Poor email link strategy - A case study with Quickteller

Every once in awhile, a big brand comes around and does something weird. Like a financial brand sending out a mail that looked just like a phishing mail. Or selling human beings online... :D

But there are times when they remind us of the basics of marketing. And the mail I got from Quickteller this week just gave me that same feeling. Here's the email (which was not so bad by the way)

The timer was a GIF that counted down to zero. I thought it was interesting at first glance. The subject line "your call credit has been exhausted" isn't bad. Makes you want to click on it. And the copy was simple and straight to the point. Would have liked to see the CTA as a button instead of a text link, but it still works well.

The issue came in when I clicked on the "Click here to topup" link. Here's the page I get

Quickteller airtime topup

Ignore the unnecessarily busy background and the color blocking happening on this page. I don't know any of these guys. And I certainly don't use them. So why was I taken here.

For a moment, I wondered if I had actually bought International Airtime at any point, but nope, never. It would have made sense if I had done that before. I clicked to the second page and still more unknown brands.

My only question is, why international airtime? Imagine all the hundreds of thousands of people who might have seen this, clicked and got to this page.... Really looking for MTN and Glo and the rest. I think that like me, most users will simply close this page.

One of the basic rules of marketing as a whole, don't make me think. Be sure that whatever link your users click on, they find exactly what they're looking for.

I hope you learned from this simple mistake :)

AskOsaze Ep 3 - marketing your online store

How to market your new online store #AskOsaze Episode 3

While setting up your new online store, marketing should be one of the core plans you focus on. The thing to always keep in mind is that marketing will cost you something. No matter how it's done, there's bound to be some cost to it, either financial or monetary.

In today's episode, I give practical steps on how you can go about marketing your online store.

Keep in mind that this is a very basic approach to marketing but can be very effective. If you have any more questions, comment on this post or tweet at @ososoba


Don't forget to comment with questions or contributions :D

build email list

10 Ways To Build Your Email List

Email marketing is a high-impact and low-cost way of delivering your marketing pitch to current customers and some prospects — if, you have a great email list.  A mailing list that is short, scanty on information, full of errors and redundancies, or just not on-track with targeting can be worse than having no data at all.

If you're working on building an email list or you've run out of ideas to do so, here are 10 simple ways to grow that email list:

Check out these ten simple ways to grow your email list for effective email marketing!Click To Tweet

Ask visitors to sign up

You know that pop-up that comes up when you visit some websites? Well, you can have that on your website too. Usually, you have to offer them something valuable to encourage a signup like good content, a discount code or freebie etc. You also need to ask to verify the email address to make sure it exists. Here's what ours looks like:

Subscribers only access

Create a content or offering that is too good to pass up for your customers and ask that they subscribe before they are qualified to access it. Make sure it’s too good to pass up. If not, you'd probably just get laughed at, lol

Online Contest

Promote an online contest, like a free giveaway and have entrants sign up or submit using their email address. We tried this once at Localized Digital with our free hosting giveaway. Worked like a charm

Social Linking

Sync social media platforms to your website so when users share content on your site, you can automatically get their social media login information which is usually a valid email address. You can also make your comment section social media enabled so that when people comment you can get their information.  Check out other ways to integrate your email marketing efforts to social media here

Build with your blog

Your blog provides a great way to build a personal relationship with customers and prospects — and to gather their email addresses. Consistently end blogs with a call to action that encourages readers to sign up for your email messages. Require blog visitors to provide an email when they want to to leave comments and set it up so that they have to actively opt out if they don’t want their email address included on your mailing list.

Optimize your website for opt-ins

If a customer or prospect visits your website, they’re already at least somewhat interested. Don’t miss the opportunity to add them to your email list; include email registration forms on every main page of your site, as well as on the pages for popular products and services.

Daily Deals/Freebies

Daily deal sites can be useful for retail or local service businesses e.g Deal of the day on major e-commerce stores in Nigeria. Offer your discount (daily deal) through the site for a limited time and ask anyone who wants to grab the deal to provide their email address in exchange or put an email barricade i.e if they don’t provide their emails they can’t access the deal.

Give them an option

People like more choices, so consider creating subscription levels that let people sign up to receive content that’s relevant to them. For example, if you sell social media and blog advice, provide three options on your opt-in form that allow users to sign up to receive info about social media, info about the blog or both. Further customize by allowing them to designate how frequently they’d like to hear from you — weekly, monthly or only when something really special is going on. People may be more likely to sign up for your email list if they have some control over the content they’ll receive.

Create a teachable moment

Are you an expert in something people want to know about, like weight loss, home improvement, cooking, etc.? Promote an exclusive online email course available only to subscribers.

One last pull

If a visitor gets through your entire website without opting in, grab them one last time before they go. Set a pop-up to appear asking for an email address whenever someone is about to navigate away from your website or blog.

