North Korea is currently on the US Government's list of sanctioned nations. Unless they have special permission, American citizens and commercial entities (LLC's, corporations, &c.) cannot do business with people and businesses in North Korea. If you're the citizen of, or operate a business in, a different country, we suggest checking the laws in your country before marketing to North Korea.

Marketing to North Korea can be difficult.

North Korea's sluggish broadband connection speeds, network restrictions, and sanctions present marketers with a unique set of challenges. As a result, international businesses often find audiences in North Korea difficult to reach.

Ultimately, this means marketers working outside North Korea often find themselves unable to raise awareness effectively, generate leads, and build the kinds of datasets they need to do their best work.

GoConvert's step-by-step guide to marketing to North Korea can help.

We've broken it into two parts: infrastructure and campaigning. The first part is based on our experiencing launching localized marketing assets in North Korea. The second is based on customer campaigns we've run in North Korea and elsewhere in the world. Together, we hope this guide not only adds to the growing body of work concerned with North Korea marketing but stands as the clearest and most comprehensive North Korea marketing guide available.

Learn how GoConvert helps customers launch marketing assets, conduct paid marketing campaigns, and track the ROI of marketing spending in North Korea.

"This guide helped us market to North Korea."

If you find this guide helps you market to North Korea, please consider sharing it on social media. If you see ways it can be improved, feel free to leave a comment or contact us.

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I. Infrastructure

Launching marketing assets in North Korea involves a number of different kinds of tasks. We’ve organized these into five categories below. While the categories aren’t strictly linear, you’ll find the process runs as smoothly as possible if you start at the top and make your way to the bottom.

Step 1: Hosting


First, you’ll want to set up a hosting account with a company that has data centers and CDN points of presence (PoP) in North Korea. A Google search for “North Korea web hosts” will give you some options.

Step 2: Administration

Set Up Business Entity (Optional)

You may want to create a legal entity for your business in North Korea. A Google search for “set up North Korea business entity” or “incorporate in North Korea” will uncover a number of vendors who can help with this process as well as some DIY “how to” articles.

Check Special Requirements

Some countries require internet content creators meet certain requirements and/or have certain licenses. To learn more about the requirements in North Korea, click here.

Register .kp TLD (Optional)

Registering a country-specific top-level domain (TLD) is optional, and doing so often requires the registrant to meet certain residency or citizenship requirrements. Unless your site is blocked by its national network, you can serve your North Korea-based site from any valid TLD, subdomain, or public IP address. However, some organizations may want to use a country-specific TLD for branding reasons. If you’re interested in registering a custom .kp domain, a Google search will reveal a host of vendors.

Marketing to North Korea Insight

To speed up your web content, we suggest having your DNS resolve inside North Korea. If you registered your domain and/or manage your domain’s DNS elsewhere in the world, requests for your domain will need to constantly enter and exit North Korea’s national network. This will slow your site speed considerably. To get around this, either register you domain with a registry in North Korea or use a cloud DNS service like Amazon Route 53.

Step 3: Content

Accept Payments

There’s no shortage of payment processing solutions available. PayPal/Xoom, Stripe, Square, Payoneer, and others can all help you accept payments from customers around the world. If you find your preferred solution doesn’t operate in North Korea, find an alternative in this list.


Translate all site copy and SEO resources/meta tags into To reach the greatest number of people in North Korea, translate all site copy and SEO resources/meta tags into Korean. Google Translate can help create a first draft. However, before launching your site, have a native speaker and/or localization professional review the translated copy to ensure it communicates clearly and reads comfortably.

Localize Social Media

The restrictions North Korea places on internet usage can make it challenging to reach audiences on social media. However, you might review this list of social media sites to find any that are popular in North Korea (and that allow foreigners to set up accounts).

Remove Non-North Korean Links

You’ll want to remove any outbound links to non-North Korean sites from your marketing site. Even if a site outside the national network isn’t explicitly blocked, your North Korean audience will often see performance issues and loading errors when trying to link out to sites based elsewhere in the world.

Scan Site for Sensitive Content

Because of political sensitivies and cultural preferences, authorities in North Korea are likely to block sites that contain certain keywords or content. Before launching your site in North Korea, you’ll want to review it thoroughly and ensure it doesn’t contain this sort of content. To see what kinds of content may be at risk, review this list.

Step 4: Development (Launch Prep)


Google Analytics is free, and adding it to your site will give you granular insight into a range of website activity including where your traffic comes from, how long visitors spend on your site, and which (and how many) pages they view. If you’re unfamiliar with Google Analytics, Moz has a helpful beginner’s guide.

Because of the restrictions North Korea places on its national network, Google Analytics may not always work there. However, since there's no local equivalnet (like Baidu in China), add the tracking code anyway. The results may be inconsistent, but the output will be better than nothing at all.

