Sending Emails Your Customers Want… In Another Language

Have subscribers from all over the world? Form deeper connections by sending emails in your subscriber’s language.

Hello! Or should I say, Hola! Bonjour! Konnichiwa!

Email is global. As you set out to grow and engage your audience through email marketing, there’s no geographic limit to where someone could discover you and join your list.


Creating emails brimming with compelling content and engaging visuals is essential to a successful email marketing campaign. But what happens when the person reading your emails doesn’t speak the same language as you?

Easily translate your emails into any language with Unicode

Unicode is an international encoding standard that allows emails to be delivered to subscribers in different languages. The Unicode characters will allow your subscribers to read your content in their native language. 

When you write emails using Unicode characters, it becomes a lot easier to create messages that your customers and prospects can understand.

 If you have a subscriber that speaks a different language (such as Thai), they will be able to see Thai characters (such as ณ) in your message.

Example of a message in Thai

Email message example in Thai

If writing messages in a foreign language isn’t a concern for you, you may want to use Unicode to add symbols ( $↞ ) and emoticons (😻 🌞) to jazz up your messages. Because who doesn’t love a cat with strange heart eyes and smiling sun?

Examples of using symbols and emoticons 

Example of an email using emoticons and symbols.

Taking the time to send emails in your subscribers’ native language(s) shows that you value them. 

Not only does this mean you can more clearly connect and communicate with your audience (or even reach new audiences), you’ve given your subscribers  a reason to trust you more than ever before. 

That makes growing your email list and developing long-lasting relationships with your customers easy.

Breaking the language barrier

AWeber enables customers to send emails to their email marketing lists in any language using Unicode. 

Here are four ways you can use foreign characters to better connect with your subscribers:

1. Send segmented messages

Segmented message in English, Spanish, German and French

If you have subscribers from various countries, you can make it easier for them to read your emails by sending targeted emails in their native language(s). When they can read your message in their native language, it’ll help create a more positive experience for your customers and prospects.

Removing language barriers between you and your subscribers also eliminates the possibility of miscommunication. Instead of leaving it up to your subscribers to translate your message, they’re able to understand you immediately. 

And when your audience has a clear understanding of the value your products/services will bring to them, they’ll be in a better position to make a purchase.

Pro Tip: Add international keyboards (if you haven’t already) to your computer to easily create new email messages in different languages.

2. Personalize your bilingual emails

personalized emails

It’s frustrating when you want to send a personalized email to your subscribers, only to discover that a character in their name isn’t supported and, consequently, doesn’t display correctly. And if you can’t do this for every single subscriber, it becomes difficult to do it at all.

Fortunately, AWeber sign up forms use UTF-8 (the character encoding system that stores and displays Unicode characters correctly). 

AWeber sign up forms accept Unicode characters, which allows your subscribers to enter characters in their native language. So if you have a subscriber that speaks a different language (such as Thai), they will be able to enter their information in your form using characters (such as ณ) from that language.

Pro Tip: Add “First Name” custom fields to your subject lines and/or within your email messages to grab your subscribers’ attention and create a more individualized experience.

3. Send Confirmation Opt-In messages in 19 different languages 

Already know that your target audience primarily speaks a specific language? By greeting your subscribers in their own language, you can increase the conversion rate of confirmations and kick off a lasting relationship with your new prospects and customers.

Confirmed opt-in is one of the best ways to protect your list against unwarranted SPAM complaints, malicious sign ups, and it helps to keep the unsubscribe rate low. 

If you know your audience will prefer a specific language, select that language to provide more clarity on how they can confirm their email address. By greeting your subscribers in their own language, you can increase the conversion rate of confirmations and kick off a lasting relationship with your new prospects and customers.

These are the language options that are currently available:

  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Malay
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Slovenian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

How to easily change your language selection

To change the confirmation message language for an active list, select List Settings in the List Options dropdown of your account.

AWeber dashboard highlighting list setting.

