It’s a new year, and with it comes new technology on the horizon. What will be the shiny penny everyone talks about this year? The buzzword that will soon be overused? With all the sexy marketing techniques catching eyes and turning heads, flashing everyone with a glimpse of something provocative and intriguing, it’s easy to forget about the tried-and-true way to connect to your customers: email.

"First of all, don’t take this digital medium for granted. Test subject lines and different times of day to see what works best.”

The thing with email is that it’s been around for a LONG time, but like a great relationship, it’s on you to keep it fresh and interesting. The problem is that a lot of retailers get their efforts diverted by that shiny new penny that promises a lot of eyeballs exposed to your message.

But here’s the thing. Email works amazingly well, especially in today’s distraction-prone reality. So well, I consider it to be every retailer’s must-do. I mean, let’s look at it on a basic level. Schools send it out. Employers send it out. And just about any online retailer, subscription-based service or social channel requires you to provide an email address to sign up.

Email is reliable at its core. As long as the address provided is legit, if you send it, they will receive it. Moreover, we know email works. In a 2017 Email Marketing Industry report by email platform Emma, 47 percent of marketers state that email generated more ROI than any other digital channel, and 58 percent plan to increase spending on email over the next year. Salesforce’s State of Marketing report also shows a 106 percent growth in the B2C email channel in just two years.

How can you make your emails more effective? After all, you want them to open it and click it. Offer value. It’s not always about the sale, but offering help. If you sell something, you may make a customer today, but if you help someone, that’s relationship building. We tried this with our clients at Fruchtman by mixing a content-based, tips-related email into their monthly blasts to great effect — huge open percentages and amazing click-through rates to the landing pages.

OK, and how to bring sexy back to email? Ahem. First of all, don’t take this digital medium for granted. Test subject lines and different times of day to see what works best. Incorporate a great review, a Facebook post, or an Instagram photo that got a lot of engagement into an email. Keep thinking outside the box and get out of autopilot mode. By keeping these tactics in mind, your email strategy has a great chance of being the shining star it should be and needs to be in 2018. You’ll find email still has it going on.

Angie Ash is the executive vice president at Fruchtman Marketing, overseeing client service, client business and strategy, and new business initiatives. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering for several Toledo, Ohio nonprofits, training and competing in triathlons and Tough Mudders, organic gardening, raising chickens and honeybees, and renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse with her husband and daughters. Reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

This article originally appeared in the March 2018 edition of INSTORE.

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