We just implemented a site translation feature for The Official City of Prattville website. The site now has 58 available languages reaching to more than 98% of internet users.At the bottom of any page, you may click a flag or use the drop down to change it to whichever language you need. This will accommodate their international businesses and our international traffic on their website. prattvilleal.gov
Cost Effective Marketing Tool
Having the ability to communicate to a whole new international audience in their own language will undoubtedly yield results not only in a financial sense but also in terms of marketing and creating awareness of your brand, service or product. A multilingual website in the grand scheme of things is probably one of the most cost effective ways of marketing your company, capturing new users, building relationships with new clients and giving your brand an international outlook.
Ultimately what a multilingual website brings you are new customers. By having your site accessible to potentially thousands of people you are showcasing your company across the globe. For non-English speaking users looking for your product or service, you automatically capture their attention.
With every language added to a website there is the potential for an increase of between 100% in sales. Even if a multilingual website is translated into a few of the major world languages, i.e. Spanish, French, German and Italian there is potentially a 400% increase in sales. There are few other ways to get such an increase for such little investment.
A multilingual website demonstrates you are thinking about the customer. That little extra effort shows you have thought and cared enough about them to offer the website in their language. As with anything in business, if the customer thinks you care, they will want to do business with you.
For many cultures there is an issue of trust when it comes to buying over the internet, especially if they feel it is in a language they are not fully proficient in. Offering them a language alternative allows the customers to feel secure in the fact they know what they are buying, how and who from.
A multilingual website, if designed properly, overcomes potential cultural barriers through allowing access in a native language. This automatically puts the user in a ‘cultural comfort zone’ due to their being able to navigate, understand and interact with the website.
To get the competitive advantage in today’s environment you need to think outside the box. Many businesses try to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Look at your competitors – if they have multilingual websites then why don’t you? If they don’t, then why not lead the marketplace and establish your company or brand abroad before they do.
Shows International Nature
Image is everything. A multilingual website demonstrates you think, work and deal internationally.
Search Engines Exposure
Search engines lead people to your site. In countries such as China, Japan and France, Google, Yahoo and MSN are not the default search engines. Home grown search engines are emerging and they are proving successful because they work in native languages and are focused on the habits and needs of their users. Such search engines are a key to tapping those markets and unless they have access to a particular language through your multilingual website then you will not be found.
In addition, many of the key search engines, especially Google, are developing the capacity to run searches in foreign languages. Having pages of your site available in those languages ensures maximum potential for your site being picked up in searches.
When you’re using email marketing to communicate with your audience — as in, you’re not just trying to sell them stuff — you’re building customer relationships. And relationships flourish when two parties engage in a dialogue. That’s true of your best personal friendships, and it’s also true in business.
Email communication is a great way to let subscribers know more about your expertise, business, service, or organization. But if you’re only using it as a one-way street to spread your message, you’re missing out on a wonderful opportunity to engage with your readers and build long-term, trusted relationships. That’s important because..
1. “Welcome! How did you find us?”
The best place to start asking for reader feedback is at the point of connection — your welcome email letter. Warm it up by telling readers what they can expect to receive now that they’ve subscribed to your newsletter. Then ask them to email you info about how they heard about your business. Learning how new customers find you lets you channel your marketing efforts and dollars into the most effective outlets.
2. “Send us your thoughts, concerns, ideas, pet peeves, etc.”
Every email communication should have a link inviting recipients to talk back to you. A simple “What’s on your mind? We’d like to hear from you” can get the conversation started. Or tailor the question to something that’s happening in the news or your industry today.
3. “What kind of information do you want to hear from us?”
Survey or ask readers about the five most important topics they want to read about in your newsletter, so you can deliver highly relevant, valuable content. Tell them you’ll report on the results in a future issue. Feedback on content also allows you to segment your audience into smaller, more targeted groups. You can send readers only the content they are interested in.
4. “Stump the experts.”
Invite readers to stump you with their best questions. Suggest areas to ask about, such as uses for your products, or interesting, popular, or challenging aspects of your services — the things customers most often ask you about face to face. Tell readers you’ll give them credit if you answer their questions in your newsletter. And as thanks, you can send them a small gift, such as a pen, refrigerator magnet, desk calendar, or sticky note pad with your company logo on it.
5. “Share your success story.”
Here’s another type of “reader challenge” that fosters conversation, touts your products or services, and generates great content: Invite customers to share their success stories with you — ways your products or services have solved problems and improved their lives. Publish the best ones, credit the authors, and send the winners a fun freebie.
Getting the Conversation Started
Take a look at your next email marketing campaign. If it doesn’t contain a way for readers to “talk back” to you, pick one of the ideas above and integrate it into your communication. Get creative, be conversational, and have fun with it! Now is an opportune time, as people say good-bye to summer and settle into their fall schedules. Find out how people are feeling about the economy now and looking ahead to 2010. Not only will you get feedback that’s critical to making smart business decisions, you’ll get ideas that will help make your email communications — and your customer relationships — come to life.