Choose Confirmation Message on the left-hand menu, and in the Language section, select the language that meets your needs.

AWeber dashboard highlighting how language is selected.

Example of French language confirmation message

Example of French confirmation message.

When you select a language, the header, body, and signature of the confirmation message will automatically update. 

All approved subject lines will be translated. If you are using a custom one, you will need to translate it directly.  

Pro Tip: If you’re not sure what language your subscribers prefer, consider surveying them.

4. Send international emails in two or more languages.

You can create a separate email in each language or you can use dynamic content. Dynamic content changes based on the viewer’s criteria. Often most people only use dynamic content to personalize a greeting. By adding a personalization snippet after the greeting like  — ‘Hello {{subscriber.first_name}}’

But you can use dynamic content for multi-language campaigns, if you know your individual subscriber’s preferred language or their IP address.

Set up dynamic content for different languages

Let’s say that you have an email campaign, and you know your subscribers’ native language is either English, French, or Spanish. You could create three emails in each of those native languages. Or use dynamic content to create just one email, making the content in your email dynamic, so each recipient receives an email in his or her own native language. 

You will need to segment your list by assigning tags to identify the subscriber’s native language. Get this information by asking them their preference with an AWeber landing page, sign up form, or a survey. 

Pro Tip: Where there are cases in which you cannot identify a recipient’s country/language, he or she will receive the email in English by default.

To make this process easier, AWeber automatically lists the location where the subscriber signed up. For example, if the subscriber lives in a known Spanish-speaking country, you could assign a Spanish tag since that is the native language. 

How to use dynamic content for native languages

Dynamic content is a combination of a default version of the text and variants for every other language that you support. 

Not fluent in the language you want to send? Put your copy into Google translate to receive a language translation.  

One word of warning: Google Translate is not always perfect. It is a decent option if you are not fluent or don’t have the resources to hire a translator.

Once you have the translation, then you simply add some conditional content language for each text section.  Just make sure your  have a language tag assigned to your subscribers.  

If your subscriber has the language tag “fr” the french version would appear. If their language tag is “es” the spanish version would appear.

Here’s how you would write the dynamic logic markup would look like to add conditional content in the greeting. 

{% if “fr” in subscriber.tags %}

Bonjour…

{% elseif es” in subscriber.tags %}

Hola…

{% else %}

Hello…

{% endif %}

You would repeat the process  above for each text section. If you interested in learning more about adding dynamic logic into your emails, AWeber has step-by-step guides on how to add conditional content logic markup.

“I can’t think of a nicer gesture than making sure each of your subscribers receives your email written in their own native language,” says Email Delivery Product Manager Dave Stys.

Tips for sending emails in the most common languages we see in AWeber

3 tips for sending emails in French

In France, there is more formality when addressing others than in the United States. While you can always send the same translated content to your French-speaking subscribers, you may want to make a few minor adjustments. 

  1. Use the proper greeting and close. If you collect your subscriber’s first and last name, consider taking an extra step to send a greeting using their last name versus first name. Include the appropriate prefixes: Mr., Mrs., and Miss. Note: There is no French equivalent for the prefix Ms. and in 2012 the France Prime Minister banned the use of Mademoiselle in legal documents, so Mademoiselle is less frequently used. 
  2. Write a concise, and descriptive subject line. When you test subject lines, you will most likely find a shorter, concise, and descriptive subject line has a higher open rate for your French readers.
  3. Structure your email with clear sentences that identify the value. Your french readers will be receptive to sentences that clearly outline the value and the benefits. Keep in mind that the value can take a variety of forms: financial (free delivery, a coupon for a discount), convenience (auto-shipments, electronic receipts, track shipment notices), or information (recipes, free additional content, how-to tutorial).   

3 tips for sending emails in Spanish

You may not want to limit sending Spanish emails just outside of the United States. If you have an extensive subscriber base in California, Texas, and Florida, it may be worthwhile surveying your customers on how many speak Spanish since these three states include 57% of Spanish-speaking Latinos in the U.S.

