Email marketing is a growth channel for Cannabis and CBD brands. But finding a cannabis-friendly email service provider is a challenge. Especially if you are looking for one that also fits perfectly with your needs. In this article we will zoom in on the email marketing software and strategies for your Cannabis or CBD brand.
You have to sell your products, and no better place to start than email.
So, let’s light it up!
In this article:
1. Email Service Providers for Cannabis and CBD Brands
2. Marketing your Cannabis brand
1. What are the restrictions on cannabis marketing?
2. Partnering with a Canabis Marketing agency
3. 4 Powerful cannabis digital marketing strategies
4. 6 Email marketing tactics for every cannabusiness
Conclusion: Email Marketing for Cannabis and CBD Brands
Why you need a Cannabis-friendly Email Service Provider
Email marketing is one of the most effective channels for Cannabis and CBD companies. With email marketing, you can directly talk with your customers. Interact, promote your products, and grow your customer base.
Email is granted media – it is your channel to grow. At the heart of your email marketing is the email service provider (ESP).
But you must pick a cannabis-friendly ESP. This is to avoid a potential email marketing disaster. Abrupt account cancellation, random suspensions, and marketing restrictions? Nobody wants that.
Don’t use any marketing software provider that has unclear rules and unspoken policies about sending Cannabis email. Finding a good ESP in this industry is confusing to say the least.
Luckily, we’ve curated a list of cannapreneur-friendly email service providers (ESPs). No more worries about your hard work going up in smoke. Let’s have a look:
1. Moosend review
Moosend is an email marketing service provider that accepts cannabis marketing. They service a broad range of canna-businesses. From startup dispensaries to nationally growing weed brands. They are all welcome. If you want to send newsletters and promotions or any other email messaging, Moosend is a solid choice.
Moosend has an intuitive and clean dashboard that allows you to jump from email campaign creation, email list management to the building out the logic of automated messaging.
Right out of the box, Moosend offers a 30-day free trial with unlimited email sends and automation workflows. The platform helps with automated email series and pre-made templates for the most important messaging categories.
Moosend email marketing automation for Cannabis
The platform’s automated email tools for cannabis businesses, let you create the logic behind crucial emails.
Here are a few cannabis automations you can do in Moosend:
- Abandoned cart email sequence: Say a customer sauntered around on your site and forgot those sticky pre-rolls in their cart, remind them with an abandoned cart email.
- Repeat purchase reminder: Your customers need an important medicinal grade flower on a recurring basis? Set up a repeat purchase reminder that lets them know their medicine is waiting. You haven’t forgotten how important their health and loyalty is.
Moosend is a great fit for many different businesses in this competitive industry. It is one of the best email marketing services for new cannabis brands and startups that need a reliable and scalable email service provider. Think about some email marketing applications for the following businesses:
- CBD & Cannabis Cosmetics
- Marijuana infused products
Marijuana dispensaries are the ground-floor retail institutions. Often one of the first places new legal weed consumers visit. Moosend offers a lot of out-of-the-box automations that can help a dispensary’s email marketing channel grow and bloom. There are welcome emails and newsletter templates to get you started and forms and integrations to help build your email list. More on automation features, forms, and integrations in our full Moosend review.
Destination smoking spots are picking up in some urban locales. Cannabis event planning isn’t far behind either. If you need to send out emails or last-minute notifications for your events, Moosend can help you do it.
Key Moosend Features
Moosend is a great email service provider for cannabis businesses, you can count on features like:
- Email marketing and email automation
- Drag and drop responsive email builder
- Management dashboard for cannabis marketing agencies
- Native integrations with CMS, CRM, eCommerce, email verification, and other platforms
- Drag and drop landing page creator with built-in tracking, forms, and WordPress plugins.
What does Moosend cost?
Moosend has a 30-day free trial with access to all features and chat support. Moosend’s monthly email marketing plan is based on the number of subscribers. You get an unlimited amount of email campaigns per month. Pay for 6 months or yearly to save an extra 20%.
If you register for a new account, start your free trial via this secret page you get…
* Moosend discount of extra 10% once you hit paid plan (on top of any other discounts for yearly plan).
* Extra Moosend T-shirt or Mug if you have > 50K subscribers
* Exclusive email List growth Guide + Excel email growth template
2. MailerLite review
MailerLite is a cannabis friendly email marketing service provider. MailerLite is cheap and great if you’re starting up and need to have the basics covered for cannabis software.
The email tool lets you build pop-ups, landing pages and email newsletters all in one platform. Perfect for brands that want to build out and test a marketing funnel for their new line of CBD products. A fit solution for small business email marketing and bloggers.
