiple products to launch, but it allows companies to resonate with their customers, and resolve the deepest needs and desires of their new market from the market’s own perspective.

Marketing localization moves beyond merely translating existing standardized marketing collaterals to another language — it involves a thorough study of how culture and market conditions affect customers’ buying behavior.

There are five key advantages of marketing localization:

1. Marketing localization decreases barrier to entry

When introducing your company to a new market, there are several barriers to entry that may be observed. It could be government monopoly; limited or scarce channels of delivery of goods; tight competition; or lack of product or brand awareness.

Market adaptation is mandatory in many countries and so it makes perfect sense to localize marketing. This could be the translation of product packaging, removing/altering product ingredients or packaging, changing brand names and so on.

One classic example for this would be Coca Cola in China. Coca Cola is currently known as Kekoukele in China. This is because its original brand name, when translated into Chinese, means “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse fastened with wax,” which are unusual and inappropriate.

It would have been incredibly unappetizing to buy a drink thus named, so Coca Cola had to do a change to their brand name to adapt to the Chinese market.

They chose the brand name Kekoukele because it means “tasty fun” and it is close to the original brand name.

This dramatically changed Coca Cola’s image in China, and it helped them connect to locals in a more language-appropriate and personalized way.

2. Localization customizes customer experience

In many first-world countries, products are often sold in larger-container quantities, which is done based on both consumption and convenience.

On the other hand, the same products sold in third-world countries may not be affordable for the majority of consumers and that would greatly affect their sales. Due to these pricing constraints, companies may create products in different and smaller packaging, such as sachets or pouches, for the greater market to be able to afford it.

3. Localization breeds cultural respect and appropriation

It’s no secret that cultural patterns, religions and norms affect people’s habits, outlook in life, the media they choose and even the products they buy.

Advertising or identifying your brand with a Christmas or Christmas-related promotions, for example, in a largely non-Catholic or non-Christian country may not be accepted by the target market. On the other hand, advertising your brand with a Christmas theme in Christian and Catholic countries will be largely appreciated and remembered.

Outsourcing experts from have seen how hiring local marketing executives in Europe, where every border is a new country and culture, played a big role in providing contextually correct translations and preventing conflicts with the target market’s culture.

4. Localization results to better brand identification

Marketing localization “personifies” a brand, which helps it connect to its target market on a deeper level.

Some brands become an extension or expression of culture in some countries by integrating culture into their brand message and active storytelling.

It’s even been argued that Coca Cola created the modern image of Santa Claus because of its advertising.

5. Localization hastens local business development

To sum it all up, marketing localization accelerates business development. Creating a demand for your products or services is not your ticket to success.

Knowing your target market deeply and seeing their needs from their perspective is the key to providing products or services that are in demand.

You won’t be able to achieve this if you use the same standards for all your target markets all over the globe. This can only be done with marketing localization based on in-depth market research.


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Joevren Curmi works as a content writer for Keen, Ltd., and covers a wide variety of topics including business, food, travel, jobs and internet marketing.


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“Top” advertisements generate top dollar for companies — in fines

Localization, Marketing

China’s state news agency, Xinhua, released two updated style guides on the tail of China’s 2015 advertising law overhaul. Faced with these new regulations, foreign companies have experienced increased difficulties in the last few years when promoting products in the PRC. The guides and the laws are imposing stricter rules on the content of advertisements, such as a broadened definition of “false advertising” and the prohibition of certain superlatives. China has a wealth of consumers to be sure, but any advertising mistakes made in the country will have harsh penalties for a company.

The new Suzhou IKEA may incur fines for advertising a product as “top” level, so phrases such as “Reassuring Quality” are used instead.

Recent examples of companies that have run afoul of the revised advertising laws include IKEA and Marriott Hotels. An IKEA in Suzhou, China, may incur a fine of 20,000 to 1,000,000 RMB for its use of the word “top.” This superlative was used to describe the comfort level of mattresses in the IKEA, but under the advertising law’s Article 9, such phrases are banned.

Marriott Hotels was censored in early 2018 for violating Xinhua News Agency’s style guides, which include 102 articles in total. 51 articles contained rules about Chinese sovereignty. In a promotional email, Marriott listed Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Tibet as countries. Following the email, the Shanghai Information Networking Office ordered Marriott to close its Chinese website and official Chinese APP for a week. China’s burgeoning hotel market generates a revenue of $64.8 billion a year, so it’s easy to imagine what monetary losses Marriott suffered for this email. In short, China welcomes foreign advertisers, but companies are expected to follow Chinese laws and national views on sovereignty.

And Marriott isn’t the only company to be penalized for straying from the Chinese government’s opinion on foreign affairs. Companies such as Delta, Zara, Burberry and more have experienced similar consequences. Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube have been famously banned from operating in China.

As the struggles of IKEA, Marriott Hotels and myriad other companies exemplify, the new revisions have created additional difficulties for foreign companies. The revised laws add to the longstanding problem of cultural dichotomy between western countries and China, and their penalties make even a single mistaken word extremely expensive.

