“E-mail doesn’t work in Nigeria”, for close to three years, this was my reaction when anyone said I needed to start building a mailing list or start using email marketing.
I was wrong.
E-mail works well in Nigeria. I have gotten sales and coaching students directly from email blasts I sent out. You just need to tweak some things so you can start achieving results from your email.
Validate the interest of your audience
It is easier to build conversion if the people you are sending emails are interested in your product or service.
To find out which people on your email list could be interested in your product or service, create a lead generation magnet that will be of value to your target audience and, that is connected with the product or service you want to sell.
For example, if you want to send out email blasts for people to buy your new line of short hair products or lace fabrics or a course on instagram, you could create a cheat sheet on 50 different short hair styles (pictures), 30 different designs to sew with lace or create a 5 day free email course on instagram.
After creating this, you can send out an email blast with a link so people can sign up if they are interested in getting the lead magnets.
The people who sign up for a sheet on “50 different designs to sew with lace” are more likely to check out your lace products when they come up.
This doesn’t mean you won’t send out to everyone, you should. This just means you can fully segment the people who are interested and double down on those ones.
2. Use catchy headlines
I am still perfecting the headline business. This article by copyblogger will show you 7 different but very effective ways to write catchy headlines.
In my experience, the best headlines are those that “Increase curiosity” or headlines that “Tell me the value I stand to gain.
For example, this is a headline from Tomie Balogun, investment expert for beginners.
This headline worked by increasing my level of curiosity.
This is another headline from Foundr.
90% of the time, I open a founder email because they very clearly tell me the value I stand to gain by opening their email.
You can use this tool to test how strong your headlines are.
If you score above 70%, you are golden. The tool works by analyzing your headline, giving it a score and telling you what you can do to make it better.
It is also imperative that you use sub-headings.
Headlines are generally more effective when around 8 words so people can read everything. Sub-headings help to also increase interest as it explains a little more about the heading. In doing so, it makes it clearer why anyone should open your email.
Headlines are so important because just like pictures for a magazine, they are the first thing people read and if it doesn’t make sense to your target audience, you are on your own.
Mailchimp is the only tool I have used that allows sub-headings.
3. Don’t go straight to selling
Read this email from king kong
Or, this one
By the time you are halfway in, you know why you should get the product or service they are pitching. You know how it will add value to you,
They don’t go straight to selling; they start with explaining why what they are selling matters for you.
You need to answer the question “what is the core problem my product solves for my customers?” And, “helping them look good” isn’t one of them.
You then ask “what is the USP (unique selling point) for my product or service?”
You can start highlighting this by
- Using story telling
For example, look at this email from Sabri Subry above.
- Using facts and figures regarding the pain point of your customer. The graphs and figures should either be showing how something is affecting your target customer without them knowing or how your kind of product or service makes their life easier.
- Apply empathy. You can start by pointing out the pain point of your target customer and making it very clear that you understand. If you can correctly point out the pain point of your target customers and even describe how they feel because of a challenge, they are more likely to trust that you know what you are saying.
If a doctor can describe your symptoms perfectly, how would you feel when they prescribe a cure, Trusting or doubting?
For example, read this email from
People are more likely to take action when you show them how that action will benefit them.
4. Apply short paragraphs and short sentences
I had written out my CV and sent it to a company when they wrote me back highlighting all the issues with my CV.
One of the issues was my very chunky paragraphs and long sentences. Then, they sent me this link to help my reg number.
If you check out some of the very best writers on medium, you will see that they apply this perfectly.
Also check out the emails from Tomie Balogun, investment expert and Sabri Suby, founder of Australian top 3 marketing company, King
Notice how the sentences and paragraphs are pretty short.
I myself have found that I enjoy articles with tons of white space, short paragraphs and short sentences. Because I enjoy them, I tend to read any articles or emails written in that format till the end.
Applying this will help you keep the attention of your target customers through your mail.
5. Personalize your emails
“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language”-Dale Canergie
almost all these emails I cited above start with my name or have my name in their headlines (except for Marie Forleo’s team that call me
Using people’s first names in headlines and as the first line of an email makes it personal and makes that person feel like you are speaking directly to them.
It also helps to create some kind of connection between you and the reader and, it does hold the reader’s attention.
6. Cite reviews
Reviews from your existing customers help a lot to build trust in new customers.
You can attach screen shots between you and a customer.
You can also add videos of customers reviewing your product.
When both are lacking, you can add images of your customers using your product (those in hair , beauty and fashion can use this).
7. Send more than 2 blasts
I once wrote a course selling expert to say my course didn’t sell and I was depressed.
In her reply to my mail, she asked me “how many times did you advertise the course? “how many email blasts did you do?”
My answer = 0 and 1.
People need to see things more than once to take action.
Some people will see it the first time and save it for later.
Some will see it, say they want to buy and forget later on
Others will see it and are undecided if they should buy or leave it.
Sending one email and expecting your bank account to blow up is a waste of your expectations.
Instead, before you start email marketing, make 5 drafts for your email blasts
I suggest you do this before you start email marketing so that, even if you feel discouraged after your first email blast, you won’t be unmotivated and lose focus on creating the next batch of e-mails
Each mail, different from the other in style.
This will also help you learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to email marketing and your target audience
8. Add your call to action and any tools needed to take the action.
Never ever leave the next move to the customer.
Tell them what to do next and so, if it’s to buy a product, tell them to “order now” and tell them how to order.
Do not start by saying “if you are interested”, I used to do this. Doing this means your product or service is ‘optional’ for your customers.
You want to sell products which without, your target customers will struggle, products that actually make life easier for them. Sound like your product is that product.
Simply start by saying ‘order now’, “shop now”, “buy now”, “follow this link to order now”, you get this.
Always add all the details needed to take that action; a link to an email, link to a landing page, name and account number, a payment link, e.t,c
9. Sound like you are talking to a human being not a customer.
The worst way to sound is like you are selling to a customer.
Sound more like you are talking to friend.
Use the terms “your” more.
Keep it simple and in a less stiff professional manner.
This doesn’t mean cross your boundaries and start asking them how their families are, it simply means “Keep the email human not like a robot is talking”.
Check out this email pattern from Gilt below.
The email shows me the products and provides me a direct link to shop them. This increases desire for the products because the pictures are so good and those glasses are to die for.
11.Steal from the PROs
When I wanted to understand the entire process of creating a high converting sales funnel, I signed up to the mailing list of king Kong via one of their lead magnets.
I attended their free webinars and classes, I watched the entire process until when they started selling and I learnt so much.
This doesn’t mean copying them verbatim, it means watch them and learn how to do what they do.
12. Preview your email
You won’t believe how many sales opportunities I have lost simply because I didn’t test my email.
The links may be broken or not working well.
I may have forgotten to add the account number I mentioned I will add or cite something I said I will cite.
The typos are as big as my head. The heading isn’t coming up.
There are so many things we do not see as the writers but as the readers, it all becomes clear.
You can preview your email by clicking on “send email preview” in your email provider (example mailchimp).