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Email Marketing in Nigeria: How to do it the right way

Email marketing in Nigeria is being done the absolute wrong way. Did you know that email gives the most return on investment among all other marketing channels? Yet Nigerian organizations are are not taking advantage of this solid marketing channel.

Before we proceed, here are a few interesting facts about email marketing:

Email gives about $4 for every $1 spent on marketing. This is what I thought until new data by Hubspot revealed that email can give as much as $38 for every $1 spent – that’s a whooping 3800% ROI.

My grievance is that Nigerian organizations are not yet maximizing the potentials from email so they can see similarly impressive results from their investment.

See also: How Nigerian organizations can use their corporate website to drive more revenues

My experience with email marketing

I’ve been in the Nigerian Digital Media/Online Marketing Industry for over 8 years. In this time, I’ve worked with both Nigerian brands and global brands.

From my experience across several campaigns, e-mail has been the most impressive for me.

The Benefits of email marketing

  • Cost effective way of acquiring customers
  • It helps you to build & maintain a good relationship customers

Your customers want to hear from you and one of the channels they expect to hear from you is via email marketing.

  • It can be personalized

E-mail marketing gives you the ability to mention personal details like the name and location of your customer making it look like you’re really referring to them in your communication.

  • Reach your customers wherever they are

Most people access their emails via their mobile phone. Since people carry their phones almost everywhere, e-mail marketing is a good way of reaching your customers wherever they are.

  • It can be automated

You don’t have to spend the whole day sending e-mails manually. One good thing about email marketing is that it can be setup so that the right message can be immediately sent to the right prospect (based on their actions) at the right time – all automatically, even when you’re asleep.

If setup right, you don’t have to sit on the computer all day sending out emails. All you need is monitor your stats and apply a few tweaks here and there.

  • Email marketing is measurable

This means you can know how effective your emails are working and tie your goals directly to your email marketing campaign.

  • It serves as an advertising channel

E-mail marketing can become a media asset and an advertising channel to your business and help to keep your customers informed about the latest news, developments and products in a cost effective ways.

Now, how are Nigerian businesses doing email marketing wrong?

These are the steps I’ll outline below:

  • Having no lead generation system in place

You would expect that with email being such an effective customer retention tool, there’ll be a system in place to effectively collect emails, classify them & create a sequence to convert and keep them as lifelong customers. Several Nigerian organizations do not do this.

The ones who collect this data do not know how to effectively put it to good use to derive the most value out of it.

  • Not having an e-mail marketing strategy Every email marketing campaign must have an end goal from the start. A campaign without an end goal is a recipe for failure. Every e-mail you send without a purpose is only an annoyance to your subscribers.
  • Using the wrong e-mail marketing software

E-mail marketing software varies in terms of cost, complexities and functionalities depending on user needs. Some are great for simple tasks like newsletter management while some support transaction based action and marketing automation.

If you are just starting out, you can use Get Response. However, if you want an enterprise level solution that supports transaction based emails and marketing automation, we have a custom cost effective solution for corporate clients. Contact us for that.

  • Not segmenting your emails

I remember a conversation I had with the marketing manager of a very large classified website in Nigeria few years ago.

At that time, her company was recently bought by the one I worked for and so they moved into the same building with us in Lekki Phase 1.

One day on our way home, she sat beside and started complaining to me how their company has such a huge email list but do not get the expected returns they should be getting.

Instantly, I knew the reason and told her it is because they don’t segment. Every person on your email list is an individual with unique needs. Never have you treated all your subscribers as the same. You can’t be advertising office printers to the people who bought human hair.

She took my advice and saw the company’s email marketing revenue jump by 35%.

  • Using just a single banner on the whole email

This is a common practice by Nigerian organizations which is mostly frowned upon by the customers. There are plenty other elements you can infuse into your email than just a banner.

  • Not considering the customer journey

Not every customer who comes to you is in the same stage of readiness for transaction. Some are in the awareness stage; others in the consideration stage and only a small percentage of them are in the final purchase stage where they are ready to make a purchase.  Your email marketing should nurture the ones in the awareness and consideration stage while also delighting the customers who made a purchase to retain them and turn them into repeat clients or customers.

  • Using boring subject lines & not embracing storytelling

Your subject line has to be interesting and capture the attention of the people you are sending emails to. If not they will hit delete or mark as spam without even opening. This hurts your email marketing efforts.

One of the best ways of capturing the attention of your audience is by using interesting subject lines which infuses some elements of surprise or curiosity. Storytelling is one element that makes your email relatable. One way of doing this is assigning a particular member of staff to be in charge of emails. This helps the customers have a human connection to your company and be emotionally attached to the company.

Do you recall “Uche from Taxify” or “Ope from Cowrywise”? One Nigerian company that does a great job of integrating storytelling into their email marketing is Paystack.

  • Not using rented lists properly

I am a fan of building your own email list and not renting or buying e-mail lists but if you must rent or buy an e-mail list, you have to have as much info as you can about the list. Before you rent a list, make sure the audience on that list will relate with whatever offer you have for them. Always ask for the source of the list and the demography of people on the list. This will ensure you send only the right offer to your prospects.

  • Not training staff on e-mail marketing best practices

E-mail marketing is a field governed by certain rules and best practices. Not adhering to ethics and standards of email marketing can have grave consequences for a company or brand. With e-mail marketing providing such a high ROI for organizations, you would expect that Nigerian companies will engage the services of e-mail marketing professionals to train their staff on email marketing best practices. However, they don’t.

Who are the best email marketing companies in Nigeria?

There are a lot of companies offering e-mail marketing services in Nigeria. However, some of them do not follow best practices.

Before you choose any email marketing company in Nigeria, make sure they have expertise in the following areas:

  • Managing  newsletters
  • Email copywriting
  • Lead generation
  • Marketing automation
  • Custom email marketing software setup
  • Offers list rentals from genuine & trusted sources
  • Have experience working with corporate clients & SMEs

If you’d like to work with a professional email marketing agency in Nigeria, please contact us here. (We are an experienced e-mail marketing company/agency in Nigeria).

Need an email marketing checklist? Request here.

Looking for alternative automated marketing via Whatsapp? Contact us.

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