If you have a large number of subscribers who speak Spanish, you may want to identify your Spanish speakers and give them the option to receive your content in English or Spanish. There are 57 million Latinos in the United States, and the U.S. Hispanic population is expected to grow to one-quarter of the total U.S. population by 2050. 

  1. Consider an alternate content presentation. The Spanish language has a more persuasive style and argument structure, so consider altering how you typically deliver content if you create a Spanish version. To get your point across, lead with the emotion and the why of your product versus an analytical approach. 
  2. Know your audience’s market and how Spanish is used. There is no “typical” Hispanic customer, so try to learn as much about your audience as possible, like education, country of origin, and geographic location. A Pew study identified that Spanish-speaking markets vary drastically on a city-by-city basis. For example, 90 percent of Latinos speak Spanish at home in Miami, FL, and McAllen, TX. Other major markets with Spanish-speaking populations of 79 percent or above include El Paso, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, and Orlando.
  3. Simply translating English to Spanish may not be enough. Most Hispanic marketing experts have found that translating content from English to Spanish alone is not enough to have an effective campaign. You may want to invest in a copywriter fluent in Spanish and familiar with the Spanish culture to guide you on cultural references and nuances. But it may be well worth the effort, a “Facebook IQ” study conducted by Latinum Network found:
  • When online, more than 80% of Spanish-dominant Hispanics use Spanish at least half of the time when they read, write, or watch videos.
  •  79% of Spanish-dominant, 82% of bilingual, and 60% of English-dominant Hispanics surveyed think brands should reach out to consumers in both English and Spanish.
  • 58% of Spanish-dominant Hispanics and 48% of bilingual Hispanics believe that brands that reach out in Spanish demonstrate they value the Hispanic community.

A note before you send

You can’t copy and paste foreign characters from an outside service like Microsoft Word. Your content must be created within the email to guarantee language support.

Getting started

Sending emails to subscribers in their native languages is a simple way to improve the communication between you and your customers and create an enjoyable brand experience.

If you have any questions about sending international emails, don’t hesitate to reach out to our award-winning customer solutions team

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17 Comments

  1. Peter

    3/3/2015 4:13 pm

    I have clients on my lists who use Spanish, however unfortunately I didn’t find this article at all useful, it seems to be written for computer geeks rather than email marketers. First of all I don’t know what unicode is. Secondly I couldn’t see anywhere in the wikipedia article you linked to where it identifies which email clients support unicode or not. Finally it’s virtually useless if I can’t copy and paste my emails from Word as like many email marketers I have all my email sequences written in advance and stored on my computer and I’m certainly not going to write them all out again in unicode!

  2. Mónica

    3/3/2015 5:06 pm

    I am from a spanish speaking country and this sounds great. Can you tell me if there is the same avlity on the registration forms? because some times the special characters are not accepted in the forms such as the accent or a “ñ” letter for español.

  3. Monica Montesa

    3/4/2015 9:40 am

    Hi Mónica,

    You do have the option to write your sign up form in another language, but you will have to make sure the “Submit” button is in plain-text. Some of the sign up form buttons use pictures with “Submit” written in English, which can only be changed if you switch to a basic submit button. You can read more on how to do this in the “Using A Basic Submit Button” section of this Knowledge Base help article.

    You can also look for a sign up form that defaults to the basic submit button.

    Hope this is helpful!
    – Monica

  4. Mary

    3/4/2015 6:30 am

    It’s great to know that my subscribers (all hispanics) can now write their names properly in my forms – I had to ask them to not use any special characters so there woudn’t be any deliverability issues.

    But what about the non-customizable part of the confirmation message? and the unsubscribe message and page? These are all in English with no option to be changed. You should provide other languages versions of these pages/messages in order for us to really say we’re using international in AWeber. I can write whatever I want in any language I want, I’ve been doing that since I first had my AWeber account! what’s really blocking this service from being truly international is all the hard-coded messages you use and the fact that you don’t offer other languages for them.

