In my first post, German Language Software, I talked about the German market a bit. Here are a few more quick thoughts if you want to be successful in the German Language market.
I want to emphasize I am not a German market expert (correct me in the comments, please), but as you can read in the above post, we managed to multiply the German share of our sales ten times, from 2% to 20%! Something we do must be good 😉 Yes, this is the percentage of sales, not the number of sales (which obviously increased as well).
What we did
I will just post all things we did. I leave it up to you to decide what is important or not. My personal feeling is that all is important, miss one and it won’t work…
- German translation of the software
- German translation of the website
- German support, email, forum etcetera
- Make it easy to buy for German customers
German translation of the software
Please also see my first post, German Language Software. I am very much surprised about the German market, I expected tech tools in English-Language-only would be no problem at all.
Sure, if you are writing games or any other non-business software, it is super-duper-important to have localized versions of your software. To my surprise, it seems German customers really want to have German software, also for tech-tools (business).
German translation of the website
I don’t think I need to explain much here? When people search on Google in their own language (German), they won’t find your English website.
Remember to use proper html tags to convince google it is a German webpage:
<html lang="de" xml:lang="de" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"> and <meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="de" />
German Language Support
Everybody likes being helped in their own language. These days it is even more important: Germans from former eastern Germany (DDR) didn’t even learn English in school!
Remember to address German customers as Sie and not Du. Both mean “You”, but Du is only used between close friends and children. If you hire someone from Germany to do your support, this won’t be an issue – He will know.
Easy to Buy
Did you know German companies do not normally have credit-cards? The normal way to buy is by bank transfer. Our German translator noted that one of the first things he does when he searches for software is to see if he is able to buy without credit-card.
If he can’t buy by bank transfer, he needs to use his personal credit-card and try to get his money back from his company. Much easier to look at the next Google search result for a software company that understands the needs of German customers.