Email Marketing for Cannabis Brands: Proven Strategies Growing Your Brand

email marketing for cannabis brands

Digital and traditional marketing options are limited in the CBD and cannabis industries. Every dispensary owner quickly learns that common online marketing tactics are highly restricted or completely banned, making it a challenge to know the best way to connect with customers who are interested in your products.

One effective platform is to use email marketing for cannabis brands to build a list and strengthen relationships with current customers and potential leads.

The data speaks for itself: email marketing is effective. Litmus recently reported that many businesses could expect a $42 ROI for every $1 spent on email marketing. So if you aren’t already using cannabis email marketing, right now is the best time to get started.

Why Cannabis Brands Need Email Marketing

Marketing is a challenge since the cannabis industry is still working to achieve its legal status. As a result, certain restrictions limit you from using common marketing platforms. For example, at the time of this writing, Google doesn’t allow any Pay Per Click advertising, so you don’t have the option to pay for ads that show up in the search results. Additionally, make social media platforms have strict limitations for cannabis marketing and content, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Even though the stigma around cannabis use is dissipating, there is still a gap in the industry, with dispensary owners trying to figure out how to share their messaging with interested customers. Private messaging is the most effective approach, which is why email marketing for cannabis brands is so appealing.

As a dispensary owner or ancillary business in the cannabis or CBD industry, email is a great place to invest your marketing budget so you can bring in leads, nurture these potential customers, and convert the leads into paying customers. Plus, email marketing keeps your current customers engaged with your brand, increasing the likelihood of repeat business.

Today, we are going to break down the best practices, so you understand the most effective ways to leverage email marketing for your cannabis business.

Step #1: Building a List for Cannabis Brand Marketing

Building an email list is a valuable asset that will have an undeniable impact on your bottom line. Since businesses in the cannabis industry have limited options for marketing and advertising, email can be the key to the success that you need.

When you have an email list with qualified and highly targeted leads, you have a foundation for bringing customers through the door who are ready to buy your products.

The key is to build a relevant list. Yes, every business owner wants an extensive list. But quality always takes priority over quantity. When you send relevant messages to your curated list, you can connect these customers with products that address their pain points and align with their preferences. Sales conversions are much easier because these customers have already shown interest in the specific products you are offering.

Make sure your list is clean. You want email addresses for real people, not just a cheap list with spam and irrelevant email addresses. If you don’t already have a list, one option is to work with a cannabis marketing agency: Fresco Data. Our data-driven marketing approach includes access to an email database, giving our clients an edge in the industry.

Step #2: Choose an Email Marketing Software

The right email marketing software is key to your success. Many email service providers (ESPs) restrict or prohibit CBD and/or cannabis brands from using their software for marketing in this industry. So, make sure you choose a software provider with a clear policy allowing content relating to cannabis and CBD.

Always read the fine print. If the policies are unclear, then talk to the ESP about their policies relating to the cannabis industry. Another option is to ask your cannabis marketing agency for recommendations about which software you should use.

Then, also be diligent about following the platform rules to ensure that your emails are getting delivered – and not ending up in people’s spam folders. You need to ensure that your leads and customers are receiving your messages, which is why it’s critical to ensure that you always follow the rules for sending emails.

Step #3: Segment and Send Relevant Messages

One of the most effective methods for email marketing for cannabis brands is to segment your lists based on customer behavior and preferences. Remember that the cannabis industry is broad, which means that different customer profiles will resonate with other messaging.

The goal is to craft the email messages as close to the customer’s preferences as possible because it leads them to the purchase naturally.

For example, the messaging that you send to customers who only buy edibles is going to be different from the marketing outreach you would use for customers who prefer pre-rolls. Ideally, you can build out various lists for these niche products. Then, your email messages show customers that you understand their preferences and you are providing what they need.

To segment the list, develop different buyer personas. Then put filters and rules into place to determine where each email address belongs on the list. Each segmented list should receive targeted messaging that helps them move to the next stage in your marketing funnel.

Step #4: Design the Funnel to Leverage Profits

Any time you are sending an email, it’s critical that you always have the desired action in mind. For example, do you want the person to visit a landing page or come into your local dispensary? Most leads won’t buy anything on their first visit to your website. So, email marketing for cannabis brands is a way that you can build a relationship over time.

Eventually, the lead will become familiar with your company and the information you are offering. When this trust is in place, then they are ready to make a purchase.

With cannabis email marketing, you can use data to track where each customer is within your funnel. The final goal (at the end of the funnel) is for the lead to make a purchase, and then this email address moves onto your email list of buying customers. But it takes time to develop and nurture the relationship, so the person feels comfortable buying from your dispensary.

Step #5: Keep the List Warm with Cannabis Friendly Email Messages

Consistency is critical with email marketing for cannabis brands. If you want to build your branding, then you need to send emails regularly. However, don’t spam their inboxes with too many emails. Instead, set a schedule, so the leads know what to expect going forward.

Email list segmentation offers valuable insights when deciding the type of content to send to your subscribers. For example, if a person is new in the cannabis industry, they might feel a little overwhelmed and not know where to start. At this point, emails with checklists, educational material, ebooks, and informational videos can be an excellent way to help the person get started.

In comparison, if the person is already using cannabis products and they know what they are looking for, then cannabis email marketing can help share details about other related products. You might also get into more specific details, such as how-to videos and case studies.

If you have a segmented list of leads who are nearing the point of purchase, then the right email messaging can push them over the edge, so they buy the product. Send customers reviews, promotions, package discounts, and other information that makes your brand stand out from the competition.

Step #6: Personalize the Messaging Whenever Possible

Sending generalized emails isn’t effective. You see that generic messages don’t offer the conversion and click-thru rates you need to make email marketing worth your time and effort. If your emails are boring, no one will open the messages or buy your products.

So, look for ways to add a personal touch. You can use automated features within your email service provider to pull in the customer’s name and/or location. Additionally, leverage automation to ensure that customers receive messages that are highly relevant to their current positioning in your sales funnel.

Don’t Have an Email List? No Problem!

You need a list to be successful with email marketing for cannabis brands. But many business owners find it challenging to build the list since they can’t use traditional marketing platforms for advertising. The simplest solution to get started is by accessing a pre-existing list of cannabis users.

Leveraging these current lists is a great way to get your brand out there quickly and effectively. Instead of building from scratch, you can tap into a warm list and partner with other industry experts to share your products and information. This strategy builds your brand value and helps customers see the benefits of buying from your dispensary.

Schedule a Consultation with Our Cannabis Marketing Agency

Do you need help with email marketing for cannabis brands? The best solution is to work with a cannabis marketing agency instead of a general provider. Even though there are many digital marketing firms, you won’t get the results you desire if you aren’t working with a team specializing in cannabis and CBD specifically.

At Fresco Data, we bring years of experience to the table and understand the best practices for cannabis brand marketing. When you are ready to learn more about how our team can help build your brand, we invite you to call at your convenience to book a complimentary consultation. We can assist with cannabis email marketing, as well as retargeting ads and other effective methods to connect with leads and nurture current customers.


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