The cannabis industry is the fastest-growing industry in America, according to a study by Leafly, and is expected to continue this upward surge for the foreseeable future. With more and more states legalizing the use of Cannabis, and the continued market growth, it is more important than ever that you invest in a strong marketing strategy. The market is growing and you need to reach out to grab your share.
No marketing plan would be complete without an email marketing strategy. Email is the backbone of a successful marketing plan. You might be scratching your head thinking, “Email… Really?!” And, the answer is, Yes! Not just yes, but a resounding, “Hell Yes!”
Don’t believe me…
Those aren’t rookie numbers!
Email marketing is a powerhouse, and if you aren’t using it yet, well… NOW is the time to get started.
With so many factors to consider when putting together an email marketing strategy, we at Conceited Marketing decided to put together a guide to help you along the way.
Without further ado, here are Conceited Marketing’s 7 Must-Have Tips for Cannabis Industry Email Marketing:
Tip 1: Know the Laws Governing Your Industry & Marketing Channel
Nothing will hurt you more right out the gate than being unaware of the legalities surrounding your local state and government. Taking the “it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission” approach is a surefire way to end up in hot water, legally speaking.
While email is one of the least restrictive marketing channels, there are still regulations such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the U.S. and gaining express permission from your customers. It is important to do your research.
Make sure you know the local laws governing the cannabis industry, so you don’t end up with a lawsuit, or worse. Foottraffik has put together an excellent resource for this, which you can find here.
The bottom line…
Check those boxes before hitting the send button!
Tip 2: Pick the Right ESP (Email Service Provider)
We are gonna save you a major headache with this one, so listen carefully…
Not every ESP is equipped for the Cannabis Industry!
You don’t want to go through the headache of having your account suspended, or finding out abruptly that your account was canceled because your ESP doesn’t support cannabis industry use.
Do your due diligence before investing in an ESP.
You can use one of the ESPs and/or CRMs listed below, that are already industry-proven:
Each of these platforms is friendly to the cannabis industry. Your decision about which platform to use should come down to what fits best with your current marketing strategy.
Tip 3: Use Lead Magnets to Gather/Build Your Email List
In order to email your list, you need to have a list first. Aside from collecting the email addresses of in-store customers, another smart strategy for building your list is using lead magnets.
“What is a lead magnet?”
Well, I’m glad you asked!
A lead magnet is something of value that you offer your ideal customer in exchange for that thing you desire above all else… their email address! The trick is creating a lead magnet that people would be willing to exchange their email information to get.
Much can be said and has been said, about lead magnets. A quick Google search will lead you to article after article about the creation process for a great lead magnet. What we will stop to say here is that you need to consider your target audience.
What do they want?
What burning questions do they have that you can answer?
What tips do you have for better use of your products?
The key here is to realize that lead magnets are for your customers, not for you. Don’t waste your time creating something because you think it’s great. It might be! But you are not your customer.
Instead, take the time to figure out what they need/want and work from there.
Lead magnets are a powerful tool for growing your email list, but only if done right!
Tip 4: Use Different Types of Emails
Your audience is at different stages in their journeys, so you need to create content for each of those stages. You don’t want to bombard people in the exploratory/introduction phase with emails on how to use your product. Instead, this is a great time to send a Welcome Series that will acquaint them with your brand and products.
Likewise, once a person has come to know your brand you need to move them from just reading about your company to actually becoming a customer. This is where nurture automations such as an educational content drip or emails based on browse or cart behavior make a huge impact on a new subscriber becoming a customer.
What we are saying is segment your audience.
This will allow you to send the right emails, with the right content, at the right time.
You cannot expect to reach everyone with the same message, your audience is diverse and your email marketing strategy should reflect that.
Tip 5: Imagination Station – (the least restrictive marketing channel) Use it
We mentioned earlier that email is the least restrictive marketing channel. Unlike Paid Ads and Social Media, there are very few restrictions around the content of your emails. You can advertise your products directly, use creative that shows your product being consumed, the sky’s the limit.
SO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT!
Email is your brand’s time to shine!
How do you want your audience to see you?
What is your aesthetic?
What is the lifestyle that you want to associate with your brand?
This is your opportunity to create those connections. Use this space to express your brand’s creativity. Don’t just do the same boring thing everyone else is doing. Be different! Stand out!
It’s not just WHAT you say, but HOW you say it that matters!
Tip 6: Don’t Throw Spaghetti at the Wall
There are better ways to create a successful email marketing campaign than just crossing your fingers and hoping the universe does you a solid.
Haphazard plans lead to inconsistent results.
Before jumping into “this email marketing thing”, we recommend taking the time to create a game plan.
What are we hoping to accomplish?
What are our goals?
Why use email marketing?
How do we reach our audience?
What are we going to say?
How are we going to say it?
Your plans may change over time, especially as your brand grows. You may find better ways to do what you have already been doing. But without a map, how will you know where you are going? How will you track where you have been? What worked? What didn’t?
As the saying goes…
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
Plan for your success!
Tip 7: Partner with the Right Agency
You can do everything on your own…
Learn the ins and outs of marketing regulations for the cannabis industry…
Decide which platforms best fit your business/marketing needs…
Design, create, and implement all of your email creative…
And “trial by fire” your way to success…
You can find a partner who has been there, done that!
You have enough to manage keeping the business compliant, hiring the right people to grow the company (AND your product), filling orders, and a long list of other things to keep the business running.
Do yourself a favor, and hire an agency that specializes in the cannabis marketing space.
Give yourself the peace of mind that comes from partnering with industry experts.
These tips are meant to guide you in the right direction. They are not an exhaustive list of commandments but are instead meant to be a compass that points you in the right direction so you can navigate through the world of email marketing in this industry.
If you are looking to partner with an agency to manage your email marketing program, you can reach out to us here.
Our team at Conceited Marketing specializes in email marketing for the cannabis industry. We would love to partner with you through this process and help make your life a little easier.