Language Localization Improves Mobile Ad Engagement

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As a mobile marketer, you aim for the highest ad engagement you can possibly get. To achieve this, language localization can be of great help.

According to Jud Bowman, founder and CEO of mobile user acquisition network Appia, language localization can increase a company’s click-through rates and conversions.

In an article on Mobile Marketing Watch, Bowman states that as marketers want their companies to remain top players in their field, the need for language-related services is ever-growing. The rising number of smartphones used across the globe is partly accountable for this as well, he says.

Bowman is keen to show how he and his company go about language localization. Therefore, he explains the strategy, tactics and results he used for a recent study. Moreover, he also shares the insights that the study gives into mobile advertising as a whole.


In a recent language localization test, Appia researched three key markets in its ad network. Here, the company’s main focus was on returning localized ads. This was based on the language of the mobile devices that were used, Bowman says. The test’s aim was to show three things:

•    the value of performance-based mobile marketing
•    how to incorporate localized ads
•    the value of creative optimization (for overall mobile marketing strategies)

Field and Execution:

To perform the test, Appia identified the five English language campaigns within the company’s ad network that performed best, which were then leveraged for localization testing. The campaigns were taken from three key markets, which were Germany, France and Spain. Next, the short descriptions of the ads were translated into German, French and Spanish.

After this was done, Bowman says, the translated campaigns were sent to the mobile devices via Appia’s mobile ad network. The programmed languages of the mobile phones were used to determine what language to distribute. At the same time, they released the campaign in the English language as well.


According to Bowman, the test revealed that the English campaign was outperformed by 86 per cent of the localized campaign creatives. This was true for both the click-through rates and the conversion rates. To support this, Bowman gives the exact percentages of the rates:

Average CTR        Conversion rate
English        2.35%                       7.47%
Localized    3.34%                        9.08%

Thus, Bowman says, click-through rates for the local language ads were 42% higher than those of the English ones, and the conversion rate was 22% higher.

Bowman believes these test results indicate that localized campaigns are more effective on global markets than English ones.

Returning ads in the language of the device itself will result in more engagement and will improve the user experience. This will lead to increased click-through rates, he says, and, ultimately, to higher conversion rates as well.

These results, Bowman claims, show that performance-based mobile marketers should definitely incorporate localized creative in their campaigns.

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