MailerLite dashboard when you first log in
MailerLite offers a free account with all the premium features in it. You can send up to 1000 subscribers and use the landing pages feature, their embedded signup forms and pop-ups.
MailerLite for Cannabis marketing
MailerLite is best for cannabis brands that don’t require complex marketing automation, but want to send newsletters and do simple autoresponders. It is a great choice if you have a small to medium-sized subscriber list.
Getting started with MailerLite
MailerLite allows your cannabis marketing team to get everything you’ll need up and running quickly. They have an easy account verification process. You enter your details during sign-up and an account manager will review before approval.
If you are sending from your own domain it is quite easy to get started. You’ll be sending emails, right away.
Grow with pop-ups and forms
In an industry that needs every email it can get, you’d be crazy not to use list growth pop-ups. With just a dab of design and a fresh coat of your branding paint, you can create an overlay pop-up to grow email signups.
With MailerLite you can customize nearly the entire look of the pop-up. Add your own background images, mix and match buttons and add opt-in boxes.
Examples of how a Cannabis brand can use these forms:
- Combine your pop-ups with a templated landing page. Perhaps you’re a CBD retailer and you’ve got every combination under the sun. There’s vapes to sell, gummies, infused soft-drinks, and even some hemp bones to throw to your dog.
- With MailerLite, you can create an email campaign for your new pet CBD product line and match it with a consistently branded landing page.
MailerLite fits all kinds of businesses of course. For example:
- Cannabis media, blogs & publications
There’s a great deal of Cannabis content produced. Consumers are looking for more ways to stay informed. Weed review sites and marijuana publications are sprouting up all over the web.
- CBD Nutrition
If you offer a small product line of any CBD-infused nutritional products or supplementation, MailerLite proves up to the task of running simple product-based email campaigns.
- Cannabis and CBD Vaporizers
Also for the popular vapes. You can comfortably launch your new line of seven delectable smoky… or rather vaporous flavors.
Other interesting features
- RSS to email feature automatically puts content into an email and sends it out on a set schedule you can create.
- Extensive “click-maps” for your emails and landing pages, which includes heatmap analytics to see where your customers click.
- Drag and drop landing page creator with built-in tracking, built in forms and WordPress plugins.
What does MailerLite cost?
MailerLite’s pricing is straightforward. They charge a flat rate per month based on your number of subscribers.
You can pay yearly and get a 30% discount. Pricing starts with the free version and then up to 2.500 subscribers is the first paid tier for $15 a month.
You can opt to add a few extras, such as dedicated MailerLite support, or a dedicated IP.
3. Klaviyo Review
Klaviyo is a marketing automation platform for eCommerce. More eCommerce platforms allow Cannabis and CBD companies to use them: Think Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento and WooCommerce for example. If you sell through a webshop, Klaviyo is able to integrate with it, and use your eCommerce data to run campaigns. Making it a smart eCommerce email marketing choice for businesses in the cannabis and CBD industry.
With the campaigns, flows, and templates features, you have all everything you need to send emails. Klaviyo offers a free email marketing account for up to 500 email sends and 250 contacts. That makes it great for a trial and to look around on the platform.
Klaviyo for Cannabis eCommerce
As you probably already know (or most likely experienced yourself) the many issues and unexpected roadblocks you’ll run into when dealing with payment processing and using other important software in the cannabis and CBD industry.
Klaviyo makes it easy to connect with your payment processors and POS systems of choice. If you’re not using an already designated Klaviyo integration, no worries. You can feed the information into Klaviyo via their API or manually through a CSV.
Here are a few cannabis eCommerce applications:
- Let’s say you decided to run a Black Friday email special on some CBD gummies. You can rest assured that you’re sending to the right customer segment who’s interested in or already purchased CBD and see updated metrics on the revenue those emails accrue.
- Klaviyo is considered to be one of the popular choices for cannabis brands running eCommerce. It’s a platform that can handle moderate to large lists with complex automations and integrations.
Although Klaviyo is a fit for many types of cannabis companies, it makes sense highlighting:
- Marijuana Subscription Box Services
- Cannabis Accessories
- Cannabis & CBD eCommerce
As the marijuana industry becomes more regulated and commonplace, there is room for more business experimentation. The direct to consumer (D2C) marketplace is a great place for weed subscription box services to shine and differentiate themselves from other marijuana brands.
Klaviyo helps cannabis marketing for brands with large product catalogs. There is a big ancillary market for recreational weed users. Your customers burn through rolling papers, pipes, grinders and much more. Your eCommerce and email program need to keep up with your customers’ unique and personalized needs. Klaviyo and a non-restricted eCommerce platform are a must have for these types of businesses.
Key Klaviyo features
The platform divides up the main features into sections. Everything you need to review your list, sales metrics, and user profiles are found on the toolbar.
