Cannabis dispensary operators are finding themselves in an unusual position right now. Because dispensaries have been designated essential businesses in many areas, they’re better positioned than most to survive and even thrive during the coming months of the COVID-19 / Coronavirus pandemic. But not everyone knows this. If you’re not reaching out to current clients (and alerting potential customers), you’re missing an essential opportunity to connect, keep them informed, and most of all let them know that you are most decidedly open for business. In today’s post, we’re going to cover a few must-do COVID-19 updates during this unusual moment. Topics we’ll cover include:
- Adding a banner to your website
- Sending a text campaign
- Sending an email campaign
- Updating hours on GMB and FB
- Sharing updates on social media
How to Share COVID-19 Updates
Adding a Banner to Your Website
Because your dispensary website’s homepage is often the first place customers visit, now’s the time to let them know you’re open for business. While it may not do a ton of favors for the beautiful website design you (or your designer) fussed over, an eye-catching, temporary banner or popup is the way to go here. Be sure to make reference to the present moment (“COVID-19 Updates and Hours…”) and resist the urge to resort to all caps and exclamation points.
On a similar note, this is a great opportunity to let your customers know how you’re protecting your employees—with face masks, gloves, regular fever checks and sanitization of the work environment—and protecting them (with curbside pickup, expanded delivery, and other measures we’ve covered previously).
Sending a Text / SMS Campaign
As we recently wrote, text / SMS marketing is an increasingly vital and effective tool to have at your disposal. Even under normal circumstances, we’re increasingly reliant on our phones, checking them on average some 85 times a day. Now amidst the uncertainty of a global pandemic, many of us are turning to our devices for even more regular check-ins and news updates.
Given that text marketing can boast up to an unbelievable 98% open rate, this is the time to use that tool…sparingly. Resist the urge to burn out those astronomical open rates by sending carefully targeted messages, updates, and special offers, for example to members of your loyalty program. Stay connected with these valuable customers by giving them reasons to keep coming back, and ensure that text / SMS retains its powerful leverage for the foreseeable future!
Sending an Email Campaign
While they may lack the immediacy (and the phenomenal open rate) of text / SMS efforts, nothing beats the personal touch you can add to email messages. Again, be thoughtful about what you share: Sounding the alarm about COVID-19 updates over and over isn’t helpful and will drive loyal customers away. Sometimes a dash of humor is helpful: One restaurant was reportedly delivering a “DIY pizza kit” including a roll of toilet paper. Think about what YOU’D actually want to see in your inbox right now, and move from there.
Updating Hours on GMB and FB
Google My Business is an often-underutilized resource, which is a shame: A free platform provided by and optimized for the leading search engine? Don’t let this valuable freebie go to waste; GMB even includes a COVID-specific option to keep customers in the loop. Keep those posts coming!
The same goes for Facebook and any other social media platforms you use. In addition to the basics—making sure your hours are accurate—let people know about added options like curbside pickup and delivery.
Sharing Updates on Social Media
Social media is bigger than ever right now, and it’s a free resource you should be maximizing. It’s not necessarily a bad idea to share news here, but remember to use social media for what it’s best at: Connecting on a person-to-person level. This is where you can let your personality shine, and remind people that we’re all living through this singular moment together. Remember that captivating images, humor, and authenticity will all go a long way here.
There are also a variety of ways you can reach new customers. Give us a call to learn more about how digital marketing can help you recession-proof your dispensary.