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Betsy Lin is part of the editorial department at Linguitronics. She has had a lifelong interest in words and their applications.


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Are You A Startup Sherpa Or A UX Rockstar? Don’t Believe A Word

Language in Business, Localization, Marketing

Shopping Around For Sherpas

Check out this superb article by linguist, lexicographer, columnist, and self-described “all-around word nut”  Ben Zimmer (@bgzimmer) in The Atlantic. Ben discusses the cultural misappropriation of words and how sherpas, ninjas, and gurus crop up everywhere: Why Do Supreme Court Nominees Have ‘Sherpas’?

Ben argues that this kind of contrived lexical exoticism hides the complex cultural origins of such words but also betrays a kind of lazy stereotyping of (in this case, Asian) culture. As he says, “It may look good on a LinkedIn profile, but you might want to think twice about calling yourself a sherpa, guru, or ninja just to add a dash of exoticism.”

Indeed, but you may also be adding a layer of mysticism to the unfortunate localizer who has to figure out what these words really mean in English before attempting to transcreate them in another language.

Are there Nepali social media sherpas in the Himalayas, I wonder? Click To Tweet

Storyteller. All a matter of context. And credibility.

“Storyteller”. All a matter of context. And credibility. Example from The Visual Thesaurus.

The Pope’s Guru

NPR’s excellent Code Switch radio program also explores the origin and lexical hijacking of the word Guru. My favorite example has to be, “The Vatican Sends Its Social Media Guru To SXSW Festival.”

The tech industry is notorious for this sort of nonsense, going far beyond the annexation of those Asian words mentioned to create even more grandiose, mystical job titles that frankly make no difference to the job description or employee performance itself. Plus, how do you localize Direct Mail Demigod? Digital Nomad? E-Commerce Wingwoman?

Are HR professionals now spending time at Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Marvel movies to come up with some of these daft titles?

Storytelling Around The S-Bend

The now over-used title of storyteller really gets me going. Throw a stone in any pub in Ireland and you’ll still hit 100 storytellers (although we have considerably more colourful names for these characters). Lucy Kellaway, formerly of the Financial Times, and a legend for calling out corporate BS, had it with the craze for the word storyteller years ago: Dentists and plumbers do not tell stories. Nor should you.

Stories in the right place are an excellent thing. The Bible has some pretty good ones. - Lucy Kellaway Click To Tweet

My pet word hates from the user experience (UX) world have to be that job persona road warrior (translation: traveling salesperson) and then there’s that rockstar suffix du jour (translation: exceeds minimum professional requirements, now and then).

Attention tech developer and UX people. This is what a rockstar looks like and does:

The late, great Dubliner Phil Lynnott of Thin Lizzy. Image via Wikimedia. Thin Lizzy have a belter of a song called "Don't Believe a Word"!

The late, great Dubliner Phil Lynnott of Thin Lizzy. Image shared via Wikimedia. Thin Lizzy have a belter of a song called “Don’t Believe a Word“!

See? No laptop covered with stickers in sight. No electric scooter on stage. That thing is an electric bass guitar. Until Lady Gaga and Lenny Kravitz start winning awards for full-stack software development, you know where you can stick your rockstar title.

Until Lady Gaga and Lenny Kravitz start winning awards for full-stack software development, you know where you can stick your rockstar title. Click To Tweet

Just Call It Like It Is

And so it goes on. There are probably gurus who have the job to misappropriate words from other cultures and make roles and titles sound a lot more interesting than they really are but without paying the employee anything extra.

Me? I’ll follow Oscar Wilde‘s advice fromThe Model Millionaire: “It’s better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.”

I think Peter Drucker nails for this kinds of poseur hell: “I have been saying for many years that we are using the word guru only because charlatan is too long to fit into a headline.” Or fit into a tweet.

Now, don’t start me on the casual militarization of language and where that might take us …

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.


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Why NOT to localize GDPR implementation

Localization, Marketing

Suddenly your inbox is filling up with updated privacy policy notices from every company you have ever offered your name or email to. It’s worth taking a look at what they say — you’ll be surprised how obvious most of it sounds. You assumed your personal data was always treated with this level of respect. Sorry, it hasn’t been.

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) were approved in the European Union in 2016 after four years or deliberation and edits, and enforcement commences May 25, 2018. Previous guidelines date back to 1990, five years before the oh-my-gosh-the-digital-era-is-upon-us classic THE NET. Clearly an update was overdue and while large multinationals have hired a small army of specialists to gracefully implement said rules, small businesses are scrambling to grasp the scope and find the time. Mostly because, sometime mid-April, they first heard of this and realized it applies to any company possessing the data of an EU citizen.

Our industry’s business is by default international, and it’s essential to understand these regulations apply to all EU citizens regardless where the data is processed. Companies in the United States, Japan or Zimbabwe must all comply when handling data of an EU citizen, but are not obligated to do so with data of non-EU citizens. Many language service providers (LSPs) consist of small teams with limited legal resources to implement GDPR, and if you’re freaking out right now that’s perfectly legit. Judging by Facebook’s decision to move 1.5 billion users from Ireland to California to avoid responsibility, most data-holders are.

