Those of us in the cannabis industry know that the tools and tactics available to us are limited. When, where, and IF you can advertise comes with a variety of restrictions. The instinct of most cannabis businesses is to invest heavily in social media. They get on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other platform you can imagine, and then saturate them with content. We’re not saying not to do that, but use social media with this understanding:
For example, imagine you spend enormous amounts of time, effort, and money on your cannabis dispensaries’ Instagram account. You grow a healthy following and use it as a primary driver of traffic to your business. Then disaster strikes. Instagram decides to change their terms of service and determines that you are now in violation. They shut down your account, no warning, no questions asked, no recourse. What impact would that have on your business?
We’re not suggesting you avoid social media. We’re simply suggesting that you have a diversified approach to your marketing channels, with social media being one of at least several.
There is a belief amongst some (usually those outside the marketing department) that email marketing is old-school. While the tool of e-mail might be losing some steam in certain settings (teams adopting Slack for example), it’s still the most widely used tool on the internet, and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Why? Because it works. You can use e-mail marketing to promote specials, drive attendance to events, provide news and updates, and keep your loyal customers engaged.
That’s why building your own e-mail list should be at the top of your priorities. YOU own your businesses email list, and it doesn’t run the risk of shutdown by anyone. And in the world of cannabis, your email list is your best friend. So, here’s five tips that will help you build your very own, very valuable email list for use in your own cannabis email marketing.
When building an e-mail list, pop-ups are going to be your biggest growth engine. They’re often annoying, but they don’t need to be. The blatant in-your-face pop-up as soon as somebody hits your website is off the table. Don’t do it. Instead, consider an exit-intent pop-up. That’s a pop-up that’s triggered when somebody is about to leave your site (typically it’s cursor movement to the top corner of the page that acts as a trigger). They’ve already done everything they need to do, so you’re not interrupting them. Slider pop-ups can also be an effective option. They just slide in to the corner of the screen and are much less obtrusive. Which one will work better for you? Consider A/B testing both.
GATED, HIGH-VALUE CONTENT
By gated, we mean that a potential lead or customer needs to enter their email to access the content. It’s a trade-off, and to hold up your end of the bargain, the content has to be valuable. Often, this will be long-form content. Examples might be: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis Extracts, or The Ultimate Cannabis Grading Workbook, or perhaps some type of checklist.
PROMOTE AN ONLINE CONTEST
Run a contest based where an email signup is required to be entered. You can promote the contest on social, on your website, and at events. If you want it to be successful you need to offer something significant as a prize. Maybe it’s a gift certificate to your dispensary, free product, or tickets to a cannabis-related event.
COLLECT E-MAILS IN-STORE
Have (and promote) email sign-ups in-store with an offer for something free. It can be small, and definitely should be branded. Consider rolling papers, lighters, grading books, or grinders. Tip: ditch the paper sign-up sheets, and go with a tablet. You can a basic Amazon Fire tablet that will work just fine for around $60.
Create multiple opportunities on the website to sign up. Don’t rely on the pop-ups by themselves. There should be a small sign-up window somewhere on the front page, and peppered elsewhere throughout the site.
OFFER AN INCENTIVE
This goes hand-in-hand with pop-ups and sign-up forms. There’s nothing wrong with attracting sign-ups by letting customers know they’ll get sale info emailed to them. But if you really want to supercharge your sign ups (and you do), consider a one-time use coupon code. It doesn’t have to be much, 10% usually does the trick. Just make sure the coupon code is deliverable to their email address to prevent fake emails being used.
Keep in mind that you’re never done growing your email list. Average attrition for most lists is around 22% or more per year, so it’s not something you set and forget. Need help getting started? That’s what we’re here for. Drop us a message on this form and one of our cannabis marketing specialists will get back to you.