07 August 2019
Scribbles around newsletter

This is bound to ring a bell: you regularly send out newsletters with good content and attractive images, but you would like to reach even more customers and increase your newsletters’ success.

How? It’s simple: harness the language to your purpose and create a newsletter which speaks to your customers from just the right angle.

Language is a part of our identity

It is common knowledge in the marketing industry that when you address customers by name, they feel a connection to you and your company. They know that they are being address as individuals.

That, in turn, increases your chances of marketing your product or service to customers – or at least making them curious about what you have to offer.

And using language in the right way is just as effective as addressing customers with personalised salutations.

Of course you offer your newsletters in English to reach your English-speaking audience, just as you have French texts for your French-speaking audience.

But do you also consider different language variants?

Do your English-speaking customers in the United Kingdom receive the same “English” texts as those in the USA? Do you send the same “French” texts to your French-speaking customers in Switzerland as you do to those living in France?

Just as how a person’s name constitutes a part of their identity and enables communication on a more personal level, so too does the specific language variant of the person in question.

A German speaker from Switzerland may understand the German that is spoken and written in Germany, but that is not to say that this person would not feel more personally addressed when presented with terms typical of his or her language variant as well as adherence to the corresponding spelling and punctuation authorities.

This is a gesture that both implies to customers that the message is intended specifically for them and shows them respect and appreciation at the same time.

The customer is important enough that your company made the effort to reach them on a personal level

Idiosyncrasies in language use can manifest in all languages that span international borders, depending on where they are spoken. Even within the same country there are often regional variations of language use.

If you take heed of this, you can appeal to your customers more effectively and increase the success of your newsletters.

Aside from the language variant, the way you address your customer also has an influence on the extent of the personal connection your customer feels.

Formal or informal address?

Although it is not the case for English, many languages distinguish between a familiar and more polite form of address.

Which form of address is appropriate in which situation depends on the country and speech community. There are no all-encompassing rules for this.

The familiar form of address can come across as too personal in some contexts and should be reserved for informal discussions or conversations with friends or close colleagues.

In some countries, on the other hand, the informal address is used almost exclusively – it may be unusual to use the polite form of address and could have an alienating effect.

Even if some languages, like English, do not even have this concern because the grammar does not include different pronouns to express this concept, there are still other aspects to consider when addressing your customers:


First name or surname?

This is similar to the question of formal and informal address. In one country, using the surname may be too distanced while in another country using the first name may be too personal.

In determining the solution to this, the target country is but one consideration; equally important is the target group.


Who are you trying to reach?

  • Young adults,
  • children and teens or
  • older people?

You have to adapt your texts depending on your target group. This includes the salutation.

Along with your target audience, the nature of your company itself also plays an important role. What relationship would you like to have with your customers?

And what type of products or services are you marketing?

  • Affordable products for those on a budget,
  • middle-class products or
  • luxury products?


All of these factors have an impact on the language which is right for your customers

This makes it very worthwhile to clearly define your target market. Reach out to your customers in a more targeted, more personal way. This will make them feel a much stronger connection to your company, and this, in turn, will make it easier for you to win them over.

Try it out with your next newsletter!

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