Klaviyo email marketing templates
- email marketing and marketing automation
- Create your own custom dynamic content blocks and reuse them for multiple email campaigns.
- Automatically recommend products from your E-commerce store and advertise them through email.
- Specific dashboards for important metrics that review how much revenue and other financial metrics your campaigns make.
The integration section is something you should pay special attention to. Klaviyo lets you configure integrations and get all of your data in one place.
What does Klaviyo cost?
Klaviyo’s pricing is simple. They charge a flat rate per month based on the number of subscribers. There is a free trial for up to 250 contacts, to have a look. 1500 subscribers costs $30 while 100,000 subscribers will be $1,250 per month.
4. SendX review
SendX is an email marketing platform and allows Cannabis and CBD companies to use them. They’re pretty straightforward with their policy: they won’t police you. SendX is a cheap software to get started with and you can start creating email campaigns for your business right away.
Use SendX to send emails, collect subscribers, build landing pages, and more. It’s a lower-priced ESP. Perfect for people in the CBD industry looking to dabble in email marketing, or for bloggers and marketers.
SendX for Cannabis Marketing
SendX is a great choice for brands that want to use a no-fluff, streamlined email marketing tool. It’ll help you create useful automations, collect subscribers and build relationships with emails. Let’s break down these features a bit more:
Create forms/landing pages and collect leads
SendX offers popups, embedded forms and landing pages to turn your Cannabis website into a lead collection machine. Choose from 28 popup templates, 20 embedded form templates, and 6 landing page templates to start attracting customers with your value propositions.
As an example, if you’re an online CBD seller, create popup forms for new variants you add to your collection. They’re sure to catch your visitors’ attention.
Cannabis lifestyle brands range from craft growers to far-out apparel can take advantage of SendX. As partaking in a little bit of the devil’s lettuce becomes more mainstream and acceptable in society, weed destinations and even cannabis bed and breakfasts are more commonplace. Making email marketing for restaurants and bars interesting for companies that have a piece of Cannabis on the menu. The likes of Tripadvisor and Yelp already have their equals with cannabis companies like Leafly and WeedMaps.
Send emails and build customer rapport
Creating emails with SendX is easy. You can send regular newsletters or send drip campaigns. You have 64 templates to choose from, any of which can be easily rebranded into a Cannabis brand email.
If you’re in the Cannabis media and publication space, send emails with your latest blog posts, announcements and deals. You’ll use SendX’s drag and drop email editor. It’s intuitive and lets you structure an email in a matter of minutes.
Use drip campaigns to strengthen your Cannabis brand’s relations with subscribers. Send them automated emails with offers, growing information, and tips for proper usage and storage. These drip emails are a perfect way to connect with your customers and give them real value.
Create automations and delight customers
SendX comes with a powerful automation builder that includes 25+ built-in automation triggers. You can create campaigns for people when they sign up through a CBD offer form or visit your landing page and buy something.
You can also create conditions to automatically move subscribers to different segments for smart personalization.
Automations can be used for:
- CBD & Cannabis Cosmetics
- Marijuana-infused products
Now you can kick back and let your bud sell itself.
What does SendX cost?
SendX starts from $9.99 a month for your first 1000 subscribers. As your subscribers grow, you pay more. For example, you’ll pay $19.99 a month for 2500 subscribers. This is the perfect model for a growing business. You’ll only pay for the size of your audience. These price packages include important features such as analytics, integrations support, A/B testing, and customer support.
5. Omnisend review
Omnisend is your cannabis marketing automation platform for eCommerce. The provider works with all major eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, Bigcommerce, Woocommerce, Magento and many more. It’s a smart email marketing choice for eCommerce focused businesses in the cannabis and CBD industry.
Omnisend has a 14 day trial and an extensive free plan, which includes 15,000 email sends per month. Get a free account here.
Omnisend eCommerce email for Cannabis
Connecting your purchase data with your ESP can sometimes be a hassle. Make the mistake of using a restricted email service provider and eCommerce platform and you don’t even have a business, let alone a digital marketing strategy.
With a combined setup, you can make more strategic and personalized promotions.
Let’s say you have a limited edition water pipe made for Halloween. Your eager customers are dying to spark a bowl and hit that Jack O’Lantern (free idea, take it, sure we are not the first to think of it…)
If you know you only have a limited run of 100, you can sync that dynamic information with a live ticker in one of your promotional emails. The possibilities for serving up revenue-driving promotions are endless when you have this fine-grained control over your customer’s data.
Omnisend is a mainstay for eCommerce brands and best for cannabis businesses that need to engage their customers on a more personal basis.
