What do you mostly do when you need to contact a potential customer in the western world? Correct – you email them with your promotional content.

I have encountered a lot of people who want to do the same in China.

They only need contacts of the people they want to get through to and they are sure this kind of straightforward personal contact will bear its fruits.

However, there are 2 misconceptions here:

  1. Getting through to the Chinese directly will never work if you have no reputation here, in this market.
  2. Even if you do, they will never know you have emailed them…

Statistics reveal that nowadays roughly 5% of Chinese people open their emails. And they most probably do that for a particular purpose – definitely not to see if You have emailed them too or not.

They don’t use email address to register in various platforms or for services because they have their mobile phone numbers tightly linked to their identity.

This is true for a wide array of cases. When I was a novice here in China 5 years ago, I was hopelessly sending emails at a pinch. And whether I needed support from Ctrip or a feedback from an official Chinese examination centre or a response from a company I wanted to work for, I never got any reply.

What I see now is that when I attend business fairs in China and check their business cards, I barely ever find their email addresses there – phone numbers, WeChat IDs, QR codes are there for sure.

A life without an email address here is absolutely normal.

 

How does China make up for Email Marketing?

 

A life without WeChat is inconceivable.

WeChat marketing is analogous in its functions to Emailing. While no one opens emails, around 900 million people use WeChat on a regular basis. 61% of WeChat users open it at least 10 times per day. So this is the right tool to target one’s market with promotional content.

 

How to make use of WeChat for marketing?

Newsletters. WeChat offers a great opportunity to target your audience on a regular basis. 8 out of 10 WeChat users use it to read newsletters.

Chinese people enjoy looking for the information on their own, but they also like it a lot when the right content reaches them on WeChat. In their opinion, only a respected and secure business can use WeChat to reach out to the crowds with a product. So they give due consideration to the information that arrives to them through WeChat.

There are basically a few stages to let you use WeChat with the proper tools:

  • Set up an official account;
  • Manage it, get followers;
  • Customise and send newsletters;
  • Get the results.

 What is important about sending newsletters:

  • Regular posts;
  • Up-to-date information;
  • High-quality content;
  • Diversity;
  • Bringing value to the reader.

WeChat subscription account gives a chance to make one post per day. That is more than enough to keep in touch with the audience, remind them regularly of yourself, become useful for them.

 

What is particularly good is that your WeChat account can be linked to your website or WeChat mini-site. It also offers a lot of options for customization, has features like auto-reply, WeChat Store. Users can get newsletters from you and check all the information about you there in your account, contact you directly for support or even orders. Besides, they can do it without leaving the application.

 

What else can be used instead emailing?

 

To sum up, WeChat gives a lot of opportunities for successful promotions due to the following factors:

  • Widest audience accessible;
  • Precise targeting;
  • Regular promotions;
  • Easy to convert the readers into clients.

 

However, it is always a smart move to combine a few media of reaching out to the consumers.

Apart from WeChat, it is highly recommended to use the following social media platforms as well:

 

  1. Weibo

Weibo used to be the most popular platform before WeChat took all the laurels.

It still has more than 500 million regular users and still plays a significant role in affecting the consumer choices. Weibo is also a good platform to cooperate with Chinese influencers, or KOL (key opinion leaders), for more effective promotions.

 

  1. Douyin

Douyin, or Tik Tok, is a short-video platform which has conquered an audience of around 500 million users over the past two years. It is used daily and serves as an entertaining content provider. With their hectic lives, Chinese people barely have any time to get away from it all. What they can do is browse Douyin with its versatile videos of maximum 50 seconds while they have a few spare minutes to relax a bit.

It is a great idea to make your product pop up in the hands of some popular influencers in their videos once in a while. Influencers are good to promote a product, while Douyin is good to offer links to your e-stores or to make people buy directly from it now, even.

 

  1. Little Red Book

Little Red Book is another rising power in the world of promotions on the Chinese market. Being more reminiscent of well-known Instagram, it is suitable for promoting female-focused stuff mostly. This social media platform is also efficient when used in cooperation with a KOL who might help you to get maximum leverage from your promotions.

All in all, it is important to remember that it makes no sense to use emails when you approach the Chinese. With that being sad, when in Rome do as Roman do, or as the Chinese say RùXiāng SuíSú ( 入乡随俗 ).

 

Any questions?

If you still have any questions on how to make promotions in China or you want to start now, don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

We are the GMA – we have a lot of success stories in our marketing diary