Webmaster Tools

Use Google Search Console to manage sitemaps, review indexing frequency, check for crawl errors, &c. (Bing has a similar solution.) If you’re unfamiliar with Google Analytics, Moz has a helpful beginner’s guide.

Like Google Analytics, Google Search Console (formerly, Webmaster Tools) might also not always work in North Korea. However, again, since there's no local equivalent, integrate it anyway. It's better to have some results than none at all.

Best-Practice Optimizations

Make sure your images are less than 50k, that you’ve minified your front-end code, and that you use caching mechanisms. If your organization can make do with a static site or landing page for North Korea (vs. a database-driven CMS), you’ll improve your page load time and harden your security.

Step 5: Development (Post Launch)

Proof Integrations

After you launch your site, you’ll want to test site forms, chat applications, and any other third-party integrations to ensure they’re working normally. Moreover, you’ll want to review these regularly to ensure they haven’t suddenly stopped working. Marketing automation tools, data tracking solutions, custom fonts and icon sets, embedded maps and videos, API integrations — these can put upward pressure on site load time and, if the connection fails, make your site render incorrectly or prevent it from loading altogether.

This article lists a few resources that will allow you to test your site’s load speed. Google Analytics and Google Search Console will also help you identify any performance issues.

How does GoConvert help customers market to North Korea?

By combining the self-sufficiency of an application with the expertise of an agency, GoConvert uses four actions to help customers quantify results, maximize ROI, and achieve their marketing goals.

Audience Modeling

GoConvert uses all available data resources — ad vendor data, social media intel, analytics, contact information, and other digital signals — to continually fine-tune our customers’ audiences. We always know whom we’re speaking to and how well we’re resonating with them.

Content Strategy

GoConvert uses audience intelligence to build highly-relevant marketing collateral. This helps ensure content topics, social media channels, and ads align with known audience variables. Now, marketing spending has the potential to generate exponential returns.

Lead Generation & Nurturing

We use audience-specific marketing assets from the first section to generate a steady stream of leads for our customers. This allows them to nurture prospects along a well-defined conversion path and creates additional front-line intelligence we can use to fine-tune our various audience hypotheses.

Measuring, Analyzing, Reporting, Learning & Fine Tuning

We use engagement data and other digital signals to constantly learn from our marketing efforts and improve our audience models. This allows us to fine-tune collateral resources, improve lead generation, hone conversion workflows, and improve overall marketing efforts (on- and offline).

“What makes GoConvert different?”

Discover how these philosophies help our customers maximize the ROI of their marketing spending.

Go Convert 101 GoConvert vs. Traditional Digital

i. Awareness-Stage North Korea Marketing Guidelines

Ad Vendors

When running ads that target audiences in North Korea, marketers don't have a lot of vendor options. Generally, GoConvert uses low-cost initial spends to identify the highest performing channels. Then, once we find the channel or channels that deliver the best CTR, CPC, and lead/customer conversions, we steadily increase spending with those vendors.

North Korea Native

North Korea is virtually ad free. However, if you do want to try to reach audiences there, you might try Chinese ad vendors like Baidu (China’s Google), WeChat and its parent company Tencent, and Sina Weibo (China’s Twitter). This article lists four other vendors, including Youku Tudou (China’s YouTube). Language barriers and high minimum ad buys can make these vendors challenging for non-Chinese companies to work with, but they're probably the best option for marketers who want to reach audiences in North Korea.

When systems allow it, GoConvert automatically aggregates data from these kinds of vendors. When this isn’t possible, we manually import it. Either way, we’re able to use native ad data to build effective funnels for our customers.

Here's a snapshot of the real-time awareness-stage performance of the GoConvert customer network, including North Korea marketing campaigns.

CPM Performance Snapshot


Currently, our customer network pays $7.66 per thousand impressions. That’s 69.36% below the agency benchmark and 17.72% below the ad vendor benchmark.

More Digital Marketing Benchmarks

ii. Interest-Stage North Korea Marketing Guidelines


When marketing to North Korea, it’s critical for marketers to track click-through rates (CTR) and the amount they pay per click (CPC). Luckily, no matter what ad vendor you’re using to raise awareness, these work the same way in North Korea as they do elsewhere in the world.

And your goal is the same as well.

Fine tune audience data, and use that intel to improve the alignment of channels, messaging, and creative. This will maximize the number of clicks and minimize the amount you pay per click.

We call this the “virtuous gap.”

It’s marketing in its most harmonious state: putting sustained downward pressure on CPC (red) while simultaneously putting upward, even exponential pressure on CTR (gray). More often than not, the virtuous gap has positive collateral effects on lead flow as well.

Learn More about the Virtuous Gap

By automatically aggregating marketing data, GoConvert helps customers build models like these, whether they’re marketing to audiences in China or elsewhere in the world. This helps our customers build powerful trend models, reveal actionable insights, and maximize the ROI of marketing spending.