Great examples for matching ecommerce businesses
- Marijuana Infused Products & Edibles
- CBD Oils
- CBD for Pets
Infused Edibles are in a category of their own. There’s no limit to the variety of mouthwatering munchies you can sell (just don’t eat too many.) If you run a culinary focused cannabis company, you need the ability to differentiate and get your product out there on a fast and reliable basis. Plug this provider into your eCommerce platform and create relevant messaging around your products.
Omnisend, as its name suggests, does well in creating omnichannel experiences. As the CBD industry relaxes its restrictions, companies need to take advantage of all the cross-channel exposure they can get. If you need the capability to retarget your prospects from your latest CBD for Pets guide, Omnisend can help get all of that data in one place.
Remarkable eCommerce features
Omnisends’ close alignment with eCommerce platforms really shows through with it’s Live View feature. You can watch who’s visiting your site in real time and differentiate between whether they’re an existing customer or a new prospect.
Cannabis products do best with unique automated messaging. You’re not going to a templated text for when your customer’s CBD drops run dry, but you will find the replenishment feature.
Omnisend’s custom automation workflow gives you the ability to set automated emails triggered by your own defined custom events. If your in-house data whiz figures out that a majority of customers need to reup every three and half weeks, you can define an email trigger to capitalize on that.
What does Omnisend cost?
Omnisend has a free option and three paid plans.
Standard (starts at $16 a month),
Pro (starting at $199 a month) and Enterprise,
Pricing is based on your list size.
Ongage is an email marketing service provider that accepts cannabis marketing. They have a big number of native integrations with eCommerce platforms and email delivery providers.
The provider is unique in that it will let you send through multiple email relay services. So you manage the emails and database from one place, but can manage the best deliverability (and price per send) by hooking up multiple SMTP services.
It’s a good choice for Cannabis and CBD companies that want to have their required transactional messaging and promotional emails in one place.
Ongage has a free 14-day trial where you can test out the complete platform. It’s better suited for medium to large companies that need the ability to send a lot of emails right away.
Ongage for Cannabis Marketing
The budding marijuana industry is very competitive. You need to be able to service your customers in an industry rife with restrictions, while also going above and beyond to differentiate your brand. If you’re a direct to consumer cannabis brand, you’ll need an orderly system to both market to and service to your customers.
Ongage is best for cannabis brands that need an extensive multi sender channel platform and strict monitoring on deliverability and costs.
Example weed businesses for instance include:
- Weed Delivery Service
- Cannabis & CBD eCommerce (Large product catalog)
- Weed Restaurants & Events
Weed delivery services have matured in American states that legalized recreational marijuana for a few years. There are a lot of moving parts in a delivery service that Ongage can handle. The ability to connect with SMS and a variety of channels is crucial for sending out important shipping notifications and real-time updates.
Marijuana-infused products and CBD-based cosmetics live at the crossroads of different product types. This is often untouched territory. An infused cannabis product can range from a supplement, foodstuff to a consumable beauty product. You have to get the messaging right for these types of products. But for the rest, they work much like the ordinary in B2C.
Likewise, Ongage has the capability to scale for Enterprise businesses. Making this another good choice for large-scale email-oriented cannabis brands.
More about Ongage features
Ongage helps with a number of advanced options for promotional and transactional email messages. They have built-in integrations with SMTP, SMS vendors, and even other ESPs. The technically savvy =Cannapreneur will be able to shoot their customer automated shipping updates, text them reminders and then use that purchase data to plan some additional personalized campaigns later on.
What does Ongage cost?
Ongage has four different plans: Starter ($399 a month), Basic ($949 a month), Premium( $1499 a month) and Ultimate (Custom). Each plan’s offerings vary according to how many emails you can send, contacts list size, and how many vendor integrations you use.
7. dotdigital Review
dotdigital is an omnichannel email marketing automation platform that accepts cannabis marketing. Formerly known as Dotmailer, their Engagement Cloud hosts an impressive onmichannel offering, which includes: Email, SMS, Transactional email, Page builder, Social, Forms, and native eCommerce integrations.
dotdigital offers a free trial account, for you to try out the software.
dotdigital for Cannabis Marketing
There’s no better place to control the conversation with your customer than your own website. DotDigital puts the power in your hands to interact with your customer at multiple touchpoints.
Perhaps you run a grow operation and have written a killer guide on the best hydroponics rig. You hit your visitors with an on-site chat, followed by a call-to-action to sign up to your newsletter. This prospect ends up buying some grow lights and they let you know they’re also interested in learning more about your new Cannabis growing guide. All of this was relayed to them and your systems without having to connect any separate platforms together.
DotDigital can work with many different types of businesses. Think about email marketing software for cannabis brands that are established and have a sizable email list that needs to plug into a multichannel strategy.
