Best Practices for Notifying Hispanics Online
A Hispanic online marketing program does not have to be all or nothing. We recommend that companies take a strategic approach in developing Hispanic online initiatives and in many cases, this entails a phased approach with key milestones. As Hispanic online marketing programs are rolled out in phases, it is likely that gaps in the user experience will exist between Hispanic and general market sites, in these cases it is a best practice to provide notification.
When to notify online Hispanics
These Hispanic user gaps are acceptable as long as user expectations are closely managed through clear notification. Notification is the Hispanic online best practice principle of letting Hispanic users on a Spanish site know when:
- Certain content is available in English only.
- A link will lead them to an external English website.
- Third party software must be downloaded.
Providing notice to Hispanic users is a relatively simple method for managing their expectations and minimizing gaps in the user experience. Clear notification will allow Spanish dominant Hispanics to avoid English-only sections of your website without having to navigate to them only to find that they are unable to read the content. On the other hand, bilingual Hispanics will appreciate notification as they move between Spanish and English sections of a website.
How to notify online Hispanics
Within the Hispanic online market, there are two primary techniques for providing notification: pop-ups and in-page notice. The pop-up technique is very common, when a user on a Spanish site clicks on a link to an English only section or is about to go to an external website, a pop-up appears notifying the users that the destination is only available in English.
Another method for providing notification on a Spanish website is by providing in-page notification. This method eliminates the need to use pop-ups that may be blocked or be annoying to users. With in-page notification a user can quickly decide to move to a particular English only site area. This technique tends to be easier for the user but may present a design challenge. Allstate recently launched a Spanish website, http://www.miallstate.com, and leverages in-page notification to manage user expectations for English only-sections. Allsate included the word “inglés” (English) next to navigation items that are only available in Spanish.
When third-party software is required, be it Adobe Acrobat or Flash, organizations should follow the lead of the official portal of the US Government in Spanish, GobiernouUSA.gov. For PDF documents, GobiernouUSA.gov provides a link to allow users to download Adobe Acrobat from Adobe’s Spanish site. Moreover, they tell users it is free, and specify that PDF documents require Adobe Acrobat software, something that most general market users might already know. This simple gesture goes a long way in managing the online experience of Hispanic users while educating them about required tools for navigating the web.
Whatever technique is used, it is critical to provide notification to your Hispanics online users in order to help manage their expectations and ensure that their experience on your website is as seamless as possible. In addition, notification is a simple and cost effective method for strategically developing Hispanic online marketing programs in phases. Companies can track behavior to English-only notification areas and assess whether they should develop those areas in Spanish in subsequent phases.