Offering a freemium version of your software-as-a-service (SaaS) product can certainly make your marketing easier and drive higher sign-up rates, but if you don’t offer a good experience for people around the world, you won’t get your desired conversion rates for paid memberships. Here are a few tips for localizing SaaS software:
Structure Screens for Easy Translation
Even though English is the most common language online, 75 percent of Internet use is conducted in other languages. This means you need to serve SaaS customers in their native tongues. However, your strategy should go beyond content writing. Your software design needs to facilitate simple translations so that when it’s time to offer your SaaS product in a new language market, you’ll be ready.
For example, ensure menu options and their meanings are clear in every language. Don’t let their context depend on anything else on the screen. Also, always allow space for a full word—refrain from using abbreviations or acronyms.
Standardize Labels and Menus for Multi-Directional Languages
When going from one language to another, the same word’s length can vary greatly. When labeling fields for information entry within your SaaS screens, left-justify them next to the entry box so everything looks consistent.
Here, Salesforce left-aligns the labels to its data entry boxes. This is important, because a word like “subject” in English is as short as “제목” in Korean and as long as “gegenstand” in German.
In the same line of thought, languages such as Arabic and Hebrew are written right to left for characters, but left to right for numbers. In a vertical menu, this means the text will not always line up, creating visual inconsistencies. To avoid this, make sure your menus are horizontal.
Implement a Monetization Structure That Works for Everyone
On average, only 2-3 percent of freemium users become paid customers, according to Tech Cocktail. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but to monetize internationally, you need to have a structure that keeps everyone happy and isn’t a hard transition for free customers to make.
Many companies let customers use their services for free up to a certain capacity. Then, as their clients’ business grows, they offer more capacity in exchange for a monthly fee.
There is no set answer to the exact monetization model that will bring the best return on investment—and it may differ depending on customer preferences in a given market—but using one based on capacity is a good start, since it places the same fairness on everyone. Basing the price increase on your clients’ business growth is much easier for them to absorb. You’re helping them grow, so they can afford to pay you more.
Freemium Software Language Localization
Once you have a solid structure in place to localize your user interface, it’s important to avoid preventable translation mistakes that could lead to misinterpretations and customer churn. Using a translation management system can help you scale your freemium SaaS product without translation errors that could cost you paying customers.
Image source: Bigstock, Salesforce.com