About two weeks ago, I was in a meeting with a small group of intellects from different departments in UI. We were discussing the book: Zero to One by Peter Thiel, (PS it’s an excellent read, if you haven’t read it please check it out).

And in the book he makes emphasis: that if the world is to move forward it needs to innovate rather than globalize, and we came to the conclusion that this is exactly where Nigeria is missing it.

In the Nigerian society we do not innovate to solve prevalent problems instead most times all we do is copy and paste global solutions, forgetting that though the problems might be very similar, they are located in a completely different location. So the best thing for this country right now is to assess how other countries solve(d) the same problems we are having and suite the solution to our environments.

Local Problem

How can a business stay in touch with her current and potential customers.

Global Solution
Email Newsletter: The business requests the email address of the potential/current customer. And on a regular basis emails are sent out to the customer’s email address.

Challenges with this method:
1. The global clickthrough rate (CTR) of an email broadcast is about 3-5%, which is wicked low.

2. In Nigerian society, emails aren’t as frequently checked compared to the global average. So the clickthrough rates would actually be even lower.

Proposed Solution

I have two possible alternatives to the email newsletter that I believe will work more effectively in our Nigerian society.

1. Whatsapp Newsletter
2. Push Notifications

These two alternatives, would work better based on my understanding of the Nigerian demographic.

We all know that Nigeria is a mobile first nation, and these methods leverage on that fact.

And based on my personal experience with a Whatsapp Newsletter: I get an average click through rate of about 20%. That’s almost 10 times more than the email newsletter.

I wouldn’t be dwelling much on Push Notifications, this I would talk in another article.

I’d be talking a bit on how exactly you can build your own Whatsapp Newsletter.

Building A Whatsapp Newsletter

I can say boldly that Whatsapp at the time of writing this article is by far one of the most used frequently used platforms in the country, virtually everyone that has a smartphone is a user of Whatsapp.

The major problem with building a newsletter on this platform is:

1. Scalability: It is difficult to implement this method on a large scale (say 1000 and above customers).

2. Difficult to Manage: It is actually quite difficult to manage, especially when trying to save the contact of the lead (it took me 2hrs to save 240 contacts, my hand was paining me ehn).


But I believe that as Facebook tries to monetize the platform, it would become easier for businesses to take full advantage of this platform.

Setting up the Newsletter

Step 1

Compile all your numbers in a central location, it could be an excel sheet or a text file. This is only necessary if you are just starting the newsletter.
If you already have it setup, you can skip to step 2.

Step 2

Begin to save all the numbers on a gmail account through a mobile device. The reason why it is preferred to save the leads on a gmail account is so that wherever you go, you can access them anywhere.

Save name of the leads as numbers this is important for the next step.

Step 3

So you have your leads, this step involves sending messages. Something I advice is not to send BC but instead send individual messages to this numbers, because if you send a BC and the leads don’t have your number saved, they wouldn’t get the message.

Conclusion

So those are my thoughts on how you can leverage on this opportunity being overlooked by so many people. The method I explain here is actually a bit stressful, but I have seen the possibilities.

If you can’t sit down and save all the contacts, I’d advice you hire someone externally to manage this function, he/she doesn’t have to be an expert at marketing, you can just show them how to do it.

I know that has Facebook attempts to monetize this platform next year it’s going to get easier to build and maintain an audience on the platform.

But if you have ideas on how you can build the newsletter let’s hear it in the comments section below.

I’ll be posting articles each Friday so stay tuned.