500px Increases Revenue by 257% With Improved Language Localization

500px, the worldwide photographers’ online community, found that incorrect languages in marketing messages were a drag on membership conversions. After partnering with Braze to unify communications and manage languages for 18 million users across 190 countries, 500px increased revenue by up to 257%.

The creative journey never ends: That’s a big part of the inspiration behind 500px, an online community where millions of photographers worldwide find opportunities and inspiration. Members use 500px to discover and share incredible photos, gain meaningful exposure, compete in photo contests, and license their photos through exclusive distribution partners.

Since 500px was launched in 2009, it’s built up an enthusiastic community of 18 million users across 190 countries. But the community’s diversity also meant that many users spoke languages other than English. Delivering marketing messages was 500px’s biggest challenge in terms of communicating with users.

Engagement Data Reveals a Language-Targeting Challenge

Previously, 500px used a mix of siloed systems to generate and manage communications—one system for push messages and two systems for email. The company realized that in order to reach users on various channels and rapidly test campaigns and strategies, its marketers needed an all-encompassing cross-channel customer engagement platform. They knew the move would help eliminate data silos, but it also needed to be easy for marketing teams to use.

500px pinpointed one big negative impact of the siloed systems: The inability to manage language targeting across different countries and regions in users’ customer profiles. Prior to this campaign, 500px only sent communications in English, but they decided to expand their language mix by sending messages in French and German. Once they started to translate the checkout process for specific markets, conversion to membership rates increased. Memberships account for a significant portion of 500px’s revenue, so fine-tuning campaigns to drive new memberships is a top priority.

With this knowledge in hand, marketers decided to send messages in local languages, starting with the German and French markets. 500px used Braze Alloys partner Amplitude to analyze campaigns after sending email and in-app messages. 500px also set up a control group to test which subject lines performed well.

“500px is a truly global community made up of photographers who speak hundreds of languages,” says Katherine Wellman, Director of Product Operations & Marketing for 500px. “The Braze platform’s built-in language capabilities have been instrumental in helping us scale our personalization efforts, and in turn, increase revenue and build trust with our diverse user base.”

500px Results: Increase in Conversion to Membership Rates in First Campaign After Language Updates

By perfecting language targeting in promotional communications, 500px increased their Germany revenue by over 257% and their France revenue by 145%. In 2019, Germany wasn’t even on their radar, but now it’s moved into one of their top three markets within a few months of language personalization.

Final Thoughts

As the 500px experience above shows, getting your users’ languages right can have a huge impact. Whether you have 18 million users all over the globe or are just trying to grow a neighborhood business, it’s essential that you ensure customers see communications in the right language. An incorrectly localized message will stop the customer relationship in its tracks, while the right language is an easy way to make customers feel welcome.

To learn more about tailoring messages based on a recipient’s language, check out our look at language-based personalization.