Building an email list takes time and effort but if done right, it is critical to marketing success in this digital age. 

Have you tried other ways to build your email list? Tell us!

email social

Integrating Email Marketing to Social Media in 5 Steps

Email has always been one of the best sources of quality customers for almost any online business. From ecommerce to blogging, your email subscribers tend to be more loyal because they've permitted you to sell to them. Which is why it's usually regarded as a core traffic source for most businesses.

While email marketing and social media are singularly effective, they can exceed marketing goals when combinedClick To Tweet

Knowing that only a few people make buying decisions based on information from a single medium, it is of essence to integrate multiple channels so as not to miss out on other opportunities and the natural rhythms of the buying cycle. While email marketing and social media are effective on their own, when combined, they can exceed marketing goals and give desired results. Here are a few ways to integrate your social media accounts into your emails and get more;

Include Social Icons in Emails

While this may sound like an obvious one, it’s important to include social icons in your email campaigns. Don’t stick a tiny icon at the bottom of your email; people rarely take conscious note of that. You have to be loud and proud of it, stick it boldly at the top of your email.

Including your social icons alone isn’t enough neither, your emails should always have Call-to-actions (CTAs) that will nudge your readers into clicking on your social media icons. Don’t be afraid to tell them to take an action, you could tell them to share this email using their social media profiles or even comment. You can also send dedicated emails telling your audience why they should follow you on Social media.

Get Sign-ups on Twitter & Facebook

Facebook and Twitter ads now enable you add email “sign-up” buttons. All you need is media platforms with content, image and CTAs. Make sure that the content will compel people to sign-up.

Upload your Subscriber list to Social Networks

Having a social media presence puts a face and a name to your brand. Following your audience on social media will give you a better idea of their requirement and desires. You can find them by uploading your subscriber list to your social network. There are different ways to upload subscriber lists on different platforms;

  • Twitter:

    For Twitter, the best way to start is to link your email address with your Twitter account, that way, Twitter scans your email contact list. You can also upload a CSV file of your email contact list under the “Twitter Ads” tab.

  • LinkedIn:

    LinkedIn allows it’s users to search for email addresses. You can also upload a list of contacts to broaden your and network LinkedIn will contact data. Once the list is matched you can connect with them all at once or select one by one whom connections are added to your network you can send them an invitation to your product.

  • Google+:

    Upload your subscribers list to Google+ via ‘Open Your Address Book’. Upload your list and create a segmentation by splitting contacts into different circles.

  • Facebook:

Facebook has an elaborate feature that doesn’t just allow you add people but also allows you choose how you plan to add these people. With the “Custom Audience” feature, you can roll out a targeted Facebook ad and increase follower-ship for your company Facebook page. You can also upload a CSV file.

Run retargeting ads on Facebook and Twitter for loyal email subscribers

Here’s how retargeting works; you install a tracking code on your website and this in turn allows your ad platform to cookie visitors, then show them ads on other platforms (like Facebook). If you create a targeted email campaign for your subscribers, then retarget only the ones that clicked through, you eliminate guesswork.

Blindly running ads is an easy way to spend a lot of money, however, matching intent and interest with targeted ads is a good way to make a lot of money.

Create an exclusive social group for your email subscribers

Doing this can build strong relationship with your subscribers. Some people even go as far as creating a whole new app. The guys at TechCabal did it with Radar. But you can always start with a Facebook page. The key is to ensure your page is ACTIVE, flowing with innovative ideas to keep your group members engaged and active. By doing online activities like contests, free giveaways, quizzes and video blogs, you can learn more about the members, and thus build a strong bond. This is a hugely underrated tactic.

Have you tried any of these suggestions already in integrating your email marketing with your social media efforts? Tell us about it below!


15 tips to getting email marketing right for Nigerian businesses

Email marketing, if done right, is a direct self-sufficient means of advertising and marketing. It is relatively affordable and provides quality leads and guarantees a high CTR (click through rate). Based on the rate at which people check their emails, now that is easily synced on their mobile phones, it is a really efficient marketing means. But a lot of brands fail at it. This is mainly because of the practice of sending out mass emails with little or no thought about tailoring content to fit a group of people. Some experts have even predicted the death of email marketing. But for now, since it's not, there are ways to getting it right. It only requires a certain amount of work to make your emails connect with your target audiences.

If you're targeting the millennials (20-35) who open their emails frequently, then here are 15 email marketing tips to help boost engagement:

Be personal

I’m not going to pay any attention to an email that addresses me as “Hi”, not “Hi Kemi,”. That way I already know it’s just a bulk email and I’m one of the numerous recipients of it. Your emails need to be written as though you're only speaking to one person, the recipient. Don’t use terms like subscribers or mailing list in your content, stick to just one person.

