When it comes to marketing your dispensary, your email list is one of your precious resources. According to email marketing gurus Constant Contact, it can boast a frankly staggering return on investment. But all too often, the email list is one of the most underutilized tools in dispensary marketers’ kits. And that’s a shame.
Why? Your email list is a direct line to those customers who have gone out of their way to tell you: “We like what you do; give us more!” If you’re not creating content that stimulates and engages them, you’re at the very least neglecting a prime opportunity. And at worst, you’re telling those customers that you don’t really deserve their attention after all.
Fortunately, there’s a fix for that. It’s never too late to learn how to craft emails that thrill your audience and leave them looking forward to the next one. In today’s post, we’ll run down a list of some of the best practices you can—and should!—put into practice to increase your impact and reach. And while we’ll touch on the topic of how to create winning content, we’ll focus mainly on technical tips today, including
- Sending Smart with Separate Domains
- Using Automated Follow-Ups to Boost Engagement and Make it Personal
- Leveraging the Power of Remarketing
- Raising Your Content-Creation Game
Ready? Let’s jump in!
Creating Cannabis Dispensary Emails: Send Smart with Separate Domains
In addition to the topic of what we send, there’s the topic of how we send it. Because as it turns out, these seemingly small details can add up to have a big impact on your engagement rate.
At the bare minimum, we don’t recommend sending from a free account, such as a Gmail or Yahoo account. It looks spammy, and in return for the free hosting, you trade control and access. If someone on your email list lodges a content or suspicious-activity complaint—as can happen in this business—you may find your account has been suspended or even deleted.
And sending your cannabis dispensary emails from the most intuitive address—your main dispensary website—can actually be a mistake, too. Again, if your emails are marked or reported as spam, it could affect other parts of your communications, including internal emails sent under that main brand name.
That’s why we recommend you set up a custom domain for the express purpose of sending promotional cannabis dispensary emails. If you’re not used to setting up these separate domains, the process is probably easier than you think. Use a service such as Namify to identify potential domain names that support your brand and message. And if the “.com” domain you want is unavailable, there are plenty of others—“.space” or “.press,” for example—that are arguably even more appropriate. If you have questions, your web hosting service will have a FAQ or support options to help you get started. Trust us: It’s easy, it’s inexpensive, and it’s a great way to position yourself for future success.
Speaking of getting started, you’ll want to do this as early in the marketing process as possible. Why? The majority of spam blockers or filters reject emails from new domains, banking on the possibility that they’ve been pirated or otherwise hacked in order to phish recipients’ data. We recommend letting your email marketing domain be more or less inactive for a full six months—three at the bare minimum—before sending out mass emails.
Treat this time as a “warm-up” period. Start with a single email address, and use it to send emails within your company. To better signal to spam blockers that it’s a legitimate address, make sure the people you’re writing from this address actually respond to you.
That’s not to say this new domain needs to be a secret. In fact, even Google recommends registering multiple brand websites to increase your online presence. A simple one-page website will usually show up below your main website in search results, and it’s a great way to tell visitors more about your brand and the value they can expect to find if they sign up for your newsletter list. You can read an introduction to this concept here.
Finally, when you’re getting ready to actually use this domain for its intended purpose as an email platform, check it using tools like Mail Tester and Google’s Postmaster Tools. By assessing signals such as domain age and reputation, HTML links, and shorteners—a common red flag for spam filters—it’ll tell you whether your cannabis dispensary emails are ready for prime time or not.
Boosting Engagement with Automated Follow-Ups
Once you’re set up to send marketing emails from a custom branded domain, the next step is using the tools of the trade—like automated “welcome aboard” messages and resends—to support each and every campaign.
A “welcome aboard” message is a short and simple automated email you send to those addresses that sign up for your newsletter. In addition to confirming they actually signed up—no small matter in the current legal environment—it’s a great opportunity to thank subscribers. You can include links to past content, or even “thank you” offers they can use next time they visit your dispensary.
Then there’s the topic of non-opened emails. The fact is that even those customers who’ve signed up for your marketing emails often ignore or don’t see them the first time around. You can reduce this with automated resends. As messaging analysts and optimizers woodpecker.co have found, a simple follow-up message can boost engagement significantly.
On the same note, resending a newsletter campaign to non-openers—typically 2 – 5 days after the initial send—is a great tactic. The principles and procedures are fairly straightforward, though they’ll depend somewhat on what email marketing platform you use. Begin your education with this primer from Active Campaign.
Finally, there’s the topic of personalization. Every decent email marketing platform includes tools to better target each member of your audience, and you should be taking full advantage of them. As Nutshell’s recent rundown of email marketing stats found, using simple tools such as personalized greetings, subject lines, and emojis can markedly increase engagement (and cut down on profit-killers such as abandoned carts).
Cannabis Dispensary Emails: Leveraging the Power of Remarketing
Remarketing is essentially the same idea, but it refers here to the practice of reaching out to customers already in your email list (rather than those who have merely browsed your website or menu).
Whichever way you slice it, these practices are extremely effective. Because the consumers you target are already familiar with your offerings, the chance of closing a sale is greatly increased compared with those who’ve never interacted with your brand before. It’s one of the best ways we know to squeeze every drop of value from the marketing emails you put so much effort into crafting, and you can learn more about how we approach the issue in this recent article.
Creating Cannabis Dispensary Emails: Raising Your Content-Creation Game
Thus far, we’ve talked about some technical techniques for sending effective marketing emails. But we haven’t spent any time talking about what’s actually contained in those emails: Their “payload,” if you want to use a military analogy.
That’s actually not a bad way to look at it. While we don’t want to use brute force to overwhelm our customers, we want to be sure that what we’re delivering them is highly calibrated, useful, and engaging.
Obviously, the skill of crafting truly effective content is a long-term pursuit. But you’ll get a head start by keeping these simple axioms in mind as you develop your messaging:
- Know Your Audience: Get familiar with the world of market research, researching your current audience as well as the folks you want to reach. You can start with our recent article on understanding the cannabis consumer landscape.
- Use Your Data Wisely: We’re big proponents of making the most of the customer data you collect on a regular basis. (No surprise there, as we also design and implement cutting-edge POS and other dispensary software solutions.) Learn about segmentation and how you can use it to speak more effectively to the many groups that make up your audience.
- Know the Playing Field: Finally, there’s a vital resource that many marketers forget to take advantage of: Your competition’s communications! To be clear, we’re not suggesting you copy other dispensaries’ approach or messaging. But by signing up for their emails and other forms of outreach, you’ll gain insights into the elements of your own marketing: What works, what needs improvement, and where you can stand out within a crowded playing field.
There’s more to the topic of content marketing; much more. Begin your education here, and if you’re ready to level up your marketing game, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ve helped countless cannabis brands reach for the stars, and we’d love to give you a helping hand, too.