Email marketing is the most cost-effective way for a cannabis business of any kind to generate immediate traffic and sales to its website or store. That is a fact that marketing professionals are aware of, which is why all the top cannabis business marketing agencies around the country offer services including web design, search engine optimization and email marketing. The other services are a must in order to have an online presence that your consumers can engage with.
Getting new customers in the door has not been a struggle for most cannabis businesses. It’s getting those consumers back more often and getting more consumers in as well that’s becoming the challenge. That’s because of competition and the only way to beat the competition in an industry like the cannabis one is to build a strong email list.
Why Your Email List Is So Important
Imagine that you have a big 4th of July sale coming up and you need to make $100,000 on this sale to really hit your numbers. You cannot promote the sale on television, social media ads or other more established efforts and the sale is only a week away, making any organic efforts too expensive to offer a solution. However, if you have over 100,000 email subscribers, each of them having opted in to your list either by making a purchase or subscribing to your content, those sales numbers are not unrealistic, in fact they may be a bit conservative.
Consumers respond to email marketing, especially if they subscribe with an interest in the brand, products and services or content. You can get engagement from consumers in a variety of ways including building up your social media presence and getting more followers, getting traffic to your site, getting new sales up and even, getting more subscribers.
Why Cannabis Businesses Rely On Email
One of the primary reasons cannabis businesses rely on email marketing is because of the restrictions that come with marketing these products and services. Again, you cannot run video ads on Facebook to promote a sale of a product, so how can you utilize social media to build a following? This is the interesting thing about these platforms. Organically, you can still build up a following as long as the content is done within the parameters of each site.
While this is a great benefit to several companies that utilize this strategy, it fails in comparison to the reach you can get with email marketing. Because the subscriber opted into your list, meaning they want the content, your business is not relying on a social media platform to distribute the content. That means you can communicate directly with your consumer, within minutes of wanting to promote a sale or introduce a new product.
Challenges In Cannabis Marketing
Imagine trying to build a consumer list out of an audience that either has extensive knowledge of your products or an audience that has zero interest in your product and will never want to purchase it. The platforms that have these consumers do not have that data segmented in a way that is useful to you. Therefore, even if you could run these types of marketing ads on platforms that do not currently allow them, the targeting would be difficult and you would be wasting a higher percentage of your ad budget between consumers who are not interested and consumers who are already loyal to another business.
Eventually, each platform could adapt or transition their approach on how cannabis businesses can utilize their platforms. Until then, the restrictions of these platforms, not only for cannabis companies but also for businesses in general, push your marketing towards options that still give you a higher retention rate, but also have a much more targeted audience. What audience could be better than your own?
How To Grow Your Own Email List
There are options and opportunities to grow your own email list. Some involve paid advertising and some involve patience and work on your side. Content will always be the key to a successful campaign, regardless of the platform. The better the quality of the content, the more interest it will gain. Here’s how you should focus on growing your email list:
- Offer discounts on initial purchases: The first and easiest way you are going to get people to provide their email address and other information is to give them a chance to save on their initial purchase. Someone new to the site may be intrigued to make a purchase. If they can save a couple of dollars at the same time, especially by giving you information they were planning to give you already, why not do it? It may cost you a couple of dollars, but you also give them more reason to give you their information, even if they do not make a purchase.
- Start with consumer referrals: Once you hit your first 1,000 subscribers, start running campaigns to get more people to join your list. Ask for referrals and give people options to save on future purchases simply by referring their friends. It’s a win for them and a win for you.
- Giveaways: Running a giveaway for new subscribers is great. However, make sure that you also give your current subscribers a chance to win or at least a chance to refer people and still get rewarded. The more you can incentivize the happy customers to tell their friends, the better. These people are recommending your business based on the level of service and the quality of products you are providing. Offering discounts and giveaways to get people in the door is not only effective, but simply gives everyone involved more motivation.
- Write a blog: Believe it or not, the cannabis industry struggles in educational content and information for new users to read. This is where a blog could be a great way to generate some organic interest in your brand. People who are new to the products are online researching for information. Remember, there’s a lot to learn about this industry and if you are new to it, there’s a lot to get started on. Having some of that information available will not only draw interest from those looking for guidance in the industry, but you also have the opportunity to build trust in your brand with that consumer.
