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Email Marketing Tips to Boost Your Customer Acquisition

Chosen Esiwe

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Chosen Esiwe

Data is raw facts and figures. However, insights (the reasoning and logical connections we make from data) make email marketing come alive.

Tayo Alofun

Interswitch’s Head of Digital, Mr. Tayo Alofun, gives the rundown on how your company could rise above its competitors through better email marketing practices. Read on to learn a few of the email marketing tips he’s used to raise Interswitch’s email open rate from 4% to a peak of 48% – a 1,100% increase. Read on to find out more.

Homing in on email’s personalized, one-on-one communication and treating each customer with a degree of empathy is the first step towards more efficient acquisition. In his explanation, he gave a quote from advertising guru Andrea Mignolo, “I want to do business with a company that treats emailing me as a privilege and not a transaction.”

So, how do we capitalize on such personalized communication? Well, Tayo brings us up to speed on the importance of “telling stories” that touch. Stories that touch in email marketing lean on three pillars: data, empathy, and expression. These stories are the products of “data-driven content”, “thought-provoking visual expressions” and “insight-driven deployment”. He then expounds on how they all work together to improve customer acquisition.

Data, for instance, is raw facts and figures. However, insights (the reasoning and logical connections we make from data) make email marketing come alive. Mr. Alofun then goes on to speak about how critical the use of AI is in optimizing email marketing campaigns.

Through AI, you can examine discrepancies in open rates, view audiences’ engagement with your email content over time and pick out the most opportune moment to reach out to a customer. When it comes to timing, it could be the difference between getting a conversion or not.

As much as data and insights can tell us, quality content is a necessity in any email marketing effort. Data can tell you who you should be speaking to, but the expression is all about the “how”. In breaking down the method of how to write compelling email copy, Tayo introduces us to the SUCCESs principle. SUCCESs is an acronym for the following:

  • Simplicity
  • Unexpected
  • Concreteness
  • Credibility
  • Emotion
  • Stories

Through these principles, he consistently turns out content that resonates with his target audience. He recommends that business owners and marketing execs strive to deliver on at least two or three of these elements.


This is at the core of all good marketing. It gives your content a better shot at relatability. Email content should be direct and succinct with minimal fluff. Whenever you’re fleshing out your email marketing ideas, think to yourself, “How can I make this so simple that everyone gets it?” Some email marketers’ attempts at creativity have obscured their content’s main points. So, for the best results, always communicate your products’ key attributes and benefits in the simplest terms possible.

The Unexpected

For marketing to be attention-grabbing, it has to provide some sort of significance to its viewer. However, that’s easier said than done. If attention is marketing’s currency, how do we go about making enough of it? Email marketers do this by harnessing the power of “the unexpected”. To do this, you must be original and unconventional with your content and its presentation. Whether you go for something visually arresting or verbally profound, make sure you use the element of surprise to lure the reader in.


Concreteness is about making things more tangible and relatable. If you’re providing a good or service that’s abstract, you need to paint clear mental pictures in your customers’ minds. Sometimes, imagery and analogies are all you need.

Mr. Alofun’s example involved cybersecurity and toothbrushes – an odd pairing, right? To discourage customers from sharing their passwords, Mr. Alofun likened users’ security data to toothbrushes. His tagline read, “How would you feel if you knew 50 people used your toothbrush last week?” No further questions were asked.


Marketing is most effective when there’s trust between the customer and the brand. One of the best ways to achieve this is to build up your credibility. Mr. Alofun using stats can give your advertising’s credibility a boost. However, these stats need to be used within context. When a company spews numbers without context, they’re unlikely to see any changed behavior from their customers. However, when said numbers are delivered within context, they’re far more powerful.

To curb wasteful paper consumption, Mr. Alofun could have presented the problem in a number of ways. However, to make his message resonant, Tayo told the people that his office goes through enough A4 paper in a month to tile the distance of 3rd Mainland Bridge AND BACK. When credibility and concreteness work together, you paint mental pictures that drive action from your consumers.


One of the biggest aspects to creating significance with your advertising is appealing to your customers’ emotions. This is where the empathy comes in. When a company knows its consumers’ pain points well enough, they’ll be in tune with their buyers’ feelings and frustrations.

Emotion and timing go hand in hand to form the “insight-driven deployment” at the core of a story that touches. Mr. Alofun cites a mass message he sent to Quickteller customers about traffic in the middle of rush hour as an “aha” moment. By speaking directly to his customers’ experience, his open rates and interaction for the message skyrocketed.


Another big key to creating significance is telling a story through your email marketing. Mr. Alofun recommends that while telling your story, you must ensure that you keep your customer remain at its core.

Too many brands make their messaging all about them, and that makes customers tune out. If you’re able to craft stories that address buyers’ pain point in a unique way, your email engagement is bound to see a marked improvement.

If working with WSI to improve your email marketing sounds appealing, click this link to get in contact with us now.

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Oti is a vastly experienced digital media and marketing professional with over 10 years of industry experience. He has worked across Agency, Brand, Publisher and Marketing Technology sides of the industry in various capacities.

Driven by a strong commitment to continuous innovation, Oti has managed so many successful digital projects across Africa and Europe for brands like Coca-Cola, Nestle, Guinness, Kellogg’s, EA Games, Sony Entertainment, etc., and advises senior management of global brands on data-driven marketing and digital transformation.

Consumer insights in marketing: Oti

Oti currently heads Product at Terragon Group, Africa’s leading data aggregation, enrichment, and activation company, where he is responsible for developing innovative data-driven marketing solutions for SMBs and Enterprises across Africa.

Oti is the current President of Association of Digital Marketing Professionals (ADMARP), the foremost professional body for digital marketing practitioners in Nigeria. He is also a communications consultant to the African Union in areas of youth engagement and digital interactions. A known public speaker, teacher and trainer, Oti has facilitated several conferences and digital events, and was recognized by Marketing Edge Magazine as an Outstanding Digital Marketing Personality of the year 2021.