Request a Demo

Here’s a snapshot of the real-time interest-stage performance of the GoConvert customer network, including North Korea marketing campaigns.

CTR Performance Snapshot


Currently, our customer network sees 4.96% CTRs. That’s 118.50% above the benchmark.

Case Study: GoConvert vs. Traditional Digital

CPC Performance Snapshot


Currently, our customer network is paying just $0.25 per click. That’s 82.88% below the benchmark.

Case Study: GoConvert vs. Traditional Digital

iii. Engagement-Stage North Korea Marketing Guidelines

North Korea Lead Generation

To generate leads in North Korea, marketers can rely on the same CRM, marketing automation, and form solutions they use elsewhere in the world.

Collect Leads Locally

Third-party, embeddable form solutions like HubSpot and Salesforce will generally fail in North Korea. If they appear at all, these forms usually won’t write data properly to servers located elsewhere in the world.

Even when we create our own forms with our own simple mail processing scripts, we find messages don’t reach our inboxes and/or those of our leads. Either server-level email processing fails or messages aren’t able to flow in and out of North Korea's national network.

Third-party scripts, emails, analytics — it’s best to avoid forcing any data to enter and exit North Korea's national network. At best, the results are unreliable. At worst, data tends to get lost in the transition. It’s almost always best for marketers to treat their North Korea marketing assets as independently-operating, siloed entities.

When it comes to lead generation, you’ll see your best results if you write all form data to a simple CSV file stored on your North Korea server. Periodically download the file, and import it to your CRM, email management solution, &c.

If you must use third-party forms and/or server-level email processing, the CSV can serve as a valuable backup and auditing tool.

Respect Data Privacy

It's unclear what, if any, data protection protection laws North Korea has enacted. Monitor this resource and this article for updates.

If you want to be proactive, manage lead data in accordance with other regulations from around the world like CAN-SPAM, CCPA, and GDPR.

Here’s a snapshot of the real-time engagement-stage performance of the GoConvert customer network, including North Korea marketing campaigns.

Lead Conversion Rate Performance Snapshot


Currently, our customer network sees 19.77% LCRs. That’s 327.00% above the benchmark.

Case Study: GoConvert vs. Traditional Digital

CPL Performance Snapshot


Currently, our customer network pays just $1.24 per lead. That’s 98.96% below the benchmark.

Case Study: GoConvert vs. Traditional Digital

iv. Conversion-Stage North Korea Marketing Guidelines

Win Rate & ROI

When marketing to North Korea, it’s critical for marketers to track both win rates (the percent of customers you convert vs. the number of leads you generate) and ROI of their efforts (the amount of income you generate for every dollar you spend). Luckily, these metrics work the same way in North Korea as they do elsewhere in the world.

And your goal is the same as well.

Boost the ROI of your marketing efforts by increasing efficiency and decreasing waste, using actionable insights to keep ad creative and content well aligned with your audience’s interests, and bringing qualified leads into your funnel. This will help you build a returns-driven, holistically-healthy funnel.

“What is a holistically healthy funnel?”

Holistically healthy funnels are effective funnels. They keep sales and marketing aligned and ensure companies know which metrics and stages need work and which are doing well. After all, an awareness challenge is different from a click through challenge, and both differ from engagement and conversion challenges.

Learn More about Holistic Funnels

Whether they’re trying to reach customers in North Korea or elsewhere in the world, GoConvert helps our customers know exactly where they need to focus their attention. As a result, we help them keep effort and impact tightly aligned.

Request a Demo

Here’s a snapshot of the real-time conversion-stage performance of the GoConvert customer network, including North Korea marketing campaigns.

Win Rate Performance Snapshot


Currently, our customer network sees 1.93% win rates. That’s 43.73% below the digital benchmark.

Case Study: GoConvert vs. Traditional Digital

ROI Performance Snapshot


Currently, our customer network sees a 6.36x ROI on its marketing spending. That’s 75.69% above the benchmark.

Case Study: GoConvert vs. Traditional Digital

in Real Time vs. Traditional Digital

Curious about how the GoConvert customer network is currently performing against traditional digital benchmarks? Review the real-time data below.

Metric Traditional Benchmark Advantage
CPM ?Cost Per 1k Impressions $25 ?Agency Rate
CTR ?Click Through Rate 2.27%
CPC ?Cost Per Click $1.46
RCR ?Relationship Conversion Rate 4.63% ?Lead Conversion Rate
CPR ?Cost Per Relationship $119.34 ?CPL
IGRCR ?Income-Generating Relationship Conversion Rate 3.43% ?Digital Win/Close Rate
ROI ?For every dollar I spend, how many will I get back? 3.62x

“How would I perform as a GoConvert customer?”

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