- Create free educational content: Along with blogs, begin creating content that gives people some direction or an understanding of how to view your products. If someone were to visit your site with minimal knowledge of these products, would they have an easy time navigating through it? Would they know what to look for, how to determine what they want to try or something else? The more guidance and information you can provide them, the more they will utilize your content and brand.
- Build out your organic presence: Through search engine optimization and content creation, you can build out your content and stretch it throughout the internet. This is an opportunity for you to build subscribers on other platforms, not with promotional content, but by focusing on providing information that a large part of the audience still needs, especially if they are interested in learning more about the use of these products.
- Get social: Again, social media will have limitations for your marketing efforts, not only as a business, but as a cannabis business. However, you still have the opportunity to use these sites to build up an organic following on each platform and connect with audiences and consumers all over the world. The best part, consumers who like brands and follow them organically will still make sure they see your content, even if it’s limited because of the platform. As long as you give them something they have an interest in, they will take the extra steps needed to view it.
- Offer content to other sites: Being able to provide information on your own site and platforms is great and hopefully consumers will find it and utilize it. However, if you are able to add content to other sites, especially sites that have large audiences that meet the criteria of your target audience, why not? You can introduce your brand and content to new consumers, not only gaining more interest, but also giving you a presence over the competition.
Content creation can literally help any marketing campaign and the more effort you put into your content, the more of a return you can expect to see. However, you need to help your content, either by putting it on the right platforms or by distributing it the right way. That comes with experience and trying out different options with different pieces.
Content Creation & Frequency
While creating great content is important, especially for email campaigns, how often you distribute it should come into play as well. You need to know when to send content out to the audience, one so that you remain top of mind, but also so that you can continue to offer them information that is useful. The frequency is another thing to consider. You do not want to send too often and annoy your audience, but you also do not want to limit your reach and only send once in a while.
- Don’t try to sell with each email: Try to limit promotional content to half your emails each month. If you send out two emails, have one be a promotion and one be a newsletter or something like that. Consumers will eventually overlook promotional content if that’s the only thing they see from you, even if they are regular buyers.
- Holidays are a must: While you want to limit the promotional content you hit your loyal subscribers with, you do not want to miss out on holidays to get sales in. Consumers expect deals on holidays and they hold back on making purchases because they believe they can get better deals and more for their money if they wait for that holiday promotion. If you are having one, it’s always a good idea to send out an email letting customers know about it first. This way, if they are planning on making purchases, they know that you will have a promotion as well. If they were not thinking about it, you just alerted them to the fact that you will be having a sale.
- Education always gets interest: Newsletters or emails that focus on educating the consumer are always popular. One way to get more content to your consumers while still promoting sales is to introduce new products. It doesn’t matter how different something is, introduce it, talk about why it’s different and if you want, offer it at a small discount to incentivize people to try it.
- Reward loyalty and bulk buyers: There will be a portion of your consumers who are not only loyal, but they also like to buy your products in bulk. Some people do this because they like the opportunity to save with bigger orders and then have the product for the next month or so. If that’s the case, offer incentive to spend big because it helps you move more products, faster.
You should try and work ahead on your content creation strategy and begin every month with a new calendar where you plan out the content for any holidays that are coming up. Planning this out earlier not only gives you time to make the content better, but it allows you to test out strategies and see what works best among your audience.
How To Keep Email Engagement Up
As you begin sending out emails to your consumers, you want to try and keep interest and engagement up. Along with great content, promotions and other options, consider trying things like quizzes or surveys, ask questions or run contests. Keeping your audience engaged in your content is always important because people share what they are interested in. If people are skipping over your content to get to someone else’s, you need to come up with new strategies to improve what you are producing and distributing.
Working with experienced marketing agencies is important, especially when utilizing the different platforms that are available. However, the goal for any campaign should focus around building content that can produce short-term and long-term results. A great piece of content can be used again and again, maybe even years down the road. By having high-quality content, consumers begin to build trust in your brand and that creates long-term success.