For one of our oldest clients, an e-commerce business, sales are everything. Their entire profit and investment in digital marketing are directly related to how many sales they make and at what cost. After an initial US campaign, they wanted us to take their sales to the next level, hoping to find a global market for their products.
Oh the places you can go
After much research and deliberation, we decided to kick things off by expanding current advertising reach in the US. Within a few weeks, we launched new campaigns nationwide. The goal was to figure out which strategies worked best before going international.
Once our domestic program gained traction and impressive conversion numbers were recorded, we started implementing our international strategy. First in Europe – the UK, the Nordic countries, Germany, Italy, Spain and France – then moving to South America and secondary English markets such as Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Singapore and South Africa. The following observations are important lessons learned during the process of creating these campaigns.
All websites cannot be created equal
As we expanded into each new region, we recognized that website usage varied greatly. To appeal to each individual audience, separate websites were created and customized for each market, with country-specific messages, language, currency and more. To define exactly how each website would work best, we tested different:
- Color schemes, headings, photos and graphics
- Promotions (using different price points and package deals)
- Content (detailed or abstract text; what text to put in bold and how to orient text on each page)
It’s a multilingual world after all
The next experiment consisted ofin– integrating secondary languages to increase audience size. We noticed many people in each market using the web in several different languages, so why not make separate campaigns for them, too? A new campaign was launched in each region targeting English (if it wasn’t already targeted), and other common local languages such as a German campaign in the Netherlands and France. This enabled us to achieve even greater market penetration.
These extra language campaigns resulted in even better conversion rates at a lower cost-per-conversion. Some of the most dramatic results were seen in France, Germany and Brazil.
Different ads for different people?
At every stage of the process ad content was tested as well. According to our analytics, an ad in the UK containing the number ‘3’ gave people more incentive to buy than the number ‘2’; and image ads with white backgrounds worked best in France. As minute as these variations may seem, they had a big impact on conversion rates.
We also found that some ad strategies translated across all markets. For example, using quotes from website testimonials provided some of our most effective ads in the US. After noticing this, we began testing similar ads across all regions. Although the targets varied greatly, this and some other approaches worked very well around the world.
The keys to our success
By combining creative ideas with our international experience, we were able to generate results far beyond initial expectations. Using native speakers to write all content was essential. Also, taking advantage of online testing tools helped us develop the best messages, graphics and more for each target audience.
Today, our client spends a minimum of $1,000,000 per month advertising over 30 websites in 20+ countries, using more than 10 languages—while continuing to achieve exceptional ROI success.