Four Things to Consider for Associations Going Global

Jenna Crane, Content Marketing Manager at Personify, shares four things to consider when taking an association global. 

More and more associations are extending the reach of their organization and memberships across the globe. This can present many obstacles to current business practices, operations and even technology choices.

Here are four questions to consider as you prepare to take your association global.

Does your database support multicurrency? Different forms of currency and fluctuating exchange rates present challenges for associations trying to conduct business internationally. Having a database that supports multiple currencies allows your association the ability to do business in the currency of your constituents, wherever they are in the world. By utilizing an AMS/CRM that has a multicurrency feature, foreign exchange rates are automatically handled as well. You can also promote products in the local currency. For example, if you are planning a meeting in Europe, you will be able to set the price in Euros and still accept payments in other currencies. Managing Business Consultant for Personify, Michael Hunter, appeared in an episode of Personify Nation where he talks about how the multicurrency feature works in an AMS/CRM.

Does your website support multilingual content? Globalization affects your content strategy. As you extend the reach of your association internationally, you may want to support content in multiple languages. There are also technical accommodations your organization needs to make in order to display your website pages in multiple languages. Alex Mouw, Senior Solutions Consultant for Results Direct, a leading CMS provider, says there has been a radical shift away from using translation tools to now using people to translate content. This can create workflow challenges for managing that content. Using a content management system that supports multilingual content is important for helping associations share information on their website in the appropriate language.

Are you adhering to international spam laws? Email is a great way to connect with your members and potential members no matter where they are in the world, but your association needs to be aware that spam laws are not the same in every country. One law in particular that has a lot of marketers talking is the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). As of July 2014, Canada is enforcing new email marketing regulations.  Tom VanOstrand, Senior Director of Deliverability for Real Magnet shares four primary stipulations that organizations need to be aware of when sending marketing emails across the border.

Are you able to validate international addresses? Sending direct mail can be very expensive if your association is not equipped to validate international addresses.  Formatting and spelling are just a few nuances associated with foreign addresses that can cause many mailers to be undeliverable or returned to sender.  Investing in technology that can easily validate the addresses in your database can help solve deliverability issues and help decrease shipping rates by getting your mail there the first time.

Having the right technology and processes in place can make the transition to an international footing smoother.  Being aware of these four considerations can help your association save time, money and resources and create a better global experience for everyone involved.

  • Curt Wilcox

    always top shelf intel from Jenna!!! good stuff -