Why Email Marketing is Essential to the Cannabis Industry and How to Leverage It for Profits

Email marketing presents a significant opportunity for cannabis and ancillary businesses at a time when many traditional and digital marketing tactics are out of bounds or highly restricted for the cannabis industry.

Research has repeatedly shown that email marketing works. According to Litmus, for every $1 spent on email marketing, businesses receive $42 in return, and McKinsey found that email marketing is 40x more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. 

The data shows that businesses working in or with the cannabis industry should be actively investing in email marketing to find, nurture, qualify, and convert leads. You just need to know how to use email marketing effectively to generate sales and profits.

Successful Email Marketing Starts with Your List

The power is in your list.

When you can connect with a highly targeted audience of people via email who are likely to be interested in what you’re offering, and when you send them highly relevant messages that solve their problems and address their pain points, the likelihood that you can convert them into paying customers skyrockets.

Given how restrictive advertising and marketing regulations are for businesses operating in or with the cannabis industry, having a way to connect directly with a targeted audience via email is like tapping into a gold mine.

The first step is to make sure you’re using a high quality, clean list – with real email addresses for the right people rather than irrelevant, spam, or nonworking email addresses. For example, if your target audience is cannabis or hemp license holders, then the Cannabiz Media License Database provides you with the most verified leads for your email marketing campaigns. Since the data is collected and verified manually by a team of researchers, you can be confident that all email addresses are real. 

Follow Current Email Marketing Best Practices

Today’s email marketing best practices are not the same as the best practices of the past. Email service providers (ESPs – mailbox providers) update their spam algorithms after every campaign you send, and their algorithms include thousands of criteria. 

If you’re not keeping up with the unwritten rules of email marketing as determined by ESPs, then your email investments will fail. Why? Because more and more of your messages will go to spam or junk folders rather than inboxes whether or not you meant to spam anyone.

It doesn’t matter how great your list is if your messages don’t get to recipients. Therefore, make sure you’re using the right list source, follow email marketing best practices, and don’t make any of the 10 common email deliverability mistakes.

How to Leverage Email Marketing for Profits

The key to leveraging email marketing for profits in any industry, including the cannabis industry, is to consider the buyer journey and create messages and offers that meet recipients’ needs depending on who they are and where they are in the buyer journey. In my book, Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Business, I explain that there are five stages to the consumer buying cycle:

  1. Not in the market yet
  2. Problem identified
  3. Research and evaluation
  4. Preferences established
  5. Final decision

Your goal is to consider where each person on your email marketing list is in the consumer buying cycle, develop buyer personas, segment your list, and send personalized messages to each segment that will help move them to the next stage.

For example, a person who is not in the market yet or has just discovered that they have a problem which needs to be solved could benefit from receiving educational content, checklists, short ebooks, and worksheets.

On the other hand, a person who is in the research and evaluation stage and is in the process of establishing their brand, product, or service preferences could benefit from receiving case studies and how-to videos.

Finally, people who are ready to make their final purchase decisions and just need an extra nudge to choose your brand or business could benefit from receiving competitor comparison tables, testimonials and product reviews, or discounts and special promotions.

With all of this in mind, you can create an email marketing plan filled with different types of content, promotions, and offers to connect with people at various stages of the consumer buying cycle that effectively push them to the next stage – and closer to choosing your brand as their final purchase decision.

Key Takeaways about Email Marketing for Cannabis and Cannabis-Related Businesses

Every day that you’re not connecting with targeted leads in the cannabis industry is a day that your competitors can sweep in and steal market share from you. 

Put together a high quality and segmented list, follow email marketing best practices and send personalized content that matters, and you’ll successfully lead prospects through the buyer journey to become loyal customers.

If your business wants to connect with cannabis and hemp license holders in the United States, Canada, and international markets, the Cannabiz Media License Database can help you. Schedule a demo to see how it can help your business.

Originally published 5/1/18. Updated 4/22/22.

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