According to JP Morgan – reporting for the Department of Commerce – only 27% of online shoppers speak English. This obviously impacts directly on copywriting because writing in English means that a large proportion of potential clients are not catered for.

The report states that 99% of South Koreans who have internet access shop online and 97% of British, German and Japanese surfers do the same. Surprisingly, only 94% of Americans who have internet access are willing to shop online. The report seems to suggest that companies wanting to generate or boost sales would be well inclined to start looking for leads on a global basis.

Targeting a global audience requires some finesse and culturally specific copywriting. The following tips can guide the process and make the transition from domestic to international smoother:

  • Research – Find out as much as possible about the countries that you are considering as potential markets. Learn about the lifestyle, celebrities, behaviours, slang and anything else that may assist in tailoring the copywriting.
  • Travel – If possible, visit the countries you are considering. First-hand experience of the country and the opportunity to network and build relationships with local professionals will prove invaluable.
  • Don’t be offensive – Some cultures regard certain behaviours as being offensive, while others would regard the same behaviour as being unoffending. Find out what causes offence in those countries.
  • See who else is there – Check out the competition and see what their weaknesses are in terms of markets they are not servicing.
  • Speak the lingo – Learn the language or employ a bilingual copywriter. Speaking the language makes selling much easier.
  • Start small – This gives you time to hone your approach for a bigger audience.
  • Develop a master plan – Planning in advance will prevent mistakes and overextending of resources. The plan can be edited along the way but a framework should be in place.
  • Stay ahead of trends – Keep an eye on global trends and learn as much as possible about advances within your field.

Using country specific copywriting will go a long way towards the generation of sales leads and can boost sales figures. The global market is ripe for the picking and online sales are poised to become a preferred retail method. Refining your copywriting is an important part of the process.

Need help with your copywriting? Contact WSI South Africa

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