Globe Trotting

2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When sending direct mail overseas, don't let your message get lost in theshuffle.

If your direct-mail audience includes a continental contingent, you might wantto heed these global warnings:

1. Plan ahead. Don't do a European mailing in August when the entirecontinent is on holiday in southern Spain. And make sure your mailing doesn'tcoincide with any national holidays or religious observances. Of course, beforeyou blanket the entire region, you might want to send out a smaller mailingfirst to gauge the potential response rate.

2. Be a polite American. When it comes to salutations, always take intoaccount any appropriate cultural conventions.

3. Be postal perfect. Rules change constantly, so you should check withthe international representative at your local post office to avoid anycountry-specific problems. Also, don't ever send anything without a ZIP code,known abroad as a "postal" code.

4. Learn the language. If your mailing calls for a translation, makesure you use a native speaker to avoid any embarrassing gaffes in your copy. Ifyou can, also print the address label in the characters of the local language.

5. Legal issues. Be aware that privacy issues and data protectionregulations are more strictly enforced in Europe.

6. Make response easy. Too often, U.S. entrepreneurs make it difficultfor foreign customers to respond. Short of a multilingual staff, allowingcustomers to use credit cards (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) resolvesmost language barrier and currency conversion issues.

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources
Make sure you’re covered if an employee gets injured at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business
Discover a better way to hire freelancers. From business to marketing, sales, finance, design, technology, and more, we have the freelancers you need to tackle your most important work and projects, on-demand.

Latest on Entrepreneur