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The holiday season is here, and if history repeats itself, four of the biggest cannabis sales days of the year are coming before the year ends. According to a report from Headset, Green Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving), Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), December 23rd (two days before Christmas), and December 31st (New Year’s Eve), were among the top 11 days for Cannabis sales in 2021, and that’s not expected to change this year. Therefore, it’s also a critical time for companies selling products and services to cannabis license holders to ramp up their B2B holiday marketing investments.
To help you take advantage of the holiday sales opportunity, following are five secrets to developing and running successful B2B holiday marketing programs to audiences of cannabis business license holders.
Not everyone on your email marketing list, your sales prospect list, your social media followers, and so on is ready to buy your products and services at any specific moment in time. The holiday season is no different. In fact, people are inundated with sales offers during the last two months of the year, so it’s more important than ever that you invest your time and money on the people who you have a chance to quickly convert into customers.
With that in mind, segment your audience lists and focus on people who are in the later stages of the buyer journey – the people at the bottom of the funnel who could be persuaded to buy before the year ends with the right offer that seems to have been built just for them (learn more about personalization in #3 below).
Let’s use your email marketing list as an example. Hopefully, you’ve been tracking how the people on your email list (including leads you’ve been sending campaigns to using the email marketing tool in the Cannabiz Media License Database) engage with your messages. If so, you’ll be able to identify the most engaged recipients – people who have been opening a lot of your messages and clicking on a lot of links in those messages over the past few months. These highly engaged recipients are likely the leads who are most interested in the products and services you offer. They should be your primary focus during the holiday season.
Once you know the specific target audience(s) you want to try to convert in the final weeks of the year, you can create a marketing plan that effectively matches offers to their specific wants and needs.
It’s the season of giving, so giving something to your target audience to try to convince them to buy – or even just to reach out to you – is very important. It’s the perfect time of year to offer lead magnets – freebies that you give to leads so you can accomplish three things:
Typically, lead magnets are offered online – through your blog, social media channels, sites where you publish guest content, or any digital ads you’ve been able to place. The process is simple. You promote the lead magnet and provide a link for people to visit your website where they’ll find a form to submit their email address and any other information you request (Tip: the less information you request, the more submissions you’ll get). Once the form is submitted, they receive the lead magnet from you via email.
Both B2B and B2C buyers are familiar with lead magnets, and many are very willing to provide their email addresses in exchange for something they believe will provide equal or greater value to them than the perceived value of their email addresses.
Lead magnets are also effective to nurture relationships with people who are already on your marketing prospect list. For example, if you’re already sending email campaigns to cannabis license holder leads through the Cannabiz Media License Database, you can use lead magnets as a way to push people through the marketing funnel and ultimately, to close sales. While worksheets and checklists typically work best at the top of the funnel to build brand awareness, lead magnets like webinars, case studies, ebooks, playbooks, guides, and white papers can work very well with people at the bottom of the funnel who are in later stages of the buyer journey.
By tracking what types of lead magnets are requested by the people who you’re already emailing, you’ll gather more information about their wants and needs. This information will help you create targeted, personalized offers that have a better chance of converting leads into sales.
Today, all marketing must be as personalized as possible. Sending generic email marketing messages, for example, makes recipients unhappy and more likely to click the spam button, which is something no email marketer wants to happen!
In marketing, personalization refers to much more than just putting someone’s first name at the beginning of an email message. It means you tailor the content of each communication and the details of each offer to match the audience who will see it.
For holiday marketing programs, consider personalizing the products or services being promoted, the types of discounts or savings offered, and the copywriting and messages used to promote each offer to each audience. Different audiences will respond very differently to your offers depending on who they are, what their goals are, and what type of product or service you offer.
For example, if you’re selling accounting services to cannabis license holders operating across the supply chain, don’t send every lead in the Cannabiz Media License Database the same message promoting the same discount. Instead, think about the biggest pain points and goals that cultivators vs. dispensaries vs. manufacturers have at the end of the year. Create offers that help ease those pain points or offers that support your audience in reaching their goals.
Furthermore, don’t send every person who works for a license holder the same message. An employee who works in a security role for a dispensary will not be interested in an email message about accounting services. Only send to people who will actually be interested in your messages (see #1 above about identifying your target audience), and only send personalized offers that will actually matter to each recipient.
Following up on the idea that generic offers and marketing messages don’t work, the same is true when it comes to what happens after someone clicks on your ad, social media post, or email marketing message to get the holiday offer you’re promoting. You need to create a highly-relevant, end-to-end experience for consumers to maximize conversions. This is true for B2C and B2B marketing.
Whether you’re promoting a lead magnet or a specific product or service discount, your audience should be able to click a single link and get to a page that provides all of the relevant details. This is called a landing page, and the page should make it as easy as possible for people to take the next step to get the offer. If you’re offering a discount off a specific product, your promotional social media post, ad, or email marketing message should include a link that takes people directly to a landing page that provides details about the offer and a button to buy immediately.
Similarly, if you’re offering a lead magnet, the link in your post, ad, or message should lead directly to a landing page with details about the lead magnet and a form to submit to access the lead magnet – no extra steps should be required to get the information they need to complete the process.
For example, if you send an email marketing message promoting a discount on your most popular product to cannabis license holders using the email marketing tool in the Cannabiz Media License Database, then the email message should include a call-to-action link that leads directly to a landing page promoting the special offer for the product and includes a link to buy right now. Bottom-line, when people land on your landing page, there should be no question that they’re in the right place.
In 2022, an omnichannel marketing strategy is by far the most effective, which means your B2B holiday marketing plan should include social media, email marketing, advertising (where possible), and more to surround people with your brand and offers.
While it’s unlikely your cannabis or cannabis-related business will be allowed to place ads on social media platforms, you can publish content, share content, and join conversations to spread the word about your promotions. You just have to be careful to follow each platform’s rules for publishing content. For your ad budget, look for sites that are cannabis-friendly – sites where your target audience already spends time.
When it comes to email marketing, use both your opt-in email list and the leads available in the Cannabiz Media Licenses Database to put your holiday offers in front of highly targeted audiences. Segment your lists and send personalized emails and promotions to drive the best results.
Keep in mind, not every social media post or email marketing message should be promotional during the holiday season. No one wants to follow an ad! Instead, send a mixture of interesting, educational, entertaining, informational, and engaging messages as well as some promotional messages that share details about your pre-holiday specials, last-minute deals, and post-holiday offers.
Make this year’s holiday season your best ever by planning your holiday marketing investments for the right audiences and personalizing your promotional messages. While the cannabis market may be struggling right now, you can increase sales with the right strategies and investments.
To make sure the right people see your holiday promotions, subscribe to the Cannabiz Media License Database and get access to cannabis and hemp license holders in the U.S. and international territories with built-in email marketing, CRM, sales outreach, and research tools. Schedule a free demo to see how it can help you reach your goals.