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Email Marketing does not work in China, use WeChat for your newsletters and company brochures!

Updated: Mar 11

China is a booming market for entrepreneurs and companies from all four corners of the world due to its large population, rising wages that contribute to increased consumption and purchasing power. New technologies-related industries and digitalization have helped China become an eldorado for foreign businesses. However, many companies believe they can apply the same business/marketing strategy in China as they would back home. On the contrary, foreign companies should keep in mind that China is completely different on so many levels, especially when it comes to business, and in the case of this post, email marketing.

Email marketing in China, is for lack of other words, a waste of resources, and other alternatives for mass communication and experience are favoured, most notably, WeChat. In this article, we will explain how emails have been quickly replaced by WeChat, and we will explain as well how to take advantage of WeChat to communicate with business partners and customers.

WeChat: The Alternative to Emails & Marketing in China?

If you can identify yourself in one of the two options below, then this post is for you:
  • You’ve been sending tonnes of emails to Chinese companies

  • You’ve tried sending newsletters and email marketing to reengage lost clients/leads

And with both scenarios the results are underwhelming. It is frustrating, you’ve been spending time writing your emails, setting up automation and you are not getting any results. It is not your fault, Email Culture is not a thing in China. But cheer up because WeChat is here to save the day.


How we can help: Linked Digital Services is partnered with the top and most visible Web & Marketing Agency for China you will find on the web. Our Services: E-Commerce, Search Engine Optimization, Advertising, Weibo, WeChat, WeChat Store & PR, plus more.

You are looking out to connect with Chinese Businesses:
  • Design a WeChat brochure to introduce your services/products and reach out to distributors/travel agencies/ Investors etc.; directly via their WeChat.

You are looking for a way to communicate with your followers/customers:
  • Share your content with your WeChat Official Account.

  • Use WeChat CRM and create automation to ease communication with your followers.

  • Last trick, for B2B company. Create a personal account for your company and invite peoples. Share your content via messages (Warning: Be smart about it, our you’ll be blocked by WeChat)

So...What is WeChat (微信)?

Developed by one of China’s biggest company Tencent, WeChat (known as Weixin 微信 in China) was launched in 2011 in Mainland China, and in 2012 in its international version. In a couple of months, WeChat was able to attract hundreds of million users, and became the world’s largest standalone mobile app, reaching 900 million monthly active users in 2018.

Nowadays, WeChat is boasting over 1.2 billion monthly active users and is part of Chinese people’s daily life: from booking a hotel to paying your bill at a restaurant, sharing articles with codes and messages, we can do almost everything with it in China. So, as you probably already know, WeChat was a messaging app at first but Tencent saw its potential to reach a wider audience by implementing services directly available through the app. These functionalities became indispensable in both personal and professional life.

WeChat’s Ecosystem

WeChat’s Ecosystem is one of the most complete in the world for social media, providing text messaging with a hold-to-talk functionality, video conferencing, video games, etc. But one key aspect of WeChat is that it acts as many social media (Instagram, Facebook, e-commerce platforms, Google, etc) all reunited in one app.

Why is WeChat this important in China?

  • WeChat: The Most Popular App in China

Called ‘the app of everything’, WeChat is one of China’s digital landscape most powerful apps. One advantage of WeChat is that it can interact with subscribers on a personalized level. In 2018, WeChat’s Mini Programs saw a significant increase in popularity, with an annual transaction volume that has more than doubled since 2020. Brands such as Burberry, H&M, and Dior have all used the platform to reach customers on an individual level. WeChat is also extremely useful for all companies from SMEs to bigger companies, that are increasingly using it for transactions via WeChat Pay.

WeChat Tools for Emails Marketing

For marketers, WeChat can be a useful tool as it provides the following useful functionalities:

Use WeChat Menu & Automation as an alternative to WeChat Automation

On WeChat, you can define an automatic message that will be sent to people as soon as they’ll subscribe to your WeChat account. First of all, you can thank them for following you, and encourage them to ask questions if needed (they can then receive an automatic response or you can reply to them directly). You can also organize Q&A sessions, or encourage them to participate in special events. For example, when organizing a special event or giveaway, you can send an invitation directly on WeChat.

Use WeChat Weekly Post as your Weekly Newsletter

Any company that has a WeChat official account can post weekly to communicate with their followers. WeChat followers can be seen as equivalent to an email list. With a service account, your followers will receive a push notification in their WeChat message feed to let them know you posted something. Treat it as a newsletter. Just like emails, you can add a link to a destination page of your choice.

For B2B companies, the weekly post can be used as a way to nurture your followers base just like you would do with your email marketing. Although it is not as sophisticated because you can not segment your followers base, it is better than sending targeted emails that will end up in someone's spam folder or never opened in between 100 unread emails.

Learn how to optimize your WeChat “newsletters” here.

WeChat Integrated CRM

If you can’t precisely target your followers with your weekly post, you can integrate a CRM that will help you customize your campaign and thus offer you similar specs to an emails marketing service would.

Here is a list of the most common WeChat integrated CRM:
  • Parlay

  • Webmod

  • Drip

  • JingSocial

  • Youzan

Not only those CRM will help you run more optimized content but they will also give you more insights on followers' habits as well as the way they interact with your WeChat Activities, as well as varying tools, depending on the CRM you’ll choose.

WeChat H5 brochures to contact potential business partner instead of mailing

H5 Brochure

H5 brochures are one of WeChat’s main assets for B2B companies. H5 brochures are highly engaging and interactive, incorporating audio, music, video animations, or mobile shaking triggers and are the perfect alternative to PDF listing when doing business in China.

Kuheiji H5 Brochure

You can create endless styles by using sequential animating groups, different groups according to their interests, etc. They’re typically used for marketing purposes, sometimes using game ads to engage with the audience.