Why email marketing is essential for cannabis marketers


If you aren’t using email marketing as part of your cannabis marketing strategy, you are missing an opportunity. Email marketing is more effective than social media and other online marketing channels at building brand awareness, generating sales, and driving traffic to your website.

Email marketing is the use of email to promote your business in some way, and it’s an imperative piece of any strong digital marketing strategy.

91 percent of U.S. consumers use email

In fact, about 91 percent of U.S. consumers use email, and it is estimated that for every $1 spent on email marketing, an average of $38 is gained, making the ROI (return on investment) a potential 3,800 percent.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out these 48 email marketing statistics to better understand the true value of email marketing.

Email marketing for cannabis is often overlooked

Email marketing for cannabis is one of the most overlooked marketing channels available to cannabis marketers. In fact, most cannabis marketers tend to focus on text message marketing.

Read more about text message marketing best practices for cannabis.

And, while text message marketing is effective, text message marketing in the cannabis industry requires adherence to strict guidelines regarding compliance.

Furthermore, email marketing presents a fantastic opportunity because many traditional and digital marketing tactics are not allowed or are restricted for cannabis-related businesses. Most notably, Facebook advertising, Google AdWords and some social media marketing.

Start by building your cannabis email marketing list

Unless you already have some customers that have purchased or opted-in to receive emails, you need to start by focusing on collecting a list of opted-in emails.

Remember, these emails don’t need to just be for customers, they can also be for prospective customers. And, it’s also important that you receive approval (opt-in) from customers to receive your emails.

Below are the 3 main ways you can collect emails:

1. Emails acquired from your website

Your website can and should be your number one way to collect opted-in customer email addresses or mobile phone numbers. You can collect them in a number of different ways:

  • Contact us form
  • Newsletter
  • Pop-up offers
  • Events

2. Emails acquired from your point of sale

When customers use your point of sale system to add products to their online cart or in-store, make email or text message opt-in part of the process.

It’s great to capture customers when they are going through your point of sale system as you can give them offers and discounts when they sign up for your loyalty programs.

For example, DailyStory integrates with Weave IQ. Customers that opt-in through Weave IQ are automatically added to DailyStory for marketing.

3. Emails acquired in your store

Many stores have digital kiosks where customers can browse product. Encourage customers to sign-up for news and updates, even if they don’t purchase any products on that visit.

Segment your cannabis audience

A segment is a grouping of your audience who share common attributes.

How segments are used for cannabis marketers

Here’s an applicable scenario: You want to start a campaign, which will offer exclusive discounted deals to your customers who purchased flower within the last 90 days and have spent over $1,000 since becoming a customer. And, you want to restrict this segment only to customers who are within a 25-mile radius of your location.

This type of audience segmentation ensures that the accompanying offer in the email is well targeted at potential customers. Distance-based segmentation is especially important for cannabis marketers since out-of-state customers are not likely to be able to take advantage of a deal or offer (and you also don’t want to risk mass marketing in states where cannabis has not been legalized).

Bring data from 3rd party cannabis platforms

DailyStory brings in data for segmentation through either import or integration and is integrated with several platforms.

Weave, a modern point of sale system for dispensaries, is one example. Data from Weave flows into DailyStory and makes it incredibly easy to build segments based on customer data.

Cannabis email marketing segment examples

Below are some examples of how you can segment your cannabis customers. (DailyStory also supports unlimited data segmentation.)

  • New customers
  • Never purchased
  • Have not purchased within last 30, 60 or 90 days
  • Engaged customers (clicked links or visited your website)
  • Disengaged customers (have not clicked links or visited your website)
  • Customers that have spent more than $1,000
  • Customers with a medical license expiring in the next 30 days
  • Customers with more than 100 loyalty points
  • Customers that purchase flower
  • Customers that are within a 25-mile radius of your location
  • First-order anniversary
  • Today’s birthdays
  • Upcoming medical card expiration
  • Loyalty members
  • Loyalty point levels
  • 10th transaction

Segmentation coupled with personalization gives you powerful tools for engaging your customers.

Personalize your cannabis email marketing

Personalization is your ability to use the data you have about your audience to understand how your content best fits their needs or interest. This ensures visitors and customers get messaging tailored to them.

Personalization of your email should include basic personalization, such as addressing the recipient by name. But, it can also include more advanced personalization:

Advanced personalization examples

Below are some of examples of how you can personalize your cannabis email marketing. (DailyStory supports unlimited personalization.)

