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How 4 of Africa’s leading companies use Email marketing

Do you want to scale your business to generate a bigger impact and more revenue?

Use Email marketing!

Email marketing should be the crown jewel of your digital marketing strategy. It is one of the most powerful digital marketing channels. Period!

According to McKinsey, Email marketing generates 40 times more revenue than Facebook and Twitter - combined! In fact, you are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an Email than from a tweet. In addition, Email marketing can generate a ROI of 3800% and $38 for every $1 spent.

In an increasingly digital economy, you are asking for trouble if your business neglects Email marketing.

If Africa's leading companies are using Email marketing to scale their business, what is stopping you?

Certainly, it can't be cost. You can get started for free and test it for 1 month with no strings attached. If you like it, you can continue with as a little as $15 with the Email marketing software provider we recommend GetResponse.  That is only $180 per annum for a list of 1000 subscribers. 

Scaling your business in the 21st century does not have to be as expensive as it was in the 20th century!

GetResponse Price

Start scaling your business with GetResponse today!

Sadly, too many businesses are not aware of the power that comes with Email marketing and as a result they neglect it. There is so much that you can do with Email marketing and the possibilities will continue to evolve as the technology evolves.

Once you have the Email address of a potential customer you have true power. You can access them whenever you want by sending them an Email and to inform them about news, new products, promotions, webinars or whatever you may like.

If a visitor leaves your website without giving you their Email address the only way you can get them back to your website is through remarketing, pay-for-click, social media updates or push notifications.​ But none give you the power that Email does.

Today, we will have a look at how 4 of Africa's leading companies are using Email to welcome their new subscribers. Study this carefully as you can learn a few important lessons that you can apply to your own business.

If it works for these businesses, there is no reason why it cannot work for your business:


Andela selects the top 1% of tech talent from Africa, trains and deploys them to companies around the world allowing those companies to scale and work on bigger projects that otherwise would be possible.

The company has managed to get a $24 million dollar ​investment from Mark Zuckerberg's personal foundation in 2015.

Andela targets global companies that have a shortage of tech talent - so it can supply its own tech talent to these companies. This is also reflected in the way they use Email marketing.

In their first Email to new subscribers, Andela thank them for subscribing to their blog/newsletter and inform them that they will be getting fresh content and ideas on how to grow their tech team (which they presumably are interested in).

Andela thank you for signing up email

Andela's first email to new subscribers

​In a second step, Andela asks subscribers to check out a webinar that teaches how to build a distributed tech team. If you click on that link you will be taken to the landing page below.

Here you can see that a blue button highlighting to "Get Started" at the top right is prominently displayed. They are using a strong Call to Action asking you to start doing business with them.

Further below Andela ask you for your phone number and the city you live so that you can download the webinar recording. 

Andela webinar

This is where you land after clicking on the link in Andela's welcome email

As you can see Andela uses Email marketing in a clever way.  While they are not asking for a direct sale in their first email, they provide value by inviting their target audience to a webinar on building a distributed tech team. In teaching their audience how to build a distributed team they can also use the webinar to show how Andela can help to build a distributed tech team. Therein, they set the foundation for winning new clients and scaling their revenue and impact.

What you can learn from Andela

  • Thank your subscribers for joining your Email List. 
  • Immediately provide value of some sort to help your subscribers solve a problem that you can assist with (in Andela's case it is how to build a distributed tech team by offering a recorded webinar)


Jumia is one of Africa's biggest e-commerce companies with it's parent company the Jumia Group becoming the continent's first tech "unicorn" by surpassing $1 billion in market value in 2016.

When you sign up for the Jumia newsletter you get the following confirmation email:

Jumia confirmation email

They use the confirmation email in a really clever way. The obvious way they use this email is to confirm to the subscriber that subscription was indeed successful. And this is important.

Instead of leaving it at a simple confirmation email, Jumia use this as an opportunity to entice the subscriber to click on the deals of the day banner in the email. If clicked on, the email leads to this site: 

Jumia Deals of Day

Jumia Deals of Day Site

Before you know it, you are back on Jumia's website and potentially spending money on some of their enticing deals. And guess what? Since they have daily deals, you can expect to receive daily emails with some of their best and most enticing offers. 

Daily emails Jumia

Daily Emails Jumia

This means Jumia are putting an opportunity to their Email subscribers to spend money with them on a daily basis. Therein, they are increasing the opportunity that customers will spend money with them on a regular basis through simple marketing automation. Clever!

But it does not stop there. At the bottom of their email they have a call to action asking you to download their app and exposing you some of their amazing deals on a regular basis. And then they also ask you to follow them on various social media channels so that there is a good chance you will be bumping into them whenever you are spending time online.