For example the following types of email senders:
- CBD Essential oils
- Apps and Saas businesses
- Medicinal Cannabis
- CBD Supplementation
For many, CBD has become the miracle cure for a number of ailments. It also comes in just about every form you can imagine from essential oils to multivitamin tablets. That’s a lot of product categories and unique messaging that need to be sent.
There is an exciting amount of Cannabis Apps and Saas businesses developing in the industry. Whether it’s logistical software or cannabis-friendly supply chain management, cannapreneurs aren’t at a loss for innovation for cannabis software. dotdigital can handle email marketing, in-app messaging, push notifications, and automation for these new types of vendors.
The dotdigital engagement cloud can be helpful when you need to personalize the pages that your customers land on and the emails you send them. If you need a secure provider to keep your medicinal cannabis patients then DotDigital can help with its quick data integration tools.
Key marketing features
What makes dotdigital blazing?
- Email marketing and marketing automation with a drag and drop automation builder.
- dotdigital is a Magento Premier Technology, Shopify Plus and BigCommerce partner. They have native integration with CRMs such as SalesForce and MS dynamics.
- Lead scoring and visual reporting for customer personas.
- Dynamic product recommendations.
- Retail dashboard that calculates metrics such as revenue, average order value, customer lifetime value and more.
What does dotdigital cost?
dotdigital has multiple packages ranging from Accelerate, which is for small marketing teams, Amplify for marketing teams looking for a multichannel solution and Custom, which is for high volume senders or businesses seeking a customized solution.
Now that you know which email service providers are cannabis-friendly, you can choose your ESP and start building out your email program.
Best email service providers for Cannabis and CBD Brands
To recap, we just went through 7 Cannabis friendly email marketing providers, with each their own strengths. Here is a list.
Moosend – Easy email marketing for newsletters and more. Start here for free
MailerLite – Simple and clean email marketing tool. Read our full MailerLite review or Get started
Klaviyo – ecommerce email and automation to grow your green. Start here
SendX – The simple email marketing tool that won’t police you. Start here
Omnisend – ecommerce email and automation to grow your green. Start here
Ongage – Send out your mails through multiple SMTPs for maximum deliverability. Start here
Dotdigital – Mature email and omnichannel automation platform with advanced features. Start here
How to market your Cannabis brand
In the immortal words of musician Peter Tosh, “Legalize it, don’t criticize it.”
And to that I say in refrain, “Legalize it and we will advertise it.”
We’ve come a long way since the marijuana prohibition days and the dubious and crippling “War on Drugs.” In the past decade, legalization swept over the United States and a young industry has been born.
The regulated cannabis industry is expected to blast past $75 billion by 2030, according to investment banking firm, Cowen and Co.
Not far behind is CBD, the wunderkind cousin of THC, which has seen tremendous growth and societal acceptance. The United States CBD Market is expected to reach $20 billion in sales by 2024 according to BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research.
Cannabis businesses are making inroads into major stock exchanges, new sectors in health, consumables, lifestyle, technology and so much more.
While the cannabis industry is on fire, marketing cannabis is still stuck in the dark ages on certain reaches of the web. No luck trying to run ads through the triopoly of Google, Facebook, or Amazon.
The cops won’t bust you anymore, but Google will.
We’ve already shown you some of the best email marketing software for Cannabis brands. Now we’re going to take a look into the best ways to market your cannabis business.
What are the restrictions on cannabis marketing?
Amazon: The great eCommerce giant Amazon considers cannabis, CBD and hemp to be part of their prohibited category of products and services. Which means you can’t sell anything on Amazon nor advertise through its platform.
Twitter: You cannot use Twitter ads to advertise any cannabis or CBD products. But you have free reign to tweet anything you’d like about your cannabis business or products.
Facebook & Instagram: Facebook and Instagram don’t allow paid advertisements for cannabis or cannabis-derived CBD products. But you may advertise if your CBD products are derived from hemp. The same rules do not apply for non-paid Instagram posts or Facebook pages.
E-commerce platforms & email service providers: If your email service provider is not on our list of ESPs, you can’t be sure they’ll accept Cannabis or CBD related marketing. Likewise, check in with your e-commerce platform before listing your products.
4 Powerful Cannabis digital marketing strategies
As we mentioned earlier, owned digital media channels and traditional advertising methods are strong options for marketing your Cannabusiness. Here are a few unrestricted digital channels and methods you can start with a strong digital marketing strategy.
1. Drive Cannabis traffic with SEO & content marketing
Your organic content can still place at the top of search engine results. People are curious about the cannabis industry. If you sell a kickass product or have knowledge that you want to share, the best way to let people know about it is to simply produce content around it.