    Do you plan on doing that anytime soon?

  5. Monica Montesa

    3/4/2015 9:33 am

    Hi Mary!

    The non-customizable part of the confirmation message, as well as the unsubscribe message and page cannot be changed at this time. Those are all great suggestions and we will certainly consider them for future updates!

    – Monica

  6. Tue Lindblad

    3/4/2015 6:45 am

    FANTASTIC!!!

    A quick question: Can i also modify the text in confirmation mail?

  7. Monica Montesa

    3/4/2015 9:30 am

    Hi Tue,

    Yes, you can change the customizable sections within the confirmation email. These are the confirmation message body and the custom closing sections (which are highlighted in red below):

    – Monica

  8. Simon Cave

    3/4/2015 10:28 am

    That’s a great way to use segmentation wisely! Thank you Monica.

  9. Tue Lindblad

    3/4/2015 10:58 am

    Hej Monica,

    Thank you for the respond. I’m aware of that you can customize some part of the confirmation email. No news here.

    It’s seems insane to me, why you forcing me to send spammy looking emails to my customers. When people see a message in half Danish and half English, it seems very wierd (don’t you think? I mean, this is kidstuff!)

    By the way. I have been pitching this correcting to Aweber Support for nearly 5 years now, so don’t get your hope up.

    Everytime they say: “Those are all great suggestions and we will certainly consider them for future updates!” (like Monica just replied to Mary)

  10. Nestor Anibal Fernandez

    3/4/2015 12:43 pm

    Thanks Monica, this is a great tool.
    So… where do we go to change it all to spanish?

  11. Monica Montesa

    3/10/2015 1:23 pm

    Hi Nestor,

    To make sure your messages are in Spanish, you will need to write your emails in the message editor using an international keyboard.

    AWeber sign up forms now accept foreign characters, so you don’t have to do anything to make sure your subscriber information is correct – unless you installed a Raw HTML sign up form before February 24,2015. To make sure your sign up forms are able to capture foreign characters, you can read more about it here.

    – Monica

  12. Sergio Felix

    3/4/2015 2:06 pm

    Hello Monica, just like Mary mentioned, the part that has the “CONFIRM BY VISITING THE LINK BELOW” is what actually needs to be changed to other languages.

    This literally made me look at your competence because they actually do provide a more international experience for our subscribers.

    I understand this would require a little bit of dabbling but it shouldn’t be THAT difficult for any of your programmers.

    Hope you can implement this soon, cheers!

    Sergio Felix

  13. Lisbet

    3/5/2015 6:55 am

    I can´t get this to work.
    I hope for a video soon ti help me out.

  14. daniel

    3/8/2015 7:46 am

    Hi! The option to edit non-customizable part of the confirmation message, as well as the unsubscribe message and page ARE VERY IMPORTANT for non english speaking countries!
    Monica, please help us to improve that!
    Thanks!

  15. Yvon Kruger

    3/10/2015 7:28 am

    Hi Monica,

    Thanks, this is great!

    It would also be fantastic if you could make the non-customizable part available in other languages (Dutch in my case). It would make the double optin process better for some of my customers who don’t understand english.

    Thanks,
    Yvon

  16. Monica Montesa

    3/10/2015 1:16 pm

    Hi Yvon,

    Thank you for your feedback! While we are considering this for future updates, there is a way you can translate the English message into a different language to ensure your subscribers can fully understand what you want them to do.

    You can do this by copying the message you see in English, translating it into the desired language and adding it to the customizable section above. We understand this may cause some frustration, this does allow you to make sure your subscribers get all of the information they need.

    Hope this is helpful!
    – Monica

  17. Ivan

    3/18/2015 3:24 pm

    Is there a list of the languages Aweber supports? I’ve seen a lot of people say that Aweber does not support some languages like Chinese/Japanese. Even though it’s possible to send emails in Chinese/Japanese, it doesn’t look right on some devices.