4 things to remeber when sending SMS internationally
Globalization has drawn humans closer together than ever before. We watch American shows, eat Italian cuisine, and we use electronics manufactured in China. If we´re to buy products or services, we´re no longer limited to our what we can find at our local shops. We have the whole world at our fingertips - Literally! It´s no longer a given that you as a businessowner solely operate in your country of origin. With this type of development and the access to a huge, global marked you have to have a strategy for how you communicate with customers from all over the world. We wish to see you succeed. That is why we have accumulated the four most important tips you should have in mind when sending SMS campaigns internationally.
1. Different country, different laws and guidelines
This is one of the most, if not the most, important point to be aware of when sending SMS internationally. Before you start sending SMS campaigns, you have to map out which countries you´re going to send SMS to. Step two is to figure out what guidelines apply to each country. In France and India for instance, your SMS campaign will get rescheduled if sent at what they deem as inappropriate times. Other countries like USA, Saudi Arabia and Japan will filter out messages related to gambling.
In Norway you have to follow the marketing law, and rules and guidelines given by The Consumer Authority. In addition, you have to make sure that you´re in compliant with GDPR which regulate the whole European Union. For the US, there are rules and guidelines in place given by TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) and CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association). When it comes to other countries like Canada you have to follow the guidelines given by Canada Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). The Australian market is regulated by Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
Rregardless of which country you´re sending SMS campaigns to, make sure that your customers have actively opted in. You also have to make sure that the opt-ins are documented in case there are any questions. You also have to have a system in place for customers who opt-out of your SMS marketing. This is something Intellipush can help you with by making sure you have an active blacklist. If you breach any of these points you risk having to pay huge fines and ruin your company’s reputation.
2. Remember the Country Code!
It doesn’t matter if you have the best crafted message or the best campaign if your message doesn’t reach its intended recipient. That’s why its super important to remember to include the country code when sending SMS messages internationally. You can do this by including a separate column with the country code in your spreadsheet. You can also add the country code in our platform at Intellipush while importing new contacts. And don´t worry, you won´t have to remember every single country code by heart! Here you can find a list over every single country code you´ll need!
3. Schedule your messages carefully
When sending SMS messages to other countries, it’s important that you remember and take into account the time difference. Especially if you have customers that live in countries with a different time zone than yourself. It´s important to familiarize yourself with the appropriate times to send out SMS campaigns in said country. It’s also worth noting that in some countries there are different time zones within the country, for example like in the US and Australia. A message that is sent at the appropriate time for customers in California will most likely be highly intrusive and inappropriate for someone in New York. To make it easier for yourself, you can utilize the segmentation tool you have available at Intellipush. This way you can divide your customers into subgroups based on where they live.
Another tip is to keep up with the holidays and other important events happening in the countries you send SMS campaigns to. You can send special offers on those holidays and attract more customers from certain countries or areas. But it´s also important to remember that not all countries celebrate the same holidays. For example, a Christmas related sale will most likely not be as popular in Saudi Arabia compared to other western countries. The same goes for National days. A 4th of July sale is only relevant to American customers.
4. Adjust the language based on the recipient
This is where you can show your customers that they´re more than a mere number on a list. This is especially important when you want to communicate with customers that live in other parts of the world than you. You can do this by writing the message in their native language. If you choose to go that route you´ll have to be a hundred percent certain that the message is written correctly. I use Google translate as much as the next guy, in this case though, it can be helpful to enlist the help of a native speaker if you don´t know the language yourself.
If you decide to go the safer route you can always write the message in English. Then it might be a good idea to sprinkle in a well-known saying or word in the language of the particular country to show that the campaign was specifically meant for those customers. It can be something as simple as "merci" at the end of the message to customers in France or "¡hola!" to customers in Spain.
Another tip is to write the correct currency in the message if you mention a specific offer. Use NOK in Norway, pounds in Great Britain and USD for customers in the USA. This makes it much easier for the customer to decide if the message and the offer is relevant to them. The threshold for checking out the offer or taking an action will also be significantly lower.
Are you ready to go international? Don´t hesitate to get in contact with us! We´ll gladly help you get started with your international SMS campaigns.