  • Standard fields: first name, last name, city, state, etc.
  • Weather
  • Purchase history
  • Loyalty points
  • Last purchase date
  • First purchase date
  • Product categories

Using personalization in each marketing email you send can be both unique and perfectly tailored to the recipient.

Build cannabis brand identity with email marketing

Many dispensaries tend to focus primarily on text messaging. Because text messaging is both restricted and limited as to what can be included, the standard practice is to use text messages to drive transactional behavior.

As an example, this includes sending the same “daily deal” text message to your entire customer list regardless of location, past history, and more.

Transactional versus branding

While these transactional types of engagements work, it doesn’t help the prospective customer with brand loyalty. For example, imagine getting the following text message from a coffee brand:

Today only get 15% off hot coffee when you use the keyword DRINK

Compare that to a branded message:

At [Insert Coffee Brand], we believe in brewing the best coffee in the world. We’ll see you soon!

Use cannabis email campaigns for brand identity

We strongly encourage all of our customers to use their cannabis email campaigns to always re-enforce their brand.

While you should include offers and deals, the email should use graphics and colors to convey brand identity. The content of the email also should talk about the brand and help cement that brand as the “go to” brand for cannabis.

Once you’ve acquired customers, segmented your audience and determined how to personalize content, it’s time to run campaigns.

Cannabis email marketing campaigns

A campaign describes a set of activities and content to engage customers to drive both inbound and outbound conversions.

An example is a campaign for new customers who have made their first purchase at your dispensary. The campaign may send them a thank-you email or text message and then, 10 days later (for example), send them another email or text message.

Campaigns should be set up for customers who haven’t purchased anything but have shown interest, as well as customers who have purchased from your location. Keep in mind that customers can be in multiple campaigns simultaneously.

At DailyStory, we recommend that everything you do as a marketer is thought of in terms of a campaign.

Cannabis email marketing campaign examples

Below are some examples of possible cannabis email marketing campaigns:

  • Thank You for Contacting Us
  • Welcome
  • New Loyalty Member
  • First Time Shopper (can expand into number-of-visits rewards)
  • Anniversary (1 Year, First Order, etc.)
  • Happy Birthday
  • Medical Card Expiration in 30 Days
  • Where Have You Been after 60 Days
  • Loyalty Points Threshold  (number of points equals a certain promotion, which can be expanded)
  • Total Spent Threshold (dollars spent equals a certain promotion, which can be expanded)
  • Rewards for prior month spend
  • Rewards for year-to-date spend
  • Item Promotion
  • Cart Promotion

Cannabis email marketing versus cannabis text messaging

At DailyStory, we advocate a multi-channel approach to marketing, orchestrating all of your marketing channels to present a seamless and consistent message.

However, it’s important to highlight the differences between email marketing and text message marketing.

Better deliverability

Text messages are sent over a carrier network (such as Verizon, AT&T and others). Carriers monitor and filter text message content. And, if your message triggers a perceived violation from the carrier’s perspective, your text will not be delivered.

Read more about carrier violations and how to avoid them.

Emails are not subject to carrier or ISP filtering. And while you still have to follow best practices for email delivery, email isn’t nearly as restrictive.

Read more about inbox placement tips for getting your emails seen.

Better metrics

Text messages provide data around deliverability, but not open rates. And while DailyStory includes a built-in URL shortener for URLs included in text messages, most text message platforms don’t provide this level of detail.

Emails, however, provide you with metrics for delivery, opens, clicks, bounces and more.

More content

An SMS message has a character-length limit of 160 characters, known as a “segment.” A segment is a hold-over from a time before smartphones. (These days, it’s common to send and receive messages that are more than 160 characters long.) However, the segment specifically affects the cost of sending. A text message usually only contains three to five segments at most, depending on the overall length and content. Special multimedia text messages can be used as well. These messages allow both text and a single image.

Emails can contain virtually an unlimited amount of text (formatted as plain-text, HTML, or AMP) and images.

Most cost-effective

On average, each segment of a text message typically costs $0.0075 to $0.01. Sending a large text message campaign can cost close to $100.

Text messaging platforms, such as DailyStory, include text message credits, but additional credits for sending text messages may be required.

Email sending, on the other hand, is virtually unlimited in the DailyStory platform for no additional cost.

Start your cannabis email marketing today

The cannabis industry is constantly changing (and growing). Leading cannabis marketers are starting to incorporate email marketing into their marketing mix.

Use email marketing to compliment your text messaging and other marketing efforts. The results will speak for themselves.

Contact us with any questions at hello@dailystory.com or schedule your free demo today.

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