Here’s just a few types of content you can create:
- Cannabis Ebooks
We’re learning more and more about the psychoactive and medicinal properties of the cannabis plant each day. This area of research alone provides us with enough fodder to produce content for a lifetime. Not to mention the variety of different product offerings that range from Business-to-business number-crunching vendor software to commercial consumables.
Weed and some of its more exaggerated antics have also been entertaining us for decades… no centuries man.
Don’t lose sight of why the cannabis industry is having such a surge of interest and popularity in the mainstream.
It’s fun for some, it’s medicine for many and it’s been an important worldwide cultural staple for hundreds of millions of diverse people for years.
Create amazing content, optimize, and they will come!
Great content leads your customers to your website, where you can then encourage them to sign up for your email list. After that you can cultivate a relationship through email and turn those curious eyes hungry for content into paying customers.
Your site needs to be optimized for search engines. CBD and Cannabis products may be barred from the ads section, but not from organic search. Marijuana marketing has found an inviting home on the search results page.
Weed dispensaries and the majority of retail and even e-commerce cannabis brands all have geographic constraints. But this can also be an advantage in the short-term.
Local SEO is a great organic marketing tactic. Your local search engine listings are one of the most likely places your customers will find you. At a minimum, make sure to list your business on the following sites:
- Google my Business
- Yelp For Business Owners
Seek out as many high-domain authority cannabis websites and directories as you can find and get listed. Local directories also strengthen your brand’s trustworthiness.
If you produce original and unique content that consumers can find, you’ll have a tool for both customer acquisition and retention.
2. Develop organic social media content
What to do with all of that new content? Easy. Share it organically through social media. You can create lifestyle pages on Instagram and regular business pages on Facebook. Pair this strategy with your content marketing efforts.
- Request and ask for product reviews
- Grow an engaged social following
- Post regularly and stay compliant with the channel
- Partner with influencers to market your cannabis brand
Authentic reviews from your customers will make your brand more trustworthy and spread word of mouth referrals. CBD marketing for brands especially needs to break through all of the CBD oil network marketing noise and showcase their authenticity. Your social following can interact in a number of ways.
Set up a customer support group to engage with your customers through Facebook Messenger. Launch your video content through Facebook Live and Instagram Stories. Include your content in as many ways as you see fit through different organic social media channels. Intelligent influencer marketing is also another option.
The end goal should always be to bring your prospective customers to your owned media channels and of course, you’ll need the right lead generation tools, to get them to sign up on your email list.
3. Create your own website and eCommerce platform
Cannapreneurs are a creative bunch. Faced with repressive governments worldwide and indifferent tech industry leaders, we’ve needed to rely on creative solutions to get basic business done.
Luckily, the internet again has again proven itself to be an inclusive breeding ground for innovation and cannabis commerce. A number of E-commerce platforms allow Cannabis and CBD related product listing to some degree. Either seek those platforms out or… create your own cannabis software.
With the proper licensing and marketing tech stack you can start selling directly from your website. Check out the niche software developed for cannabis brands that you can integrate into your website.
Some of these specific tools include:
- Seed-to-sale tracking,
- Licensing software,
- Point of sales systems,
- Payment processors and so on.
As the industry continues to mature you’re going to need to stand out with your branding and valuable offerings.
Just slinging flower power won’t cut it anymore.
Marijuana marketing needs to go past the leaf and get more creative. Well-designed cannabis websites serve a number of purposes. It’s your digital storefront where you can show off what matters to your brand. It’ll include your logo, branding elements, and products or service offerings.
Your site needs to be functional, navigable and look good. This isn’t the 90’s. Clunky design and poor user experience will turn away most of your customers, even if you’re the only dispensary for the next hundred miles.
A few cannabis site and ecommerce best practices:
- Have a navigation menu with easy access to your offerings.
- Showcase your company’s best products through testimonials.
- Simple process to buy products or get in touch through a contact form.
- Have visible Calls to Actions fixed on the website.
- Responsive designs for both mobile and desktop viewing.
- Fast loading speed.
- Easy to browse product categories.
- Straightforward and secure purchasing methods.
Websites can be custom-built or based on a popular CMS platform like WordPress.
Here are a few other must-haves for your website. Include an age disclosure that states that you must be of legal age to view the website. Secure a domain that either reflects the exact name of your company or get creative in a related name that doesn’t detract from your searchability or brand awareness.
If you’re going to be processing any kind of payments then you need to have a website that can handle sensitive financial data that is secured and encrypted. Basic processes like transactional email receipts, shopping carts, shipping details and so on need to be accounted for.
4. Advertise on Cannabis niche websites & networks
Marijuana prohibition did nothing to stop a flourishing underground culture and network that was ready to rise from the ashes when the legal bells rang. And they most certainly have rung.