Skip the bait-and-switch

Corny email marketing tactics have made it difficult to let people know that you are real and honest. Also considering how many spam emails go out every day it's difficult to stand out in this pool. You have to make sure your email is clear and contains no falsified information. You only one chance so don't lose your audience. Here's a very tacky spammy mail subject line from Verve *there was no credit alert

verve email closed

Be Natural

In the process of been personal, try to be natural don’t use my name where a pronoun will suffice, that’s obviously a code. Even if you have to use names ensure it flows naturally with the conversation or content in this case. And if you brand is a personal one, write your email like you would speak. That's likely why the user subscribed to you in the first place, because he enjoys your content.

Create good content

Which brings us to creating good content. Good content means creating content that is relevant to your target audience. Your content might be good but if it’s not relevant then it’s not good. Your content should help your audience grow in some way, or it should give them some sort of new insight or perspective on things they did not know before. People tend to respond a lot better to content that focuses on helping them grow (infuse your product here) rather than directly try to sell them a product or service.

You don’t have to send an email

I can’t stress this enough, but if you don’t have anything to say then you don’t have to send one. Time is valuable and your audience will prefer you email them only when something important comes up (your audience will appreciate this). Sending unnecessary emails will send you straight to spam after some time.

Engage their mind

Statistics, numbers and facts gives your audience some thoughts to ponder on, you can use that to your advantage to attract and hold your reader’s attention. Use facts where possible, and ensure that you do proper research so you give the right thing. Trust me, you don't want to look like the blockhead that said rubbish about something I care about.


Unique discount

You can use this medium to offer discount and promo codes that can only be got from clicking out directly from the newsletter. Or give something totally free in the same manner. Make sure you deliver on such and that'll set the stage for further interaction and increases trust.


It is possible to attract attention with clever headlines, but you need to keep it simple to hold their attention, be effective and stay on the topic. Also, keep it short and sweet. Take Hygeia's email subject line for example, (In less than 15 seconds) just sells it to me


Learn from others

Subscribe to other few good email list (not necessarily competition) preferably a global brand and do your best to emulate them. Using them as a yardstick will help you get better.

Don’t be too salesy

You know your TA (target audience) and which type of marketing approach works best for them. When developing your content remember not to overdo the selling pitch, take it from an angle that will either enrich, entertain or improve their lifestyle. When last did any of you open Konga's email with these kind of headlines? In my head I'm saying "errr... what deals? Cornflakes?"

konga-subject-lineSpell out benefits

“What is in it for me?” That’s the question on most people’s mind. From the start speak to them as if they asked you directly. Most times people are concerned with how it benefits them directly. Writing along those lines will ensure you tap into that self-interest pool.

Here's an example from iThemes Security, a WordPress security plugin

ithemes-proNudge a little

Try to develop a sense of urgency when writing. Offer them something then set a limit or times they have to respond, this will push them to make a decision faster than when you leave it blank. Here's an example from Shoptomydoor

urgencyEmbed Links

By inserting links and hyperlinks throughout your email will increase the probability of one of those links getting clicked and bringing you a new client or customer. But this doesn't always work. One school of thought is to include a single Call-to-action (CTA) for better engagement. To determine which works better for your brand, run A/B tests.

Use a P.S (Photo Script) Line

A P.S line help drives home the point you were trying to make all through your email or serve as a reminder or summary of your whole email. It should also contain your call to action and not be more than one paragraph. P.S lines can help build the desire for the product you are marketing and create and an additional sense of urgency.

Email marketing requires research and lots of patience. You might not get it right the first few times but realize your mistake from each attempt and make it better on the next. A good email marketing campaign can produce traffic, subscribers, and sales. If you don’t take shortcuts you’ll be glad at the result of your efforts.

Let us know what your experience has been like with email marketing.

verve spam message

When does marketing become spamming? A case study with Verve

On June 14th, I got a strange email, apparently Verve said I got a credit alert of ₦5,000.

verve email closed

First reaction was, bloody hell, more spammers! And why are they using Verve? I mean, there are other people to pose as, like banks.

I always open these mails, if not for anything, to see what the new spamming tech is like. But today I was in for a shocker, I got this

verve mail opened

Apparently, someone at Verve had thought it OK to send a mail, as a financial institution, that read "Transaction Alert".

I swear that I typed out a response to them on Twitter, but I had to keep a good front for my future employers, before they think I'm a horrible person.

Fast forward two months later, and I get another mail

accessbank spam closed

And although the content wasn't promotional like in Verve's case, do you see the dangerous similarity in subject lines? Needless to say, this was a scam. I don't have a Access Bank account, neither do I have a Verve Card.

At what point does marketing turn into full scale spamming? When you think a financial brand can "try" to be witty by faking a credit transaction.

And we see this all to often in Nigeria, mostly because there are no laws in place to penalize brands. We need to be more socially responsible to our customers.

I really wish I saw the guys who crafted (and approved) this, I'd love to know what they were thinking.