Email Marketing for the Cannabis Industry in 2022

Email marketing is essential to the cannabis industry, and based on the results from the 2021 State of Email Report released recently by Litmus, it’s crucial to just about every industry as we head into 2022. 

What should businesses using email marketing to connect with cannabis and hemp license holders know about the state of email today? According to the Litmus report, personalization, budget, and timing are the keys to email marketing success. Let’s take a closer look at the data.

1. Email Marketing Success Depends on Personalization

The number one way to increase engagement with your email messages and drive higher returns on your email marketing investments is to segment your lists into niche audiences and create separate versions of every campaign with personalized content for each target audience. 

I say this so often that I feel like a broken record, but the reason I repeat it all the time is because it’s true and so important. Still don’t believe me? Take a look at the information from the Litmus report and others, because I’m not the only one saying it:

  • Nine out of 10 marketers (90%) believe personalization (including email marketing personalization) is essential to overall business strategy (Source: Personalization Demystified from Forrester and IBM).
  • Nearly seven out of 10 email marketers (69%) are already creating two or more personalized versions of each email campaign they send on average (Source: Litmus 2021 State of Email Report).
  • Four out of five consumers (80%) are more likely to buy from a brand that provides personalized experiences, which includes email marketing content (Source: The Power of Me: The Impact of Personalization on Marketing Performance by Epsilon).
  • More than three out of four consumers (76%) expect more personalized attention from marketers, including personalization in email marketing messages (Source: 2020 B2B Buyer Behavior Study from Demand Gen Report).

The data from these studies shows that marketers understand how important personalization is today, not because it ticks another box on the To Do list but because consumers want personalization, expect it, and are more likely to buy because of it.

With that in mind, below are the top 10 personalization factors that marketers use in email marketing today:

  1. Name, company name, or other profile data: 80% (up from 72% in 2020)
  2. Customer segment (e.g., prospect or customer): 64% (up from 49% in 2020)
  3. Past email interactions: 42% (up from 39% in 2020)
  4. Location or geolocation: 40% (up from 31% in 2020)
  5. Past purchases or donations: 34% (down from 38% in 2020)
  6. Expressed preferences or interests: 33% (up from 32% in 2020)
  7. Past interactions with products or services: 33% (down from 40% in 2020)
  8. Past website interactions: 26% (down from 30% in 2020)
  9. Member or reward status or points: 23% (not available for 2020)
  10. Gender, race, or other demographics: 14% (up from 11% in 2020)

Your business may not be able to segment using all of the factors in the list above, and that’s perfectly fine. The key is to get started with the opportunities and data available to you now. The more segmented you can get your lists, the more personalized your content can be, and the better your results will be. 

Therefore, start using the data you already have and set up processes to collect new data that you can use in the future to segment and personalize more effectively than ever.

If your target audience includes cannabis and/or hemp license holders in the United States, Canada, and international markets, you can use the features in the Cannabiz Media License Database to segment your email marketing lists and send personalized content to each of your niche audiences. It’s a proven way to increase engagement and results. 

For example, you could segment your list by the kind of license they have (e.g., cultivator, manufacturer, retailer, and so on), location, the extraction method each manufacturer is using, the cultivator’s grow environment or canopy size, and so much more. 

Read the guide to Proven Ways to Segment Your Email List and Boost Results to get segmentation strategies and plans to put those strategies into action using the Cannabiz Media License Database.

2. Email Marketing Budgets are Increasing

According to the Litmus report, only 1.3% of companies plan to decrease their overall email marketing budgets in 2022. Diving into the data a bit deeper, just 2.9% plan to decrease their email marketing team personnel spending, and only 6.2% plan to decrease their budgets for email marketing agencies, consultants, and freelancers. 

That means the vast majority of companies are planning to increase their email marketing budgets in 2022 or keep their budgets the same as 2021.

The email marketing areas where the largest percentage of companies plan to increase their spending in 2022 are:

  1. Integration of email with other channels: 35.8%
  2. Email team personnel: 32.1%
  3. Non-email service provider email tools: 22.1%
  4. Email service provider(s): 20.2%
  5. Email education, conferences, training, etc.: 17.8%
  6. Email agencies, consultants, and freelancers: 11.3%

Why are email marketing budgets going up? There are a couple of reasons, but one of the most compelling reasons cited in the Litmus report is that email ranks at the top of the list of the most effective channels for marketing – above paid search/ads, organic search, social media, events, direct mail, text message or push, video, television or radio, outdoor media, and podcast/voice marketing.

To prepare for 2022, review your email marketing budget and determine if there are areas where you need to add money before it’s too late to get budget dollars allocated to them.

3. Timing Still Matters in Email Marketing

I’m often asked what time of day businesses should send their email marketing campaigns, and the answer hasn’t really changed over the years. Litmus released its 2021 State of Email Engagement report recently, and based on billions of email opens, the best time of day to send email marketing campaigns is still 10:00 a.m. local time. That’s when 7.4% of all opens happen, while 21.2% of all opens happen between 9:00 a.m. and noon local time.

The number of email messages that people receive each day continues to increase, and it’s getting harder to stand out in inboxes. Ensuring you send your email marketing messages at the right time is critical to your success. However, what happens when recipients open your email messages? How much time do they actually spend engaging with your content?

Litmus reports that the average time spent reading an email is down by approximately 15% from the prior year. Today, the average time spent reading an email is 10.0 seconds (it was 11.8 seconds in 2020). 

That means you only have a maximum of 10 seconds to capture recipients’ interest and motivate them to click your call-to-action. Don’t let them get away! 

Make sure your email marketing messages are succinct, clear, and very obvious in terms of answering the question, “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM?) for recipients and telling them what to do next. Ease and simplicity are the key to success in 2022.

If you’re selling to cannabis and/or hemp license holders, you can connect with them via email marketing at exactly the right time using the features in the Cannabiz Media License Database. The built-in email marketing tool includes features to send your messages at the best day and time using performance data and a visual heatmap, scheduling tools, and a send time optimization feature powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Read Send Time Optimization Tips for Cannabis Industry Email Marketing to learn how how to get your email campaigns in front of your audiences at the best times using the Cannabiz Media License Database.

Key Takeaways about Email Marketing for the Cannabis Industry in 2022

I’ll leave you with two key quotes from the Litmus 2021 State of Email Report:

  • “Email marketing is increasingly critical to business success. There’s no question: Email has always been important. But now? It’s essential.”
  • “Personalization is a must-have. Personalization is no longer nice to have someday. The time is now.”

Are your email marketing personalization strategies and budget ready for a successful 2022? If not, now is the time to make some changes.

Schedule a demo to see how the Cannabiz Media License Database can help you connect with cannabis and hemp license holders to reach your sales and marketing goals (including your email marketing goals).

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