• Udeme Ebong

Should Businesses In Nigeria Invest In Email Marketing?

Updated: May 5

According to a research that was conducted by Infogroup, 70.8% of consumers prefer brands to contact them via email, as opposed to texting or tagging them in a social media post, which was favoured by a meagre 2.3% of respondents.

The State Of Email Marketing In Nigeria
Does Nigerians Prefer Email Communications or Not?

We shared these study a few months ago on our official Instagram page (@SmartBizNation), and there were a lot of business owners in Nigeria, who disagreed with it.

We realised that there is actually a debate about the effectiveness of email marketing for nigerian businesses, that is making the rounds on the nigerian social media space. And, the argument is that nigerians do not open emails, and they cannot prefer email communication; even though study shows that consumers “all around the world” prefer companies to contact them via email.

So we decided to do a little experimentation of our own.

Our Experiment

In November 2019, we created a new lead generation system for our Founder, Lucie (@Ask.Lucie), who was planning the launch of her new online course - The 30 Day Profitable Sales Funnel Training Challenge.

It was the perfect time to do this experiment, as our end goal was to attract and convert paying students in Nigeria for Lucie’s course.

We started by creating multiple lead magnets that we knew Nigerian entrepreneurs would love, and made sure the lead magnets were seen by our targets in Nigeria.

We built opt-in pages to collect their contact details, as well as a Thank you, Tripwire and Upsell pages.

We also created 3 Email Workflows (i.e. an automated series of emails that our leads received after subscribing).

It included:

1. A Welcome Email Sequence

2. An Email Nurture Sequence, and

3. An Ascension email sequence

We used these to build trust and nurture them down the funnel.

The Result

Within the first 12 hours of launching the campaign, we converted over 200 leads in Nigeria.

These leads got automated email messages every day (for 5 days) from the day they subscribed.

Before sharing the results, we'd like you to take a look at the average email benchmarks below, for all industries:

  • Average open rate: 17.8%

  • Average click-through rate: 2.6%

  • Average click-to-open rate: 14.3%

  • Average unsubscribe rate: 0.1%

  • Average bounce rate: 0.7%

Source: Campaign Monitor

Now let's take a look at our metrics.

Below is a screenshot of all the workflows we created for the experiment

Let’s take a look at one of the workflows:

Users who opted in for one of the lead magnets we created, where automatically sent emails from this workflow

A Screenshot of the metrics For The First (Welcome) Email
Report For The First (Welcome) Email

Above is the report for the first email that was sent in this workflow. This email was sent as soon as the subscriber joined the list.

Below is the report for the last email that was sent in this workflow. The aim of this email was to turn the leads into customers.

If you take the time to go through the screenshots, you will notice that most of our open and click through rates went above the industry average.

And remember! every single person on that list were Nigerians.

So back to the question:

Should Businesses In Nigeria Be Investing In Email Marketing?

The short answer is yes... (please note that this is totally based on our little experiment - you can try yours out).

The long answer is: well! it will depend on the following factors:

1. Your Target Audience: If your target audience prefer email then use that to communicate with them. If they prefer calls, WhatsApp etc., then use that.

Don’t just assume they don’t like email communication just because you don’t like it or don’t open your emails regularly. You have to get to know what your customers like, and give them options too.

The fact is: 99% of people check their email every day - according to HubSpot. This is why email marketing is ranked top of the list of digital marketing tactics all businesses must leverage.

I can bet you that even those who claim to dislike email communication check their email regularly, especially when they are expecting something important to drop in their inbox. So if you play your cards right, and send your email at the right time, with the right subject line, they may be compelled to open, even if they didn’t log in to read your newsletter.

And that brings us to the other factors: Timing and Subject Lines.

There are so many studies that have been published, which shows that there are days and times that email open rates and click through rates climb and drop.

Here's a screenshots of one of those studies: Email benchmarks by day published by Campaign Monitor.

The screenshots above are based on the global averages by day, of all campaigns sent globally—regardless of industry.

Here's a quick summary of the metrics:

Based on the global averages by day shown above, these are the best days for sending emails based on specific metrics.

  • Best day with highest email open rates: Tuesday (18.3%)

  • Best days with highest click-through rates: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (2.6%)

  • Best days with highest click-to-open rates: Thursday and Friday (14.4%)

  • Best days with lowest unsubscribe rates: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (0.1%)

  • Best day with lowest bounce rates: Wednesday (0.6%)

Also based on the global averages by day shown above, these are the worst days for sending emails based on specific metrics.

  • Worst day with lowest email open rates: Saturday (17.5%)

  • Worst days with lowest click-through rates: Wednesday and Saturday (2.5%)

  • Worst day with lowest click-to-open rates: Sunday (14.2%)

  • Worst day with highest unsubscribe rates: Tuesday (0.2%)

  • Worst days with highest bounce rates: Friday, Saturday (0.8%)

the worst days to send emails
The Screenshot shows the worst days to send emails

If you are going to start using email marketing in your business, it is your job to find the best time and day to send your email campaign. You can find that by using the above benchmarks, or by running your own test.

The other factor: the Subject Line of an email matters a lot. It is like the cover of a book, or the headline to a blog post - and the first section that will engage your audience and compel them to click and start reading.

Additionally, personalized subject lines play a big role, according to experts, emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.

The final factor that you must also consider is your Welcome Email - that is the very first email you send to your new subscribers.

This can actually make or break your email campaign.

The fact is when people exchange their contact information for your lead magnet, sign up to your program, or subscribe to your list, they expect a message to drop in their inbox almost immediately.

I don’t know about you, but personally, I check my email immediately when I hit the sign up button. Study shows that most people do too, and brands that send that very important first (welcome) email - are more likely to convert these leads into customers, than those who don’t.

Also if after 24 hours of no email from you, leads tend to lose interest and forget all about the brand or even the lead magnet they subscribed for.

Our Expert Tip:

Before starting an email marketing campaign, it’s important to define your goals so you know if your campaign will be a success.

Secondly, you have to be tactical about this. It’s not like social media where you can show up whenever - even social media today doesn’t work that way any more.

Your email marketing campaign won’t work if you just send disconnected one-off emails - every now and then.

Thirdly, make sure you send your welcome email immediately after people subscribe to your list, to keep your business on their mind.

Do not start building your email list, if you don’t already have your email messages (sequence) in place.

Finally, use marketing automation to create customer journeys that nurture them and provide them valuable content along the way.

What's The Next Step?

As you can see from our experiment, it's not a question of if Nigerians open / read emails or not. It actually depends on your target audience, and your strategy and tactics.

If your target audience prefer email communication, and you use the right strategy and tactics to engage with them, you will get results.

If you’d like to learn more, you can get your free quote online, or you can schedule a free consultation session to speak with a specialist about our email marketing services.

We can’t wait to hear from you, and to improve your business with email marketing!