New blogs and platforms are popping up… well…. like weeds. There are some standout associations and magazines that Cannapreneurs should definitely look into. For such a young industry, there are already a ton of paid advertising options for marijuana marketing and cbd marketing.
High Times is still one of the most important cultural staples in the industry. Websites like WeedMaps, Leafly and Marijuana Business Daily offer a number of ways to list and advertise your brand too.
Cannabis niche networks allow you to:
- Place ads
- Send sponsored email
- List your business
- Form strategic partnerships
There’s no need to feel tyrannized by restrictions on platforms and regulations. Things happen quickly in this industry and it’ll only be a matter of time before tech giants and regulatory agencies one day see the light. But for now, we still have a variety of ways to advertise.
Partnering with a Cannabis Marketing Agency
Many Cannapreneurs and professionals got into this industry because you’re passionate about your product. In this business it’s crucial you have brand awareness. Or else you won’t be in business for long.
How are consumers going to know what pot to pick (alliteration fun) if they have to wade through a sea of weed leaf logos and other uninspired offerings? You may be a master of your craft or the best budtender around. But many don’t have the myriad of cannabis marketing skills needed to grow. You won’t find a marketer that has all of those skills combined in one person either, but great cannabis marketing agencies do.
We still have more than enough cannabis and cbd marketing opportunities than we know what to do with – here’s a quick recap:
Cannabis and cbd marketing opportunities:
- Content for Marijuana Marketing & SEO Development
- Organic Social Media & Influencer marketing
- Custom Cannabis Website & eCommerce
- Cannabis Niche Website Advertising
- Traditional & Print Advertising (like Billboards, Direct Mail, Word-of-mouth)
- Cannabis Email Marketing
To get quality work that converts customers on all these different channels requires a tribe of experts. We’re talking about web developers, copywriters, designers, digital marketing specialists of all varieties and more.
Here are a few questions to keep in mind when hiring a digital marketing agency for your cannabis brand:
- Are they knowledgeable about the cannabis and cbd marketplace?
- Can they offer expertise in one or more cannabis marketing channels?
- Do they offer custom solutions and dedicated teams to work with your brand?
Right now email marketing is hands down one of the most profitable and unrestricted channels for cannabis marketing. Even as the legal ducks fall in a row and more digital advertising opportunities arise, email marketing will remain one of the best ways to connect to and sell to your customer base.
6 Email marketing tactics for Cannabis and CBD marketing
Now you can start building great email campaigns after you’ve cleared the regulatory hurdles. Exciting visuals, compelling calls to action and general best email marketing practices will put your leagues ahead of the competition.
While others are still struggling to find a way to connect to their customers, you can focus on the fulfilling and fun aspects of building a brand. Whether your have an inhouse email marketing or partner with a cannabis marketing agency here are a few email marketing tips for you blooming Cannaprenuers.
1. Combine sign-up with age overlays to get a boost of new subscribers
Your email list is one of the most important assets for your business.
Website traffic will reach you through different channels including: organic search, cannabis-centric ad platforms, word of mouth and offline advertising.
It’s crucial that you get these new prospects on your list when they visit your website for the first time.
Many Cannabis websites require an “Age Gate” to prevent advertising to minors. It also keeps your company compliant with state marketing regulations.
A few companies have this overlay followed by an email subscription sign-up pop-up.
Smart Cannabis businesses combine their age gate and initial email overlay to grow their list and capture more info on their fresh prospects, like location and what products they’re interested in.
To bring that even further, smart sites also prompt visitors to sign up at different stages of their visit, using incentives or deals. One of the strongest to recommend is the exit-intent pop-up, prompting visitors to sign up as they intend to leave.
2. Get the in-store signups at checkout
Dispensaries and cannabis retailers have the advantage of in-person customer interaction. Ask your customers if they’d like to sign up for your email list after they finish the transaction. Let them know in a creative way what the benefits are when they sign up.
If you want to get more sign-ups in person, you can set up an iPad display with an email registration form. This is a great place to include some extra questions and nab some important customer preferences.
The online equivalent of eCommerce email marketing checkout is just as handy to get that opt-in. Add an opt-in to your email list at the end of every transaction.
3. Get personal, stay legal with location and product offerings
As mentioned, the “Age Gate” is a necessary component for cannabis websites, but it can also double as a tool for gathering more subscriber data. Recreational sales aren’t legal in the majority of the United States, but CBD, hemp and other assorted paraphernalia are legal in different places throughout the country.
By pinpointing subscribers by state and region, you can figure out right away what types of products they can legally buy and additionally, what type of products you can market to them.
There would be no point in sending information about your latest bud strains if they live in a state where they can only purchase CBD products.