Why not to localize GDPR

Always Localize?

Having a habit of localizing anything we can, it’s unsurprising we (MultiLingual) considered separating our EU clients from the rest in order to conform. Looking at the extent of our online database, that was going to be quite a task. It didn’t take long before we decided that applying the regulations to all data subjects, not just EU citizens, was going to be much easier. It’s actually more work to distinguish between the two and create separate policies, especially when you keep in mind odd cases like myself, who are permanent residents of the Unites States but hold EU citizenship. How will you be able to know this as a processor?

Another reason not to localize this effort — but instead apply it across the board — is that GDPR encourages trust. A fresh privacy policy and transparent opt-in choices are indicative of the kind integrity anyone hopes for. As a marketer, I like to think of opportunities rather than limitations. Sure, less people are going to opt in to receive direct mailers with sales pitches, but by distinguishing three categories of output instead of lumping them all into one, we’ll be able to customize delivery to our clients and prospects giving them a more appealing and personalized experience, hopefully resulting in a higher response rate. If you feel that GDPR offers timely basic respect and clarity, why not give all your customers the same peace of mind? Meanwhile, you are saving yourself some work and strengthening the tie with your clients.

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Director of Sales and Advertising at | + posts

Marjolein realized early on that the Netherlands was too small for her. After traveling to 30+ countries over the span of 10 years she moved to the United States in 2014. She holds a degree in Communication from the University of Rotterdam and has long had an affinity for creative writing.


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Five ways to localize your email marketing strategy


Although email marketing can be extremely effective with the right strategy, it’s not always easy to connect with your audience. Across a wide range of industries, the average email open rate is about 32%.

Customers have a lot of other content vying for their attention; they’re not going to read everything that reaches their inbox. Even reaching their inbox in the first place can be difficult, with the heightened security of spam filters and email list attrition rates creeping up. First, use an email verifier tool to get to your customers’ inboxes, then consider the next steps of your email marketing strategy.

If you’re having trouble getting readers to actually open your emails once they’ve landed in inboxes, you may benefit from implementing a localization strategy. Your audience is simply more likely to engage with your content if it’s tailored to their specific needs. The following tips will help you better understand how to plan your next email marketing campaign so it’s properly localized.

Adopt a personal, authentic tone

Customers are exposed to plenty of generic copy every single day. They often dislike emails that sound more like ads; that’s why it helps to use a more personal tone.

You can achieve this in several ways. For instance, instead of listing the company name in the “from” line, you might consider listing the name of a prominent individual at the company, so long as the name would be familiar enough to your customers to get their attention.

You can localize an email by acting as though you’re also a resident of the same area your customer lives in. Email content from Fitcenter, for example, made reference to the cold weather in the recipient’s area. This feels more personal because the content seems like a neighbor sent it.

In the body of the email itself, make sure your copy sounds like you’re contacting a personal friend, and not just another one of your customers. One marketer experimented with a template that was designed to mimic the experience of receiving an email from a friend or family member. The result: a 57% open rate. This personal feel evokes the experience of corresponding with a local business owner.

make sure your copy sounds like you’re contacting a personal friend, and not just another one of your customers Click To Tweet

Send locally relevant promotional offers

Sending coupons, discount codes and other promotional offers is a smart way to get your customers’ attention. Just make sure the discounts you send are relevant to their needs and location.

For example, if you operate brick and mortar stores, send coupons that can be redeemed at a nearby location. If you sell apparel, don’t send discounts on heavy winter coats to customers who live in typically warm regions. You’ll have to do some research to ensure your customers are getting relevant promotional offers, but the payoff will be worth it.

It’s also important to understand that where your customers live isn’t the only factor to consider when localizing an email. For example, The Bowery Presents sent users who had seen concerts in New York City emails about future concerts in the area. When a New York City-based user bought a ticket for a show in Boston, the emails also included other Boston shows, as the recipient would clearly be traveling there. Consider where your readers will be, not just where they are.

Use social media

Sharing emails or offering discounts to customers who sign up for your mailing list on social media is another smart localization strategy to adopt. With platforms like Facebook, you can also post ads or boost posts, targeting potential customers in specific regions of the world. Some of those readers might share them on their own social media accounts, boosting your local influence in that area.

Localize your subject line

A recent study analyzing the impact of different email subject lines on open rate confirmed that localizing the subject line is a very effective tactic for marketers. If the content is relevant to a local branch of your business, include that information in the subject line. If it isn’t, simply include the name of a specific state or region. Then, send the email to customers in that region.

Segment your list

In general, segmenting your email list so customers receive content tailored to their needs and tastes is key to a strong email marketing campaign.

There are many different ways you can choose to break up your list. Consider segmenting it by geographic location or language. This will ensure that your audience consistently receives emails relevant to their area and culture.

Again, email marketing can still be extremely effective; you just need to plan your strategy before implementing it. By localizing your emails, you’re much more likely to to deliver messages your customers will actually read.

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Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined international relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to New York City to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food and writing.


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