Jumia email ending

This is how business is done in the 21st century for an African e-commerce company. Here is what you can apply to your own business

What you can learn from Jumia

  • Thank your subscribers for joining your Email newsletter
  • Remind them of the benefits of doing business with you (Reasons to shop with us)
  • Highlight killer sales opportunities (Deals of the day)
  • Ask your subscribers to follow you on the social media channels to strengthen your bond with them
  • Ask your subscribers to download your app (If you have one)
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Soko is an e-commerce platform based out of San Francisco and Kenya that allows local artisans to sell handcrafted jewellery directly to the consumer. The idea is promote direct trade between African designers and customers worldwide. It was co-founded by Kenyan Forbes Africa 30 under 30 entrepreneur Catherine Mahugu. 

According to the company website they have already generated more than $1 million dollar in income to over 2100 artisans through over 250'000 products sold.​ Not bad for a social business!

Soko shop impact

Soko impact according to its website

If you understand the power of Email marketing and visit their website you begin to understand how they were able to sell so many products. You barely need to set foot on their website and they already ask for your Email address to be able to capture your contact details. To make it more enticing they offer you 15% off your First Order. 

Soko Newsletter sign up

This is a really great strategy, because a newsletter subscriber is more valuable than any social media follower. Once you have signed up for the Soko Email newsletter you will be introduced to the Soko standard:

Soko email
Soko email 2
Soko email 3

This is brilliant. While they are not asking for any sales initially, they are educating their newsletter subscribers about the challenge they are addressing and how Soko is part of the solution. Presumably, Soko wants to appeal to socially conscious buyers who care about the impact of the products they buy.

This makes Soko buyers feel good about themselves and increases the likelihood that they will continue to shop at Soko. This is a great way to create customer loyalty and educate customers on what the company is all about. Social businesses across Africa can definitely learn a lot from this innovative company.

​As you can see below, Soko also takes the opportunity of Christmas to wish their clients a happy holiday and reminding them once again about the impact the company is creating in the lives of 2100+ artisans. For a socially conscious business it is very important to remind their customers about the impact they are creating and Soko does this brilliantly using Email.

In this Email they also include a video which makes the message all the more powerful. This is something you can apply to your own business too, especially since video is an effective way to grow your business.

Soko Happy Holiday email 2016
Soko Happy Holiday email 2016

What you can learn from Soko

  • ​Offer something valuable in exchange for a customer's email address
  • Make use of powerful visual storytelling to communicate your value proposition
  • Use high-quality picture and videos to tell a compelling story about the impact your business creates
  • Combine your story of creating impact by thanking your customers in supporting you
  • Use special times of the year (like Christmas, Easter etc.) to reach out to customers with a special message or offer

Sole Rebels

Sole Rebels was founded in 2004 in Ethiopia by Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu to create jobs in her community of Zenabwork through creating locally inspired footwear. She has been recognized as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2011 as well as profiled as one of Forbes 100 most influential women in 2012.

Sole Rebels is a true African success story and is often see as the African equivalent of Toms shoes. Just like the other companies profiled in this post, Sole Rebels know about the importance of Email marketing. Email marketing helps to increase revenue which in turn helps them to create more jobs and bigger impact.

Sole Rebels welcome email
Sole Rebels welcome email 2016
Sole Rebels welcome email 2016

Similarly to Soko, Sole Rebels incentivize their newsletter subscribers to buy shoes by offering a discount. At the same time, they also include a section in their newsletter where interested subscribers can learn more about the impact Sole Rebels is creating in Ethiopia. If you are a social business and appealing to socially conscious customers it is important to show how you are making a difference. Email marketing is not only great to drive sales, but also share your story.

What you can learn from Sole Rebels

  • Offer an incentive to subscribe to your newsletters
  • Use Email to drive sales and inform your customers about the positive impact this generates
  • Remind Email subscribers to follow you on other social media channels

Google (Bonus)

Can you believe it? Even the mighty Google relies on Email marketing to invite their customers to come back and invest more money in their money making machine Google Adwords.

In 2015, Google generated $75 billion in revenue, the majority of which was generated by its advertising service Google Adwords.​ Even though Google can place ads across the internet to entice prospective customers to invest in Adwords, the search engine giant still makes use of Email marketing.


Because it works!​

As you can see from the Email below they share a video of a customer success story in order to persuade customers to use Adwords to grow their own business.

Adwords Email
Adwords Email 2

If Google is using Email marketing to fuel their business, what is stopping you from using Email to market your business? 

What you can learn from Google

  • Even when you are as mighty and big as Google, focus on the fundamentals of digital marketing- Email marketing!
  • Provide a Video customer success story 
  • Include a number customers can call in case they need help or have questions

Get started with Email marketing today

As you can see leading African companies are using Email marketing. And there is good reason for it. Email is such a powerful channel that any business wanting to operate sustainably in a digital economy relies on it. It is the way to succeed in the digital economy of the 21st century.

If you are serious about wanting to scale your business across Africa and beyond now is the time to take action. Get started with the Email marketing software GetResponse today!

About the Author Rise Africa Rise

Rise Africa Rise is your online guide to tech entrepreneurship and (social) innovation for African entrepreneurs, startups and businesses. Our aim is to provide you with valuable digital strategies, tools and insights to support you in building a world-class and competitive business in the 21st century.

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