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The challenges of the SaaS email marketing, for non-English market(er)s

English is a beautiful and powerful language when it comes to email marketing (and online communication in general). But, what I’ve learnt in my years of online marketing so far, is that a lot of it’s easiness is lost in translation in a non-English market. And things get even harder when you’re trying to address a high-demanding niche like that of legal professionals.

SaaS is no longer a mistery to anyone, including lawyers, judges or prosecutors. As a non-English native, I’ve faced many times the dilemma: How do I connect to these professionals and most of all — how do I convert the occasional reader into a paying customer for the SaaS I’m delivering?

With no further introduction, here are the two major challenges that I’ve come across in my efforts to connect to the legal professional in my home country — Romania.

  1. The People

Technology is ahead of people, to be honest. And that may be an issue when you’re promoting a SaaS.

The typical lawyer (prosecutor or judge) who’s interested in finding all the relevant content to a case online, surely owns a smartphone or a tablet. However, he uses that technology mostly for making phone calls and searching the internet for personal interests, rather than researching for his profession needs.

You may be wondering: ok, so what’s that got to do with the issue? Well, it has a lot: as a SaaS marketer you are acting as a technology teacher before you can even present the product itself.

There are plenty of junior legal professionals in my country who don’t need to be taught in this area, but they also don’t earn the money yet for the SaaS you want to sell them.

And here comes the second problem...

2. The Wording

The professionals I’m addressing are 40+ now and have reached a certain point in their carrer where they expect respect — in any way that it can be shown.

It doesn’t help that the country’s history has taught us from early stages that we are obliged to offer that respect, regardless...

You’ve all seen English written messages in your inboxes, much like this one:

Hi Anna,
I’m delighted you started a trial with our new online product. I’d be happy to show you how to get the most of our product, in a quick 10 minutes session over the phone.
When would it be a good time for you to schedule that session?
Thomas, etc..

If you’re thinking “hey, that’s easy-peasy” — think again! In Romanian language and if you’re addressing a 40+ lawyer — that informal text is a big no-no.

You might wanna start with “Dear Mrs. Ionescu” and that’s where everything starts to crumble… The text will end up being stiff and the friendlyness and attractiveness you feel in the English language is nowhere to be found.

But you have to write those emails anyway and you will try to compensate by phone, what’s lost in the text.

There is, as I’m sure you’re already thinking, a big disadvantage: the email still is the first personal contact you make with your prospects and those who are not impressed by it, will probably refuse a second contact (email, phone etc.)

Instead of conclusions

Usually here comes a conclusion and, if you’re lucky enough, solutions to the problem. But I haven’t found any of these yet.

I’m guessing other non-English speakers have the same problem.. Do you? And if you do, what’s your approach?

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