Structuring an Email Marketing Campaign for Customers in India

By Curt Keller //

With its rapid rate of technological and industrial development, many email marketers believe India to be the next great growth market. The prospect of 1.2 billion people developing into a consumer base before our very eyes presents an extremely lucrative prospect to digital copying and printing marketers. In order to properly concoct a winning email campaign strategy it is important to note that the Indian market poses considerable challenges as well as offering monumental opportunities.

There are 100 million Indian internet users

Due to its developing status less than 10% of all Indians regularly access the internet, but thanks to its enormous population that number is still nearly 100 million people: accounting for nearly 10% of all internet users in Asia. Email is by far the most popular form of online communication in India, with fully 94% of all web enabled users accessing email on a regular basis. Dovetailing social media approaches with your email marketing campaign can also have considerable positive effects. Over 14 million Indian users are on Facebook, therefore designing your email content to feature “Like” buttons and other exhortations to visit your Fan Page can help quickly build your campaign's critical mass. English is not in as widespread usage in India would be believed by watching the television series and movies set in the country.

Outside the major urban areas the majority of Indians do not use or understand English to any great degree, thus the email marketer who is seeking a truly national approach might want to experiment
with bilingual email content. The question which you now may be asking is which other language? India has 22 official languages, but Modern Standard Hindi would be the best choice as it is the one used in most newspapers, television news, and other media. If you are trying to geographically target to a very fine degree, you might find yourself gravitating to using a number of additional languages: Punjabi, Gujarati, Sindhi, and Marathi in the west and northwest parts of the country; Oriya in the southeast; Maithili and Bengali in the east; and Nepali in the north.

The typical Indian user is a well-educated young male

The demographics of the Indian market are as unique as the country, thus an assumption that they reflect conditions in other nations would be misleading. Nearly nine out of ten Indian internet users are male, and 85% of them are in the 19 to 40 year old age group. The level of education among Indian internet users is extremely elevated, with 46% holding graduate degrees and 26% being post-graduates. Only 2% of the entire net-enabled population consists of married female homemakers, so it seems that if your digital copying or printing product or service is targeted as a direct sale to the average family user, India is going to be a tough market to crack. However, if your product or service is intended for the academic, professional and commercial classes you will find many millions of Indian internet users to be firmly within your targeted market.

A laser printer = 6 months' typical salary

The minimum wage in some parts of India can be close to US$1 per day, therefore the market for relatively costly imported goods such as copy and print technology products and consumables can be limited in the overall general market. A basic laser printer represents six months' salary for many Indians, and even the cheapest ink jet printer would absorb a full month's paycheck. The primary markets in India for digital copying and printing are the urban populations and the various brick and mortar stores throughout the nation that provide various copy services on a per use basis. Cyber cafes are extremely popular in the nation as two out of every five Indian users lack their own connection thus access the internet in these locations. These Indian public internet businesses represent a burgeoning market for basic copying, printing, and consumable products as many have basic ink jet multi-function printers. The use of public facilities for internet access is so widespread that Indian users can be essentially separated into two halves: On one side we have the young adult male user who is highly educated, earns a wage which is somewhat comparable to American, Japanese, or European standards, and is an avid consumer of computer based products and the digital printing technologies which accompany them. On the other side we have Indians who cannot afford their own personal computer thus visit internet cafes or use mobile web enabled devices which are extremely limited in bandwidth. In India perhaps more than in any other nation, it is imperative that you understand your prospect so that you can cater your email marketing approach to suit.


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