Likewise, some clients may only want to purchase pipes or vape pens and they’re not interested in purchasing any flower. You can figure out right away what your clients are interested in or what their ability is to legally purchase cannabis or related products.
For the cannabis delivery company, Eaze, gathering location details is a functional component of its core business functions.
This company uses this information to figure out if there are drivers that can deliver to you in real-time and to ensure that you are in a legal municipality for cannabis consumption.
4. Segment your email lists
Due to the varied amount of regulations and restrictions, both legal and due to forces natural to the cannabis marketplace – you need to keep email lists segmented by the specific products or offerings you have for sale. Segmentation also just makes sense for any business. An Econsultancy report found that 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increased customer engagement.
The different amount of segments you could create might include:
- Recreational customers
- Medicinal patients
- Accessories (Pipes, bongs, rolling papers, lighters, etc.)
There are various creative ways you can slice and dice your customer base to get the best returns and offer them the most relevant deals.
The Pareto Principle states that for events, roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of the list. In terms of sales that usually means that about 20% of your customers are most likely considered your most valuable segment.
They’re more likely to purchase more than most of your customer base and are also a great target segment for a loyalty program. For segmentation to really work, you need to go beyond the standard attributes like age and gender and even go deeper than product persona segmentation.
Now let’s put all of this together for a conceptual super segment.
For example, what if we combined your high-value, repeat-purchasers that are also recreational users and interested in edibles. We figure out that they’re buying and sampling a few different types of flavors per month on a regular basis.
There are a few things we could do with this information and newly defined custom segments.
Start a loyalty program that rewards them with an extra free bag of gummies after a certain number of purchases. Incentivize them to recommend their friends for reward points. Or on the non-sales side of things, gift them with a specially crafted culinary ebook. It’s pretty easy to create one with a good eBook creator.
All of this is possible and more when you personalize and segment your list. Forget, (insert first name) gimmicks, this is where the real personalization is at.
5. Automate your welcome and lifecycle messages
It’s smart email practice to automate and lock down a few key automated sequences. This includes your welcome messages for a variety of customer segments and a number of lifecycle messages.
Your welcome email should communicate a special value proposition to your customers. It should be more than just another generic “Welcome to the bland brand” boring message. Let your customers know that they now belong to a special club and more than that, give them some kind of gift, incentive or something else creative that makes them actually feel that way.
Your welcome email is your first impression of your entire email channel and it needs to demonstrate true value right out of the gate.
Set your welcome emails to send automatically and instantly when a customer or subscriber has converted. Get their attention right away and lead them to other pieces of content and products.
There’s a number of lifecycle emails that every brand needs. We’ve already mentioned throughout this article a few creative cannabis-specific lifecycle messages you could create, such as: repeat purchase reminders to re-up on flower, content to send based on user preference and so on.
Your mainstay behavioral lifecycle emails include:
- Welcome series
- Cart abandon
- Browse abandon
- Order and transaction confirmation
- Surveys and reviews
- Replenishment emails
Just because your emails are automated doesn’t mean you should give them any less thought or neglect to optimize them. Test your cannabis lifecycle messages as much as possible. Think of new and clever ones that are unique to only your business. Master behavioral browsing and turn that into a sales tool.
6. Combine email messaging with SMS text messaging
Cannabis regulations and acceptance in the overall digital marketplace are going to stay shaky at least for the foreseeable future. The more you can wean yourself off the triopoly of Amazon, Facebook, and Google – the better.
Another great way to bulk up your marketing strategies is to start collecting customer’s phone numbers for text-based messaging. SMS marketing is a great complement to email marketing.
Once you’ve received your customers’ permission through opt-in, you can send them deals, promotions, and other important information through a text.
As you can see in the example above, you can create SMS messaging with a combination of text and an illustration or graphic. Customers can text “STOP” to unsubscribe at any time they want.
Conclusion: How to get cannabis email marketing success
Cannabis email marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow your brand and get connected with your customers.
You now have all the tools to find the best email service provider for your cannabis or CBD business.
- Choose a marijuana friendly ESP that doesn’t have restrictions for your industry.
- Get creative and advertise on channels by creating unique, valuable content.
- Grow your product and your email list.
- Deploy emails that directly connect with your customers while the competition flounders around looking for a way to market their cannabusiness.
Standout in this new and exciting marketplace by creating cannabis email marketing campaigns that increase revenue, engagement, and exposure for your brand!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you market a dispensary?
Is Mailchimp Cannabis friendly?
Depending on your location, you may or may not be able to send weed-related emails. You should get in touch with Mailchimp on the matter before you start building campaigns. A better option is to use email marketing services that are cannabis-friendly.