If your business has an international workforce, sending multilingual emails is likely a huge part of your internal communications strategy.
But we know that sending emails in multilingual languages is easier said than done.
In this guide we’ll walk you through some different ways of sending multilingual emails to your employees—using ContactMonkey’s internal communication software. With the right internal communications software, you can easily manage the challenges of a multilingual workplace.
We know that email tracking is super important to our customers so they understand how their internal communications are performing, so we’ll discuss how each method affects how your emails are tracked.
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Why Sending Multilingual Emails Can Be Tricky
If you’ve ever used Google Translate to read another language, you know that the final product is never perfect. While this is fine for casual reading, employee emails containing important health and safety information need to be translated perfectly.
How you translate your emails will also affect how long they take to create. Compared to Google Translate, building multiple versions of the same document in different languages can be very time consuming.
When deciding on a multilingual email solution, you should consider how employee emails are created and sent in your organization:
- Are employees reading their emails on desktop computers or mobile devices?
- Are you tracking opens and link clicks for your emails?
- Are your distribution lists up-to-date?
These factors and others should inform how you approach multilingual emails. But before you make your decision, keep in mind how you build the emails you intend to translate.
Best Practices for Multilingual Emails
You can take steps to make your multilingual email content easy to translate and understand. Trying to translate overcomplicated emails is a recipe for disaster, so consider these tips for creating effective multilingual emails.
Show, don’t tell
If you need to send out an email in numerous different languages, consider featuring more graphic content than email copy.
Images can communicate emotion much faster than text, so set the tone of your email with fun images and keep the text to-the-point.
A word of caution: different cultures have different design sensibilities. What is considered normal in North America could appear strange to someone not used to seeing such materials. Be aware of your employees’ expectations!
For the copy you do include, keep language as simple as possible. Not only will this help the translation process, but simple writing helps communicate important information to your readers!
Here are some easy tips for simple writing:
- Start sentences with short subjects that name who is performing the action.
- Get to the main verb quickly; avoid long introductory phrases.
- Open sentences with information familiar to the reader.
- Introduce new information at the ends of sentences.
- Cut out meaningless words; condense phrases into single words when possible.
Apart from using simple language when writing your multi language emails, be wary of any special characters your emails may require. Google Translate doesn’t always get these right, so ensure that the translator you use is able to use these characters correctly.
Now that you know how to easy-to-translate-and-understand email content, you’re ready to create and send multilingual emails.
How To Create and Send Multilingual Emails
With ContactMonkey, you have a variety of options for sending multilingual emails. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages, and we’ll go into detail so you can find the best approach for your internal communications translations.
In instances where Google Translate is not used, we recommend using a translation service—like Gengo—to create multilingual versions of your employee emails. Your business’ success is built on communication, and your non-English speaking employees contribute to that success just as much as your native English speaking employees.
With this approach, you first build your master email template in the native language of the majority of your recipients within ContactMonkey’s email template builder.
Replicate your master template. Then, change your body copy to the needed language, and then select “Export PDF” from the dropdown list in the top-right corner. Repeat this process for every language spoken in your organization.
When sending your email, import your master email template from the ContactMonkey sidebar in your Outlook or Gmail inbox. Attach each PDF to the email template so that employees can select the one in their native language.
When using PDF attachments, you are able to gather email metrics on your email. Track read time, open and click-through rate, opens by device and location, and more with ContactMonkey.
Unfortunately, you can’t gather open and click-through rate information on your PDFs—nor can you conduct surveys. While some users find the lack of tracking untenable, this option gives your international workforce an experience nearly equivalent to the primary language spoken at your company.
To prioritize employee experience, use PDF attachments to offer multiple language versions of your emails. You can also send more complex information via other methods. But it’s worth noting that the content in your PDFs isn’t tracked like the main email you’ve sent.
Build a single email that contains email copy in every language you need. Then use anchor links to let your employees skip to the section in their native language.
While this can result in a fairly large email, you can use ContactMonkey to see how your email will display on desktop and mobile devices to ensure everything looks perfect:
All of your email content will be tracked, so you can gather email metrics on all of your employees. You can feature 2-way employee feedback on your emails like anonymous employee comments and pulse surveys:
Learn how your employees engage with your emails and hear their opinions with ContactMonkey.
While this method allows you to gather metrics on all your employees, it does come with some drawbacks.
Creating such a large email and adding anchor links can be a time-consuming process. You may find yourself having to limit the amount of information you include for the sake of the economy. Anchor links also are only available for employees using Outlook desktop clients.
If you’re looking to send fully-trackable multilingual emails to your employees, this is the method for you. Though the anchor links may be time-consuming, you can easily see how your employees engage with your emails and gather their feedback!
Google Translate offers a quick solution for sending multilingual emails. After you build your email, you can insert a translate link at the top of the template that will redirect to Google Translate.
This will automatically translate your email content into the recipients’ native language.
Google is doing the translating. You only need to create one version of your email and add the translate link to it.
You will also still be able to gather email metrics on your initial email. This means you can see how many people have clicked on your translation link.
You guessed it: once your email is transferred into Google Translate, you will no longer be able to gather email metrics on your content.
You are also relying on Google Translate to create a multilingual business communication for your international employees. Ensure that you use our email writing best practices from earlier, and if you’re sending important information consider another method if you’re worried about mistranslation.
Dynamic distribution lists
Our final method involves setting up dynamic distribution lists for each of the languages spoken at your business. Once you build your email template, create different language versions for each of your dynamic distribution lists.
If your company has tens of thousands of employees located around the world, then dynamic distribution lists are probably your best bet. For companies that size, it’s advised you use professional translation services or multilingual employees to craft your multi-language emails. This way you can minimize the amount of miscommunication that occurs which can save loads of time and resources.
When you use multiple distribution lists, you’re able to gather email metrics on all of your employees. With ContactMonkey, your Gmail and Outlook email tracking stats are visible within your analytics dashboard:
You also have the option to merge the email analytics from each distribution list into a single report afterwards within Excel. You can do this to get a top-down view of your employee’s email engagement.
You’ll have to set up new distribution lists for each language spoken at your business, if you don’t already have them. This can be a time consuming process, but unlike the PDF and anchor link methods, you’ll only have to do this once.
Using dynamic distribution lists can be time consuming, especially if you have employees who speak a variety of languages. However, once your lists are created you’ll have full ability to track in-depth email metrics and gather feedback from all your employees.
We recommend this method for any internal communications department where email tracking is an important part of your internal communications strategy. You can use internal email benchmarks to learn how other companies in your sector perform on their internal communications.
Embrace Multilingual Emails
Whatever method you choose for sending multilingual internal communications, ensure that it actually works for your international workforce.
With ContactMonkey, you can gather employee feedback about your emails and ask if there is anything you can improve. Combined with in-depth email analytics, you can understand exactly what you need to do to succeed with your internal communications.
Learn how to use an internal communications software to give your international employees the best employee experience possible. Create, send, and track multilingual emails with ContactMonkey to save time and increase productivity. Book a free demo!